Table of Contents Show
Earwax is a natural thing that is present in the ears. Earwax1 is usually not harmful, but when our ears produce more than it is supposed to, then it becomes problematic. There are different ways to clean earwax. We are going to discuss the best way to clean your ears.
But before that, we will discuss the benefits of earwax and when it is necessary to clean them. The best way to clean ears is by using oils to extract the excess earwax if needed.
1. What is Earwax?
Earwax is usually produced by humans, which is a good thing as it works as a protection of eardrums2 from dust or small insects. Earwax is produced by our ears to protect themselves. It is secreted by our skin glands lined out in the outer part of our ear canals.
As a natural phenomenon, the wax that our ears produce automatically dries out and falls out of our ears in a flaky manner with any dust it traps. Earwax is not a wax, and it got its name from its sticky texture.
2. When Does Cleaning Ears Becomes Necessary?
Earwax is always produced in the ears’ outer section, and it is never formed in the inside or deep part of the eardrums. Some people have habits of inserting cotton swabs or something sharp to clean their ears. So if this usually is not done correctly, then it can cause serious problems.
We will be discussing the best way to clean ears, but first, we need to know some facts and necessary information on earwax buildup. Some problems like pushing the earwax into the deeper part of our ear canal can cause serious consequences. Due to this type of practice, people can cause problems like:-
- Infection in Ear
- Hearing Loss
- Itchiness in Ears
- Ringing in The Ear
2.1 What Is Earwax Buildup?
When our glands make more earwax than it is supposed to, it may get hard and possibly block the ear. When people clean their ears, they can somehow push the wax deeper, which results in blockage. Earwax buildup is also a principal reason for temporary hearing loss.
People should be extra careful when trying to treat earwax buildup using home remedies. It is also advisable to visit a doctor to get proper treatments. The treatments are generally quick and not painful, and people’s hearing issues can be fully healed.
Causes of earwax buildup can be:
- Earwax buildup can be caused by using bobby pins, cotton swabs, or any other sharp objects to clean ears. This only causes harm and pushes the wax deeper.
- Using earphones or hearing aids for an extended period of time can also cause earwax buildup.
3. The Best Way to Clean Ears
We all know clearing the ears becomes necessary if we face any hearing difficulties. Cleaning out the excess wax is the best way to stay away from earwax buildup. Some of the best ways to clean ears are:
3.1 Using a Damp Cloth
Using a damp cloth is the best way to clean your ears from the outside. If your ears are not causing many hearing problems, then this is the best way to keep the outer part of your ears clean and hygienic.
3.2 Using Oil
Using oil is the most preferable and best way to clean ears. Earwax is a sticky substance that can be easily extracted by using any oil. Not all oils work in this process, and some particular oils can exfoliate the ear wax:
- Coconut oil
- Mineral oil
- Baby oil
- First, warm the oil your choosing avoid using a microwave to heat the oil.
- Use of dropper to pick the required drops of baby oil.
- Tilt your head to one side and put a few drops of oil inside your ear.
- Stay in this position for approximately five to seven minutes for the best results.
- Repeat the process one or two times per day.
3.3 Using Baking Soda
This is also the best way to clean ears in this list. Baking soda4 is readily available in the market and a good substitute if you don’t have baby oil.
- First, mix 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in 60 ml of water which is warm.
- Use a dropper to pick the required amount of solution.
- Tilt your head to one side and put approximately five to ten drops of the solution inside the ear. Always pour one drop at a time.
- Please wait for an hour with the solution inside your ear, and then flush it with water.
- Try doing this once a day unless you feel like the earwax is clearing up. It usually works within a couple of days.
Precaution: Avoid doing this for more than two weeks.
3.4 Ear Irrigation
Another underrated and best way to clean ears is this ear irrigation5. There are some precautions to keep in mind, too, before trying this process:
- Buy a soft rubber syringe that is mainly made for ear cleaning.
- Fill the rubber syringe fully with warm water.
- Tilt your head entirely to your side and keep a thick towel or basin below the ear.
- Softly squeeze the bulb, which will pour the warm water into the ear.
- Then keep the water for few minutes inside the ear.
- Then let the water run down in the basin or the towel you will be using and dry your ears.
You can see the particles which will flow out with the help of the warm water. Try this process after trying any of the lists mentioned above of the best way to clean ears. Do this two to three times a day for some days.
This may be the best way to clean your ears, but we highly suggest consulting a doctor before or while trying this method. Usually, doctors first check your ears with an instrument called an otoscope6 to make sure that the problem is not so serious.
- Don’t try this method if you have a weak immune system, a damaged eardrum, or tubes in the ear.
- If there is an infection inside your ear canal, we recommend not trying this method.
- Another thing to always keep in mind is to consult a doctor, especially if you are unsure why the hearing problem you are facing.
3.5 Earwax Softening/ Removing Drops
Another effective and best way to clean ears is using ear wax removal drops. These are readily available in medical shops. This is the best method if you are unsure if you should try the methods mentioned above. They are ready-made with substances like hydrogen peroxide7, baby oils, glycerine, or Mineral oil.
In these drops’ packets, the specified number of drops you should put in your ears is given. Use the drops as instructed on the package to get the best results.
4. Things to Totally Avoid
Some things to keep in mind besides cleaning your ears are essential. Some of the most important things to avoid are:
4.1 Ear Candles
There are no benefits to using ear candles to clean ears. In fact, serious problems can occur, which can be extremely harmful to people. The US FDA issued a serious warning for people trying ear candles to soften the wax inside their ears. This is not the best way to clean your ears.
The people who tried this method earlier reported some major problems:
- blockage in the ear canal, which resulted in surgeries
- severe burns inside the ear
- damaged eardrums
- Burns in the face, inner ear, and even outer part of the ear
- hearing loss
- catching Fire.
4.2 Inserting Anything Inside the Ears
Another not-best way to clean ears is this method. This is also a significant step to keep in mind before cleaning your ears. Never use anything sharp to remove excess earwax.
Using bobby pins, napkin sides, or even cotton swabs can cause major issues. Cotton swabs are made to be used for cleaning only the outer ears.
If these objects are inserted inside the ears, then they can push the ear wax even deeper. If the wax is pushed even further, then people can go through hearing problems or infections inside the ears.
Also, avoid using earphones for a long period of time to avoid any earwax blockage; besides everything discussed here, we highly recommend seeing a doctor before actually trying any of the methods. Usually, we don’t need to clean our earwax on a daily basis.
Ear waxes are essential and necessary to keep our ears safe and clean. Using cotton swabs or anything unnecessary to clean ears can only make an existing problem even worse. There are plenty of hearing tests that people can try to check if there are any severe problems or not.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is It Okay to Clean Ears Using Ear Candles?
Ear candles should not be used, my friend. They not only ineffectively clear earwax but also have the potential to seriously harm your ear canal. It’s advisable to stay away from them entirely and use more dependable techniques.
2. How Frequently Should I Wash My Ears?
Cleaning your ears is not necessary every day. Extra earwax typically migrates out on its own because your ears are fairly good at taking care of themselves. However, it could be time to give your ears some TLC if you notice a wax buildup or have hearing issues.
3. Should I Visit a Doctor First to Have My Ears Cleaned?
It’s always better to consult your doctor before attempting to clean your ears if you have a history of ear issues, such as ear infections or a perforated eardrum. They can advise you on the most effective and secure technique to clean your ears.
- Hain, Timothy C. “Earwax.” (2007). ↩︎
- Fay, Jonathan P., Sunil Puria, and Charles R. Steele. “The discordant eardrum.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 103.52 (2006): 19743-19748. ↩︎
- Hanger, H. C., and G. P. Mulley. “Cerumen: its fascination and clinical importance: a review.” Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 85.6 (1992): 346. ↩︎
- Lansky, Vicki. Baking Soda: Over 500 Fabulous, Fun, and Frugal Uses You’ve Probably Never Thought of. Book Peddlers, 2009. ↩︎
- Hayter, Karen L. “Listen up for safe ear irrigation.” Nursing2022 46.6 (2016): 62-65. ↩︎
- Cole, Lynette K. “Otoscopic evaluation of the ear canal.” Veterinary Clinics: Small Animal Practice 34.2 (2004): 397-410. ↩︎
- Winterbourn, Christine C. “The biological chemistry of hydrogen peroxide.” Methods in enzymology 528 (2013): 3-25. ↩︎