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Puritan Blog

Aug 9, 2019Print this page

A Swab for Every Need in Every Cleanroom

puritan swabs

If you have a cleanroom, you have a need for Puritan’s PurSwab line of critical environment (CE) swabs. You want reliable, consistent performance from the end products that you purchase. And you can find comfort in knowing that we manufacture all of our CE products in our ISO 13485:2016-certified and CE-compliant facility right here in Guilford, Maine. 

The question is, which swab is best for your specific needs? 

You’ll find your answer in this post. As you read through this overview of swab shafts and tips, you’ll see our PurSwab brand line of swabs offers plenty of choice for non-medical applications. 

Whatever your need, you’ll find tipped applicators that are designed to be gentle enough not to cause damage yet manufactured to withstand aggressive cleaning processes with common solvents. 

Choose swab shafts (or handles) comprised of 5 different materials 

These include:

Wood Polypropylene Glass-filled Polypropylene Paper

What are the advantages of each material? We’re glad you asked.


Wood shafts

  • wood swab Northern white birch
  •  A “natural” material
  •  Rigid
  •  Note: Contains particulates not recommended for cleanrooms

Polypropylene shafts

  • polypropylene swabMolded or extruded options available
  • Can be glass-filled for extra rigidity
  • Can be blended with carbon (a black material) for conductivity
  • Can be blended with inherently static-dissipative polymers

Paper shafts

  • Compressed
  • paper swabStiff
  • Biodegradable
  • Most often used with compressed cotton/lint-free tips
  • Used in manufacturing disk drives
  • The paper is stiff, clean, and makes for a “green” tip-to-toe construction


There’s a swab tip designed for virtually every need. Here’s a look at what PurSwab tips are available.

Choose swab tips comprised of 8 varieties of material

Knitted Polyester Microfiber Foam Foam Over Cotton
ESD & Anti-static  Chemical Resistant Cotton Compressed Cotton (low-lint and residue-free)

knitted polyester tip-1

Knitted Polyester

  •  Soft, non-abrasive, and lint-free
  •  Can easily withstand IPA, acetone, and other solvents
  •  Non-absorbent 
  •  Low particle generation, and low NVR’s (non-volatile residues)
  •  Made in a Class 1000 cleanroom
  • Ideal for cleaning electronic and communication devices and perfect for instrumentation and medical device manufacturing


microfiber tip

  • Soft and non-abrasive
  • Low particle generation, and low NVR’s (non-volatile residues)
  • Absorbent
  • Resistant to normal cleaning solvents, which makes them ideal for removing contaminants and excess materials in fine assembly environments
  • Fiber is made from denier thread smaller than polyester
  • Suitable for cleanrooms, fiber-optics, and component manufacturing 


foam tipPurSwab foam

  • Synthetic – polyurethane foam
  • 100 PPI provides good particle entrapment
  • Options: open-cell, closed-cell, dissipative, highly absorbent, chemical resistant styles
  • Non-linting, good for removing epoxy residue from connectors, general cleaning or as a flux remover
  • Thermal edge seals and thermal bonding to the handle helps ensure the sponge-like foam will clean up unwanted particles without releasing any into your environment


foam over cotton tip


Foam Over Cotton

  • Made from shred-resistant urethane foam over USP pharmaceutical-grade cotton for the best absorption and are great when cleaning with solvents
  • Friction bond
  • Foam holds up better under vigorous use than stand-alone cotton
  • Extra absorption


chemical resistent tip


Chemical resistant

  • Chemical-resistant foam is made up of a different polymer that stands up to most solvents and aggressive chemicals (including acetone)
  • Used for general cleaning, removing and applying adhesives and other solutions
  • The slight texture of the foam creates a light abrasion


anti static esdAntistatic and ESD

  • To prevent electrostatic discharge (ESD) and static buildup electronics and other sensitive devices should only be cleaned with ESD and/or anti-static swabs
  • Designed for working in and around static-sensitive components and parts
  • Anti-static applicators are made with an anti-static foam tip and a conductive polypropylene handle or standard wood handle
  • ESD applicators are made with anti-static handles and have unique tips, some made of ESD conductive foam, polyester, cotton and non-woven materials



cotton tipsCotton tips

  • “Standard”
  • Absorbent, linty
  • Soft
  • Many configurations possible
  • Inexpensive, readily available
  • Non-medical applications

Cotton tips for lint-sensitive applications

  • Non-linting and residue-free
  • Soft
  • Some offered in anti-static packaging
  • Most are double-tipped
  • Used in HDD manufacturing
  • Suitable for cleanrooms
  • Smallest tips starting at 2mm
  • Bulb and pointed styles

Our sales representatives are happy to help you determine which swab shaft-and-tip combinations are best for your specific needs. Have questions? Know what you need and ready for next steps? We look forward to speaking with you. Contact us today. 

Topics: Controlled Environments


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