Is it permissible to use q tips on shabbat? The cotton devices used to remove ear wax. What are the possible issues involved?
Shemiras Shabbos k’Hilchasah 32:59 says there is no problem using a cotton swab on Shabbos. Harav A. Weiss, published in Ohr ha-Shabbos, vol. 18, pgs. 22-23 also permits using a cotton swab on Shabbos, however Orchos Shabbos 13:45 who does not permit using cotton swabs on Shabbos.
Question: On Shabbos or Yom Tov, is it permitted to use a cotton swab (Q-tip) to dab hydrogen peroxide, etc., on a cut or an abrasion?
Discussion: Based on the previous Discussion, there is no reason to prohibit using cotton swabs on Shabbos. Although it is forbidden to soak a cotton ball (or a piece of cotton batting) and then squeeze the liquid out of it, 5 this does not apply to using a swab. The small piece of pressed cotton at the swab’s end is not meant to absorb, nor is the liquid “squeezed” out of it. When used normally, the tip merely transfers the liquid to the cut without any squeezing taking place. It is permitted to be used. 6 Obviously, though, in the atypical case where the swab is used in a manner which would result in squeezing, it would be forbidden to use it on Shabbos.