What Really Happens When You Put a Q-Tip in Your Ear

Let’s be honest, ear wax is pretty gross. That’s why most people use Q-tips on a daily basis to clean their ears of yucky, irritating wax. But, contrary to how gross it is, ear wax is actually not a “dirty” or bad thing. It’s a natural substance created by your body – for very good reasons – and recent studies have found it’s more harmful to use Q-tips to remove this wax than to leave wax in your ear cavity.

When you use a Q-tip, most people really stick them in there to try and get out as much wax as possible. However, in doing this, people tend to jam the Q-tip into their ear canal, which it actually has the opposite effect.

Instead of pulling ear wax out of your ear, you’re actually shoving the wax further into your ear, against your eardrum. And anything that presses up against your eardrum restricts it from vibrating and damages your hearing.

A pack of cotton Q-tipsDeposit Photos

Even if you do get that ear wax out, you don’t want it to go! Ear wax has some serious benefits that you probably didn’t even know about.

For one thing, the wax acts as a safety device against – brace yourself – insects from crawling in your ears. Horrifying. Ear wax also prevents various fungi from sprouting in your ear canal and keeps your ear lubricated so it doesn’t itch.

But, between the bugs and the fungi, I think itching may be the least of our worries.

Using Q-tip to clean out earsDeposit Photos

So how do you safely remove ear wax? You don’t!

Ear wax is so good for you, and removing ear wax is so bad for you, that the safest thing to do is to just leave ear wax as it is. The only exception is if you have an excess buildup, at which point a professional can remove the overflow of wax.

Watch the video below for more information about Q-tips and ear health!

What do you think of this information? Do you use Q-tips on a regular basis? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.