How to Start Cotton Bud Manufacturing Business ?


Somewhere in the 1920’s an American man named Leo Gerstenzang, observed his wife using a toothpick stuck to a piece of cotton to clean the ear of their infant child and all the possible damage that toothpick could cause concerned Leo and that’s when he thought of inventing a safe, easy to use, ear cleaner called the cotton bud.

Even though this cotton and plastic based product has some specific uses it has still managed to make a space in the shelf of every consumer, irrespective of their needs because of its diversified application yet one main purpose of ensuring eat hygiene. The global cotton bud manufacturing business market accounted to $543.75 billion units in around 2017.

Moreover,  the demand for this product has been huge because of its diversified shift in production for its use expanding from adult-centric to  infant-centric niche, yet again thereby  bringing massive sales turnover. So, here’s why and how you should take up this business opportunity.

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Market potential and uses

Cotton buds are handheld items which consists of two wads of cotton wrapped around on both the ends of a shirt rod made of rolled paper, plastics, wood etc for the purpose of ensuring war hygiene mainly.

The market potential for cotton buds is vast as it has become a necessity in the cleaning routine as well as for cosmetic purposes for adult as well as infants. Moreover, because of its expansion in production horizon in terms of the quality of cotton and sticks used, size of cotton buds etc have been contributing to its growth.

  • Plastic cotton bud
  • Rolled paper cotton bud
  • Wooden stick cotton bud
  • Bamboo cotton bud
  • Used for maintaining ear hygiene
  • Used for make up and cosmetic purposes
  • Used in painting
  • Used in face painting
  • Used for cleaning purposes
  • Used in first aid kits

Licenses required

Read More : How to Start Organic Farming Business ?

Investment required

The investment required to run this cotton bud making business are

Small scale₹ 1 lakhs – ₹ 2 lakhs
Large scale (75000 piece)  ₹ 20 lakhs
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Profits made

The profits which one could earn from this business per month are ₹10000-₹20000 per month.

Target consumers

The target consumers for this cotton buds making business are as follows:

Healthcare facilities: The ENT’s ( ear, nose and throat specialists) and the testing facilities through swab collection, take DNA samples etc  could make use of these cotton buds for the purpose of giving a diagnosis

Medical and pharmaceutical stores: These also stock up on cotton buds as a part of the first aid kit to clean the wounds and scabs but also in packages for the purpose of selling it to customers for maintain a war hygiene and for cosmetic reasons

Cosmetic purpose: The other majority consumption of cotton buds is for make up purposes especially in the female population for the purpose of fixing the lipstick, evening the skin tone through creams etc

Nail art stores: The nail art stores also stock up on cotton buds for the purpose of ensuring a please appeal of their customer nails by using the cotton swap to clean up the out-of-line nail colour, fix the nail art without touching it etc

Other uses: Cotton buds are also used along with cleaning liquids like rubbing alcohol for the purpose of cleaning a variety of other things like ear phones, car vents, small spaces, jewellery etc

Paintings: The cotton buds are also used to finish the final touches of the big auction painting by many artists moreover they’re also used for dot painting popular among kids in play schools, middle schools etc

Retail and supermarkets stores: These stock up on the cotton buds in the personal care and hygiene aisle to meet the ear cleaning and other cleaning needs of consumers

Online stores: Involving online pharmacies like 1mg, pharmacy, and other essential item online stores like big basket could also become potential suppliers to meet the cotton buds requirements of their online customers.

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Area required

The area required to set up this cotton bud  making machine is 100sqft – 150sqft.

  • Spindle ( 75mm )
  • Absorbent end material ( cotton )
  • Packing material
  • Automatic cotton bud making machine
  • Spindle making machine
  • Packaging machine
  • Cotton moulding machine
  • Cotton plugging machine
  • 2 skilled workers
  • 3 unskilled workers

Moreover ample training in terms of the following must also be provided with

  • Machine handling
  • Equipment usage
  • Safety and precautions

Business model

The business model of a cotton bud making business can be defined using these four variants

Value proposition: The value which this cotton bud making business likely to provide to you is

  • Low investment in terms of capital, manpower and space and easily available raw materials.

  • Small scale business with wider expansion prospects because of its growing applications.

  • Increase in FDI because of reasonable production and labour cost.
  • Healthcare facilities
  • Medical and pharmaceutical spaces
  • First aid kits
  • Paintings
  • Cosmetic purposes
  • Other cleaning uses
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Touchwood industries
  • Tulips
  • Unilever etc

Marketing strategy: The marketing strategy that can be implemented by your cotton buds making business is :

  • Sample promotion justifying the quality of cotton and safety involved in your cotton buds through certification claims etc.

  • Bulk and cash discounts to pharmacies, medical stores, healthcare facilities.

  • Advertising claims of organic production of cotton buds to curb marine pollution  and medically-safe justification through pop up ads on social media, online pharmacy sites etc.
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This cotton buds making business has the potential and has witnessed the following growth prospects

  • Firstly, the volume of the global cotton buds market is expected to rise at a CAGR of 3.4% between 2018-2026.

  • The growth of cotton buds made organically for environmental conscious have also contributed to the large scope of expansion in this business.

  • Moreover the increased use of cotton buds for infant safety in cleaning their ear, toes through cotton buds than clothes for hygiene concerns are also causing a growth in this industry.

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Profit margin

The profit margin which a cotton bud making business is likely to yield to you is

Rate or return55%
Break even50%


The business opportunity is as light but also as useful as a cotton bud and here’s why you should take it

  • The growth of cotton buds in areas besides ear hygiene like make ups, first aid kits, infant hygiene, miscellaneous purposes etc provides a major scope of expansion for this product.

  • Because of the labour and raw materials availability in bulk a FDI is also possible in your brand of cotton bud business and you can adhere to the global cotton bud needs.

  • The investment in terms of land and capital is very minimal and profit margin is more than just reasonable.

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