Cotton Swab Hacks: 30+ Amazing Tricks That Actually Work

Do you love a life hack? Well, hold onto your hats because you’re soon going to be buying a whole bulk order of cotton swabs. That’s because these tips and tricks will change your life forever.

To perfect your lipstick

There are three kinds of people in this world. There are those who don’t wear lipstick at all. There are those who only wear lipstick on special occasions.

Then, there are those who wear it almost every single day. If you’re one of the latter category, you’ll know that the idea of your lipstick bleeding or smudging is a thing of nightmares.

Thankfully, this nightmare doesn’t have to become a reality. To stop your lipstick from bleeding, all you have to do is dip a q-tip in translucent powder before outlining your lips with it. This will help to seal in the color, making your lips look fresh all day.

To clean your electronics

We live in a world where everyone has electronics, and everyone has electronics that come with small nooks and crannies.

This is the case for keyboards, remote controls, tablets, and more, and it seems as though these little gaps are a breeding ground for dust and dirt.

Instead of turning these electronic items upside down, banging on the back of them, and hoping for the best, you can use cotton swabs instead. To do this, simply dip a cotton swab in the cleaner of your choice and then clean between all of the different buttons and controls. Your electronics will be as good as new in no time.

To correct your nail polish mistakes

Although most people would love to head to the nail salon every single week, that just isn’t possible for them.

Not only is it expensive, but it’s also incredibly time-consuming. Because of this, many nail polish lovers often give themselves their own DIY manicure at home.

While this can sometimes work in your favor, it’s also possible for you to make a few mistakes every now and then. To rectify these mistakes, you’ll be happy to know that you don’t have to take the whole nail off again and start again. All you have to do is grab a cotton swab and dip it in some nail polish remover. Then, simply wipe away the excess.

To make perfume wands

Unless you have oodles of money to buy the best perfumes in the world, the perfume that you spray on yourself at the start of the day won’t last you until lunchtime. Unfortunately, that’s just the way it goes in the perfume world.

However, if you do feel the need to top up on your scent, you’ll be happy to know that you don’t have to risk taking out your whole perfume bottle.

All you have to do is soak a few cotton swabs in perfume and then keep them in a plastic bag or box. Then, you can simply take one of these swabs out when you need them and wipe them over your neck or your wrists.

To clean your hairdryer

Whether you use a hairdryer on a regular basis or whether you just use it every so often, you’ll know that this item gets pretty dusty.

Most of the time, you can’t see this dust because it’s hidden behind an air vent, but beyond this grill is a huge amount of dust that could potentially be a fire hazard.

Because of this, it’s important to clean out your hairdryer every so often. To do this, all you have to do is stick a cotton swab to get in and around the vent, lifting out the dust and dirt in the process. You may even realize that your hair dryer works so much better after you’ve cleaned it out.

To fix any scuffs or scratches

Although many people try their hardest to avoid any scuffs or scratches on their walls or their car, it’s fair to say that sometimes these things are inevitable.

After all, you can’t keep an eye on these things at all times, and you have to let them out of your sight at some point.

Thankfully, you don’t have to pay for your whole car to be resprayed or your walls to be repainted if you have these marks on them. Instead, you just need to make use of the cotton swabs that you have in your bathroom. To fix these, all you need to do is get a little bit of paint on the cotton swab and then dab it over the affected area.

To fix a broken zipper

Zippers are great when there’s a chill in the air, and you want to give yourself a little extra protection from the wind, but they’re not so great when they get stuck.

Although some zippers are easy to free on their own, there are others that seem to get worse and worse the more you try to fix them.

One of the best ways to do this is to dip a cotton swab in some kind of lubricant, such as petroleum jelly, shampoo, or oil. When you’ve done this, you should be able to wipe it over the zipper and wiggle it a little bit. This should loosen it and set the zipper free.

To wipe away smudged mascara

There’s nothing more irritating than spending a good half an hour making sure your eye makeup is perfect for you to then sneeze and smudge it all around your face!

Watery eyes and dark makeup isn’t a good look, but sometimes people make the mistake off wiping off their full face of makeup when this happens.

What they don’t realize is that you don’t have to completely start again. You can use a small q-tip that’s been soaked in water or makeup remover to simply go over the affected areas. You can wipe away the smudged mascara and leave everything else in place.

To freshen leather

Leather couches are beautiful additions to any home, and they certainly make a statement in your living room. However, one big problem with leather is that it scuffs and scratches easily.

Although this can put a dampener on your excitement over your couch, you shouldn’t let this get the better of you.

That’s because there are so many ways to clean a leather couch, and using a cotton swab is one of them. While you can just use dish soap and water, some people swear by nail polish remover. While it may smell for a little while, the pay off will be worth it when the scuffs are gone.

To clean your pet

One of the best things about cotton swabs is that they are small and incredibly delicate. This means that they can easily get into tight spaces, and it means that they are perfect if you have pets.

While many pets do most of their cleaning themselves, there’s no doubt about the fact that they need a little extra help sometimes – especially if they are ill or have to take medicine.

Using a cotton swab could be the best way to clean your pet if you need to get into their ears or their mouths, and it’s one that won’t be too intrusive for your furry friend.

To clean up excess hair dye

If you dye your hair at home, you’ll know that it can get pretty messy, pretty easily. To make sure that you have an even coverage and to make sure that you dye all of your hair, you have to slather the hair dye across your whole head.

This can often leave patches of dried dye on your forehead, your ears, and your neck.

While it may seem that you need to wipe away a few layers of skin to get this off, that just isn’t the case. All you have to do is mix baking soda and hydrogen peroxide together to create a paste. Then, wipe this paste on the dyed areas to remove the stains in no time.

To make a paintbrush for children

If you have children or look after children on a regular basis, you’ll know that keeping them entertained often feels like you’re fighting a losing battle.

It’s important to make sure that you’re switching things up with these kids, as they get bored pretty quickly.

Painting is always a fun activity for youngsters, but it can often get messy. One of the best ways to ensure that they can still have fun while keeping your belongings intact is to make a paintbrush out of q-tips rather than using one that you already have. Simply tie a few cotton swabs together to create a brush that’s easy to hold and easy to use.

To clean your jewelry

Jewelry can get pretty grubby if you wear it on a regular basis – especially if it’s old. While soaking jewelry in cleaner does sometimes leave it sparkling, it’s fair to say that sometimes it just doesn’t do the trick.

If you find yourself in a sticky situation when it comes to your dirty jewelry, then you’ll be happy to know that q-tips can work in your favor.

That’s because stubborn dirt often just needs a bit of brute force, and cotton swabs are the perfect way to enact this brute force without being too tough on the delicate jewelry. By giving your jewelry a rub down, you’ll see it sparkling in no time.

To create the perfect smokey eye

When it comes to makeup, you just can’t come close to the iconic look that is the smokey eye.

This makeup look is one that will forever go down in history as one that is both sophisticated and saucy at the same time, and it’s not that hard to perfect.

While many people think that they have to buy oodles of brushes and various different products to create this look, that just isn’t the case. To create the smokey eye, all you have to do is line your eye with black eyeliner, and then use a cotton swab to smudge the liner and create the smokey effect. You can even do this with other colors!

To clean kitchen molding

Try as you might, your kitchen will never be completely spotless. There are so many nooks and crannies in this room of the house, and the constant use and the constant food and bacteria around this area make it impossible.

Yet, that doesn’t mean that you can’t give it a good shot.

Kitchen molding often gets overlooked when it comes to cleaning the kitchen, and this is largely because you can’t see these little segments. Despite this, it’s always good to get down and dirty in the kitchen, and wiping a cotton swab around the kitchen molding can give it the clean it needs.

To treat a wound

Although most of us like to think that we’re pretty safe and that we never get caught up in any scrapes or injuries, it’s impossible to say that we won’t ever get hurt.

Because of this, it’s important to be prepared.

Keeping medical ointment and treatments around the house is one of the best ways to ensure that you are ready for any potential accident, but you need to remember that rubbing this ointment onto your wound with your bare hands could be hazardous. The reason for this is that your hands aren’t sanitary, and can carry bacteria. To keep things sanitary, treat your wounds with cotton swabs soaked in the ointment instead.

To treat puffy eyes

Puffy eyes are just a way of life, and most people find that they suffer from puffy eyes when they are feeling tired, or are suffering from allergies.

Although sometimes you have to grin and bear this reaction, you’ll be happy to know that there is also a way to try and tame them.

To relieve your puffy eyes, simply dip your q-tip in some water and some eye cream and pop it in the freezer. When the morning comes along, you’ll be able to take it out of the freezer and wipe it underneath your eyes. This should help to ease the puffiness within minutes.

To detail your car

If you’re the kind of person that loves to make sure that your car is as clean as a whistle, you’ll definitely be interested in this use for cotton swabs.

That’s because car detailing can take your car from looking clean and fresh to looking as good as new, and cotton swabs can help you get there.

To do this, simply spray a q-tip with some interior car cleaner and then use the swap to get in the little nooks and crannies. This could be in between buttons. It could be in and around the CD slot. Or it could be around the gear shift.

To remove scuffs on shoes

Leather or pleather shoes are incredibly sturdy and comfortable, but that doesn’t mean that they are perfect. In fact, leather shoes can often cause a few problems, because they can scuff incredibly easy.

There’s nothing worse than seeing your favorite shoes with scuffs on them, but you don’t have to look at this for too long.

That’s because it’s super easy to remove these marks – especially if you have some cotton swabs to hand. For this little trick, you’ll need a cotton swab and some nail polish or petroleum jelly. Simply wipe away the scuffs with the nail polish, and see your shoes shine again.

To apply ointment

If you’re the kind of person that loves to keep on top of their health and their appearance, there’s a high chance that you use a huge number of ointments.

This may be on your skin to make it feel softer, or it may be in your eyes to make them seem more hydrated and much brighter on a dull day.

Of course, slathering your face with creams and dropping ointment into your eyes isn’t easy, which is why q-tips and cotton swabs could become your new best friend. All you have to do is wipe your face with a cotton swab and a small amount of cream, or drop the ointment onto the q-tip before heading towards your eyes.

To clean your flashlight

If you use a flashlight on a regular basis, you’ll probably know that the shine of the light can often seem as though it’s getting duller and duller as the days go by.

Although this may be an indicator that the bulb is running out of spark, it could also be a sign that the lens is simply getting dusty.

Instead of buying a new bulb straight away, try soaking a cotton swab in ethanol, and wiping the lens with it. It may be that it simply needs a good clean and that a quick once-over with the cotton swab is enough to make it shine bright again.

To whiten your teeth

It seems as though more and more people are doing what they can nowadays to get whiter teeth.

Whether that’s covering up their old teeth with veneers or heading to the nearest dentist to get them professionally whitened, it’s fair to say that there is a lot of money required for white teeth.

However, it doesn’t have to be that one. One of the quickest and cheapest ways to make your teeth sparkle is to mix baking soda, toothpaste, and hydrogen peroxide together into a paste. Then, using a q-tip, apply a small amount of this paste to each tooth. Keep this on for a few minutes before brushing away with regular toothpaste.

To smooth out your foundation

If you wear makeup, you’ll know that foundation is the bread and butter of your makeup routine.

This product is one of the best ways to cover up any flaws you feel you may have or any blemishes you may have on your skin.

However, everyday foundation can normally stick to some of these imperfections on your skin, and you may soon find yourself dealing with wrinkles that look even more pronounced than they do when you don’t wear makeup. To help these affected areas, you just have to dip your cotton swab in a small amount of moisturizer before smoothing over the wrinkled foundation.

To make a sculpture

What’s amazing about this world is that art comes in all shapes and sizes, and art can often be made from the simplest of things. For example, you could create your very own sculpture out of cotton swabs!

Q-tips are hugely popular in the arts and crafts world, and all it takes is a whole load of glue and q-tips to create something special.

The best thing to do is just to go with the flow and see where the creativity takes you. It may be that you create the greatest new addition to your home without even realizing it. What could be better than that?

To light a short candle wick

There’s nothing better than lighting a candle to relax at the end of a long day, but it’s fair to say that there’s nothing worse than realizing the candle has burned down to the end of its wick.

When this happens, it’s almost impossible for a match to reach what’s left of the wick, and most people end up throwing the candle in the trash.

Yet, this is such a waste, as these candles still have some life left in them. One of the best ways to keep your favorite candle until the very end is to light a q-tip and use that to ignite the wick. Because a q-tip is longer, it should do the trick.

To apply eyeshadow

If you can’t leave the house without applying eyeshadow, you might be pretty annoyed to look at yourself a few hours later.

After all, many eyeshadows simply melt away and into the skin as the hours go by, and it can soon leave your eyes looking bare and pale.

Instead of just dealing with it and trying to avoid looking in the mirror, what if we told you that you could re-apply your eyeshadow throughout the day without taking your whole makeup bag with you? All you have to do is dip a q-tip into your eyeshadow and then place it in a plastic bag in your purse. You can then use it whenever you need to.

To fix battery contacts

Although it may seem as though you’re constantly charging your electronic devices, it’s fair to say that there are still a few items in your house that are run on batteries.

If you find that your remote control stops working or your laptop keeps turning off and on again in quick succession, it may be that you have to clean the batteries and fix the battery contacts.

Many batteries crystallize or become detached from their contacts over the years, so rubbing these contact points with rubbing ethanol may give them a new lease of life. By doing this, your battery-powered items should be as good as new in no time.

To tame your eyebrows

Although there’s no doubt about the fact that big, bushy eyebrows are in fashion right now, most people do like to keep them rather tame.

After all, there’s nothing worse than feeling a stray eyebrow hair poking you in the face when you’re trying to concentrate.

If you want to tame your eyebrows, then you’ll be happy to know that you probably have all of the necessary tools required in your vanity cabinet already. That’s because you can do this with just a cotton swab and some petroleum jelly. Simply wipe your brows with this combination, and you’ll be able to check out the sleek result.

To start a fire

If you’re having trouble starting a fire but don’t have any firestarters around, you don’t need to worry.

This hasn’t put your dreams of having s’mores for dinner on the back burner, because it’s super easy to make your own firestarters. To do this, all you need to do is soak a few cotton swabs in either petroleum jelly or WD-40.

If you don’t need them right away, you can leave them in a plastic bag for as long as you would like. When it comes to using them, all you have to do is take them out of the bag and light the end. They will burn for a while, and help your larger fire get started.

To paint pottery

Do you ever feel the need to get crafty? Sometimes people just want to get their creative juices flowing, and they want to see what they can make with their bare hands.

However, this can be difficult when you don’t have craft materials readily available. You don’t need to worry if you don’t have any paintbrushes readily available, though, as a cotton swab can make the perfect substitute.

This is especially true if you’re looking to paint some polka dots, as a cotton swab can do the trick just as easily. As if that wasn’t cool enough, you don’t even need to worry about washing this DIY paintbrush when you’re done, as you can simply throw it in the trash.

To touch up your gray hairs

If you need a quick fix when it comes to your hair color, you don’t have to spend a huge amount of money on going to the hair salon just yet.

To tide you over for the time being, all you have to do to touch up your gray hair is to get out your pot of cotton swabs.

When you have one to hand, try to find an eyeshadow in your makeup bag that is similar to your hair color. Then, you can simply rub this eye shadow across your roots and the gray hair and see the difference immediately. You can do this for as long as you want in the run-up to your salon trip.

To clean your grout

Bathrooms can get pretty grubby if you use them often, and it seems as though they just get dirtier and dirtier as the weeks go by.

This is especially true when it comes to the grout between the bathroom tiles, as this seems to be a breeding ground for mold and grime.

Although you can wipe over them and hope for the best, nothing comes close to the deep clean that a cotton swab can give you. By using a cotton swab and degreaser, you can get right down to the nitty-gritty and leave your tiles sparkling once more. You can even get a toothbrush involved as well!

To get dust out of your eye

Have you ever felt dust fall into your eye and then been unable to get it out?

It seems to happen to most of us, but sometimes it seems as though there is nothing we can do to remove it without scratching our eyeball in the process.

Putting your fingers in your eyes isn’t the best thing to do if you haven’t washed your hands, so it’s best to use something else to try and get rid of the dust. One of the best things to use is a cotton swab. Soak the cotton swab in water and then run it around the edge of your eyelids. This should help to catch the dust before it goes even further into your eye.

To glue items together

If you use glue on a regular basis, you’ll know that it can be incredibly difficult to use.

That’s because glue is both messy and sticky, and it’s known for getting stuck to things that it’s not supposed to get stuck to. In fact, most of the time, it sticks to your skin!

If you’re fed up with peeling this glue off your fingers, it may be time to invest in a bulk box of cotton swabs. That’s because these things are the perfect applicators when it comes to your gluing antics. Instead of using your fingers, use a q-tip to dip into the glue and then to the items you wish to stick together.

To create portable aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is extremely popular, and it seems as though many people around the world find that essential oils and homeopathic remedies help them to stay relaxed and sometimes even sleep.

Of course, most people don’t have the ability to take huge bottles of lavender oil around with them on a regular basis, which is why cotton swabs may come in handy.

To create your own portable aromatherapy kit, all you have to do is dip these q-tips in your favorite oils and then place them in a plastic bag or box. You can then carry this around wherever you go and have aromatherapy on the go.

To apply lip gloss or gels

If you’re the kind of person that uses lip gloss or petroleum jelly, there’s a high chance that you have large pots of these products.

In fact, you probably dip your fingers in these pots more times than you could count every single week. However, what you might not realize is that this is very unsanitary.

This kind of thing is a breeding ground for bacteria, and this bacteria can then be spread to your lips or other areas of your body if you continue using them in this manner. To stop this bacteria from spreading, you could use a cotton swab instead of your fingers. This would make it much more sanitary.

To apply wood stain

Wooden floors are a great addition to any home, but there’s no doubt about the fact that wooden floors are easy to scuff and stain.

This can ruin the whole aesthetic that comes with the traditional look of wooden floors, but it doesn’t have to. One of the easiest ways to combat these scuffs is to use a cotton swab.

That’s because you can use this smaller utensil to move the swab in the direction of the grain, and even add swirls and movement to the paint. You just need to make sure that you are using the same color wood stain as the rest of the floor.

To clean chalkboards

Although it’s safe to say that very few people use chalkboards nowadays, there are still some people who stand by these pieces of art.

Chalkboards are often used for menus and at weddings, but there’s no doubt about the fact that chalk can often be pretty messy.

If you don’t quite get something right as you’re writing or drawing, it can be difficult to rub it out without smudging white chalk across the whole board. Yet, it doesn’t have to be this way. To clean a chalkboard and to wipe away small messes, you can use a cotton swab and some water to do this.

To perfect your cat eye

Eyeliner can be a tough skill to perfect, and it’s even harder to create the perfect cat eye.

Although it’s a classic makeup technique, it’s incredibly difficult to make sure that both eyes are even and that you don’t have any stray eyeliner underneath or below the signature flick.

But what if we told you that you didn’t have to worry too much? Instead of wiping off the complete look when you go wrong, you can rest easy knowing that cotton swabs will make this much easier. That’s because you can wipe away your mistakes using just a cotton swab and some water or makeup remover.

To fix chipped tile

Tiled flooring is incredibly beautiful, and it’s also pretty handy if you have pets and don’t want to get their fluff stuck in your carpet for years on end.

However, the one downside to tile is that it breaks incredibly easy, and one dropped glass can result in a chip that you just can’t ignore.

Thankfully, this doesn’t mean that you have to shell out for a brand new tile. You can instead make the tile look like it’s brand new by finding a color of paint that is as close to the tile as possible. When you have this, touch up the chip with a cotton swab that has been dipped in the paint.