10 Innovative Uses For Cotton Balls You Probably Didn’t Know About

Check out these 10 clever alternative uses for cotton balls.

1. Campfire Starters
creative uses for cotton balls 1Who needs flint and steel when you have cotton balls? Next time you go camping, bring some cotton balls and petroleum jelly. A cotton ball slathered in jelly will catch fire in a flash and will burn for about five minutes, making it the perfect little fire starter. 

2. Ant Bait
creative uses for cotton balls 2Ants – these obnoxious pests are everywhere. Take back your home and battle these tiny invaders with this nifty cotton ball bait trap.

Create your bait using two cups of hot water, half a cup of sugar, and one-and-a-half tablespoons of borax. Once the sugar and borax have dissolved in the water, soak your cotton balls in the mixture. Place the cotton balls onto some scraps of tin foil and place them at strategic locations around infested areas. The ants will come for the sugar, but they won’t be able to detect the borax until it’s too late. Bye bye, ants!

3. Paint Tester
creative uses for cotton balls 3Are you the artsy type? Do you have a hard time keeping your different paints in order? Using a little rubbing alcohol and some cotton balls, you can determine if your paint is made of oil or latex. Latex paint will rub off onto the cotton ball, but oil based paint will not. 

4. Compact Saver
creative uses for cotton balls 4Air travel has a way of wreaking havoc on our toiletries. From shampoo bottle explosions to spilt makeup, planes can be a real pain. Travel with peace of mind with this quick tip on how to secure your expensive powdered makeup. Simply place a cotton ball or pad over your compact and close it shut. This will keep the contents safe and orderly.

5. Nail Polish Remover Travel Kit
creative uses for cotton balls 5Air travel restrictions make traveling with a bottle of nail polish remover impossible. Travel sized options are not common, but you can make your own. Fill up an old pill container with cotton balls. Pour some of the liquid onto the cotton balls and you have nail polish remover on the go!

6. Deodorizer
creative uses for cotton balls 6Things smelling a little … funky? Freshen up any room, closet, car, bag or whatever with this DIY deodorizer. Drip one tbsp of vanilla extract along with cinnamon, nutmeg, or another spice of your choosing onto a cotton ball. Put your new aromatic ball into a tea filter bag and tie it off with some string. This will add a pleasant scent to any stinky situation.

7. Bean Garden
creative uses for cotton balls 7Grow beans above ground with a jar and some cotton balls. Just fill up a mason jar with damp cotton balls and place a bean along the side of the jar. Now, you can watch your green veggie grow before your very eyes! Kids will especially love this project. 

8. Vacuum Air Freshener
creative uses for cotton balls 8We already showed you how to make a portable deodorizer, but you can also use your vacuum to freshen up your home. By placing a cotton ball soaked in essential oils, such as lemongrass or lavender, into your vacuum bag, you can fill your house with a soothing scent. Now you can clean your carpet and the air in one move!

9. Mold Blaster
creative uses for cotton balls 9Mold is not attractive, and if left unchecked, can be disastrous to your health. Mold thrives in damp places like bathrooms. Blast away mold and soap scrum from grout with some bleach and some cotton balls. Place the soaked cotton balls over the problem sites and let them work their magic overnight. By morning, your grout will be looking like new.

10. Glove Garden
creative uses for cotton balls 10Here’s another “handy” alternative garden. Grab a plastic glove and place a damp cotton ball into each fingertip. Add three to four seeds to each cotton ball and cover them up with another damp cotton ball. Beans, carrots, tomatoes, just about any plant will work. In less than a week, you’ll see the seeds start to sprout. This is a fantastic project to do with little kids at home or at school. 


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