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Are You Using Cotton Swabs To Clean Your Ears?

The Truth About Cotton Swabs

Cotton Swabs can act as a plunger, pushing earwax deeper into the ear canal, worsening blockage – with their use further being attributed to at least 75% of wax blockage.*2


Cotton Swabs are designed and sold as applicator tools and not as ear cleaners. They are used to add material like ointment, not as wax extraction tools. Neither physicians or manufacturer recommend cotton swabs for earwax removal.* The leading manufacturer of cotton swabs does not mention using cotton swabs for ear cleaning on their website.

Cotton Swabs are manufactured with a cotton tip over a thin, hard, rigid stick, that can poke or jab dirt into the ear canal – potentially damaging vital structures.*

1 Seely DR, Quigley SM, Langman AW.”Ear candles–efficacy and safety”, Laryngoscope. 1996 Oct;106(10):1226-9

2 Macknin ML, Talo H, Medendrop SV. “Effect of cotton-tipped swab use on ear-wax occlusion”, Clin Pediatr (Phila). 1994 Jan;33(1):14-8