Why you shouldn’t use Q-tips to clean your ear

I used to clean my ears with Q-tips each time after I showered. I thought I was so so badass eco-friendly because I went all out for the “plastic-free” ones with organic cotton. As always, plastic-free only meant the product, not the packaging…

I didn’t waste a thought on how incredibly stupid it was to waste organic cotton on something that will be tossed after only one single use! Did you know that 1 kilogram (2.2 lbs) of cotton has a water footprint of 21,000 liters (= 5.500 gallons) of water?

Okay, so we waste all these resources, but at least at the end of the day, we have clean ears, right? Nope. Wroooong!!In fact, Q-tips are even bad for you! Q-tips can damage your ear drums – trust me, you might still need them! Besides, they don’t really remove the earwax, but push it even further into your ear, basically clogging it! Once clogged, you will need a professional earwax extraction. Yay!

Earwax isn’t the enemy you need to fight, it is actually good for you! It protects your ears from infections, fungi, and even insects! So here’s another video. And yes, I like youtube videos.

Your ears don’t need your help. Just like cats they conveniently clean themselves! I quit Q-tips when we went zero waste. About six months later suddenly a yucky and surprisingly large brown lump fell out of my right ear, eeeeeewwww! It looked a lot like the earwax shown in the first “Why Q-tips are bad” video. I inspected it and I saw an indent on one side that was shaped just like the tip of a Q-tip 😳! A couple of months later another lump fell out of my other ear. I really didn’t know my ears were clogged, but I’m glad I didn’t have to get a professional earwax extraction, phew!

I don’t want to quit Q-tips, isn’t there a zero waste option?

Sighs, why, why, whyyyyyy??? I do get this question whenever I write or talk about how Q-tips are actually BAD for you. But seems like a lot of you guys out there like to damage your ears 😅.

Let me stress that you really shouldn’t put anything in your ear! Q-tips don’t actually clean your ear, but can harm your ear!

I know, I know, a lot of you don’t want to listen to me.

So yeah, if you insist, there are better options. There are loop earwax removal tools you can buy in pharmacies, either made from stainless steel or plastic. If you do buy one, get the stainless steel one. Duh.

And there are also bamboo ear spoons, which are very common in Asia and can even be spotted in mangas and animes. Yup, really.

Bamboo Ear Spoon

Both earwax removal tools don’t push the earwax into your ear to the same extent as Q-tips do. However, they can still damage your ear drums. Just saying. Again.

My honest opinion: I’d rather let my ears clean themselves. Yay to being a lazy ass 🍑 😜!

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Filed under #SimpleSwap, Bathroom, Health & Personal Hygiene


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