What You Need to Know About Swabs and Applicators

What You Need to Know About Swabs and Applicators

14th Aug 2019

When the average person thinks about swabs, they will typically go straight to the brand name Q-tips, the magical cotton wand used to clean our ears after showers. But biologists, optometrists, or pharmaceutical professionals look at swabs much differently, and usually use them outside of the bathroom.

In fact, there are a variety of types of swabs and applicators (single-use applicators), and most of them are used in cleanrooms, spaces that need to remain clean and sanitized. At SOS Cleanroom, we are a supplier of cleanroom facility products, including wipes, cleaners, disinfectants, mops, sticky mats, cleanroom tapes, and so much more. Our inventory of cleanroom supplies makes it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for in order to keep your cleanroom in working condition. 

Uses For Swabs and Applicators

Swabs consist of one small stick with an absorbent material attached to either end. Generally, there are three uses for swabs or applicators: cleaning, collecting, and applying.

  • Cleaning: Swabs are a great tool when you need to clean small, hard to reach spaces. The length of a swab can vary so that anyone can choose which tool is best for the job. They can also be used when cleaning wounds.
  • Collecting: Single-use swabs or applicators are also commonly used in the healthcare industry when a sample of a tissue or substance needs to be taken, for example.
  • Applying: They can also be used for applying medicine or chemicals in a controlled environment like a cleanroom.

Materials Used For Swab Tips

One of the most common materials used for swabs is cotton, which can be used for a variety of purposes. But there are also several other materials that may be necessary depending on the desired use. SOS Cleanroom offers a variety of swabs that can be used in dozens of applications and situations.


Swabs and applicators made with cotton are highly absorbent, soft, affordable, and are used in dozens of situations and environments. SOS Cleanroom has a collection of Texwipe swabs that are wrapped cotton or foam-covered cotton. The foam-covered swabs are a combination of cotton and polyurethane to provide improved absorption capacity. They are a perfect choice for lint-free cleanroom wipers, sterile products, and more.


A synthetic material, polyester swabs are commonly used for collecting samples of tissue or substances found on a variety of surfaces and in many different environments They can also be used to clean hard to reach spaces, areas with grooves, slotts, or recesses. SOS Cleanroom carries Texwipe Absorbond® and Alpha® products. The Alpha® products are made with 100% polyester for increased absorbency and the products are engineered to resist snagging and abrading. The Absorbond® products are also 100% polyester and feature a nonwoven material that is double-layered.


The ideal cleanroom facility product for cleaning, foam swabs are made with 100% polyurethane foam. Foam swabs are lint- and residue-free, strong, yet soft, they won’t shred, and they are designed with a thermal bond construction so there isn’t any adhesive contamination in your cleanroom. SOS Cleanroom provides closed and opened cell foam swabs. Closed cell swabs are dense and offer an increased durability. Open cell swabs are ideal for liquid retention and particle entrapment. Our foam swabs come in a variety of sizes and shapes to fit your exact needs.

SOS Cleanroom has a wide selection of swabs and applicators that can be used for a variety of applications. The swabs are manufactured with a complete thermal bond, ensuring that there is no adhesive contamination. If you need a specific type of swab that isn’t in our online inventory, get in touch with our team and we will create a product that fits your needs.

SOS Cleanroom strives to provide superior customer service and exceptional cleanroom facility products you can rely on. From sterile swabs to ESD-Safe and general purpose swabs, find everything you need and more here.