Product Materials

Puritan uses only the finest materials to provide the highest-quality products in the market today. Explore the following descriptions of many—but not all—of the materials we use in swabs for healthcare, diagnostics, forensics, controlled environments, and food processing.

Puritan HydraFlock® vs. PurFlock Ultra® Flocked Swabs


"Flocking" is the process of applying short fibers to an adhesive coated surface.

In the case of flocked swabs, adhering these short fibers to a swab handle produces a soft, brush-like tip.

Designed specifically for the collection and release of biological specimens, HydraFlock® flocked swabs provide higher absorption capacity and release than standard nylon flock swabs. Intended for the collection of biological specimens, HydraFlock® flocked swabs take PurFlock Ultra one step higher through a special process that blossoms the end of each fiber, multiplying the surface area of the tip. The result is even higher absorption capacity with complete elution, more so than standard nylon flock swabs.

Ultimate purity and efficient cell release characteristics make PurFlock Ultra® flocked swabs ideal for PCR, molecular assays, rapid tests and forensic applications. These tips are made with multi-length polyester fibers for optimum performance that exceeds that of nylon flock swabs.


Australia (AU)

Canada (CA)

China (CN)

Germany (DE)

European (EP)

Spain (ES)

France (FR)

Great Britain (GB)

Hong Kong (HK)

Italy (IT)

Japan (JP)

United States (US)

PurFlock Ultra












8.420.385 9.274.029












5453530 6054277

8.334.134 9.279.747

Patent Pending

United States (US)

PurFlock Ultra




Puritan Flock vs. Others

HydraFlock® + Purflock Ultra®

Polyester Flock

Highest Performing Collection and Elution

NO fiber treatment + pure specimen collection

Made in the USA


Nylon Flock

Inferior specimen absorption and release

Yellow coloring = treated or coated


A Tip Material for Every Need


Puritan® brand cotton tipped applicators have been recognized as the gold standard since 1960. We use only US pharmaceutical-grade spun cotton fiber, the familiar material commonly used in basic patient care, industrial cleaning, and even crime scene investigation. Very absorbent, soft, low cost, and safe, cotton-tipped applicators perform consistently and reliably. Puritan purchases only the finest grade USP cotton in bales. We then card the fiber to our specifications to assure consistent quality.


Polyester tipped applicators for diagnostics utilize a synthetic spun fiber originally known as Dacron®, a DuPont brand name, but now manufactured by others as a generic material. Polyester fiber has been validated for specimen collection in microbiology, rapid test diagnostics, and PCR analysis. This non-absorbent material has excellent collection and release properties. Puritan purchases only the finest-grade spun-polyester fiber in bales, and we card the fiber ourselves.


Rayon is a spun fiber made from wood pulp. Like cotton, rayon is soft, absorbent and an economical choice for applications where a synthetic material is needed – like for specimen collection. While produced from natural material, the manufacturing process eliminates any components that may damage the specimen or interfere with transport and/or processing. Puritan purchases only the finest-grade spun rayon fiber in bales, and we card the fiber ourselves to assure quality that’s up to Puritan standards.


Non-linting medical-grade polyurethane foam tipped applicators are commonly used for industrial cleaning but are also widely accepted in healthcare and diagnostics. Puritan specifies the thickness, width, and porosity of the material purchased from a US manufacturer for use in our controlled environment and medical device products. Unique properties can be specified as needed: hydrophilic being very absorbent, hydrophobic being nonabsorbent, chemical resistant - or even a color other than white – your application will determine which foam characteristics will work best.

Knitted Polyester

Fabric-tipped applicators are low-lint, low particulate cleaning tools. Using these tips, made from a woven polyester fabric and commonly constructed without soluble adhesives, assures the cleanliness of process required for your controlled environment. Puritan sources fabric directly so they meet our exacting specification.

Calcium Alginate

Calcium alginate, and organic material derived from seaweed, is used to make our Calgiswab® applicators. Biodegradable and suitable for wound care and STD testing, Calcium alginate contains no fatty acids that may be inhibitory to many strains of gonorrhea. Any fibers that remain after treatment or testing will dissolve and be eliminated harmlessly. Puritan offers Calgiswab® swabs in standard tip sizes on wood, plastic or wire.


The ultimate tipped applicator, short synthetic fibers applied to the adhesive-coated surface of a synthetic handle tip are known as “flocked swabs”. Puritan's US made patented HydraFlock® and PurFlock Ultra® applicators bring you optimum collection and release properties in this industry favorite applicator style. Designed for diagnostic applications, the unique microstructure and exclusive proprietary multi-length fibers of our flocked swabs ensure rapid absorption and complete elution of biological specimens.

Handle Materials

Puritan utilizes a variety of handle materials for different applications. These include wood, medical grade resins such as polystyrene and polypropylene, paper, aluminum and other specialty materials.

Properties such as flexibility or stiffness, chemical resistance or anti-static, hollow or solid are among those found in the Puritan line. Standard lengths are between 3" and 6".

Pre-molded or custom break points and other special features are available.





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