Cotton swab

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Any of several brands of prepared sticks with cotton wrapped ends used for cleaning small or difficult to reach areas. Most applicator sticks, with either plastic or wooden handles, use a drop of adhesive, such as Polyvinyl acetate, to adhere the base of the cotton fibers. Solvents may soften or dissolve the adhesive, causing it to transfer to the object being cleaned.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Q-Tip®; cotton bud (Br.); cotton tipped applicator stick

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