DIY replacement q-tips & cotton balls

Why should you replace q-tip and cotton pads? Well most likely they are bleached, use paper products and/or come in plastic. They also cost money, can damage your ears and also create trash (I really don’t like trash).


Terrycloth scraps or an old towel


Sewing machine or sewing kit (could use Fray-check then but may make the edges a tad crunchy)


Cut fabric scraps into mini 2×2 or 1×1 or 3×3 square-ish or round pieces and fold edges twice and sew a rough 1/4-1/8 inch inseam.¬†I did variety size.

  • I store the clean ones in an old candle container in my bathroom cupboard and used ones in an old container too and when it gets full throw them in with towel laundry load! **Make sure if they are saturated with liquid to put them directly in a washing load or hang them where they will dry before accumulating enough for a laundry load (you could hand wash them quick while just washing your hands). If you stick them, lets say for about a month, they may mold and that’s icky!
  • Uses: clean ears, nose, keyboards, remove/tidy up/apply make up, simple first aid help and MUCH more!

So this isn’t the best perfect way to do this(like the grammar) but in most situations it’s almost impossible to do it the absolute best way and even that is up for debate. Well what I am trying to get at is, don’t judge until you dive into this world of simple-living, ethical shopping/consuming, eco-friendly AND balling-on-a-budget life. So yeah, the fabric may not be fair trade, ¬†organic & local. If you can, that’s great and also ideal. Work with what you got, pick your battles and start slow and steady with this. I will use the metaphor the pastor at my church uses for following Jesus: Like training for a marathon, you don’t become an expert at it by reading a book(it helps, is important and is a part to have info and insight), you practice. You don’t just get up and try to run the whole 26 miles, you start with half a mile and then 1 the next day then 2 the next weekend and on (I’ve heard good resources on couch-to-half apps if you do want to be a runner). Enjoy and don’t be afraid to fail by winging it!

PS. If your half as stoked about this as I am, that’s awesome! Please write me with your experience so we all learn. And don’t go throwing away all your unused cotton balls and Q-Tips, ease out of them until they are gone or give them away to someone who does use them. It could be a convo-starter of why you’re getting rid of them.

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