Old-Style Q-Tip Equivalent
September 28, 2013 5:31 PM   Subscribe

Up to maybe 3 years ago, Q-Tips were loosely wrapped with an extra cushion of cotton at the tip. Doctors told me they hated the design, but I found it perfect. In fact, I used to fluff them out with my thumbnail. That made them perfect for getting water out of my ears. (I KNOW that I should never do that, but it's the only way to get them dry.) Fluffing the cotton out gave me plenty of warning before hitting the eardrum. These days, they're tightly wrapped with no extra at the tip, and they're nearly impossible to fluff out. Does anyone know of another brand in the old Q-Tip style?
posted by KRS to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have found the ones in the baby goods section of the drugstore to be marginally more fluffable, or at least less likely to painfully graze my ear bits with a sharp stick edge like the regular ones, which are contemptible.
posted by elizardbits at 5:58 PM on September 28, 2013

I concur! In my experience, the Q-tips with plastic sticks are wrapped more tightly than the ones with white cardboard or wooden sticks. The plastic sticks (shudder) flex more which, IMHO, is also undesirable vis-a-vis ear drying.
posted by carmicha at 5:58 PM on September 28, 2013

You want "safety swabs."
posted by phunniemee at 6:12 PM on September 28, 2013 [3 favorites]

I'd hit the discount dollar stores or Big Lots.
posted by thylacine at 6:18 PM on September 28, 2013

Oooh, look, these are the "safety swabs"! I never knew they existed!
posted by HotToddy at 6:47 PM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

The Target generic brand (Up & Up) is fluffy.
posted by acidic at 7:04 PM on September 28, 2013

Yep - I've found the cheaper off-brand ones are like this.
posted by dawkins_7 at 7:36 PM on September 28, 2013

If you're interested in a non-penetrative method of drying your ears, you can also use an eye dropper loaded with rubbing alcohol. One drop in each ear breaks the surface tension and allows the water to run out.
posted by contraption at 7:38 PM on September 28, 2013 [6 favorites]

Q-Tips are one of the few items that I buy the "name brand," the knock offs just don't work as well.
posted by JujuB at 8:10 PM on September 28, 2013 [4 favorites]

Recently manufactured paper-stick Q-tips are very easy to fluff. I do it without even trying, in fact: the contact between my palm and the end not-in-use and is enough to fluff it out.
posted by mumkin at 10:37 PM on September 28, 2013

You can also buy swimmer's ear drops--they're alcohol and glycerin and evaporate the water in your ear on contact.
posted by Kimberly at 5:46 AM on September 29, 2013

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