If you put a cotton swab in your ear, you're using it wrong. While ideal for inserting into the ear canal, cotton swabs are never designed to go deeper than the outer part of your ear, and when they do, they can cause serious damage to your hearing. That's not to say there's no point in having them at home: From beauty to housework to crafts, there is some smart and safe use for cleaning products here.
When it comes to cleaning valuables like jewelry, 'recyclable q tips' are the perfect tool. The cotton edge is soft enough to process the precious material and make it look new. After soaking your jewelry in the cleaning solution, gently rub it with your finger and wipe the detail area with a cotton swab.
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The nooks and crannies of your computer keyboard and the edges of your phone case – known as the surfaces you touch every day – are polluting magnets. If you can't remember the last time you cleaned electronics, take the time to clean them with a cotton swab as soon as possible.
Cotton swabs are designed to clean delicate areas of skin, making them ideal for cleaning expensive personal items. They're also just the right size to reach those tight corners where annual dust and grime like to hide. Just soak the cotton tip in rubbing alcohol before you start cleaning.