The Dos and Don'ts of Earwax Removal

The Dos and Don’ts of Earwax Removal

There’s a safe and correct way of cleaning your ears. You shouldn’t just go about it without knowing how to, even though this is what you’ve always done ever since you were a child.

Not to worry, though, it won’t take long to know the dos and don’ts of earwax removal. Here, we will share with you valuable tips so your ear will stay clean, healthy, and sharp from now on.

However, we’d also like to remind you that if you feel any pain, blockage, or other discomforts in your ear, it’s best that you consult a specialist to relieve and treat them completely.

The Dos of Ear Cleaning

Clean your outer ear

Clean your outer ear

Earwax builds up at the entrance to the ear canal, and this is all you have to clean. An easy way to do this is to wipe your outer ear with a soft cloth or tissue gently in a circular motion once or twice a week.

You can also use quality and nimble cotton swabs in the same way mentioned above. Use at least one for cleaning each ear.

By cleaning your outer ear regularly, you can prevent earwax from forming near your eardrum or blocking your ear canal. Furthermore, your ears will feel neat and sensitive to sounds.

Put baby oil on your ears

To soften the earwax and keep the passages smooth and slippery for them to come out of, you can put a drop or two of baby oil into your ears.

After that, simply massage your ear from the outside slowly before cleaning each side of your ear. The dirt should be easier to remove and clean—but only on the outer area.

Shower before removing earwax

Shower before removing earwax

It’s a good idea to take a warm shower first so your ears can get wet. However, we don’t recommend tilting your head in a way to make the water cascade into your ear.

Taking a warm shower also loosens up the earwax inside your ears and makes them fall off independently or easier to remove later on.

Visit your doctor

If you can’t hear well or feel chronic pain or ringing in your ears, you should visit a doctor soon.

Although this may be caused by persistent picking in your ear, this can indicate a more serious medical condition. A doctor can diagnose and treat it using the latest equipment and knowledge so that you can hear without a problem once again.

Also, don’t forget to bring your medical card if you have one, so that you’ll get a discount on the doctor’s fee.

The Don’ts of Ear Cleaning

Don’t use cotton swabs for cleaning deep within the ear

Cotton swabs can be used to clean the outer ring of the ear but not any deeper than that. Furthermore, sharp items like a hairpin or a metal spoon shouldn’t be used to clean your ear both on the surface or deeper within.

The reason is that these objects can puncture the ear canal, which can develop into an infection. And if the item is directed straight to the eardrum, your hearing can be severely damaged.

Another risk that comes with using a cotton swab or Q-tip is it can drive the earwax deeper. It can sit next to the eardrum, which then makes the task of earwax removal a lot harder.

Don’t use hydrogen peroxide

Don’t use hydrogen peroxide

Despite being used by many people to break up their earwax, you shouldn’t use hydrogen peroxide to clean your ears, especially if your eardrum has a hole in it, since it can only worsen this issue.

Hydrogen peroxide is quite a strong chemical to be applied directly to your ears. It’s strong enough to be used as an effective household cleaner, disinfectant, and even stain and fungi remover.

Avoid ear candling

Avoid ear candling

Ear candling is the practice whereby a candle is placed on top of your ear. The special or cone shape of the other side will sit on your ear, while the candle side is on top and is lit up.

It’s believed that the light will heat the wax, and this procedure should supposedly lift the earwax out of your ear. Besides that, the wax from the candle’s body shouldn’t drip into your ear.

Based on a study, not only is ear candling dangerous, since it can damage your ears, but it’s also ineffective. That’s why Omid Medizadeh, MD, an ENT specialist from Providence Saint John in Santa Monica, California, doesn’t recommend this method of cleaning your ears.

For a Comfortable Listening Experience