Cotton swabFor the sampling of biological materials like blood, saliva, etc., cotton swabs in tubes are used. When the material has dried, the cotton is first wetted with water (distilled or demineralized) before sampling. To avoid microbial degradation of the sample, the cotton must be completely dry before the swab is replaced in the tube. A time-saving alternative is to cut off a part of the tip of the tube, enabling the swab to dry during transport and storage.
The cotton swab is ethylene oxide sterilised [EO], 13 cm long, has a wooden shaft (fitted in the cap) and comes in a sealed plastic tube. The tube is labelled.