12 Surprising Uses for Cotton Balls


Cotton balls don’t usually make it out of the bathroom. We use them to remove nail polish and makeup, to help clean cuts and scrapes.. but that’s about it. It’s too bad, because there are plenty of other fantastic uses for cotton balls. Click through to check out some of them.


Around the House.

1. Make the Fridge Smell Nice. Just can’t get rid of that funky smell in the fridge? Dampen a cotton ball with some vanilla extract and place it on a shelf towards the back of the fridge.

2. Combat Mildew. All those nooks and crannies in the bathroom are primo spots for mildew — and, of course, can be difficult to reach. Soak cotton balls in bleach, place it in that hard-to-reach spot, and let it sit there for a couple of hours. Rinse with warm water and the spot will be good as new!

3. Freshen up the Room. Before you vacuum, place a cotton ball soaked in your favorite scent in the vacuum cleaner’s bag. The scent will be slowly released into the room.

4. Protect Rubber Gloves. Your manicured nails may look fabulous, but they sure get in the way of doing the dishes! Don’t wreck another pair of rubber gloves. Instead, put some cotton balls in the tips of the gloves so your nails don’t tear them up.


Health, Beauty & Fashion.

5. Prevent Blister Pain. So you got a blister from your new shoes, but you still want to wear them? Placing a cotton ball on the sore, and then securing it with a bandaid, will help cushion your skin from further pain.

6. Keep Your Purses Smelling Nice. Spritz a little perfume on a cotton ball and keep it in your purse. It’ll smell nice and fresh! Replace every one to two weeks.

7. Ease a Toothache. It’s 1AM, and that toothache just won’t go away. If you can’t get to a dentist immediately, there are ways to remedy that. The best, from my (unfortunate) personal experience?Cotton balls soaked in whiskey, vanilla extract or clove oil is the perfect remedy for a toothache. Soak the cotton ball in the alcohol, and apply directly to the affected area.

8. Clean & Store Jewelry. Cotton balls are the perfect, delicate tool for cleaning jewelry. They are also a great way to store jewelry, and prevent that big wad of tangled necklaces and bracelets that happens otherwise! Unroll the cotton ball and store jewelry in cushioned tiers.


The Great Outdoors.

9. Protect Your Garden. Rabbits are cute, but they sure wreak havoc on your garden. Deter them humanely by soaking cotton balls in distilled white vinegar. Place them in a plastic film container, with 2 holes poked in the top.

10. Start a Fire. It’s true! All you need are some cotton balls and a tub of petroleum jelly to start a fire! Click here to learn more.

11. Grow Beans. For a fun and easy project, grow beans indoors with the help of some cotton balls. Click here for detailed instructions!

12. Extend the Life of Daffodils. Have a fabulous bouquet of daffodils?Fill the hollow stems with some water, and plug them up with a cotton ball. This trick will help them last longer.


Chrissie R
Chrissie Rabout a month ago

Thank you for posting.

Mary W
Mary Wargoabout a year ago

I love some of these ideas. #2 and #6 will be beneficial to me and my boyfriend could really use tip #7 currently.

Tim C.
Tim C4 years ago


A F.
Athena F4 years ago

groovy, thanks!

Mary Rudy
Mary J4 years ago

Wow....great ideas, thank you!

Shelli S.
Shelli S4 years ago

A few tips, I never thought of..thanks

Susan B.
Susan B4 years ago

Thank you

Sonny Honrado
Sonny Honrado4 years ago


federico bortoletto
federico b4 years ago


Duane B.
.4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.