Household Hacks: Cotton Swabs

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Open any bathroom drawer in America and you're sure to find some cotton swabs, but the supply never really seems to diminish. They may be more useful to you than you think! Check out these alternative uses for Qtips®.

q tip cotton swab

Makeup remover: If you have difficulty keeping a steady hand when applying eyeliner or mascara, just use a cotton swab to remove the mishap. That way, you don't have to completely remove the rest of your eye makeup or worry about smudging it with your finger.

Makeup retoucher: On the other hand, a cotton swab can help you get that eye makeup just right. For example, if you're a fan of the "cat eye" but can never seem to get it just right, use a cotton swab with makeup remover to get the right shape.

Makeshift lip liner: To ensure that your lipstick doesn't bleed, simply trace the outline of your lips with baby powder after applying the lipstick.

Eyelash plumper: If you're scraping the bottom of the barrel of your mascara, it might come out a bit clumpy. If you simply use a cotton swab to apply baby powder to your lashes in between coats of mascara, not only will it de-clump your mascara, but your lashes will also appear thicker and fuller!


Emergency perfume applicator: It seems that your perfume fades almost immediately after applying it. For all-day freshness, spray a couple cotton swabs with your perfume, stick them in a plastic baggie and bring them with you. You won't have to tote around a bulky bottle of perfume!

Pimple popper: If you have a pimple that has come to a head, it can be extremely tempting not to pop it. However, that usually only leads to damaging your skin and spreading bacteria on your face. Using two cotton swabs is a gentler, more sanitary way to get rid of an ugly zit. After you've showered or washed your face with warm water, take two cotton swabs and press them toward each other against the zit. If it doesn't pop easily, don't force it!

>> Read more: 'Nutritious' Beauty Products

Self-tanner buffer: If you use self-tanner, you know that it can accumulate and darken in certain spots like your knuckles, ankles and elbows. Next time you're applying the tanner, wipe away the excess in those areas with a cotton swab before it dries. It won't remove any of the tanner you actually want on your skin.

Manicure saver: At-home mani/pedis can get tricky if you've got a shaky hand (or if your toddler insists on "helping"). Next time you're painting your nails, don't worry about getting any on the skin surrounding your nails. Simply pour a bit of the nail polish remover into the bottle's cap, dip a cotton swab into it and gently remove the dried paint from your skin.

(Photo: Photo Credit: She Knows)

Jewelry cleaner: A cotton swab is the perfect solution to cleaning delicate jewelry. Use your favorite jewelry cleaner and clean those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies with a cotton swab.

Keyboard cleaner: It's amazing how much dust, lint, dirt and crumbs accumulate in between the keys of your keyboard. It's hard to clean in between each key individually, but much easier with cotton swabs! They'll reach spots your fingers wouldn't be able to.

Long match: If your favorite candle's wick is too short to light with a regular match, try lighting the end of a cotton swab on fire and using that as a long match. You won't have to worry about the flame licking your skin before it gets to the wick.

Hair dryer cleaner: To remove the lint from the back of your hair dryer, use a wet cotton swab. Your hair dryer will work so much faster now that it can breathe!

How do you use cotton swabs around the house? Share with us in the comments below!