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How do you clean your ear wax? Options
 
Nydex
#1 Posted : 10/30/2018 9:54:48 PM

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Hi friends,

For many years I had used q-tips for cleaning my ears, but then 6 years ago I heard of several accounts of people that have gotten really bad ear canal infections because q-tips actually pull out only 10% of the ear wax out and push the other 90% further in your ear canal thus stuffing it and increasing the chance of an infection.

As a result those people had some really serious surgery done, with one of the undergoing partial hearing loss, and the other losing his hearing entirely in the left ear.

Needless to say that put me off q-tips for good, and I haven't been using them or any other penetration method to clean my ear wax. Instead what I do is use paper tissues to clean my ear as deep as possible using only my index finger (so I basically reach only about 2.5 centimeters deep).

I haven't had any problem for over 6 years, and my hearing is excellent. However just for good measure I want to ask your experience and how do you actually clean your ear wax deeply, if you do at all.

I've heard some people using some sort of a silicone corkscrew type of tool that basically digs out the ear wax without pushing it in. Others use a water stream that some clinics provide to flush out all the wax.

What is your experience - how do you do it?

Be well. Love
antrocles wrote:
IT IS ONLY TO THE EXTENT THAT WE ARE WILLING TO EXPOSE OURSELVES OVER AND OVER AGAIN TO ANNIHILATION THAT WE DISCOVER THAT PART OF OURSELVES THAT IS INDESTRUCTIBLE.
 
 
justB612
#2 Posted : 10/30/2018 10:05:40 PM
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Not sure about q-tips, never had problems with them or heard from serious sources that they are bad.

On a serious note, there are some candles around me that are pretty darn wonderful at the job. It's basically bee wax that you burn that pulls out the earwax with the air pressure. It is really, really light on the ear, and it cleans it up deeply. I think you should only use it max once every month or so.

Everything I say here is purely anecdotal so you know ... Smile

Interesting topic though!
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Psilosopher?
#3 Posted : 10/30/2018 11:31:20 PM

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I use my pinky finger in the shower, and i only clean the auricle and the outer region of the canal. Ear wax is good for you, but not too much.
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downwardsfromzero
#4 Posted : 10/31/2018 12:30:01 AM

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I remove earwax using my pinky finger, then use the earwax as a nail tonic. I have always done this, and I have always had exceptionally tough fingernails. Correlation does not imply causation, but at least I don't have to think of what else to do with the ear wax.

Further ear cleaning I perform using a flannel in the shower. There is typically (on the flannels that I know of) a strip without the towelling weave that seems ideally suited to the cleaning of ears.

In further news, the EU will soon be implementing a ban on plastic cotton buds (to use the non-proprietary name) in order to reduce plastic waste from single-use items. Good riddance, I say.
Ora, lege, lege, lege, relege et labora

“To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be place under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality."
― Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
 
Nydex
#5 Posted : 10/31/2018 11:10:54 AM

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Thanks to everyone for chiming in with their methods and experience, much appreciated!

justB612 can you elaborate on those candles?

On a similar note every time I see a q-tip I think of the attached image (credit: Justin Hofman)... so yeah, definitely a good riddance DFZ.

Much love. Love
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seahorse.jpg (1,050kb) downloaded 154 time(s).
antrocles wrote:
IT IS ONLY TO THE EXTENT THAT WE ARE WILLING TO EXPOSE OURSELVES OVER AND OVER AGAIN TO ANNIHILATION THAT WE DISCOVER THAT PART OF OURSELVES THAT IS INDESTRUCTIBLE.
 
pastanostra
#6 Posted : 11/1/2018 7:48:06 PM

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jz9_hqHEeTE
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soulfood
#7 Posted : 11/2/2018 1:11:35 AM

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I don't Smile

If there's an obvious visible excess I'll just sweep it aside. Really though it's there to protect your ears. I just about wash my ears with water and no soap in the shower and that's all.

No ear infections to date and no one ripping on me for having gross ears ( at least to my face).
 
corpus callosum
#8 Posted : 11/2/2018 5:24:27 AM

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Q-tips (cottonbuds) are not meant to be used internally, as the packaging often states albeit not very prominently. Although it is just a bit of cotton on a straw, it is still abrasive enough to irritate the lining of the ear canal causing foci where infection/inflammation can take hold (and can on occasion cause a picture similar to "swimmers ear", or otitis externa).

The wax has a protective function, and some people make more than others. If your ear canal is rammed full of wax (and this can be readily seen using an otoscope) then a couple of drops of slightly warmed olive oil (off the supermarket shelf) 3 or 4 times daily for several days can allow the wax to soften and eventually dribble out. I think olive oil is preferable to some other agents (like sodium bicarbonate drops) as it doesn't tend to cause a sensitization reaction in the ear canal wall as often; this "eczema" of the ear can be a nuisance.
I am paranoid of my brain. It thinks all the time, even when I'm asleep. My thoughts assail me. Murderous lechers they are. Thought is the assassin of thought. Like a man stabbing himself with one hand while the other hand tries to stop the blade. Like an explosion that destroys the detonator. I am paranoid of my brain. It makes me unsettled and ill at ease. Makes me chase my tail, freezes my eyes and shuts me down. Watches me. Eats my head. It destroys me.

 
eel
#9 Posted : 11/2/2018 6:15:02 PM

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Ear candles... quite a ritual around doing it too, love it! Smile cleaning your ears has never been cooler
psychedelia inc.
 
xss27
#10 Posted : 11/2/2018 7:23:43 PM

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Got long hair and a beard so ear candles are out of the question.

Warm olive oil to soften it up. Diluted hydrogen peroxide to mechanically agitate if its really bad. Took a couple of days then a ball of wax just fell out at a random moment.
 
neb
#11 Posted : 11/4/2018 8:41:25 AM

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eel wrote:
Ear candles... quite a ritual around doing it too, love it! Smile cleaning your ears has never been cooler

definitely the way to go, pulls all the wax right out of your ears!
wake 'n breakthrough bebiii
 
neb
#12 Posted : 11/4/2018 8:42:14 AM

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xss27 wrote:
Got long hair and a beard so ear candles are out of the question.

Warm olive oil to soften it up. Diluted hydrogen peroxide to mechanically agitate if its really bad. Took a couple of days then a ball of wax just fell out at a random moment.

i also have hair and beard, just wet and move out of the way!
wake 'n breakthrough bebiii
 
antares
#13 Posted : 11/4/2018 11:49:24 PM

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Cotton buds are one of the most widely used devices for cleaning debris from ear canals in ENT clinics. As long as you don't poke your ear drum or use them too often it shouldn't be a problem. They don't clear compacted wax well. Oil softening as mentioned earlier is necessary for this.

Top tip when using cotton buds in ears (given to me by an ENT surgeon) is to pull on the cotton enough to make the tips fluffy before sticking it in and continuously spin it while advancing into the canal. It makes cleaning more effective and you are less likely to accidentally injure your ear drum.

My personal cleaning routine is to fill my ear canal with water about 2-3 times weekly while showering and then use cotton buds after stepping out of the shower.
 
Nydex
#14 Posted : 11/5/2018 2:46:55 PM

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Thanks to everyone for sharing their experience and recommendations, really appreciate it!

I think I'll try those ear candles people praise so much, as they seemingly clean the ears very well. I don't quite understand how they work though - when burning on the top, a vacuum is created on the bottom end of the candle, and that vacuum sucks out the ear wax from your ear?

If the above is correct how do you collect the wax it sucks out and make sure it doesn't fall back in? Also doesn't that level of vacuum become painful or even dangerous to your eardrum?

Thanks!
antrocles wrote:
IT IS ONLY TO THE EXTENT THAT WE ARE WILLING TO EXPOSE OURSELVES OVER AND OVER AGAIN TO ANNIHILATION THAT WE DISCOVER THAT PART OF OURSELVES THAT IS INDESTRUCTIBLE.
 
Jees
#15 Posted : 11/5/2018 4:14:38 PM

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Nydex just look at some youtubes, vision tells it best.
I had an ear candle workshop once, some points:
- you can't do it properly to yourself;
- candle must be upright all the time;
- candle should fit in ear-channel perfectly enclosed, no air should be able to enter the candle at the ear-base. If there is a air gap at the candle base this compromises the candle performance.
- burn candle to the marker, not lower;
- you can lead in and out with some scalp and ear massage, perhaps neck muscle massage too;
- don't do it rapidly in between stuff, take time for it, turn it into some quality time with partner or so Thumbs up with a fitting calm music for example (not AC/DC Twisted Evil )

 
PsyDuckmonkey
#16 Posted : 11/13/2018 12:40:33 PM

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Ear candles are a scam. They don't pull anything, the stuff collecting at the base of the candle is just stuff from the candle itself. Even if you were to apply actual suction to your ear canals, nothing would come out, as that's not how aerodynamics work. (Then again, with enough suction, blood and bits of your eardrum would come out, and you'd go deaf.)

If you go to a doctor with a clogged ear canal, here's how they clean your ears: They fill a big shit-ass syringe with body temperature water, put a silicone nozzle on it, place it to your ear, and effectively pressure-wash your ear canal. You can use a showerhead to do a less drastic wash cycle daily, and then just gently wipe the outer regions with a q-tip.
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Nydex
#17 Posted : 11/13/2018 1:12:39 PM

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PsyDuckmonkey wrote:
Ear candles are a scam. They don't pull anything, the stuff collecting at the base of the candle is just stuff from the candle itself. Even if you were to apply actual suction to your ear canals, nothing would come out, as that's not how aerodynamics work. (Then again, with enough suction, blood and bits of your eardrum would come out, and you'd go deaf.)

If you go to a doctor with a clogged ear canal, here's how they clean your ears: They fill a big shit-ass syringe with body temperature water, put a silicone nozzle on it, place it to your ear, and effectively pressure-wash your ear canal. You can use a showerhead to do a less drastic wash cycle daily, and then just gently wipe the outer regions with a q-tip.


Yeah man I thought about that as well. For as long as I can remember the only effective method of thouroughly cleaning your ear wax was with a syringe with water sprayed in your ear.

The more I thought about the candles, the less effective they seemed in my head. I couldn't imagine how would a "pleasant" level of vacuum suck out ear wax out of your ear.

Guess I'll just not thouroughly clean it and stick to cleaning only the outer ear and as deep as I can reach in my ear canal with my pinky finger.

Thanks! Thumbs up
antrocles wrote:
IT IS ONLY TO THE EXTENT THAT WE ARE WILLING TO EXPOSE OURSELVES OVER AND OVER AGAIN TO ANNIHILATION THAT WE DISCOVER THAT PART OF OURSELVES THAT IS INDESTRUCTIBLE.
 
downwardsfromzero
#18 Posted : 11/13/2018 1:20:48 PM

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No, ear candles levitate the wax out of your ears using a combination of Chi and Woo.

The experience itself is obligatorily relaxing as you don't want to move a muscle lest hot wax or glowing embers tumble into your ear canal.

Big grin

This level of wilfully ridiculous thinking leads me to contemplate whether it would be worth smoking my own earwax.

Please be careful! Neutral
Ora, lege, lege, lege, relege et labora

“To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be place under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality."
― Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
 
 
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