Where I live, we can no longer buy cotton buds with plastic sticks, they are basically banned to try to keep the plastic out of the environment.
However, the replacement version with a rolled-paper stick are simply not fit-for-purpose. The stick is not stiff enough even before it gets wet. Once damp from the hands penetrates the paper, it has the structural integrity of cotton-wool.
So, I need a Lifehack to make the paper sticks take-on the stiffness that was normal with plastic sticks. I'm thinking some kind of tube or rod that I can temporarily add to the stick then remove and use the next day - but I'm open to off-the-wall solutions if they will achieve it quicker/easier.