Who doesn’t like being clean? Washing off after a long day is always nice. But what’s the best way to safely clean your ears?

Washing the outside of your ears

The best thing to do is just wash the outer part of your ear. That’s all. Just use a washcloth to clean it and scrub off any dirt that might have built up on the outside of your ear. What you don’t want to do is stick your finger in your ear or try to wash out your earwax.

Why shouldn’t I clean out my earwax?

Earwax – or cerumen – serves an important role in protecting the inner and outer ear as well as moisturizing the inner ear. We’ve talked about this before, but it’s important enough to mention it again: don’t stick a Q-tip or other object in your ear to remove the earwax. You could end up causing cerumen impaction or ear trauma. Cerumen impaction can cause hearing loss, pain, itching, and other symptoms.

If you do have excessive earwax, consult your doctor before making any moves. They will suggest safe, healthy ways of cleaning out your ears.

What if I get water in my ears?

You’re washing your ears, or maybe rinsing your face or hair, and water gets inside. Maybe even a little soap got mixed in. If so, don’t panic. You can safely dry your ear by patting it with a towel, or lying down on a towel and letting gravity help. You can also turn a hair dryer on at its lowest setting and gently dry your ear that way. If necessary, over-the-counter medicines can help get rid of it.

Again, don’t stick anything in your ear, whether it’s a Q-tip or a towel. If water gets stuck in your ear, it could cause an ear infection.

Care for your clean ears

Whether you keep your ears nice and clean but still need an exam, or you impacted your earwax or have an infection from water you couldn’t drain, you should come to CEENTA. Our ENT physicians would be happy to help make your ears as healthy as possible and would love to see how clean you made them.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. New patients can make appointments online with our ENT doctors in North and South Carolina. Current patients can also make appointments through myCEENTAchart with physicians they have already seen.


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