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The discomfort that comes from having a waxy build-up in your ears is all too familiar to most. It’s harder to hear, it’s uncomfortable, and it can make you feel self-conscious. For many years, the go-to method of dealing with this issue has been cotton q tips; also known as ear buds or cotton swabs. But did you know that there are some excellent alternatives to q tips you could consider?
Before going into detail about the other options at your disposal, let’s discuss the problem with standard cotton q tips.
Q tips pose some risks to both your health and the environment. Firstly, q tips can cause significant damage to your ears. Some medical bodies have even issued clinical advice to avoid using q tips. This is because they sometimes push wax deeper into the ear, which can damage the ear canal or eardrum.
Beyond the risk that they pose to your health, they are also a serious threat to the state of the planet. In England alone, over 1.8 billion plastic-stemmed cotton swabs are used a year. The estimate is that around 10% of these are then flushed down the toilet, ending up in the ocean. With such staggering statistics, it’s no wonder why many countries have now banned single-use plastic items to avert this environmental crisis.
You have a few options when it comes to cleaning ears without q tips. Read on to find the method that could work for you.
One of the easiest methods for clearing your ears is to wrap a tissue around your little finger. From there, gently, but thoroughly, wipe the outer part of your ear, removing excess and dried wax. Do not try to push your finger into your ear canal, as this can sometimes do more harm than good.
To maximise the effectiveness of this approach, try it after a hot shower. The higher temperature will make the wax a lot softer, making removal so much easier.
Cleaning your ear with a syringe is one of the best alternatives to q tips. It is both safe and effective. If you don’t already own a syringe, you can buy irrigation ear kits online or from a chemist. Importantly, if you do use your own syringe, make sure that it is blunt to avoid causing damage.
To irrigate your ear, first place a towel on your shoulder to collect excess water. Insert the syringe into your ear canal and gently push the water out. Once finished, wipe away the water as it drains out with the wax. Remember that if you experience pain or discomfort at any point, you should stop immediately.
You’re likely to have any number of safe oils in your household. Many of these are excellent for flushing out any dirt in your ears. Baby oil, mineral oil, or olive oil will all do the trick.
Warm up the oil a little and use a pipette to administer between five and ten drops into your ear canal. massage the area of skin around your ear’s entrance to aid the oil’s journey through your canal. Keep your head on its side for about ten minutes, then sit upright. The oil should have softened up the wax within your ear, which will help with excretion once you sit up.
Wipe away any material as it leaks out with a cloth or tissue and repeat the process for your other ear. Do this at least once a week to keep those ears in tip-top shape.
When you think about “how to clean your ear without q tips,” Hydrogen peroxide is unlikely to even make the list. Yet, it can be a highly effective cleaning agent. Still, it is imperative that you only use a diluted hydrogen peroxide solution of around 3%, or you’ll run the risk of causing skin irritation.
Use a pipette to administer two or three drops of your diluted solution into your ear. As with the safe oils, keep your head tilted for around ten minutes. The solution is likely to start bubbling, which indicates that it is cleaning your ear canal. Once the ten minutes is up, drain your ear and wipe with a cloth or tissue.
A range of over-the-counter remedies are available as effective alternatives to q tips. Oftentimes these products incorporate some of the solutions outlined above, such as safe oil and hydrogen peroxide. The main difference is that they are specifically tailored to fighting the build-up of dirt in your ears, which gives you extra peace of mind.
So, while earwax drops might be a little more expensive, they are also likely to be a bit more effective. To apply the drops, follow the same process as the safe oils. Any diversion from this will be in your individual product’s instructions.
LastObject’s revolutionary LastSwab is the future of cleaning ears without q tips. If you love the feeling of cleaning your ears with normal q tips, transition to the LastSwab for all the same benefits with none of the damage to the environment and marine life.
Made from quality renewable materials, the LastSwab is reusable over 1,000 times. You can easily clean it with a bit of soap and water and it’ll be ready for the next use. This zero waste product is making a huge difference in the fight against single-use plastic pollution.