When it comes to your ear cleaning routine, you may not think much of it. Perhaps you do very little; perhaps you clean them every morning with a cotton swab after brushing your teeth. While you may not see a problem with your current routine, it’s important to know there is a right and wrong way to keep your ears clean. Even if you haven’t experienced any problems yet, it doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. Learn more about how to clean your ears safely and effectively!

How our ears work

Our ears are actually self-cleaning, which is why many people don’t do much maintenance with their ears at all! Earwax is made inside the ear, where it moves and spreads to help keep foreign debris, dust or particles out of the intricate parts of your auditory system. When our bodies create earwax, it traps that debris and carries it outside of the canal by normal facial movements, such as: yawning, chewing and talking.

The wrong way to clean your ears

While it may sound silly, there are actually some wrong ways to clean your ears. One of the most common methods of ear cleaning is with cotton swabs, but this is actually a big no-no! Using cotton swabs on the inside of your ear canals is dangerous for a couple different reasons, including: you are more likely to push wax deeper into the canal, thus causing an impaction; you could damage or scratch your ear canal; and lastly, you could actually perforate an eardrum! All of these are painful and uncomfortable scenarios, so skip the cotton swab when it comes to your ear canals!

The right way to clean your ears

If you feel the need to follow a cleaning routine when it comes to your ears, the best advice is to keep it gentle and simple! Don’t insert anything into your ear canal ever. Instead, simply grab a damp or dry washcloth after showering or bathing and wipe the outer part of your ear clean and free from the earwax and debris that has been pushed out.

Talk to an audiologist

If you experience frequent earwax impactions, hearing loss or infections, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with an audiologist in your area. Not only can the audiologist remove any blockages, they can also assess the health of your auditory system and recommend any further treatment or maintenance tips to keep your ears in optimal shape!