I've used swabs to grab prints (sterlized swabs from a medical manufacturer), they were fucking contaminated. My whole damn supply. They used to be used for actual medical procedures, but not anymore.
I prefer making my own swabs with q-tips, foil, and a jar.
Tried my trusty innoculation loop set from my school days, almost as bad of luck as medical swabs. (still use loops to grab from my slants though).
Most consistency for me is a scalpel and a print.