YANMD: Now can I get some surgical supplies?
October 21, 2013 11:52 AM   Subscribe

Where might one find disposable surgical prep sponges on a stick?

This weekend I was watching a DVD of a collage artist, who used disposable surgical prep sponges (that is what she called them the only time she mentioned them) on a stick to apply medium to her piece. They are the perfect applicator for this and now I covet them. The sponge was approximately a 1" x 3" rectangle on a curved handle, similar to those dishwashing liquid sponge wands, but smaller - and without the reservoir in the handle. Where might one find these elusive applicators? My google-fu has failed me. Yes, i know YANMD.
posted by sarajane to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total)
I know these as swab sticks.
posted by MadMadam at 11:57 AM on October 21, 2013

Those swab sticks above are intended for oral use and are very small.

Most surgical disinfectant applicators with the curved dispenser-like handle (like this or this) actually DO contain a reservoir of disinfectant--they're used for disinfecting the skin prior to surgical procedures. They're single-use and usually thrown away after surgery--the artist may have a friend in the surgical field who collects used ones with empty reservoirs and gives them to her. I can say with authority that they make excellent paint sponges for little kids. You could still use them for collage after squeezing out the disinfectant, of course, but it would probably get expensive.

These are non-dispenser foam swabs, you might find something useful there or at least get some good keywords for googling. Alternatively, if you know anyone who routinely spends time in an OR, you can probably get an unlimited supply of free used ones--they just get rubbed on intact dry skin prior to surgery so they're not gross or anything.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 12:39 PM on October 21, 2013

I have seen similar items to this at my local surplus store, which has a lot of surgical supplies, electronic components, and other random crap. Not sure where you're located but that might be an option?
posted by Paper rabies at 1:07 PM on October 21, 2013

Bulk sponge sticks from alibaba
posted by rmless at 1:51 PM on October 21, 2013

Just about every craft store out there (like Michael's or AC Moore) has foam brushes like that, in widths from about 1/2 inch to 3 inches.

The brand I currently have on hand is 'Crafter's Choice' (although there are lots of companies that make them); this package cost something like $2 for 20 disposable brushes, although you can also get them individually, also cheap.
posted by easily confused at 4:50 PM on October 21, 2013

Response by poster: I'm not talking about the flat foam brushes. This was a sponge on a curved handle - so instead of dabbing the end of the sponge in the medium, the whole face of the sponge was saturated and the curved handle let you ergonomically apply a 1" x 3" swash of medium all at once, with one pounce. But thanks for the answers so far!
posted by sarajane at 5:30 PM on October 21, 2013

They are called "Angled Sponge Sticks"
Sklar makes them, for example:
You *might* be able to get in touch with your local wholesaler and have them sell you some.

It looks like you can order them from here, but they aren't cheap:

It might be cheaper to get medical angled forceps/tweezers and use those to hold cut up mini sponges. That's what drs did before they had the plastic disposable sponge sticks.
posted by LittleMy at 5:35 AM on October 23, 2013

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