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Q-Tips Should Not Be Used to Clean Ears

Here's a Tip: Ditch the Q-Tips

The package of Q-tips plainly reads, "Do not insert swab into ear canal. Entering the ear canal could cause injury." Yet despite warnings written directly on the package as well as from doctors, a lot of people are still using cotton swabs — yup, I'm talking about you. In the future you may want to be careful or ditch them altogether, since Q-tips can severely damage your ear canal if pushed in too far. What's more? Along with potentially rupturing the membrane, the swab is likely to push wax deeper into the ear canal rather than removing it — even if a little shows up on the cotton.

Need more evidence? Daniel St-Pierre, 43. Coroner Jacques Ramsay found the man died of complications linked to an ear infection probably caused by the use of cotton swabs that pierced the eardrum. Even more? A boy who had been partially deaf for nine years was suddenly cured — when a cotton wool bud from a Q-tip popped out of his ear. Crazy, right? Point is, don't put a Q-tip in your ear, you'll be doing way more harm than good.

If you still feel like you need to clean out those ears, there are some tips for that so


According to WebMD, most people don't need to do any ear maintenance at all. Earwax slowly moves toward the opening of the ear canal and is sloughed off during daily routines and showers. If you want, you can take a washcloth and, using your finger, gently wash the opening of your ear.

If you're someone, like my best friend, who produces unusually large amounts of earwax and your ear canal keeps getting clogged, you may need to see your doctor occasionally to have it removed. Some people swear by ear candling, but the debate is still up on whether or not it even works.


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