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Cotton & Lint-Free Foam Swabs for Precision Cleaning

Techspray manufacturers high-quality swabs and applicators to serve a wide variety of cleaning and maintenance needs. We use specialized materials to ensure that our cotton swabs and foam swabs are durable and generate minimal particles during use. 

The most common solvent for all types of cleaning is isopropyl alcohol (IPA), which is generally compatible with all types of swab materials. Sometimes a more aggressive solvent, like acetone or toluene, is required to remove stubborn contaminants like excess adhesive, stains, coatings, baked-on fluxes, and some biological materials. Solvent compatibility can be an important factor when selecting the best swab for your application.

Cotton swabs -  Cotton bud swabs are the most economical choice for high volume usage. Cotton bud swabs are very compatible with even the most aggressive cleaning solvents -- from mild IPA all the way to aggressive acetone. Cotton can snag on contacts (i.e., thru-hole leads) and leave particulates behind. 

Foam swabs -  Foam swabs are ideal for more precision cleaning where linting needs to be avoided. The tight cell structure of the polyurethane foam is less likely to snag compared to cotton, and it is still highly absorbent.

Click here for Techswab selection guide

Cotton Swabs Cotton Swab
Economical, high absorbency cotton swabs
Large Foam Swabs 	Super-Tip Foam Swab
5 to 6" long swabs with rigid foam heads
Small Foam Swabs Mini-Tip Foam Swab
Small foam swabs for high precision cleaning
Fiber Optic Swabs Fiber Optic Swab
High-precision foam swabs for cleaning fiber optic connectors


Do you have swabs for cleaning tight areas?

While cotton bud swabs (aka Q-tips) are commonly used for electronics cleaning, they can be blunt instruments for dense PCB designs. Techspray offers a pointed cotton swab (part #2313-30PK), a pointed foam swab (2309-1000) and small rounded foam swab (2311-1000) for cleaning tight areas.

Are Q-tips / cotton bud swabs good for cleaning electronics?

Yes, cotton swabs are a common choice for electronics cleaning, cotton tends to lead behind threads and particulates. Open cell polyurethane foam swabs are a common, very clean replacement for cotton.

What type of swab should I use with harsh solvents?

Just about any swab is compatible with isopropyl alcohol (IPA), but harsh solvents like acetone or toluene can cause foam swabs to swell and even break-down. For harsh solvents, cotton swabs are the best choice.


Introduction to the World of Precision Cleaning Swabs
This is a brief introduction to selecting a precision swab for use in laboratories, clean rooms, electronic assembly, rework, and repair of electronics. We’ll be speaking in generalities, but you may choose a swab for a specific reason or for a very specific job. Swabs can be used to appl...
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