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Cotton Wool


Cotton Wool

High quality consumer cotton wool products have been central to Robinson Healthcare’s manufacturing philosophy for over 50 years. Today’s products - Soft & Pure and Cottontails - offer superior levels of product quality for the cosmetic and babycare markets respectively, whilst Robinson Healthcare also manufactures own brand products for a number of household name retailers.

Environmentally Friendly

Cotton Wool Brand Logos

When converted into finished product, cotton wool consumes large volumes of space. Importing finished products from overseas  consumes more fuel, as many more container and trailer loads are required compared to shipping raw material.

Robinson Healthcare offers a green, environmentally friendly alternative, as all manufacturing is at the company’s facility in Worksop, Nottinghamshire; the only facility of its kind in the UK. Compacted bales of high quality raw material (cotton) are converted to finished product as required. This drastically reduces the “cotton wool miles”, as the voluminous soft and fluffy finished bags of cotton wool are only transported comparatively short distances within the UK.


Kind and Gentle to the Skin


Cotton wool is designed for use directly on the skin. It is therefore vitally important that it is kind and gentle to even the most delicate of skin. To ensure this, Robinson Healthcare cotton wool is manufactured to the same stringent standards as medical grade absorbents - detailed in the British Pharmacopoeia - in a facility that is independently audited by the British Standards Institution and the British Retail Consortium for conformance to quality systems.

Raw materials and finished product regularly undergo microbiological testing to ensure that they comply with the company’s stringent requirements for low microbial count. Finished product also regularly goes through the same laboratory tests to maintain quality. The product also passes through multiple stages of metal detection, including end of line, to ensure zero contamination by metal. The manufacturing facility is enclosed to prevent insect contamination and has insectocutors for added protection.


Setting the Standard – On Time

The table below illustrates the excellent technical performance of Robinson Healthcare cotton wool products.

This care and attention to detail proudly places Robinson Healthcare ahead of other cotton wool suppliers, setting the standard that others seek to emulate. But standards don’t end with quality. Thanks to UK manufacturing and excellent raw material stock levels, Robinson Healthcare also excels in customer service, responding quickly to changes in customer demand. Product is delivered on time - every time!


Setting the Standards for Quality Cotton Wool 

>> Click here to view a printer friendly version of the table below


Performance Standard

Medical Grade Benchmark

 Why is it Important?

Robinson Healthcare Product


Absorbency (g/g)

Min 23g/g

High absorbency is essential, otherwise cotton wool does not work effectively, absorbing liquids, creams or when cleansing.



Sinking Time (seconds)

10 secs maximum

Cotton wool must also be able to absorb fluids very quickly in order to perform effectively.

< 5 secs


Ave Fibre Length

Not less than 10mm

Fibre length can indicate the quality of cotton wool. Short fibre length can weaken the cotton wool and can cause it to shed dust.

> 10mm



As European Pharmacopoeia sample

Neps are microscopic balls of entangled cotton fibres. A high number makes the cotton wool look dirty and feel grity

In accordance with


Pharmacopoeia (EP)


Trash Content

Traces only

Trash is contaminants such as natural leaf, stalk, husk and cotton seed. This can scratch delicate skin and make the product look dirty.

Traces only


pH Level

Neither strongly acidic or alkaline

To prevent potential skin irritation, the pH level should be within neutral limits, making the cotton wool mild to the skin. Acidic or Alkaline pH levels can be found in poorly processed cotton.

Within neutral limits of pH 5-8


Surface Active Agents


Max 2mm of froth when cotton ball agitated in water

Usually the result of poor bleaching & processing, surface active agents can cause skin irritation. They should be eliminated if possible because cotton wool is used on the face, or babies skin.




Acceptable softness

Micronaire indicates cotton thickness. Thick fibres give the cotton wool a coarse feel in use. A reading of 5 or less can be considered acceptable.




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