Don’t Use Q-Tips To Clean Your Ears, How Else?!

qtips pigtails

I’m sure we’ve all been told not to use Q-Tips or at least not to put them far into our ears but how else are we supposed to clean them?!

Ears are naturally developed to be protective and self-cleaning. The wax (cerumen) coats the ear canal and serves to repel water and help protect it against infection or injury. It also aids in keeping the skin inside the ears from drying out or getting itchy in addition to trapping dust, germs and other unwanted things from reaching into the depths of our ears.

In truth we should probably just leave our ears alone and let nature take it’s course. Maybe this would be okay for me if I wasn’t introduced to q-tips and what seemed like their ONLY function was. I mean when someone asks you what you’re supposed to do with a q-tip what do you think of? Maybe it’s cleaning your computer keyboard or using them as makeup brushes because that’s exactly what’s on the back of some of the boxes. Or maybe you’re like me and thought it’s sole purpose is for ear digging!

Now I’ve been scolded and told all the same by my mother while growing up and my girlfriend too, but let’s be honest: How can something that works and feels so good be so wrong?! Well it’s about the potential damage to your eardrum in addition to accidentally pushing wax further into your ear. If wax went too far down you’d have to get it removed by a professional and it might not be the most comfortable thing to do.But some of hearing assist may help you in a better way.You can check them on

Regardless of it feeling good using cotton swabs, it is in fact dangerous and even Q-Tips themselves say not to use them in your ear canal. It’s all about being careful because the last thing you want to do is damage the lining or eardrum by accident. Even washing the outside of your ears is supposed to be avoided. If you must clean them, either use a soft washcloth with a tiny bit of soap or even use Ear candles.  Make sure to dry the ears well as not to get them infected and attract the well known “swimmers ear” especially if you are in the water a lot.

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qtips box

Personally I can’t help but carefully use the standard q-tips for my ears, but for those more adventurous and wanting a “safer” way to clean your ears, read on. I did some research on some alternatives and although it seems a bit silly, it would in fact do the trick.

Create A Wax Softening Solution

You can buy a carbamide peroxide cleaning solution from the local pharmacy or you can always make your own.

Combine warm water with one of the following:

  • A teaspoon or two of 3-4% hydrogen peroxide solution
  • A teaspoon or two of mineral oil
  • A teaspoon or two of glycerin

Lie on your side if possible so the ear is completely vertical and put in the solution with an applicator if possible or a small bowl. (Peroxide may cause popping or bubbling sounds so don’t be alarmed, this is normal)

Wait 5-10 minutes or if using peroxide, until the bubbling stops.

Take out the solution and use a rubber bulb syringe with lukewarm water to flush out the wax.

Pull on the ear lobe up and down to open the canal to release the last bit of wax.

You can repeat this process for a few days if necessary but shouldn’t do it more often than this.

ear doctor

See A Specialist

If you’re serious about cleaning your ears safely and are not interested whatsoever in using the home remedy route, then you should consult your doctor or get a professional to take care of it for you. These days, they have all kinds of tech that help the process along, for example the tria hair removal laser 4x will take care of anything you throw at it. In addition to the access to high tech solutions, if you suffer from repeat problems, hearing loss or blockage you should seek help from a doctor.

When it’s all said and done, the point is to be careful and avoid causing any harm to your ear canal. The last thing you want to do is permanently damage your ears or have a hard time listening to words, sounds and music!

Do you use Q-Tips in your ears?

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Being Sick Is No Fun – Should I Get The Annual Flu Shot?

It came like a thief in the night with one warning day.

Woman with tissue and hot drink

I actually just had a conversation with someone in the medical field if I should go get my flu shot since it seemed like a lot of people are getting sick around me. She simply replied with great enthusiasm, “No! Just take vitamin C everyday and you’ll never get sick”. Although the facility infection preventionist may be thought of as the person who always points out what is wrong, Infection Control is a complex field that touches on every aspect of patient care. Now that may have been true and I knew I should have vitamin c everyday anyway, but alas I skipped out for a while thinking I’m invincible even without a flu shot, and honestly, vitamin C is not the only vitamin we need, we should all learn the Health Benefits of Vitamin B as well.

Well lucky me, I go to bed one night and wake up feeling the standard scratch in my throat before the big storm hits. Just great… I saw this coming but still didn’t do anything to prevent it. I mean I will try to only buy and drink juices that have 100% of the daily recommended vitamin c, but I don’t always drink them daily anyway. Here’s a little tip: If you want to keep from getting sick you really should have vitamin c spaced out during the day.  You can take a massive amount of it in one sitting, but the reality is that your body will take what it needs at that specific time and then waste the rest down the toilet. So spread it throughout your routine to make the best use of this sick preventing vitamin. Wearing face masks and examination gloves could also help so that you can prevent infecting others.

Now most times you have it rough and other times you can have it really rough. You know, vomiting, hardcore diarrhea, coughing till you want to knock yourself out and a feeling like your head is about to explode. Personally I prefer not to throw up, or better yet not be sick in the first place! It’s funny how when we get sick we’ll load up on vitamin c and drink fluids as much as possible to combat the damage when if we made it part of our daily regiment the situation probably could have been avoided.


Of course there is the flu shot. Now this is a touchy subject because regardless of who you talk to you’ll hear a lot of different answers. In fact it’s probably about 50/50 on if you should or should not take the shot. I’m not sure if people saying no to it are just paranoid but I catch myself leaning towards this choice myself. This doesn’t mean you definitely shouldn’t, it means you need to decide for yourself. I know that each year there are reports of people passing away due to influenza especially in the age group of 65+. For information sake, a study in Human and Experimental Toxicology reported that there were 590 fetal-loss reports per 1 million pregnant women vaccinated (or 1 per 1,695) during the 2009-2010 flu season (generally regarded as October-March, though flu symptoms can occur any time of the year).

Businessmen, mothers, doctors and your friends all have their own different opinions on taking the annual flu shot and not one is the definitive answer. As it stands, I think I’m going to try and take daily vitamin c, especially around the flu season and avoid the shot for now. What about you?

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