Sound Solutions from Trusted, Caring Hearing Professionals

How to Safely Clean Your Ears

Woman Touching Ear

The human ear is an incredibly sophisticated system, but it can be quite vulnerable. Even the smallest of blockages can cause distorted hearing and conditions such as tinnitus. On a brighter note, cleaning them in the right fashion is enough to solve those problems.

Essentially, clean ears are happy ears. Here’s some top advice from our audiologists.

What not to do

Before thinking too much about the right approach to cleaning your ears, it’s imperative that you know what to avoid. Falling for those common mistakes could lead to far worse long-term damage. As well as causing major discomfort and the possible need for expensive treatments.

The three main methods to avoid are:  

  • Using cotton swabs to clean the ear. Given that they cover more than half of your ear canal, this will push the earwax and debris even deeper into the ear. Unfortunately, those negatives will outweigh the success of removing small parts.
  • Do not stick any other items like a hair pin into the ear canal. This can lead to infections while the threat of flimsy items breaking inside the ear canal should not be ignored either.
  • Never use ear candles. Audiologists encounter a lot of patients that have made things worse by doing this. Besides, there is no conclusive evidence to suggest this has any positive impact.  

How to successfully clean your ears

Firstly, you should know that a little earwax is necessary for healthy ears. Meanwhile, the ears are self-cleaning, which means the body will naturally push the excess wax and debris to the outer ear. For the most part, cleaning the inner ear is only required when noticeable problems occur. Cleaning the outer ear is the only daily routine you should consider. To do this, use a damp cloth after showering and be sure not to use too much pressure when scrubbing.

As for dealing with earwax and blockages, several steps can be taken. The first step is to try loosening the earwax with drops, which can be bought over the counter. Alternatively, baby oil and mineral oils can be used as a substitute. Tilt the head with the ear facing up and place a few drops (around five) into the ear. Keep your head in that position for a few minutes to let the oil work.

Repeat this process for five to seven days and then try washing the ear out with warm (not hot) water. Tilt your head to the side once again and then tilt it back the other way to let the water and earwax drain out. Hopefully, this will clean the blockage.

If this doesn’t work, an audiologist will be able to irrigate the ears with a syringe. While some people try to do this at home, seeing an expert is the best solution. Attempting to irrigate the ear when you suffer from a burst eardrum could bring major problems.

While there are no guarantees that this will solve your problems, removing earwax will fix a host of common hearing-related issues. Do not overlook its importance for a second.


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