Cotton balls are typically associated with beauty products, but there are a lot of other situations where cotton balls come in handy. Perhaps the most common non-beauty use is as an applicator for antibiotic ointments or rubbing alcohol in the event of injury. Cotton balls can even be used as an insect repellent, a fire starter, and a wide variety of other things. Their versatility stems from how absorbent they are. You can soak cotton balls in vinegar, bleach, or any number of fluids to create a concentrated diffuser.
There’s a surprising amount of variation in cotton balls, too. For one thing, many cotton balls aren’t even pure cotton. Then there’s the question of quality. Many cotton balls are tiny and wispy, and they fall apart at the slightest bit of pressure. Not these. These cotton balls are durable, lint-free, and made from 100% cotton.
1. Swisspers Organic Cotton Balls
These cotton balls come in a pack of three 80-count bags. These extra-large cotton balls are soft and don’t shed. As an added benefit, the balls are made from 100% organic cotton and whitened with hydrogen peroxide, rather than bleach. That makes them a more environmentally friendly buy.
Pros: Organic cotton, whitened with hydrogen peroxide instead of bleach. Extra large size.
Cons: Some found that the sizing wasn’t always consistent.
2. U.S. Cotton First Aid or Baby Sterile
This box comes with 130 sterilized cotton balls. The fact that they’re sterilized makes them a good option for first aid or baby care. They’re composed of 100% cotton. Reviewers found the smaller size helpful for things like taking care of pets ears.
Pros: Sterilized, good for first aid or baby and pet care.
Cons: Very small.
3. Fromm Standard Cotton Squares
In some cases, cotton squares are more effective and less wasteful than cotton balls. They have a larger surface area than cotton balls but are less absorbent, which is better for some face products where too much of it would be absorbed by a cotton ball. These cotton squares are a standard 2.4″ size and are made from soft cotton.
Pros: Soft, and reviewers found that they don’t shed.
Cons: Some found them thin.