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Eco Friendly Q-Tips: 10 Reusable Ear Picks

We created this list of reusable ear picks so you can keep your ears clean and your bathroom trash bin empty at the same time.


Eco Friendly Q-Tips are a must when trying to reduce the environmental impact of our hygiene routines. For this article, I examined 10 environmentally friendly and reusable ear cleaning swabs.

My personal favorite Eco friendly q-tips are the Last Swab Basic ear picks. They come inside a corn-based carry case that keeps them hygienic-safe and long-lasting.

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Top 5 Q-Tips

What are the benefits of using reusable Q-Tips?

For the sake of the environment, we need to reduce the amount of single use plastics in our lives. Q-Tips are useful for a whole range of reasons, but they are incredibly wasteful and harmful to the environment. In fact, Unilever manufactures around 15.5 billion cotton swabs annually!

If we all swapped to eco friendly Q-Tips we could dramatically cut down the amount of plastic needlessly used. And why not pair your eco friendly ear picks with other environmentally friendly hygiene solution? Eco Friendly Floss and Zero Waste Mouthwash are a great partner for your Zero Waste Ear Swabs. 

Top 10 Eco Friendly Q Tips

1. LastSwab Basic

Super handy size for everyday use.

  • 10% Off with our Coupon Code: THELESSEN
  • Lasts up to 1,000 uses
  • Corn-Based Carry case
  • Easy to clean
  • Choice of 6 colors
  • A reusable alternative to cotton

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This pocket-sized eco friendly Q tip from LastSwab is robust enough to withstand up to 1,000 uses. The Q Tip rod is manufactured from glass-reinforced plastic and the tips are of a rubber-like material, that is easy to clean.

It packs away in a handy case that is manufactured from a corn-starch material, further reducing its environmental impact. This is a great sustainable ear swab for keeping handy in your handbag or pocket.

Reviews

The reviews are really positive for this one. Many users reported how comfortable and effective the swabs are in everyday use. Many also commented on how good it feels not to have to throw it away after use.

On the downside the lack of absorbency was mentioned (wrap a piece of tissue paper round it was the suggested solution).

2. Danisse Reusable Cotton Swab with Mirror

The accompanying mirror makes this perfect for makeup.

  • Detachable silicone swab head
  • 6 Types of head
  • 100% non-toxic
  • Easy to clean
  • Convenient carry box

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The Danisse swab with mirror is perfect for ladies on the go who need to touch up their makeup now and again. The eco friendly Q-Tips and accessories all fold neatly away into a handy sized case that has a mirror integrated into the lid.

With various swab heads, cleaning tools and tweezers included in the kit, this is more than just a recyclable ear cleaner.

Reviews

The reviews were difficult to gauge on this one, as for some reasons most of the reviews listed were for entirely different products. The one correct review I found was positive, with a slight niggle that the mirror was quite heavy.

3. Rnker Reusable Medical Silicone Cotton Swabs

Non-Detachable ends for added peace of mind.

  • Available in a multitude of colors
  • Multi-Purpose
  • Conforms to FDA standards
  • Can be used as wax cleaner for ears
  • Carry case for portability

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These Rnker eco friendly Q-Tips come in 10 colors to suit all tastes. Unlike many eco friendly silicone swabs, the head is permanently attached to the rod. This ensures it never falls off and becomes lodged somewhere it shouldn’t!

With two head designs packed away in a neat carrying box, this is another sustainable ear swab that is perfect for carrying around with you. The swabs are easy to clean, simply rinse under the tap with a little Zero Waste Hand Soap.

Reviews

The reviews are mostly excellent. Most users reported them as comfortable to use and loved the carry boxes that they come in. One user reported that the “nubby” side was fantastic for cleaning ears.

One minor gripe from one reviewer was that the carry box mechanism is spring-loaded making it difficult to open and remove a swab one-handed.

4. BOETEC Reusable Ear Swab and Makeup Swab Kit

Long lasting and ultra-secure swab tips.

  • 4 Swabs in a neat Carry case
  • Up to 10 years usage
  • 3-year warranty
  • BPA free travel case
  • Recycled Packaging

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These eco friendly Q-Tips from BOETEC  are really somewhat of a Swiss army knife of reusable Q-Tips. Packed nicely into a smart carry case are 4 Q-Tips with a variety of different tips.

These are ideal for a variety of household tasks including pet hygiene, babies and the elderly. If you have a variety of uses for Q-Tips, then this one set could fill all your needs. These are another to feature non-removable heads and BOETEC are so confident they won’t come they offer a 3-year warranty on the product.

Reviews

Most reviewers loved this product, many reported that they cleaned ears like a dream. Others liked the different choices that allow them to be used for many purposes. On the downside, some reviewers reported that they don’t clean as well as cotton, due to the lack of absorbency.

5. Uramoto Reusable Swabs

A set of four different swabs in a handy case.

  • Made with medical grade silicone
  • Handy travel case for portability
  • Spiral and Love shaped tips
  • Easy to clean
  • Non-Toxic

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These reusable and eco friendly Q-Tips from Uramoto are another set that come with a variety of different tips to perform different tasks. With a slide to open case for convenience, these Q-Tips are another perfect for those on the go, making them great for taking with you to the gym or office.

Can be cleaned with a little soap and water or can be safely left in hot water for a deeper cleansing. Can also be used for makeup removal, keyboard cleaning, and smoothing out makeup applications.

Reviews

On the whole, this was a well-received product, although there were some negative comments. Starting with the positives, many users loved how effective they were at ear cleaning, with some noting that they could clean ears more thoroughly than with standard Q-Tips.

Again, the major grips is the lack of absorbency when cleaning wet/oily surfaces. Another user reported that the swab fell off after one use.

6. AQuS Reusable Silicone Swabs with Travel Case

Handy Travel pack available in different colors.

  • Manufactured using high-quality Silica Gel
  • Two per case
  • Different swab tips
  • Easy Clean
  • Soft and Flexible

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These eco friendly Q-Tips from AQuS come packaged in a snug and handy travel case that is available in four colors. These packs of two incorporate two different swab tips, which can be utilized for a variety of purposes.

AQuS estimate that each of their biodegradable Q-tips is the equivalent of over two thousand standard Q-Tips. These are the perfect travel Q tips for the whole household.

Reviews

The reviews are actually a bit of a mixed bag with this product. While many reviewers sang their praises, citing such factors as their easy clean properties and their handiness as positives. Other users have had issues with the tips coming off, when in use.

7. Aodesy Reusable Silicone Swabs

A pack of four in a handy travel case.

  • Spiral, round, and pointed tips
  • Medical grade Silicone
  • Choice of 3 colors
  • Easy to clean
  • 3.15” case

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This pack of four eco friendly Q-Tips from Aodesy are great for popping in your bag and taking with you for the whole family to use on holidays and long-weekends. There are three separate types of head in the pack meaning they are suitable for everything from gently cleaning the baby’s delicate parts, to removing the mud from those older kids!

These are a recently upgraded product which has resulted in the swab heads being more securely attached to the rods.

Reviews

The reviews are positive for this eco friendly Q Tip. Many users reported how effective they were at cleaning ears and the fact that they don’t leave behind the bits of fluff that standard cotton buds can.

On the negative side, the absorbency of silicone swabs is again the main issue, one user reported that this caused them to smear instead of removing her makeup.

8. OtooKing Last Swab Reusable Silicone Q-Tips

Supplied in two packs of two swabs for him and her.

  • High-Grade Medical Silicone
  • Spring loaded case
  • Three different swab heads
  • Easy to clean
  • Perfect for ear-cleaning and makeup

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These eco friendly Q-Tips by OtooKing are the perfect choice when buying for both him and her. Each order comes with four Q-Tips in two individual cases, there are three different types of swab head in each case.

The different heads make them suitable for many purposes including cleaning wounds and removing makeup. If you don’t want to share your makeup removal with your partner’s ear-cleaning tools, this could be the perfect choice.

Reviews

A mixed bag again, once again the lack of absorbency and the tendency of the swab heads to come off was prevalent in the negatives. On the plus side many people absolutely loved them, some mentioned that were actually great at cleaning ears! Others loved the fact that they could simply rinse and reuse.

9. Weflye Reusable Swabs with mirror

A pack of four in a case that incorporates a makeup mirror.

  • Secure Swab tips
  • 4 Q-Tips with three swab head designs
  • Handy case
  • Includes makeup mirror
  • Medical grade Silicone

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These reusable swabs from Weflye are just about the perfect travel companion for busy mothers and for vacations. A compact case with a good-sized mirror means you can touch up your makeup just about anywhere.

Each case has four swabs, 2 pieces are for beauty purposes and two can be used for cleaning. If you are planning a trip and don’t want to carry a box of standard Q-Tips, these could be the perfect substitute.

Reviews

This is a pretty well-received product, many users loved their effectiveness at cleaning, one reviewer mentioned they were the perfect tool for cleaning piercings. Another reviewer remarked that they were great for taking on camping trips.

Once again, the negatives were mainly concentrated on the inability of the silicone swabs to absorb moisture.

10. TOROKOM Eco Friendly Q-Tips

Pack of two mirrored cases containing 4 Q-Tips per case.

  • Handy him and her travel cases
  • Medical Grade Silicone
  • Convenient
  • Three Swab types
  • Secure tips

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TOROKOM have taken the travel concept one step further with this set of two cases both with mirrors that contain 4 eco friendly Q-Tips each. One case is pink and the other is green making them perfect for both him and her.

These easy clean and gentle swabs are another great choice for popping into the handbag or pocket when out and about.

Reviews

There were no reviews for this product at the time of writing.

Which Eco Friendly Q-tips to choose?

Ultimately all these products are pretty similar, most of the differences are in how they are packaged. For ultimate portability then the choice has to be the Last Swab Basic from LastObject.

Eco Friendly Q-Tips

For couples that need a product to fulfil both their needs then the TOROKOM pack of two mirrored cases with 4 swabs each is a great choice. For portability combined with a practical case which includes a mirror then the Danisse set is a pocket-sized option that would be perfect.

Another excellent choice for couples is the OtooKing pack of two sets of swabs.

For those looking for longevity then the BOETECO option is guaranteed for three years. And for those looking for aesthetics that a wide range of colors offers then the choice of ten colors that the Rnker range of reusable swabs offers is bound to have one to suit your taste.

Are Q-Tips Biodegradable?

Some Bamboo Q-Tips are fully biodegradable, there are even some compostable ear swabs. The selected Q-Tips on the list aren’t, but they do reduce the amount of plastic waste by replacing single use plastics with an item that can be used thousands of times.

Eco Friendly Q-Tips

When used in conjunction with other eco friendly products like Zero Waste Deodorants and an Eco Friendly Toothbrush, they can go a huge way to cutting down the environmental impact of personal hygiene.

Are Q-Tips Cotton swabs recyclable?

If the rod or handle is made from wood or cardboard, then cotton swabs can be recycled.

Eco Friendly Q-Tips

Can you compost used Q-Tips?

In instances where there are no plastics or chemicals in the manufacture then certain types of Q-tips can be composted.

Do Reusable Eco Friendly Q Tips work?

On the whole, yes they do. When researching this article and through personal experience I discovered that the major drawback when compared to normal Q-tips is the lack of absorbency. However, a piece of tissue paper is a great way of adding this.

Eco Friendly Q-Tips

Are reusable Eco Friendly Q Tips safe?

Yes, they are nontoxic and safe to use. But unlike disposable swabs you need to make sure to clean them after each use and to keep them in a dry and clean space. Most products on our list come with a carry case. You will just need to make sure t put it back there after each use.

My Personal Favorite Eco Friendly Q Tip Ear Swab

There is such a range of eco friendly Q-tips on the market that it was difficult to choose a personal favorite. Ultimately, they are all great for the environment when you consider the single-use plastic wastage they cut down on.

Eco Friendly Q-Tips

When pushed though I have to list the LastSwab from LastObject as my favorite, the case stands out as one of the better cases on the list. It’s so practical to travel with and it keeps the swab hermetic while not in use.

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