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Comparison: Nylon Flocked Swabs vs Dacron Swab vs Foam Swab vs Rayon Swab

In 2022, the COVID-19 has not been eliminated. All close contacts, transnational people, etc., will be required to undergo nucleic acid testing until a negative test result proves to be able to complete the trip more smoothly. The speed and accuracy of covid 19 testing have become essential. The quality of the collection tools has also played a decisive role to a large extent, and the nylon flocked swab is one of the best tools.

Introduction of Nylon Flocking Swab

The flocking swabs, widely used in testing for SARS-COV-2, use the most advanced spray-on technology and electrostatic charge flocked method to attach nylon fibers vertically and evenly to the tip of the medical-grade handle. Millions of nylon fibers significantly increase the surface contact area of the swab tip, which facilitates sample adhesion. Since the flocking swab traps the collected sample on the surface of the nylon fiber at the tip of the swab without the internal fabric over capturing the sample, it can quickly elute about 90% of the original sample, which helps to collect a small amount of specimen. Its excellent ability in sample collection and elution makes it the preferred medical swab for sample collection such as DNA testing, virus collection, forensic evidence collection, etc.

In addition to nylon flocking swab, the most common collection swabs currently on the market are cotton swab, rayon swab, dacron swab, and polyurethane foam swab. The CDC of the United States clearly stated in InterimGuidelines for Collecting, Handling, and Testing Clinical Specimens from Persons for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) that “Use only synthetic fiber swabs with plastic or wire shafts. Do not use calcium alginate swabs or swabs with wooden shafts. ” Why are fiber swabs better? Let’s take a look at some of the products one by one.

Comparison of Cotton Swab, Dacron Swab, Rayon Swab, Foam Swab and Nylon Flocked Swab

1. Cotton Swab

Cotton Swab


  • Strong absorption capacity for water.
  • Low price and easy to purchase.


  • The sample release rate is low.
  • Because the cotton swab with a wooden handle has an inhibitory effect on PCR and is toxic to tissue culture, so they are not suitable for testing covid-19.

Appropriate Use:

It is suitable for cleaning and applying medicine to common wounds and collecting specimens from the vagina, cervix and urethra.

2. Dacron Swab (Polyester Tipped)

Dacron Swab


  • The dacron swab tip uses a spun polyester material made of polymer, which can be used for large-area sampling or cleaning.
  • It does not produce inhibitory and toxic substances in the collected samples.


  • It is a tightly wound swab with very limited sample collection capability.
  • The sample is trapped in the inner core of the tip and can only release 20-30% of the collected sample, which is much lower than that of nylon flocking swabs.

Appropriate Use:

Microbiological research, collection virology, specimen examination, rapid test diagnosis and sample collection in PCR analysis.

3. Rayon Swab

Rayon Swab


  • The material of the swab tip is similar to cotton, soft, and highly absorbent.
  • Made of high-quality rayon, the fiber is not easy to fall off and does not easily react with the collected specimens.


  • Made by a winding method, and its sample collection ability is worse than nylon flocked swab.
  • Twined rayon swabs trap the sample in the inner core, resulting in slow release and weak elution.

Appropriate Use:

Virus detection, sample collection, rapid test, and diagnosis, etc.

4. Foam Swab

Foam Swab


  • The medical-grade foam is welded to the tip of the handle using ultrasonic waves, which do not contain adhesives and pollute the contacts.
  • Due to the fiber-free structure, it can effectively prevent static electricity and avoid the generation of dust particles.
  • The multiple particles on the swab can capture the collected objects and strongly absorb and lock the solvent. The swab can quickly and safely clean up dust, oil, and other dirt on precision electronic instruments.
  • Excellent wear resistance can be repeatedly used to clean all kinds of devices.
  • It can be used in surgery to absorb small amounts of body fluids and to disinfect.

When used as a medical swab to collect biological samples, the release rate is low.

Appropriate Use:
Suitable use: cleaning all kinds of precision instruments, including medical instruments, lenses, printer nozzle solutions and chips, etc.

5. Nylon Flocked Swab

Nylon Flocked Swab


  • Safe aseptic, soft texture, and will not cause harm to the subjects in the collection process.
  • Nylon fibers are large in quantity and have a wide contact area, which can effectively collect various cellular materials.
  • The nylon flocking swab is non-toxic to microorganisms, which can increase the storage time of specimens.
  • Nylon fiber has a strong water absorption capacity and capture capacity, which can quickly collect more samples.
  • It can release specimens instantly and automatically for efficient elution.
  • The breakable design on the handle can help medical staff quickly process samples.


In order to prevent someone from accidentally breaking the flocked swab in advance and letting it fall on collection positions, professionals or people who have received relevant training are required to regulate the use.

Appropriate Use:
It is widely used in bacterial sample processing, cell culture, polymerase chain reaction and rapid testing.
It is suitable for respiratory virus sampling and is the preferred tool for COVID-19 testing.


There are various types of swabs on the market, and they have different characteristics and uses. The material and structure of the swab will directly affect the efficiency of sample collection and release, and the use of inappropriate types of swabs may result in false-negative results. Dacron swab, rayon swab, and nylon flocking swab are all suitable for POCT test, among which flocked swabs perform exceptionally well in novel Coronavirus nucleic acid tests.

Adhering to the principle of “first-class products, first-class service”, Huachenyang (Shenzhen) Technology Co., Ltd. takes product quality as the foundation of enterprise development, specializes in the production of flocking swabs, throat swabs, oral swabs, nasal swabs, cervical swabs, sponge swabs, virus sampling tubes, virus preservation liquid, etc.
With more than 14 years of manufacturing experience in the field of medical consumables, HCY organizes production and manages sales in strict accordance with ISO9001 and ISO13485 and has certain advantages in the industry.

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