Types of Swab Tips: Chamois Cloth | Cotton | Foam

by Andy on August 13, 2012

Chamois Cloth, Cotton, and Foam Swabs

Swabs are found in many different industries with a multitude of uses, and it can be difficult to figure out their applications. Today we will be starting a new series exploring the uses of different types of swab tips to help you find the right tip for your project.

Chamois Cloth:

These swabs are very soft and perfect for cleaning and polishing very sensitive items. They are soft enough to be used on the magnetic and optical heads that are used to read tapes and CD’s. Chamois cloth swabs can also clean excess ink from ink jet cartridges.


Cotton swabs are for much more general use than chamois cloth. These swabs are very absorbent, so they can be used in conjunction with cleaning solution to remove epoxies or clean components. There are many different types of cotton swabs, from low-lint and lint-free to double headed.


There is a large variety of foam tipped swabs, and they make up most of the swabs available. Because foam has a more solid form than cotton or cloth you can shape it into whatever you need, allowing for thin pointed tips as well as larger paddles. There are also cotton tips with a foam outer layer, allowing for the rigidity of foam with the absorbency of cotton. ESD-safe foam tips are also available.

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