How to Clean Your Ears

dirtyears

Mansi asked: How do I clean the outer part and inside of my ears?

Though we try hard to remove the wax from our ears, it does have a purpose. This substance is a mixture of dirt, dead skin cells and mucus. It traps dirt and keeps it from entering the inner ear. When wax becomes hard, it can cause pain in the ears. When the wax is painful or there is an abundance of it, it may be necessary to remove it. Otherwise, a simple cleaning of the outer ear is sufficient and recommended for general hygiene. Both methods are covered here.

Cleaning the Inner Ear

This method is designed to remove wax build-up from the inner ear. It should be done no more than once per week. Cleaning too frequently can dry out the inner ear and lead to more problems. Do NOT use this method if you have any problems or irregularities with your ears.

You Will Need:

  • Ear syringe
  • Hydrogen peroxide (3%)
  • Soft cloths or tissues

Steps to Clean Out Your Ears:

  1. Tilt your head to one side so that the ear is facing up. It may be helpful to rest your head on a pillow.
  2. Use the ear syringe to place a few drops of hydrogen peroxide into the ear.
  3. You will begin to hear and feel bubbling and popping. This is the result of the hydrogen peroxide coming in contact with the ear wax. It is normal and means the cleaning process is working.
  4. Allow the hydrogen peroxide to stay in the ear for several minutes or until the bubbling stops/slows down.
  5. To remove, simply turn your head over so the ear is facing down onto a soft cloth or tissue.
  6. Allow the hydrogen peroxide and loosened ear wax drain from the ear.
  7. Repeat with the other ear.
  8. Do not repeat in the same ear. It is recommended that this procedure be done no more than once per week.

Cleaning the Outer Ear

The outer ear is the part of the ear that can be seen. It includes the earlobe as well as the edges of the opening to the ear canal. It is safe to clean and should be part of your regular hygiene routine.

You Will Need:

  • Soft cloth
  • Water
  • Cotton swabs

Steps to Clean the Outer Ear:

  1. Begin by moistening a soft cloth with warm water.
  2. Squeeze the cloth out so that it is only damp.
  3. Wipe the outer ear.
  4. Remember to clean behind your ears as well. While there is no waxy build up there, it can collect dead skin and develop a build up.
  5. Cotton swabs can be used to clean the folds of the outer ear. It is not recommended that you insert a cotton swab into the ear canal. This can push the wax further into the ear as well as damage the inner ear.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • If you have regular problems with your ears, it may be wise to see an ear, nose and throat specialist to make sure there are no problems.
  • Some find it easiest to clean out their ears after a shower. The heat and warm water softens the wax, allowing for easier removal.
  • If the wax is hard and cannot be removed, it may be necessary to seek medical assistance to remove it.
  • There are ear cleaning kits available to help remove wax build up.
  • If there is no pain or problems, the wax inside of your ear is fine. Simply remove the wax that works its way to the outer ear and leave the rest to do its job of catching dirt and unwanted items from entering the ear canal.

Comments

  1. Lynn says:

    Most people dig down as far as they can go, but you can do serious damage to your ears that way. Use a Q-tip in the outer part of your ear only, don’t stick it down into your ear canal. If it makes you gag, you’ve gone too far!

  2. Lynn says:

    They come in a kit, and if you have problems with wax stuck in your ears, they’re just the thing. You put the drops in your ear, lay on your side for a little bit, then rinse your ears out with warm water with the little bulb syringe and wipe them out with a wash cloth.

  3. Lynn says:

    If you get swimmer’s ear easily, don’t clean your ears out by putting water into them. Instead, use a dry cloth or a swab and just clean around the outer parts, not on the deeper inside parts. The wax is in there for a reason, and it can keep you from getting an infection. Wear ear plugs in the shower and when you swim, and keep the plugs very clean.

  4. Lynn says:

    Ear candling is weird and it takes a long time, but it works pretty well for really cleaning out your ears. You need to get special candles that are made just for using this way, you can’t just use any old candle. The candle goes through the center of a paper plate covered with tin foil after the wide end of the candle is lit. The narrow end of the candle goes in your ear, and whoever is helping you lets it burn down an inch, then they take the candle out and cut off the top of the wick, and then the narrow end goes back in your ear. They do this three more times, then they put a few drops of oil in your ear and plug it with a cotton ball. Then you do the same thing for the other ear with a new candle.

    You may want to find a professional to help you do this for your first time.

  5. Lynn says:

    You can soften hard ear wax by putting a few drops of warm olive or paraffin oil into your ear, laying down to keep it in your ear for five minutes, then letting the oil run out. It doesn’t work all at once, but if you do it for a few days your ear wax will soften and you should be able to rinse it out with warm water.

  6. Don says:

    Use equal parts of vinegar and alcohol in a rubber bulb syringe. Tilt your head to one side and squirt in 3 to 4 drops of the mixture. Hold it for a few minutes. Tilt your head to other side and pull down on the ear lobe. This will drain out the mixture. Repeat for the other ear. Besides cleaning, this will kill both bacteria and yeast spores.

    Note: Be careful of ear candle waxing, as in rare cases it can lead to a ruptured eardrum.

  7. Teri says:

    When I worked for my physician, my nurse taught me how to properly cleanse the ear. Pour a cap-full of hydrogen peroxide in your ear and let sit a few minutes. It will bubble inside the ear canal. Rotate your head and drain out the contents onto a towel, then clean carefully inside of the ear canal with a Q-tip. It’s easier if you have a family member with you to clean out the ear canal because they can see exactly where the earwax balls, if any, are located at.

    Repeat in the other ear.

  8. Judy says:

    This tip is actually for an ear ache; put a few drops of sweet oil in each ear, even though only one ear aches, (or they also call it almond oil) – you can get this at the Rite Aid. Then, you put a small amount of cotton in each ear (to keep air out of the ears for awhile. Maybe an hour or so, then take the cotton out, and you’re good again. This soothes sometimes as soon as the oil gets in the ear. Also, when it’s cold outside, wear a neck scarf – this will prevent sore throats.

  9. Taylor says:

    Today, I had an accident where my ears where aching terribly. I have been sick already, but the wind made me get an earache. My mother’s friend works at a pharmacy and got me Sweet Oil. I put it in my ear and laid on my side for a few minutes, then placed a cotton ball in my ear. It was fine in a few minutes! :)

  10. Joshua says:

    I know this sounds weird, but butter works very well for me. Just 2 drops will get the wax slick enough in there to just yank it out. No hassle really.

  11. Roll Dog says:

    I think that the main solutions are using warm water, hydrogen peroxide, and white distilled vinegar as a mix for dropping in both your inner ears. That’s what I do. Some or most of the ear wax does come out. However, I have to keep rinsing my ears so that the ear wax would become really soft and automatically fall out.

    It does feel great when the ear wax comes out of your ear(s).

  12. Blair says:

    I went to an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) specialist, as I went pretty much deaf in one ear. She told me to come back in a week, but in the meantime to put four drops of hydrogen peroxide in the bad ear every day. It worked wonders!

  13. Cynthia says:

    I have a hard ball of wax in my ear and its making my ear hurt badly. What is the safest thing to use to get the wax out? I only have two little holes in the ear that I can hear out of with the wax in the ear.

  14. Melanie says:

    Cynthia,
    Since the ear is hurting you badly, you should see a medical professional. If you decide to try the peroxide irrigation method, you can also use a vacuum hose to pull out the wax ball once it’s loosened.

    Source: Medic8

  15. Mr. Smarty says:

    I’m amazed at how this guide teaches you how to clean the inner ear. All the other guides only teach you how to clean the outer ear. Also, I’m fairly certain the inner ear doesn’t have earwax, since the inner ear actually only contains the cochlea and semicircular canals. Seriously, the part of the ear that this guide is talking about is the outer ear, which includes all of the ear canal up to the eardrum. I find it extremely troubling that the author of this post knows nothing about the anatomy of the ear.

  16. Elizabeth says:

    Don’t try this; it doesn’t work! Take my advice; this is pointless.

  17. Thiruselvi says:

    How to clean the outer layer of the earlobe? There is dirt stuck. Trying to clean, but still the dirt can’t be removed. Any tips please?

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