4 Best Ways to Clean Ears

Best ways to clean ears

When, Why, and How to Clean Your Ears

To keep your ears healthy, you need regularly clean them out of wax, dirt, and other contaminants. To eliminate buildup and avoid infection, it may be necessary to use a mild cleaning agent, a soft cloth, or a cotton swab (for the outer ear alone). Generally speaking, it’s best to let the ear naturally clear itself because the ear canal creates a self-clearing wax.

best ways to clean ear
Photo by Sam on Unsplash

Best Ways to Clean Ears

1. Using Cotton Swabs

Although there are different ways to clean your ears, doing so is necessary for keeping good ear health. When used to clean the inner ear canal, cotton swabs (also known as Q-tips) can push wax deeper into the ear, leading to impaction and possibly inflicting damage to the eardrum. Cotton swabs are frequently used to clean the outer ear.


Efficient at cleaning ear canals and other difficult-to-reach places. They are useful for putting on and taking off makeup or other cosmetics. Cheap and widely accessible. They can be used for a variety of personal hygiene and housekeeping duties.

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Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash


Misuse can result in harm, such as tearing the eardrum or irritating the user. They add to plastic trash, making them unfriendly to the environment. They can force earwax deeper into the ear canal, causing obstructions or ear injury. Cleaning the inside of the nose or other delicate areas is not advised.

Healthcare experts do not advise using ear candles. The effectiveness of ear candles is not supported by scientific research, and using them can result in serious injuries, such as burns, eardrum perforation, and other negative effects.

Avoid putting anything inside the ear canal and instead lightly wipe the outer ear with a washcloth or cotton ball to get the greatest results while cleaning your ears. To find out the cause and the best course of action if you have symptoms like pain, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), hearing loss, or discharge, you should consult a physician or an audiologist.

2. Ear Drops

Ear drops are a type of medication that is administered directly into the ear canal. They are an effective way to deliver medication directly to the affected area and can alleviate symptoms quickly. However, ear drops can also cause irritation, discomfort, or injury if not used properly.

3. Hydrogen Peroxide

It is a chemical compound composed of hydrogen and oxygen atoms (H2O2). It is commonly used as a disinfectant, antiseptic, and bleaching agent. In terms of ear health, hydrogen peroxide is sometimes used as an ear-cleaning solution, as it can help dissolve ear wax and remove impurities from the ear canal.

However, it is important to use hydrogen peroxide for ear cleaning with caution, as it can cause irritation or damage to the ear if used improperly. Some people may experience stinging, burning, or discomfort when using hydrogen peroxide in the ear. It is also important to dilute the hydrogen peroxide with water before use, as undiluted hydrogen peroxide can be too strong and cause further irritation or damage.

A healthcare professional can help determine whether hydrogen peroxide is the right option for you based on your specific ear health needs.

4. Ear Syringe

A tool called an ear syringe is used to clean up the ear canal. It usually looks like a bulb or a small container with a nozzle and is made of plastic. To remove contaminants from the ear canal, such as wax buildup, the syringe is filled with a mild cleaning solution or warm water.

Healthcare experts, such as audiologists or nurse practitioners, frequently do ear syringing. It is frequently advised for those who have an excessive buildup of wax in their ears that is resulting in symptoms like pain, hearing loss, ringing (tinnitus), or discharge. This condition is known as ceruminosis or ear wax impaction.

Advantages of using an ear syringe

  1. Effective: Ear syringing may be a useful technique for clearing the ear canal of extra wax or other debris.
  2. Quick: The operation can typically be finished in only one appointment with a healthcare provider.
  3. Reduced discomfort: Using warm water or a mild cleaning solution can help make the procedure less painful.
  4. Hearing is improved when excess earwax is removed, and symptoms like tinnitus and pain are also lessened.

Drawbacks of using an ear syringe

  1. Injury risk: If improperly performed, ear syringing might harm the eardrum or ear canal, which can result in additional problems.
  2. Risk of infection: If an ear syringe is used improperly or if the equipment is not adequately disinfected, the risk of infection may increase.
  3. Not appropriate for everyone People with a history of ear infections, perforated eardrums, or other ear-related diseases may not be candidates for ear syringing.
  4. Not all earwax will be removed: In some instances, ear syringing might not be able to completely remove the wax, and additional care could be required.

It is crucial to remember that ear syringing should never be tried at home and should only be done by a medical professional. When an ear syringe is used incorrectly, it might harm the eardrum and ear canal, creating more problems. It is advisable to contact a doctor or an audiologist for a proper evaluation and treatment if you have symptoms like pain, hearing loss, ringing in the ears, or discharge.

A Bulb syringe consists of a rubber bulb attached to a long, narrow tube. It is generally not recommended to use a bulb syringe for ear cleaning. The ear is a delicate organ, and inserting anything into the ear canal can be risky and may cause damage. Additionally, the pressure generated by the suction of a bulb syringe can potentially cause harm to the eardrum or other structures within the ear.

A buildup of earwax in the ear canal that blocks the ear canal is known as an ear wax impaction, and it can result in several symptoms including discomfort, hearing loss, tinnitus, dizziness, and ear infections. A medical expert can identify earwax impaction and suggest risk-free, efficient ways to remove it. Cerumen impaction refers to a buildup of earwax (cerumen) in the ear canal that obstructs the passage of sound waves and can cause symptoms such as hearing loss, tinnitus, ear pain, or itching.

Treatment for cerumen impaction typically involves softening the earwax with ear drops or other solutions and then removing it with gentle irrigation or suction performed by a medical professional. It is not recommended to attempt to remove earwax at home, as this can lead to further problems or injury. Muffled hearing: When sounds are muddled or muted, it’s as if you’re hearing them through a wall or underwater. One or both ears may be affected by muddled hearing, which may be momentary or permanent.

In conclusion, wiping the outside of your ears gently with a washcloth or cotton ball is the safest and most efficient approach to cleaning them. The use of ear candles or cotton swabs in the ear canal is best avoided.

What Causes Ear Wax?

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best way to clean ears Photo by cheng feng on Unsplash

Cerumen, also known as earwax, is the substance that makes us feel tempted to clean our ears. Its production by your body is natural and actually aids in lubricating and protecting your ears. It’s likely that your ears would be scratchy and dry if earwax weren’t there.

Ear Canal

The ear canal is a small, tube-shaped structure that connects the middle ear to the outer ear. It is in charge of moving sound from the outer ear to the eardrum and finally to the inner ear. The skin-lined ear canal is a naturally self-cleaning, a natural cleanser, and produces cerumen (also called ear wax) a waxy substance that aids in ear protection and traps foreign objects.

But occasionally, the wax can accumulate and result in blockages or impactions, which can cause discomfort, hearing loss, tinnitus, or discharge, or cause ear infection. A medical practitioner will have to remove an earwax blockage that was the cause of the patient’s hearing loss and complaints of ear pain.

Outer Ear

The term “outer ear” refers to the visible portion of the ear, including the ear canal and pinna, that is located outside of the head. Sound waves are gathered by the pinna and directed into the ear canal, where they are subsequently transmitted to the eardrum. The outer ear is less sensitive than the inner ear and is made of cartilage and skin.

It is normally acceptable to use a soft cloth, wet washcloth, or cotton ball to clean the outer ear because doing so can help keep your ears clean and free of contaminants. The insertion of things into the ear canal, such as cotton swabs, should be avoided since it may result in damage or impactions, it would be a bad idea.

It’s Crucial to Clean Your Ears for a Number of Reasons:

1) Prevention of Ear Infections: Routine ear cleaning can assist get rid of debris and stop infections.

2) Maintaining Good Hearing: Wax buildup in the ear canal can affect hearing, thus cleaning the ears on a regular basis can help maintain good hearing health.

3) Relieving Ear Pain: Impactions or obstructions in the ear canal can hurt or be uncomfortable. These symptoms may be prevented when one gently cleans the ears.

4) Preventing Ear Damage: The eardrum can be injured and damaged if cotton swabs or other things are used excessively to clean the inside of the ear canal. The suggested way for cleaning ears is to use a soft cloth or cotton ball to clean the outer ear.


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