Reusable Q Tips Are Better For Ears And Planet

We get it if you your first reaction is ew!

Reusable Q Tips sound kind of gross at first. But when you look at the problem they address they make alot of sense. Here’s the problem – every single one of us is throwing out 415 cotton Q Tips a year!

That means that more than 1.5 billion of them are produced daily and that they all end up in a landfill. And once you understand how a reusable Q Tip works, it’s not as gross as you might first think.

Reusable Q Tips? Really?

reusable qtips

Yes, really. You don’t have to make Q Tips out of a disposable cotton, you can make them from a silicate, instead.

These can then be washed after each use and because they’re a silicate, they can be reused many, many times before they need to be thrown out.

This ought to cut down the waste that we all generate with Q Tips down to a minimum.

What Are The Benefits of Switching To Reusable Q Tips?

The biggest benefits to using these reusable Q Tips are to the environment. A few Q Tips, individually, seem like a small thing but when multiplied up by every person that uses them?

They’re a huge problem. 

The plastic cotton swabs that we currently use don’t break down once you’ve finished with them, it takes thousands of years for them to biodegrade.

Now, we know, there are some made with a paper central column that means the Q-tip can biodegrade, it still doesn’t reduce the volume of matter sent to landfill.

And once you cast your cotton bud aside? It might not end up in landfill, it might be dropped by a garbage collector and end up in watercourses.

Not only do they not degrade in water, they can end up in the stomachs of fish and prevent them from consuming enough nutrients to live on – in short, your cotton bud might cause a creature to starve to death. 

Using reusable Q Tips means a nicer planet for everyone, and no fish dying in agony. 

Are Reusable Q Tips Safe?

Are Reusable Q Tips Safe?

There are many ear specialists that believe that a reusable q-tip is not just a good thing for the planet, it’s good for you too.

They say that a silicate Q Tip is of much higher quality than a cotton one and thus, it’s much less likely to break off in an ear or nostril and get lost. 

Bits of Q Tip can cause ear and sinus infection and in some cases, if the cotton works its way down the ear canal, it might even damage the eardrum or the skin of the ear canal and cause hearing loss!

Cleaning Matters

However, if you want to use reusable Q Tips safely, you have to clean them properly. That means soap and water and a good scrubbing (at least 60 seconds according to doctors). 

If the Q-Tip is coated in unpleasant debris – you want to let it soak in a bowl of warm, soapy water for 10 minutes or so before you clean it, to make sure everything comes off. 

Then, once you’ve cleaned it – let the swab air dry and you’ll be sure that it’s not carrying anything unpleasant (though if you really need to be extra sure – you can dip a swab in rubbing alcohol to sterilize it). 

Don’t Push Them Deep Into Your Ears!

But, as with any kind of cotton Q tip, it’s a very bad idea to shove the reusable Q tip down into the ear canal – it can cause damage to the ear. 

Some Trusted Reusable Q Tip Brands

If you want to try reusable Q Tips, we have a couple of recommendations for you, these are solid and trusted brands. 



These are extremely reliable swabs that can last as long as 1000 times that of a single-use swab.

We like that they come with a handy travel case. 

Check out LastSwab here.


These are made from medical-grade silicone which means you can be sure they’re safe and on-toxic. We find they’re really good for makeup removal too. 

Check out Uramoto here.

Final Thoughts On Recycled Cotton Swabs

So, there you have it. Not only are they not gross but reusable Q Tips are good for the planet and safer for use in your ears than ordinary Q Tips.

Why not make the switch today? They are not expensive and they last for ages!