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Reusable Cotton Swabs Are the Sustainable Tool You Never Knew You Needed

Significant efforts are being made to reduce our collective carbon footprint. As a result, making the switch to sustainable products has never been so easy. This is especially true in regards to the most commonly used plastic items like water bottles, grocery bags and drinking straws. Companies are introducing sustainable alternatives to these everyday staples by the day, and the latest (albeit oddest) eco-friendly craze is reusable cotton swabs. 

This new innovation might seem like it came out of left field, but Q-tips play a part in ocean pollution and the endangerment of wildlife, too: animals confuse them for food sources and the plastic releases harmful toxins into the land and oceans. If you mainly use cotton swabs to clean your ears, experts warn that these little buds can actually do more harm than good by pushing wax deeper into the ear canal. As far as cosmetic application and makeup removal goes, there are green alternatives you can swap in for cotton swabs. 

Bottom line: There’s really no reason to use these disposable items, especially now that a reusable option has been introduced. From sleek rose gold tools you won’t feel weird displaying on your vanity to silicone options that only require a rinse, here are some of the best reusable cotton swabs to help you green your beauty routine.

Our mission at SheKnows is to empower and inspire women, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes. 

1. ETEREAUTY Stainless Steel Ear Wax Removal Kit with Storage Box

Let’s be honest: There’s nothing glamorous about cleaning your ears, especially when you’re digging out wax. Yet somehow ETEREAUTY has taken a kind of gross activity and sprinkled it with a little glam via this stainless steel tool. Sure, without the rose gold finish these instruments would definitely resemble something out of a doctor’s office, but the pretty blush color definitely makes the collection worthy of your vanity. 

The set includes three tools that each serve a different function: A spring tool scratches an itch, massages and cleans the ear canal; a billeau ear loop removes large pieces of ear wax; and a spiral-tipped tool gently lifts earwax out. A handy little storage box is included so you can take the collection with you on the go. To keep your tools polished and hygienically sound, make sure to clean them with soap and water or (preferably) alcohol.

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Image: Amazon. Image: Amazon

2. Rnker Rnker Technology Reusable Cotton Swabs

Here’s a sneaky upside to switching to reusable cotton swabs you didn’t see coming: the portable cases come in so many fun colors! Rnker Rnker’s silicone swab is also the first of its kind to have both ends be non-detachable. They’re made from medical silicone, are 100 percent non-toxic and each set comes with two swabs that each serve a specific purpose — one swab for removing dirt, and one swab for makeup and skincare application/removal.

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Image: Amazon. Image: Amazon
Rnker Rnker Technology Reusable Cotton Swabs on

3. Ruity Cotton Swab 2 Pack

Ruity had one mission and one mission only: To design a reusable cotton swab that could be utilized for beauty purposes, cleaning out your ears, pet care, baby care, arts and crafts, all of the above and then some. Well, they succeeded. This multi-functional cotton swab is made of medical-grade silicone and can be reused after a liberal wash of soap and water. It’s low maintenance, portable and versatile — so, really, what more could you want?

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Image: Amazon. Image: Amazon

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