Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mortem's Tricks or Treats: Recycling Lip Balm Tubes with Homemade Lip Balm

There are millions of ways to recycle lip balm tubes and repurpose them for something equally useful or handy.
But one such example, that one would assume is at the forefront is very rarely discussed-- reusing old tubes for new batches of lip balm.

I'll grant you that Chapstick brand tubes and of the like are usually the easiest to refill with a homemade batch of lip balm... but what about neat tubes like Nivea or Hard Candy?
They have this hole at the bottom of their well that prevents an easy refill...

Example of Hard Candy's tube.
I've always preferred larger tubes of lip balm, especially tinted, because I would likely go through four a month if I went with something smaller... and that's a whole lot more waste than is currently amuck in my cosmetic bag. One of the biggest attractions of the larger tubes is the larger twist bottom and larger lids-- like a lipstick! I'm jinxed to fumbling and losing small lids in gross places. So, after gathering and thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing my old tubes I set out to figure a way to reuse them for their main purpose.

After one failed attempt, the solution hit me with a slap! So now I give you the super easy and quick tutorial on filling your old tubes with new lip balm.

Tools you will need:

  • Double boiler set up: ideally a heat resistant glass measuring cup but a clean glass jar that is easily poured does the trick, placed in a sauce pan of water on the stove for medium to low heat.
  • Small lotion spatula (they usually come in hair removal kits) or something similar in size like a baby spoon.
  • Your lip balm concoction needs (you can find your favorite base formula to work upon with a simple internet search)
  • Clean and sanitized old lip balm tube
  • Optional: fancy tape

Instead of attempting to fill the tube and ruin the twist mechanism with liquid balm, I waited till it thickened and then slathered some of the solid mixture into the well (duh!)

Pack some in tightly so that the well is sealed nicely. You can't do this for the entire tube, or you'll have a really wonky looking stick of lip balm! So after you've filled the well with the thickened balm solution, reheat your mixture back into a liquid, lower your well to the very bottom of the tube, and then pour the liquid mix into the tube; it won't (at least shouldn't) run through the hole into the twister.

Ta da!
Once you let cool and solidify... eureka! You'll need to twist up and down a few times and wipe the edges since it will thicken and have some resistance to the twisting because of the slight excess.

The formula for making lip balm can be found on numerous blogs and on youtube; simply search "make homemade lip balm"
I experimented with the batch I made in this previous post, adding 1/4 of a tsp of organic beeswax, and an 1/8 of a tsp of equal parts grapeseed and Vitamin E oil. It's not as creamy as I would like, but the rule of thumb is the thicker you want it the more wax you put it in; more oil means a softer stick. Castor oil is said to add shine and glossiness to a lip balm, you can also use food/cosmetic grade glitters for an extra sparkle or shimmer. Other alternatives to beeswax is soy or lanolin. You may also choose to use almond oil, avocado oil, or extra virgin olive oil-- you may also choose to flavor your balm with flavoring oils available around the net and crafting supply stores.
To make the necessary changes, you would simply chop above the well and reheat-- keeping the well plugged for the improved formula.

For the extra mile, I decided to cover the lid with tape-- so I know that it isn't that brand's formula, but mine. You could potentially make it pretty if you used those patterned duct tapes.

Hope you enjoyed this brief tutorial!


  1. Definitely a good idea! I had never thought to save my used lip product tubes.

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I was looking over the price of lip tubes and it was far too much for the amount of lip balm I make in one batch... so, that's pretty much when it struck me lol

  2. I love the Fresh lip balms too! I like that they have a variety of scents and colors to choose from.Get more.information;


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