Did you know that Q-tips are not recommended for cleaning our ears? Oftentimes, using Q-tips only push the earwax further into the ear canal. Moreover, we run the risk of pushing the Q-tip in too deep, potentially puncturing the eardrum.

For most people, there is no need to take active measures for cleaning the ears. The skin within the ear canal grows outwards from the eardrum, acting like a conveyor belt that will carry any wax adhered to the skin out of the canal. The ear has a self-cleaning mechanism.

In fact, having some earwax is healthy as it has antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties! Since earwax is just a mixture of dead skin cells, sweat, oils and dirt, it is quite harmless.

The only time that earwax becomes a problem is when there is too much, to the point where it blocks the ear canal. This can be a problem for those who produce excessive wax or those with narrow or bendy ear canals where it might be difficult for the wax to exit the ear canal on its own. In that case, the person may lie on their side and drop some olive oil or baby oil into the ear facing up to soften the wax. This is suitable only for people who know that they have never injured their ear drum. For those with a perforated eardrum, they will need to see the doctor for cleaning as using liquids or Q-tips in the ear is not recommended for them.