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About Earwax
and Ear Care

What is Earwax?

Earwax is an accumulation of many different skin oils, skin debris, dirt, and other exudates that collects in the ear canal. It protects the skin of the ear canal, helps keep your ear clean and lubricated, and helps protect against bacteria, fungi, insects, and water. Earwax is made up of shed skin cells hair, and the secretions of the ceruminous and sebaceous glands of the outside ear canal. Chemically, earwax is made up of a long chain of fatty acids (both saturated and unsaturated), alcohols, squalene, and cholesterol. While earwax helps protect your ears, too much build up or compacted cerumen can press against the eardrum or block the outside ear canal or hearing aids. This can lead to hearing loss.

How Do I Know If I Have Too Much Earwax?

If you want to know if you have too much earwax you can see a doctor or medical professional. Without a doctor’s visit, you can spot potential earwax problems if you are suffering from hearing loss, ear pain, pressure, itching, plugging, dizziness, drainage from your ears, ringing in your ears, or other uncomfortable sensations.

What causes excessive earwax production?

Some people are genetically prone to produce too much earwax. However, having excessive wax doesn’t automatically lead to a blockage. The most common cause of earwax blockage is at-home removal from people using cotton swabs, bobby pins, or other objects that push wax deep into the ear, causing the blockage to occur.

Is Earwax Good or Bad?

There is nothing inherently bad about earwax. Your body produces it naturally to lubricate and clean your ears. Your skin produces oils to lubricate and protect against drying that can come from water loss and heat damage. Your ears produce earwax to moisturize the ear canal and protect the ears from dirt, debris, bacteria, and other pathogens. You need a moderate coating of earwax for it to protect your ears properly. If you have too much wax, however, you can end up with dirty and poorly functional ears.

Why Do I Have a Problem with Earwax?

Everyone’s body produces earwax differently, and earwax production is largely attributed to your genetics. Since you have more than one ear, it’s entirely possible for one ear to have too much earwax or a blockage while the other ear is perfectly fine. Some people also have more narrow or contoured ear canals than others, which can lead to problems with earwax that other people do not experience.

What are the symptoms of earwax impaction?

If you have impacted earwax, you may feel a fullness or pain in your ear. You may also experience increasing difficulty hearing. Ringing in your ear (also known as tinnitus) or itchiness inside the ear are also common. Some people may experience a discharge or odor coming from the ear. Additionally, too much earwax can cause some people to feel dizziness.

What is the most common type of earwax?

People produce earwax differently, and that is largely attributed to genetics and is expressed differently in different races. Some people produce wet earwax, while others produce a dryer variation. The white, flaky type likely means that your sweat may lack a certain chemical.

Are Wax Softeners or Irrigation Products Good at Removing Earwax?

These can be helpful, but earwax still needs to be removed after the use of wax softeners. Moreover, blind irrigation may also potentially flush ear wax deeper into the ear canal by moistening earwax and encourage infection.

Are Ear Candles Good at Removing Earwax?

Numerous studies have shown that ear candling, does nothing to help your ears. In some cases, ear candling can cause serious injuries to your inner ear.

Can I Use Hydrogen Peroxide for Earwax Removal?

Although hydrogen peroxide is the primary component in many eardrop solutions, research has shown that it may not be critical to treating earwax buildup.

How do you remove impacted earwax at home?

Look for Clinere cleaners and Clinere Earwax removal kits online or at your favorite local retailer and follow the instructions for the product. If needed you should see a doctor.

What causes earwax buildup in adults?

Some people are naturally prone to producing too much earwax. In most cases, this is based entirely on genetics. The most common cause of earwax blockages is at-home removal. Using cotton swabs, bobby pins, or other objects can push the wax deeper, causing a blockage.

Do earbud headphones cause earwax buildup?

Extensive ear plug and earbud wearing can prevent your earwax from falling out naturally. These ear devices act as a stopper in the conveyor belt process that your ears naturally use to clean themselves. These objects can push your naturally occurring wax deeper into your ear canal, which can lead to a wax buildup. This can lead to blockages, also known as earwax compaction.

How do you clean earbud headphones?

Gently dry brush the wax out of the earbud with a nylon bristle toothbrush. Hold them with the mesh facing down so gravity can take care of falling debris. If you see a waxy buildup, dip Clinere® in rubbing alcohol, tap it off, and scoop the bud to remove anything remaining. When done, wipe the earbud and surrounding area with an alcohol wipe to mildly clean and disinfect the earbud. Do not use soapy water, cleaning products, or perfume as they can seep into the ear bud and cause damage.

Do hearing aids cause earwax buildup?

Hearing aid users have a higher risk of having impacted earwax. In fact, hearing aids may stimulate glands in the ear canal to produce more wax than normal. Roughly 60-70% of hearing aids sent in for repair are damaged by earwax. Clinere® is incredibly popular with people who wear hearing aids because it makes it easier to clean ears and the hearing aids themselves.

How do you clean BTE (behind the ear) hearing aids?

  1. Use a cloth, tissue, or hearing aid wipes with disinfecting spray to wipe down your hearing aids and ear mold or dome.
  2. Remove any loose wax or debris from the microphone ports with a brush.
  3. Clear out the holes at the tip of the ear mold or dome using a wax pick.
  4. For best results, store your hearing aids in a dehumidifier when they aren’t in use.

How do you clean RIC (receiver in-the-ear) hearing aids?

  1. Use a cloth, tissue, or hearing aid wipes with disinfecting spray to wipe down your hearing aids and ear mold or dome.
  2. Brush away any loose wax or debris in the microphone(s).
  3. Clear out the holes at the tip of the ear mold or dome using a wax pick. Do not stick anything into the speaker port to avoid damaging its components. If necessary, replace the wax filter.
  4. Find the ear mold vent, if you have one, and use a vent cleaner to clear it out. This opening allows air to flow through the hearing aid.
  5. For best results, store your hearing aids in a dehumidifier when they aren’t in use.

How do you deep clean your hearing aids?

  1. For BTE (behind the ear) hearing aids, remove the tubing from the hearing aid and use a vent cleaner to clean the hearing aid’s tubing and vent.
  2. Replace the dome on a BTE or RIC (receiver in-the-ear) hearing aid.
  3. Replace the wax filter if you have one.
  4. Remove additional debris using a hearing aid vacuum cleaner.
  5. Thoroughly disinfect your hearing aid and ear mold with a hearing aid disinfecting wipe or hearing aid spray.

How do you stop itchy ears caused by your hearing aid?

Itching is most common for people when hearing aids are new. It can also be caused by too aggressively cleaning earwax from your ears. Using a cotton swab to clean your ears can scrape away keratin, the protective material that lines your ear canal. Removing keratin exposes a more sensitive layer of skin underneath, which is prime for irritation and itching. On the flip side, excessive ear wax or moisture can cause irritation or itching. Avoid exposing your ear canals to water, and make sure to clean your ears safely with Clinere® Ear Cleaners.

Are you supposed to use Q-tips in your ear?

No, you should not use cotton swabs Q tips to clean out your ears. The packaging typically says ‘Do not insert swab into ear canal. Cotton swabs are not designed to remove earwax. Instead, they push wax deeper into the ear canal.

Why does the inside of my ear itch all the time?

Itchy ears can be caused by an excessive buildup of earwax, allergies, or multiple other conditions. The most common causes of itching are nervous habits, fungal infections, or the beginning of an infection. Ear itch can also be caused by psoriasis or dermatitis. The patented fin end of Clinere® is designed specifically to safely relieve itching and exfoliate your ear. If the problem persists, see a doctor.

Why do my ears itch?

The most common and obvious cause of itchy ear canals is problems with wax. Both too much and not enough wax in the ear can cause the problem. Not having enough earwax can cause your ear canals to be dry and irritated.

Can you use vegetable oil to clean out your ears?

Yes, you can use vegetable oil to clean out your ears but, along with mineral oil, may cause allergic reactions. Do NOT put any liquid in your ear if you have a perforated eardrum. Don’t use hydrogen peroxide or any other product that causes fizzing in your ear, as pressure building up can damage your eardrum.

Can you use olive oil to clean out your ears?

Yes, you can use olive oil to clean out your ears. That’s why the Clinere® Ear Kit comes with a softener that’s specifically formulated with olive oil to soften ear wax.

Can you use alcohol to clean out your ears?

Yes, mix a half-teaspoon of white vinegar and rubbing alcohol and pour it into each ear. Allow it to drain out naturally. Do NOT put any drops in your ear if you have had any ear pain, ear surgery, or have a perforated (torn) eardrum.

Can you use baby oil to clean out your ears?

Yes, like mineral and vegetable oil, baby oil is a safe option to use to soften earwax. However, allow your ear to drain naturally and do not stick anything into your ear canal. For best results, consult a doctor.

Can you use coconut oil to clean out your ears?

Yes, coconut oil is safe to use if it is the right temperature. Warm it in the microwave for a few seconds until it becomes a liquid, then test it with your finger to make sure it is warm but not hot. Place a half to one tablespoon maximum of the oil in your ear and allow it to sit for 10 minutes before draining naturally.

What’s Wrong with Using Cotton Swabs to Clean Your Ears?

Please see our Cotton Swab FAQs page.

How do you clean your ear?

If you want to remove excess earwax at home, the following methods are the safest way to get the job done: Wipe the area with a warm, damp washcloth to soften the skin. Do not use a cotton swab to remove earwax. This will only push the earwax further into your ear canal. Once the area is softened, gently use Clinere® to scoop out extra wax and the fin end to gently exfoliate your skin. You can also use the Clinere® Earwax Removal Kit to soften the wax, allowing for easier removal.

Ear Cleaners 10 count

Clinere Ear
Cleaners-10 Count

Earwax Remover

Clinere Earwax

Earwax Care Kit

Clinere Earwax
Care Kit

Ear Cleaners 36 count

Clinere Ear
Cleaners-36 Count

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