Six things you should NOT do to clean ear wax

In this article, we will discuss six top things you should not do to clean ear wax yourself – and how to have it removed professionally if needed.

Earwax is a natural substance that helps protect the ear canal from infection and debris. It is produced by glands in the ear canal and normally dries up and falls out of the ear canal on its own. However, sometimes too much wax is produced, or it can become impacted and hard to remove.

1. Do not use cotton swabs, or sharp objects to clean your ear wax.

These can push the wax further into the ear canal and cause impaction.

We have actually found things in peoples earwax. If you find yourself sticking something in your ear to dig out the wax, STOP immediately. It is not only that you are more likely to pack down the wax, which makes it less likely to fall out on its own. If you use something small and pointy, you could damage your inner ear.

2. Do not try to remove earwax with your fingernails.

Your fingernails are not sterile and can actually introduce bacteria into the ear canal, which can lead to infection. In addition, scratching at your ear with your fingernails can damage the delicate skin in the ear canal.

Whilst your fingers aren’t small and sharp, they can still do more damage than good. Your ear canal is lined with fairly soft skin that can easily scratch.  If you have long nails, the risk is even higher. You could also introduce bacteria into your ear which could lead to an infection.

3. Do not use ear candles to clean ear wax.

Ear candles are often advertised as a way to remove earwax, but there is no evidence that they actually work.

Clean ear wax with ear candling, self applied

In fact, they can be dangerous because the hot wax can burn your skin or get pushed too far into the ear canal. There is no scientific proof that any of these home remedies are effective at removing earwax. In fact, they can actually cause irritation and damage to the delicate skin in the ear canal.

You may well read positive online reviews of these home remedies. But unless you have testing equipment, or can see into the ear canal, these “results” can only be called anecdotal.

4. Do not clean your ears with hydrogen peroxide or other chemicals.

Another method people try to to clean ear wax is with special substances. These can cause irritation and inflammation of the skin in the ear canal. In addition, using hydrogen peroxide can actually cause the wax to foam and become even more difficult to remove.

5. Do not use over-the-counter ear drops if you have a ruptured eardrum.

If you have a ruptured eardrum, any liquids that enter the middle ear can cause serious infections. At this point you are going to know you have a problem with your hearing.

Do not hesitate to call us and make an appointment straight away. We are usually able to see you very quickly. Once we use the proper equipment to look into your ears we will be able to know straight away how serious, or not, the problem is.

We know it’s “only your ears”, but self-prescribing medical treatment is never usually a good course of action to take.

6. Do not try to remove earwax with a hair dryer.

The heat from the hair dryer can actually cause the wax to become more impacted and difficult to remove. In addition, it can be dangerous to put anything near your ear that is producing heat. Let alone the possible damage you can do to your hearing with that much noise!

You may not believe anyone does this but try Googling it. Use this link,, it’s quite amusing to watch too…

So what should you do to clean ear wax?

Do not prolong the agony. You should not be cautious about your health. Mild hearing loss because of ear wax may not feel important, but it might be a symptom of something worse.

Come and see us and we will use professional, sterilised equipment and decades of experience to properly look into your ears.

You will not have to worry about anything We will give you a risk-free solution. If it is just earwax we will safely remove it. If there is any other issue, we will fully explain it and talk about options.

Don’t suffer in silence, we can clean ear wax, properly, quickly and above all safely, make an appointment now.

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