Busting Ear-Cleaning Myths: Mistakes to Avoid

When it comes to personal hygiene, keeping our ears clean is definitely a task we all should undertake. However, it’s also one that requires a little bit of know-how to avoid ear cleaning mistakes. This is especially true if you have hearing issues. For years, people have been following certain cleaning habits. These habits, instead of doing good, might actually harm the health of our ears.

The internet has misled us into thinking that, from cotton swabs to even using certain oils, are effective methods of cleaning. In this article, we’re going to debunk some ear-cleaning myths and point out the worst mistakes you can make.

Say “No” to Cotton Swabs

People commonly use cotton swabs, also known as Q-tips, as a household item for cleaning ears. However, the design is only for external use and not for cleaning inside your ear canal. Due to the shape and size of the Q-tip, it often pushes earwax further down the canal. This can ultimately lead to compacting the wax, causing blockages and potential damage to the eardrum.

Classic ear cleaning mistakes include cotton swabs
Cotton Swab head extracted from a patient

Steer Clear of Ear Candles

Ear candling is a process where a lit, cone-shaped candle is placed into the ear canal. Supporters of ear candling say the practice can help clear unwanted debris and wax from inside the ear. However, the medical community has soundly rejected ear candling and the claims about its effectiveness in cleaning ears. In fact, the practice poses a significant risk of serious burns, eardrum puncture, and ear canal obstruction.

Don’t Overdo It with Ear Drops

Ear drops designed to clean ears do exist, but you should use them with caution. You should primarily use them for loosening hardened wax or for helping your ears deal with moisture build-up. You should use only a few drops at a time and not exceed the recommended amount on the packaging. Also, if you feel a burning sensation in your ear, stop using them immediately and contact an audiologist.

Don’t Pick and Scratch Your Ears

While it may be tempting to clean your ears using your fingers or small objects like tweezers or hairpins. You might actually create to a whole host of problems. Firstly, your nails and tweezers may damage your ear canal and eardrum and secondly, lead to the transmission of bacteria. When you scratch your ears, you’re creating a path for germs or bacteria to enter your body. This can disrupt your inner ear’s delicate balance, causing infection.

Ear Cleaning Mistakes – Stop Believing The Myths

Many people believe that daily cleaning of their ears is essential. However, there is no need to clean your ears daily if you’re following correct hygiene protocols. By using the wrong tools to clean the ears, you can accidentally damage the delicate structures within the ear. This could create other problems. So, we recommend that you consult an expert if you’re facing any hearing issues. They can also help with better information about cleansing your ears.


As we’ve learned, ear cleaning must be done in moderation. Additionally, only with the right tools and techniques. Instead of making the ear cleaning mistakes, it’s essential to consult an audiologist if you have hearing issues. It’s important to understand that each ear is unique in terms of its cleaning needs. As such each ear should be handled with care accordingly. If you have further question or need guidance, make to sure to book an appointment with us!

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