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Whether your music doesn’t sound quite as loud, or you’re noticing excess wax on your earbuds, it might be time to clean your ears. But if you’re wondering how to clean your ears the correct way — and the best tools and products to use — you’ve come to the right place. Here’s what you should know to do it safely (including why you might want to put down that cotton swab). Put simply, stick to the outside of your ears only.
How to Clean Your Ears
The topic of cleaning your ears has elicited a great debate. Many experts strongly suggest avoiding the inner part of your ears so you don’t damage your eardrum, or worse. However, that doesn’t mean you should never clean your ears. In fact, there can be benefits to doing so sparingly when you use the proper products and method.
When Should You Clean Your Ears?
First, you should talk with a medical professional or doctor about how to properly clean your ears, especially if you think you might have an ear infection or clogged ears.
Ultimately, the production of earwax assists with keeping our ears clean, meaning you should only remove it on your own when you feel that there’s an excessive amount. For example, maybe you’ve noticed the music you’re listening to sounds muffled, or perhaps some earwax finds its way on one or both of your headphones after you’ve taken them out. It’s important to note, however, that when the time comes to clean your ears, focus on the outside of your ears, and don’t go inside your ear canal to avoid damage.
As we previously mentioned, Q-Tips and other sharp or pointy objects don’t belong anywhere near your inner ear. Ear candles are especially dangerous. If you’re concerned you may have excessive earwax and don’t feel comfortable handling it yourself, make sure you consult a medical expert. They can examine your ear and make a recommendation based on your situation.
The Best Ear-Cleaning Products to Use at Home
Below are some products that are safe to use when cleaning the outsides of your ears at home.
1. Debrox Earwax Removal Drops
Over-the-counter kits like this one are safe and effective at removing excessive ear wax. The alcohol-free, carbamide peroxide solution will help soften the earwax so that it’s easier to remove. Simply lay on your side, with the ear you’re cleaning facing up and add the drops. You’ll have to allow the solution to sit in your ear for a few minutes before the earwax is soft enough to remove. Make sure you have a tissue ready for when you sit up to keep the solution and loosened wax from falling on you or the floor.
2. Swan Mineral Oil
Mineral oil has a number of benefits, but did you also know you can use it to help clean your ears? Not only will it help soften any nagging wax, but it will lubricate your ear and keep any moisture locked in so the skin doesn’t get dry or irritated.
3. Puffs Plus Lotion Tissues
These tissues feel cushiony, making them ideal to use when cleaning excess earwax out of your ear. The gentle lotion not only feels soft to the touch, but helps lock in moisture in your ear. Combine this with a dab of the mineral oil for the ultimate lubricating experience.