It may be harmful.
Inserting a cotton tipped swab (or anything else) into the ear can damage the ear canal or eardrum, or push earwax farther into the canal, making it harder to remove.
This may cause a feeling of pressure in the ear and diminished hearing.
What happens if you clean your ears too much?
Cleaning the ear too often can lead to dry, itchy ears. Using an object, such as a cotton swab, for cleaning the earwax may actually push it back into the ear. Still, there are times when a person may need to clean their ears if wax or debris has built up to the point that it causes symptoms, such as muffled hearing.
How do you deep clean your ears?
Lifestyle and home remedies
- Soften the wax. Use an eyedropper to apply a few drops of baby oil, mineral oil, glycerin or hydrogen peroxide in your ear canal.
- Use warm water. After a day or two, when the wax is softened, use a rubber-bulb syringe to gently squirt warm water into your ear canal.
- Dry your ear canal.
What is the safest way to remove ear wax?
Safe ways to remove earwax
- Ask your doctor to remove the wax in their office.
- Clean the outside of your ear with a damp cloth.
- If you choose to use cotton swabs, don’t insert them into the ear canal.
- You can use earwax softener to soften earwax for easier removal.
- You can use a syringe to irrigate your ears.
How often should you clean your ears?
A good rule of thumb is to see a professional for ear cleaning every six months or so.
When you have excessive earwax
- Muted or muffled hearing.
- Discharge from your ear or wax on your pillow.
- Pain or a feeling of fullness in the ear.
- Itchiness in the ear.
Is it bad to not clean your ears?
Ideally, no; your ear canals shouldn’t need cleaning. But if too much earwax builds up and starts to cause symptoms or it keeps your doctor from doing a proper ear exam, you might have something called cerumen impaction. This means earwax has completely filled your ear canal and it can happen in one or both ears.
Will earwax clear on its own?
Often the earwax goes away on its own with time. In rare cases, removing earwax can cause problems. Providers may recommend removal for people who can’t talk about their symptoms, such as young children. Medicines dropped into the ear canal, to soften the earwax and slowly break it down.