Unlock new offers at our Endless Summer Event!

The dos and don'ts of ear cleaning

Last update on Nov, 13, 2022
woman brushing her teeth

How often do you think about cleaning your ears? You might wash your face or brush your teeth every day but cleaning your ears may not be as high of a priority. 

 If you do decide to clean your ears, it’s important that you’re doing it the right way so that you’re not damaging the parts of your ear that are essential for helping you hear. Learn more about when to clean your ears, the best methods for cleaning your ears and what can go wrong when you use the wrong tools.  

How often should you be cleaning your ears?

Unlike most parts of the body, your ears don’t have to be cleaned too often. In fact, you don’t have to worry about maintaining your ears much at all since they are self-cleaning. The ear wax that is produced in your ears makes its way out on its own with time. While having ear wax in your ears might sometimes be perceived as unsanitary, it’s actually a sign that your ears are perfectly healthy. Ear wax naturally moisturizes your ears, traps dust and dirt, and prevents harmful bacteria from reaching the inside of your ear.

While most people shouldn’t have to worry about cleaning their ears, some people’s ears produce more than the normal amount of ear wax or have earwax that is too hard. Having too much ear wax can also affect your hearing by blocking the ear canal and preventing sound waves from coming through. In this case, getting your ears cleaned is the best way to improve your hearing.

What to do when you need to get your ears cleaned

If you suspect that you have an excessive amount of ear wax in your ears, you can get your ears checked by a hearing care professional. Hearing care professionals such as ENT doctors and audiologists can examine your ears to see if ear wax blockage is causing your hearing loss. Book an appointment wiht a hearing care specialist at your local Miracle-Ear Hearing Center to get your ears checked today. 

Find a Miracle-Ear Hearing Center near you

Find your store

Once you have determined that you have too much ear wax, the best way to get your ears cleaned is by having your health care provider do it for you. A trained medical specialist will know the proper way to clean your ears and removing the wax on your own can potentially harm your hearing. Your health care provider may either flush out the wax or use a small, curved tool to remove the wax from your ears. Some over-the-counter ear cleaning remedies like ear drops are available for purchase, but they should only be used at the recommendation of your health care provider.

What to avoid when cleaning your ears

It can be hard to resist the urge to remove the wax from your ears, but you shouldn’t use any available object to clean your ears. Using the wrong tools to clean your ears can damage your middle and inner ear and cause hearing loss. Some tools include:

Although cotton swabs are commonly used to dig out excessive ear wax, they may actually end up doing more harm than good. Cotton swabs can push ear wax further into your ear and make it harder to remove. Plus, cotton swabs can damage the ear drums and cause painful ear infections to form. You can use cotton swabs to clean around your ears, but be sure to avoid using them to clean inside the ear canal.

Bobby pins may appear skinny enough to fit in your ears, but they are not meant to be used as ear cleaning devices. Stick to using your bobby pins to keep your hairstyles intact.

When it comes to keeping your ears clean, it’s important to keep your hands to yourself. Using your fingers to itch your ears or dig out any excessive ear wax can push the wax further and lead to hearing problems.

Ear candling has become a popular solution for removing ear wax over the years, but it is not a safe or proven method. In fact, ear candling can actually lead to serious injuries and even increase the risk of hearing loss.
HCP at store

Care for your ears

One of the best ways to care for your ears and prevent hearing loss is to get them properly examined by a hearing professional. Find your nearest Miracle-Ear store to get started on your journey to better hearing.

More from the blog

Discover a world of sounds.
View all

Get support and advice

Book an appointment online

Book now

Take a free online hearing test

Start test

Find a hearing aid center near you

Search now