New Uses For Cotton Balls You May Not Have Known

Cotton balls can be used in a variety of ways and we’ve listed a few useful ideas for this inexpensive product!

DIY Fire Starters

Cotton balls and a dollop of petroleum jelly are all you need to be your new go-to fire starter. Bring a film case of cotton balls smothered in the jelly to your next camping trip. They are a great way to quickly (and efficiently) start a fire. They will catch a flame almost immediately, so be sure you’re ready for the fire! The cotton ball will burn for about five minutes, giving you enough time to get your camp fire started. For directions, follow along with The Outdoor Gear Review.

Ant Bait

If you’re fighting ants in your home/car/backyard, give this ingenious cotton ball ant bait trick a try. Mix together 2 cups hot water, 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoon of Borax in a jar. Stir the mixture until completely dissolved, then place a saturated piece of cotton on a tin foil scrap where you see the ants. The sugar will attract the ants to the cotton ball, while the Borax will kill the ants. They won’t be able to distinguish between the sugar and the Borax, so when they return back to the colony, the Borax will go to work killing the remainder of the ants.

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Test Your Paint

If you’ve ever painted over oil paint with latex, you know what a disaster it is. Avoid this mistake and test the paint with a cotton ball soaked in alcohol. If paint rubs off onto the cotton ball, it is latex. If no paint rubs off, then you are dealing with an oil based paint. Check out the detailed instructions at The Dominion Project.

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Save your Compact

If you are you traveling with your expensive pressed powders, you’ll want to make sure they’re not cracking while in transit. To keep your compacts intact, place a cotton pad over the contents and close the compact to secure. For smaller eye shadow powders, use a cotton ball and press to close. You’ll be all set to get to your summer destination worry free.

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Nail Polish Remover To-Go

Packing an entire bottle of nail polish remover just won’t cut it, so pouring a bit of the nail polish remover over cotton balls and packing them in an old pill bottle is the perfect solution. You’ll have pre-moistened cotton balls that are ready for you to use!

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Air Freshener

Do your spaces need a refresh? By soaking a cotton ball in vanilla extract, you can make your own deodorizer. Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to a cotton ball, as well as any spice that you like, such as cinnamon and nutmeg. Place in a tea filter bag and finish off with a pretty piece of string or ribbon. Place one in your fridge or car for a natural and delicious scent.

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Grow Beans

Using cotton balls to grow beans is a fun way to watch them grow! Place damp cotton balls into a clear jar and place one bean on either side of the jar. Watch as they sprout and grow out of the jar. This is especially fun for little ones to see the progression of the beans through the glass. The Imagination Tree shows you how!

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Freshen A Room

To instantly rejuvenate a room, sprinkle drops of your favorite essential oil on a cotton ball and plop in your vacuum bag. Instead of the vacuum expelling those questionable smells, it will instead release the scent of your favorite essential oil. A great essential oil to use is lemongrass, as it refreshes and makes the air smell clean.

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Get Rid Of Mold

This trick will leave your bathroom shining. Get the mold (and the soap scum discoloration) out of the grout by placing a cotton ball soaked in bleach over the moldy spots. Let the cotton balls sit overnight and take a look in the morning. You’ll find that the bleach wiped away the mold as well as the soap scum. All you’ll see is shiny white where the spots used to be. Genius!

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Start A Garden In A Glove

This is a great project to start with a little one and teach them how to grow different plants. Place a few damp cotton balls in each finger, along with 3 to 4 seeds. Cover the seeds with a bit more damp cotton balls and wait for the seeds to germinate, which will happen in 3 to 5 days. Mark which plants are growing in which finger and show your little one the joys of gardening.

Cost Effective And Convenient

Using cotton balls to help in everyday tasks is a real game changer. Not only are cotton balls inexpensive, they are the perfect solution to helping with a variety of issues from getting rid of ants to preserving your powders. So grab a bag the next time you’re out and see how many ways you can use them!


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