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11 Reasons Why Cotton Swabs Are More Useful Than You Think

Dust off that box of Q-tips under your bathroom sink, because you're about to learn 11 handy new ways to use them!

Whether you prefer to call them cotton swabs or Q-tips, there’s no denying that those paper sticks with the cotton ends are a highly useful item to have around the house. And in today’s post, I’ll be showing you exactly how useful they can be by sharing 11 creative and useful ways to put them to good use around the house!

Q-Tip Fact: Q-tips were invested in 1923 by Polish-American inventor Leo Gerstenzang, who was inspired after watching his wife Ziuta apply bits of cotton to the end of toothpicks in an attempt to clean hard-to-reach areas.

And fittingly enough, many of the uses for cotton swabs in the list below are all about cleaning hard-to-reach areas! So I dedicate this post to Leo and Ziuta, who have helped make our lives just a little bit easier (and a little bit cleaner!) 🙂

Related: 9 Unexpected (But Useful) Things You Can Do With Windex

11 Practical Uses For Cotton Swabs

1. Remove Makeup Mishaps

Use a slightly dampened cotton swab to wipe away rogue mascara, smeared eye shadow, or imperfect liquid liner. Use micellar water instead of regular water to make it even more effective! (Get the inside scoop on micellar water here.)

2. Apply Spot Treatments

Use the tip of a Q-tip to gently apply eye creams underneath your eyes, or spot treatments to blemishes. This is especially useful when you don’t want to get your hands dirty (or if your hands aren’t particularly clean.)

3. Clean Up Messy Manicures

A cotton swab is the perfect tool for cleaning up at-home manicures. Simply dip a Q-tip into some nail polish remover and use it to wipe away any errant bits of polish!

4. Keep Products Sanitary

Every time you dip your finger into a product that is stored in a pot or jar, you’re introducing bacteria into the container and the product itself. To limit the amount of germs in your products, use a cotton swab to scoop out the amount you need instead.

5. Clean Electronics

We use many of our electronic devices every day, yet we rarely think about cleaning them! Use a Q-tip dipped in isopropyl alcohol to clean the nooks and crannies of phones, tablets, and desktop computers. They’re also useful for cleaning the crevices between the keys of your keyboard!

6. Clean Your Car Interior

A damp cotton swab can help get dust and grime out of hard-to-reach areas of your car’s interior, including your door handles, window buttons, vents, and gear shift.

Uses For Cotton Swabs

7. Remove Hair Dryer Lint

Lint build-up in your hair dryer can create a potential fire hazard! Help keep it clean by swabbing the air vent on the rear of your hair dryer with a damp Q-tip.

8. Touch Up Paint

You don’t need to haul out paint brushes or rollers for quick paint touchups around the house! Dip a cotton swab into the paint and use it to cover up small scuffs, scrapes, and other imperfections.

9. Unstick A Zipper

Stuck zipper? Dip a Q-tip into a small amount of lip balm, Vaseline, or cooking oil and swab it onto the zipper where the pull is stuck. The greasy substance will lubricate the zipper and help it slide freely.

10. Shine Your Jewelry

A cotton swab makes a great tool for cleaning your jewelry! Just dampen a swab with a jewelry cleaning solution, and use it to clean rings, earrings, and the nooks and crannies of pendants and brooches.

11. Clean Up Chalk Smears

Creating a beautiful chalkboard sign that’s smear-free can feel like a tall order, but not as long as you have a few cotton swabs on hand. Once the lettering or art is complete, use a few Q-tips (or several!) to wipe away smears and smudges for a clean, professional finish.

What’s your favorite way to use cotton swabs?

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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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