The ear is designed to be self cleaning, producing wax and moving debris out of the canal. There are times when this system fails and wax builds up or debris gets into the ear and needs to be cleaned out. There are several ways to safely and effectively clean out your own ears.
Flushing the ears out is the most common method of cleaning. This method is used to remove wax and debris from the ear canal using liquid and pressure. A solution is squirted into the ear via a bulb syringe while holding the ear over a bowl or sink. This flushing is repeated until the ear is clean. You can see the debris or wax that has come out in the bowl or sink while flushing. This can be done at home or in a doctor’s office. The simplest solution to use is warm water with a teaspoon of baking soda, or you can buy ear wash solutions from the pharmacy.
Peroxide is great for dissolving wax and cleaning out debris, fungus or bacteria. Pour a capful of peroxide into the ear canal and keep the head tilted to the side while the peroxide bubbles up. When finished, place a tissue over the ear and tilt to the other side to remove the peroxide.
Another popular method of cleaning out the ear canal is called candling or coning. There a kits you can buy from the pharmacy that come with detailed instructions on how to use an ear candle. This should be done by someone else, don’t attempt to clean your ears this way alone. Candling works very well and is known to remove the most dirt, wax and debris from the ear. It is basically done by putting the ear cone into the ear canal and lighting the opposite end with a flame. As it burns, it creates suction and all the dirt is sucked into the cone. When the cone burns to a certain level, you blow it out or some put themselves out.
Always be careful what you put in your ear. The ear is very sensitive to chemicals and temperature. If you have a perforated ear drum, tubes in your ear, or have had ear surgery, you should consult a physician before attempting to clean your ears at home.
In the hot desert of Arizona, Nadia Benavidez has been studying hearing instrument science since 2002. After leaving a clinical practice, Benavidez has put her talent to work writing informative articles related to health and wellness. Currently Benavidez is working on her first book.