How Should I Clean My Ears?

Everyone has been warned at least once to, “Never stick anything in your ears smaller than your elbow.” It would be more accurate to say, “Never stick a q-tip farther than your pinky finger can reach.” (Those with long nails don’t get extra q-tip clearance.) Most doctors agree that ear swabs are safe, but only if used correctly. It is certainly safe to gently swab the outer portion of the ear. The opening of the ear canal (as far as your pinky can reach) can also be lightly swabbed, if you, like many of us, don’t want to wait for the tiny ear hairs to dump out chunks of wax. To avoid impacting the wax, ear drum damage, or painful infections, just don’t go any deeper.