By Lindsey Rose Black
Unlike washing your face or hair everyday, ears can be easy to forget about until they’re pretty waxy. If you’re officially at a point where your ears require a serious deep clean, read on for how to clean your ears without damaging them because it can be tricky! There’s no reason to worry, but you do want to be careful.
First and foremost, if you are still using cotton swabs to clean your ears, back away right now. The American Academy of Otolaryngology (ears, nose, and throat), released a statement that said, "Wax blockage is one of the most common causes of hearing loss. This is often caused by attempts to clean the ear with cotton swabs. Most cleaning attempts merely push the wax deeper into the ear canal, causing a blockage." Yeah that's right, cotton swabs could actually cause hearing loss. No freaking thank you!
As for how often to clean, Douglas Backous, M.D. told Huffington Post, "Ears really only need to be cleaned ... if they feel full or you notice changes to your hearing that could be related to waxy buildup." If these symptoms sound familiar, below are two of the safest and easiest ways to clean your ears at home. Of course, if things become painful, definitely go ahead and seek out a professional doctor.
- Wash Cloth Rub
As shared in PopSugar, you can safely clean your outer ear by simply wetting a wash cloth with water (no soap!) and then gently rubbing around your ear. Don't try to reach in too far, though.
- Hydrogen PeroxideAnd Water Rinse
Another safe and effective method is mixing together equal parts water and hydrogen peroxide, and using a rubber bulb syringe (yes, like a turkey baster) to pour a bit of the mixture into your ear. Wait a few seconds, then flip your head over for the excess liquid to drain out.
- Rubbing Alcohol And White Vinegar
If you don't have hydrogen peroxide on hand, you can also safely mix rubbing alcohol and white vinegar together and follow the above instructions.