People have asked us about the cotton that sits on top of the pills in some nutrition bottles.
• Do I need to keep the cotton on top of the pills after I open the bottle?
• Should I just throw it away?
• Does the cotton help keep the pills fresh or help extend the expiry date?
• Are there any uses for the cotton?
You can put your mind at ease. This is actually not the vitamin mob trying their best to pull the cotton over our eyes. We will answer some questions and (with the help of others) give some possible uses for the cotton.
The cotton is mainly used to prevent the pills or vitamins from being damaged or chipped during transport and handling. Bottles are almost never filled right to the top since different pills and capsules have to go into standard size bottles. They need to fill the space so the pills and vitamins don’t smash into each other. After all, who wants to buy a bottle full of broken pills?
Keep the cotton after opening?
As long as you don’t toss your pill bottles around the house, you should be fine without the cotton. Some also say that keeping the cotton after opening can be harmful. The cotton will absorb pathogens or bacteria from your hands and then get smothered all over your pills when you put it back in the bottle. I think the danger is overrated but there is also no need to keeping the cotton!
What about the freshness?
No, it doesn’t keep them any fresher or help them to last any longer. The good news is pills and vitamins tend to have great expiry dates. (Especially when you compare it to bread which seems to always go moldy the day after I buy it!)
So, make sure that you practice safe pill and vitamin bottle care. Throw away the cotton after you open it, and keep it out of reach of children and away from the prying eyes of guests that use your bathroom. We all know that some people love to know what’s inside other people’s medicine cabinets.
Uses for the Cotton
1. Remove nail polish. Instead of buying cotton balls, use the cotton from vitamin and medicine bottles to apply nail polish remover and wipe on your nails to remove the polish. They can also be put between your toes when you are applying nail polish to them.
2. Adjust your shoe size. Every have shoes that are too big? Just stuff some of this cotton into the toe of the shoe until it fits perfectly.
3. Clean lots of stuff. Dip the cotton in a little vinegar and you can clean almost anything. You can use it on washing machines, microwaves, telephones, or any other small area that needs cleaning.
4. Dust your computer. These handy little pieces of cotton can be used to wipe off your computer keyboard or monitor.
5. Makeup. Use them to apply or take off makeup.
6. Air freshener. Put a few drops of essential oil or perfume on a piece of cotton and put it near or in a heating vent. Your room will smell great!
7. Craft projects. You can use them on child craft projects when making sheep or snowmen. Just glue a few of these onto a cutout or drawing and you have an instant 3-D picture. They can also be used to stuff a small homemade craft item like a pillow or stuffed animal.