Introduction: Micro and Giant Q-Tips (practical)

Picture of Micro and Giant Q-Tips (practical)

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Ultra small and ultra giant Q-Tips (cotton swabs) can actually be extremely practical.

Q-tips are sticks with balls of cotton attached to the ends. They're useful for applying makeup, hygiene, arts and crafts, and even detailing cars. In more innocent days folks would actually use them inside ears, but apparently product liability was such a concern that the packaging now specifically says you should not insert Q-Tips inside the ear canal.

An ultra small Q-Tip is useful for cleaning dust bunnies from between keys in your computer's keyboard. A giant Q-Tip is useful if you happen to know somebody who's a Ferengi. :-)

Actually there are other uses for giant Q-Tips, like removing spiderwebs from hard to reach corners and dusting the blades of a ceiling fan. Cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station fashioned their own giant Q-Tip out old clothing and a piece of pipe to swab the rocket engines on the space station's exterior. The clothing was then put into a sealed bag for return to Earth where engineers analyzed the residue from the thrusters.

Parts -

Micro Q-Tip
a toothpick
a small piece of cotton
glue


Giant Q-Tip
broomstick, PVC pipe, or similar rod
junk towel
large nylon tie or heavy duty string.

Step 1: Micro Q-Tip

Picture of Micro Q-Tip

Break the toothpick in half.

Tear off a small piece of cotton and glue it on the toothpick. Wrap the cotton around the toothpick and let the glue dry.

Step 2: Giant Q-Tip

Picture of Giant Q-Tip

Wrap the towel around the end of the pole. If the “swab” isn't large enough you can first put some small scraps of cloth on the pole and put the towel over the cloth scraps.

Use a long nylon tie or piece of string to tie the towel to the pole.

Step 3: Conclusions

Picture of Conclusions

You still shouldn't try to put the micro Q-tip into your ear (or any other body opening), but it can come in handy cleaning things out of small cracks. You probably won't be able to fit the giant Q-tip into your ear, but probably shouldn't try.

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Bio: Writer, engineer, techie. I've been using computers since the original Apple II in 1978 and have always been interested in technical topics. Check out ... More »
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