How To Clean Your Ears Safely

cleaning ears

Keeping your ears clean is an important part of staying healthy. Sometimes, people don’t know the best way to clean their ears, which can lead to problems. In this guide, we will discuss why ear hygiene is important and clear up some common misunderstandings.

Understanding Earwax

Ever spot that yellowish stuff in your ears? That’s earwax, or as it’s fancily known, cerumen. It may not be the prettiest sight, but hey, it’s a real superhero for your ears! Earwax acts like a sticky shield, catching dirt, dust, and even pesky little bugs trying to sneak in.

What Is Earwax?

Earwax is a natural substance produced by our bodies to keep our ears clean and healthy. It is made up of a combination of secretions from specialized glands in the outer ear canal and dead skin cells. This sticky substance coats the walls of the ear canal, trapping dirt, dust, and other particles that may enter our ears.

Benefits of Earwax

  • Cerumen (earwax) acts as a barrier: It traps dust, debris, and even small insects before they can enter the deeper ear canal, potentially causing irritation or damage.
  • Earwax maintains lubrication: It possesses a natural humectant quality, preventing the delicate ear canal skin from drying and cracking.
  • Antimicrobial properties: Earwax contains lysozyme and other enzymes that inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi, promoting a healthy ear environment.

When Earwax Becomes A Problem

While the ear canal is self-cleaning, under certain circumstances, cerumen (earwax) can become problematic. This can occur due to excessive production, altered cerumen composition, or difficulty with natural expulsion mechanisms. When this happens, a buildup can lead to:

  • Aural fullness: This refers to a sensation of blockage or pressure within the ear canal.
  • Conductive hearing loss: Impacted cerumen can impede sound waves from reaching the inner ear, resulting in muffled hearing or difficulty perceiving speech.
  • Otalgia (ear pain): A buildup of earwax can irritate the ear canal, leading to discomfort or pain.

Safe Cleaning Methods

Over-The-Counter Ear Drops

These solutions contain oils and other substances that can help soften earwax for easier removal. However, they are not recommended for those with a history of ear problems or those who wear hearing aids.

Using A Damp Cloth

One of the safest ways to clean your ears is to use a damp cloth. Wet a washcloth with warm water, then gently clean the outer part of your ear. Do not push the cloth inside your ear canal.

Ear Irrigation Or Ear Syringing

This procedure involves using warm water to flush out the ear canal. While effective, it should only be performed by a healthcare professional to avoid potential damage to the delicate structures within the ear.

Methods To Avoid

Using Cotton Swabs Or Q-Tips

Many people think cotton swabs or Q-tips are good for cleaning ears. However, they can push earwax deeper into the ear, causing blockages and even damaging the ear.

Ear Candles

Some people try ear candling to remove earwax. This involves lighting a hollow candle in your ear. It is not safe and can cause serious burns and other injuries. Doctors do not recommend using ear candles.

Sharp Objects

Never use sharp objects like hairpins or paper clips to clean your ears. They can easily hurt your ear canal or eardrum, leading to pain and infections.

When To See A Doctor

Signs Of Ear Infections

If you feel pain in your ear, have a fever, or notice fluid coming from your ear, you may have an infection. It is crucial to seek medical attention if experiencing these symptoms. A healthcare provider can prescribe the appropriate medication to facilitate recovery.

Persistent Earwax Buildup

Consultation with a healthcare professional is recommended in cases of persistent cerumen impaction accompanied by conductive hearing loss. They possess the expertise and specialized instruments to perform safe and effective earwax removal.

Discover Total Hearing Centre

If you’re looking for expert advice and professional ear care, consider visiting the Total Hearing Centre. The Total Hearing Centre offers comprehensive hearing services that cater to all your hearing needs. From routine ear check-ups to professional ear cleaning, our team of specialists ensures that your ears remain in optimal health. We use state-of-the-art equipment and techniques to address any hearing issues you may have.

Services Offered

  • Hearing Assessments: Detailed hearing tests to diagnose and treat hearing issues.
  • Hearing Aid Fittings: Custom fitting and maintenance of hearing aids to ensure optimal performance.
  • Tinnitus Management: Expert approaches to help manage and alleviate tinnitus symptoms.

Visiting the Total Hearing Centre ensures that your ears receive the professional care they deserve. Trust in our expertise to keep your hearing in top condition.


Don’t let earwax and hearing issues affect your daily life. Visit the Total Hearing Centre today for top-quality ear cleaning and hearing services. Our team of professionals is dedicated to providing you with the best care possible, ensuring that your ears are healthy and functioning at their best. Don’t wait any longer. Schedule an appointment now and experience the difference Total Hearing Centre can make in your hearing health.