Q-tips are typically made with plastic tubes and designed for only a single use. Many people go through three or four q-tips each day cleaning their ears! Each one of these pieces ends up in the landfill (and sometimes in the environment). There is an alternative to single use swabs though!
LastSwab is a reusable, washable q-tip that can completely replace your reliance on disposables. Who would have thought a reusable swab for removing ear wax even existed!
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Reusable Zero Waste LastSwab
LastSwab is designed to replicate the experience of using a cotton swab or q-tip to clean your ears. Instead of disposing of it like you would a cotton swab though, LastSwab is reusable! The shape is similar to a cotton swab with the tip containing small circular mounds or ridges to better clean up any ear wax when pressed against your skin. The ear wax collects on the tip and then can easily be washed off, leaving it ready for another use.
It is designed and produced in Denmark and comes in six lovely different colors. To store the LastSwab, simply place it in the specially made case to keep it clean. The case is even made of plastic that was rescued from water ways (headed to the ocean!).
"LastSwab’s rod is made from polypropylene (PP) that’s reinforced with glass fiber and the soft tip ends are produced using thermoplastic elastomers (TPE). The carry case is made from recycled ocean-bound plastic."
It only takes 36 uses of a LastSwab to create a smaller carbon footprint than if you were to use cotton swabs for each of those times. With a LastSwab created to withstand up to 1000 uses, it has a smaller carbon footprint by a lot!
Does a LastSwab feel weird?
As a LastSwab user, I can tell you that the experience is only slightly different than using a cotton q-tip. The tip is made of silicone that has ridges to collect the ear wax. You simply use it just like a regular q-tip.
I personally find using LastSwab more comfortable because I am not worried about any pieces of cotton fiber breaking off and getting stuck in my ear canal (a common occurrence for many people!).
How do you wash LastSwab?
After each use, you can simply run it under a bit of warm water in the sink and use your fingers or a cloth to wipe it clean. There is no need to use any fancy cleaners or disinfectants! Those can actually cause more irritation in your ears.
To sanitize LastSwab, pour boiling water over the tips or place it in a cup and run it through your dishwasher.
Zero Waste Wisdom readers can get 10% off LastSwab by using the code ZEROWASTEWISDOM at checkout!
Can I share my LastSwab with a partner?
Whether you share a LastSwab with your household or get individual ones is totally up to you! Since the LastSwab can be rinsed off between uses, there is nothing wrong with getting one for you and your partner to both use - especially if you’re not daily users.
LastSwab's End of Life Disposal
Even though your LastSwab is made of plastic, it cannot be recycled or composted. The best thing is to place your LastSwab in the garbage can and think about all those disposable ones you avoided along the way!