I guess I’m one that breaks the conventional rule, “Don’t put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear” because I use cotton swabs to gently clean my ears. It’s not recommended, but my entire family has done it for years, and none of us has suffered from any ear problems yet. But, besides cleaning ears, here are my 15 unique uses for Q-Tips cotton swabs:
1. Use Q-Tips to light hard-to-reach candle wicks. Simply dip one end of the cotton swab into rubbing alcohol. Light the cotton and then light the candles. Dip the burning end into water to put the flame out completely.
2. Q-tips brand cotton swabs that are dipped in rubbing alcohol have other uses too. Use them to clean electronic devices such as CD players, DVD/VCR players, cameras, radios and computers.
3. Dip the ends of cotton swabs into sudsy water and use them to clean small knick knacks.
4. Dip the ends of Q-Tips in olive oil and then run them along sticky zippers. The oil is an excellent lubricant that will make the closures open and close easier.
5. Clean out debris from a drilled hole with a cotton swab before you insert a screw or other fastener.
6. Apply glue to small model parts, craft pieces and other things by placing a dab of glue on a Q-Tips first. Smear the glue where you want it, then put the pieces together.
7. Use rubbing alcohol and Q-Tips, and you can clean the battery connections on cordless phones, cell phones, battery-operated toys, radios- anything that uses batteries to operate. Dip the ends of the swab in alcohol and squeeze out the excess. Then, clean off the contacts.
8. Another unique use for Q-Tip cotton swabs is to dip the ends in soapy water. Then, use the ends to clean the dirt and grime from the fins of furnace and air conditioning ducts.
9. When you’re stripping the finish off of old furniture, use cotton swabs to get into intricate detailings, cracks and crevices.
10. Clean up nail polish goofs up with Q-Tips while the color is still wet and your hands will look like they were done by a professional! This unique use works on toe nails too.
11. Paint small areas and parts on models with cotton swabs. The ends cover a wider area than a toothpick does, plus it’s not so apt to drip or leave blops of paint.
12. Use Q-Tips brand cotton swabs to clean out food from the corners of square containers. Soak the container first in hot, sudsy water.
13. Have you ever stepped in mud or something nasty and gotten it in the indents and designs on your shoe soles? Before the substance dries, use wet cotton swabs to scrape it out.
14. Q-Tips work great for applying ointments in between the toes of your feet. They’re just the right size!
15. If the small, permanent screen in the cold water supply line of your washing machine gets plugged with debris like mine does, then have I got a unique use for you. Use a couple Q-Tips to clean the screen out once a month. Nothing else fits inside the line like a cotton swab does.