How to Clean Your Ears With Q-Tips

By John Cruz

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Clean your ears with Q-tips, they say.

It’s what it was designed for in the first place, they say.

And then, everything changes.

“Don’t use Q-tips to clean your ears.”

“You’ve been doing it wrong all these ears.”

Blah, blah, blah.

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

Don’t you think it would be exactly that with something so simple as ear-cleaning?


That doesn’t seem to be the case, even if the brand Q-tips seem to be designed for your ears in the first place.

To clarify some confusion and help you hear better, I want to show you how to properly clean your ears with Q-tips.

I didn’t invent them, but I do use them.

Especially for my ears.

A lot.

But first, let’s see where these dang things came from and why they were invented in the first place.

A Little Q-Tip History

Q-tips were invented in 1932 by Leo Gerstenzang, who got the idea from his wife, who attached wads of cotton to toothpicks.

They don’t mention what she used them for, but it was later mentioned that they were created to help with babies and keep them clean.

Who knows what really happened (because I think they were created for ears), but their story might have changed with all the fuss about how dangerous Q-tips are for ears.

But, whatever.

Q-tips are better referred to as cotton swabs, and they definitely have many uses.

So, how do you clean your ears with Q-tips?

Let’s dig right in.

Just not too deep.

How to Clean Your Ears With Q-tips


Good for you if you want to learn how to clean your ears with Q-tips.

Some say you shouldn’t clean inside your ear, while others almost tell you to avoid Q-tips completely.

Who is right, and who should we listen to?

Like everyone else, I have my way of cleaning my ears, and yes, I still use Q-tips to clean them.

But please consider this before you do any type of cleaning.

What Type of Ear Wax Are You Working With?

This is very important, as it is a critical factor in how you should clean your ears with Q-tips.

Just when you thought ear wax was ear wax, you find out you were wrong.

Not all ear wax is created equal, and you need to see what you’re working with.

Although there are several types of ear wax, you are fine with knowing two of them.

We have the wet ones, which are more common with Caucasians and Americans.

Then, we have dry ear wax, which is more common with those of Asian descent.

Who woulda thunk it?

Now that we have that out of the way, here are some simple steps on how to clean your ears with Q-tips.

Use Q-tips to Clean Your Ears Before You Shower

Whether you’re a wet wax or dry wax person, I find that cleaning your ears with Q-tips before you shower works best.

You get more dirt out, and it just feels cleaner.

Use one side of the Q-tip to get the big stuff out, and then use the other side to give it that finishing touch.

Should You Clean Inside Your Ear With a Q-Tip?


I’m not a doctor, but even I can tell you that you aren’t supposed to shove a Q-tip in your ear.

Most of you have tried to do it, and I’m sure you felt some kind of discomfort.

That sharp pain lets you know you’re doing something wrong.

That pain will tell you that you should not clean the inside of your ear with a Q-tip.

However, I like to clean around my ear canal, as that’s where most of the wax seems to hang out.

You should be fine if you’re not shoving wax back into your ear.

Your ear will tell you where you shouldn’t clean, so listen and don’t go any further than the outside of your ear.

Cleaning Your Ears After You Shower

Like shaving, I also like to clean my ears after I shower.

There’s just something about doing other hygiene-related things right when you get out of the shower.

I also cut my nails after I shower, which I will be covering in the next week.

For now, let’s focus on our ears.

But, What Does the Q in Q-tips Even Stand For?

This was a little trivia that one of my kids gave me.

And, of course, I didn’t quite have the answer, but I did give it a lucky guess.

The Q in Q-tips stands for quality.

It doesn’t make complete sense, but hey, it works.

Conclusion – Clean Your Ears With Q-Tips Cautiously

Practicing good hygiene is great and a must.

No one wants to be around your funk or look at the gunk inside your ear.


Do yourself and others a favor and clean your stinkin ears.

It takes less than a minute and will make you feel much cleaner and more confident.

However, remember to clean as far as you should, and don’t try to do too much.

You can also check out these other great blogs for more grooming tips.

Besides that, thanks for reading, and don’t forget to subscribe responsibly.

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