How to Safely Clean Your Ears

by Melissa Chichester

How do you clean your ears?

Many people may skip it entirely or give them a quick round with the cotton swab. However, you might be surprised to learn there is a proper way to clean your ears. It’s also just as important to know what not to do. 

Here’s what you need to know to clean your ears safely. 

Why ear wax is important

Ear wax plays an important role in ear health. Ear wax protects the ear canal by keeping irritating particles out of it, including dust, bacteria, and germs. 

Your ear canal has glands that produce this “cerumen” – or ear wax. This wax travels to the opening of the ear. This wax can build up inside the ear canal. Surprisingly, it is a common cause of hearing loss, especially in people who may produce more ear wax than others. If you experience any kind of hearing loss or have ear wax build-up you want to be removed, discuss it with your doctor. 

Most people clean their ears at home, but it is important to know what not to do to avoid damage. Here’s what The American Academy of Otolaryngology recommends: 

  • Do not clean your ears too frequently – it increases the odds of ear wax impaction
  • Do not put objects into your ears
  • Do not use ear candles
  • Do not ignore signs of ear wax impaction
  • Do not forget to clean hearing aids

>>7 Ways to Support Ear Health

How to safely clean your ears 

Cleaning your ears safely is easier than you think – ear wax helps your ears clean themselves, so you don’t need to do much. The Cleveland Clinic states, “don’t clean your ears with anything smaller than a washcloth on your finger.” This includes cotton swabs or other small, pointed objects. Simply use a damp washcloth and wipe around the ear to safely clean your ears. You should also regularly clean around piercings and keep earrings clean. 

Other ways to take care of your ears

Healthy lifestyle habits play a role in ear health. Some simple ways to take care of your ear health and hearing include:

  • Wearing protective gear
  • Avoiding loud noises
  • Exercising to get your blood pumping to the ears
  • Ear health supplements

Puritan’s Pride® Ear Health Complex is a unique formula that contains the herb ginkgo biloba with other essential nutrients such as choline, which are involved in cellular and nerve health.* Ginkgo biloba can aid in blood flow to the ear, which in turn can help with occasional ringing in the ears which can occur as part of normal aging.* In addition, this supplement includes Vitamin C and Zinc – two potent antioxidants that help fight the effects of free radicals, which can cause oxidative stress that may damage cells.*