Learn how to safely remove ear wax 

Ear wax: what it is and why your body makes it

The reason we feel tempted to clean our ears is usually because of a substance called cerumen, commonly called earwax. It’s normal for your body to produce it, and it actually helps protect and lubricate your ears. If you didn’t have earwax, your ears would probably be itchy and dry. Earwax even has antibacterial properties, which means your ears are self-cleaning. Earwax is like a filter for your ears, keeping out harmful things like dirt and dust, and trapping them so they don’t go deep inside. If it does build up inside your ear canal, especially if it clogs the canal, then you should remove at least some of the wax to prevent your hearing from being impaired.

Do ears clean themselves?

Ears are usually self-cleaning and generally don’t need any help as the earwax works its way through the ear canal. When you chew and move your jaw, you help move old earwax out of the ear canal to the ear opening. That’s where it usually dries up and falls out. If you are experiencing a build-up of earwax in the ear canal you can start by softening the wax with a wax softener and this should help the waxwork itself out of your ear. 

When should you clean your ears?

Your outer ears - the part visible to the naked eye - should be cleaned with warm water and a soft cloth whenever you bathe. Beyond that, if you have an irritation like an itch or a feeling of pressure, or especially a change in your hearing it is a good idea to look in your ear canal and see if you can see anything out of the ordinary. The best tool to perform an ear canal self-examination is a digital otoscope. If you see earwax accumulating in your ear canal - or things like dirt or dust - then you need to clean deeper in your ear canal.

How to safely clean your ears at home

If your problem isn’t serious, but you do feel like you have too much earwax buildup, you can gently clean the outside of your ears. Just use a washcloth. You also can try putting a few drops of baby oil, hydrogen peroxide, mineral oil, or glycerin in your ears to soften the wax. 

A modern approach to earwax removal is to use a digital otoscope with a wax removal attachment. ScopeAround makes a number of devices that are safe to use because you can see inside your ear the entire time you are using the device. You can’t see what you are doing if you poke your ear with a cotton swab. Digital otoscopes have integrated LED lights to illuminate the ear canal and help the tip of the otoscope avoid your eardrum. Ear wax removal is easy to do because a soft silicone-tipped spoon attaches to the end of the otoscope and that combined with the camera gives you the perfect tool to scrape out pieces of earwax or other debris. 

Shop ScopeAround Digital Otoscopes!

ScopeAround brought the first digital otoscope with camera for consumers to the market over five years ago so we have more experience and customer feedback to make the best digital otoscopes available. We make a complete range of digital otoscope products including free-standing models to USB-connected, Lightning cable-connected, and WiFi-connected devices with an otoscope camera app for your mobile device. Shop ScopeAround otoscope cameras now!


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