Don’t Try This At Home!

IMG_2336The ubiquitous Q-tip. What houshold doesn’t have at least one box of those paper sticks with soft cotton tips on both ends? They’re good for so many things around the house. For example, I use them to clean between the keys on my laptop’s keyboard.

But did you know that there is one common use that Q-tips should never be used for? That’s right. You shouldn’t use Q-tips to clean the wax out of your ears.

I bet you do, though. So do I. In fact, ever since I can remember, I’ve used Q-tips to clean my ears. I’m pretty sure that even before I was able to clean my own ears, my mother used Q-tips on my little baby ears. After all, way back then the Q-tips box even suggested the swabs should be used “for the eyes, nostrils, ears, gums, and many other uses.”

But then, in the 1970s, something changed. A warning against sticking Q-tips in one’s ears started appearing on the Q-tips packaging.

Current warning message on Q-tips packaging regarding sticking them in your ears.

Not that anyone paid much attention to that warning, which is in very fine print on an undisclosed location on the box.

Contemporary ear care hygiene tells us that Q-tips can be damaging to the ear. According to an article in Business Insider last year, “Instead of taking out the earwax, the Q-tip is good at pushing it farther into the ear canal closer to the eardrum.” After a while, all that earwax pushes against the eardrum, making it harder to vibrate. And that can cause hearing loss.

Not a bad thing

Despite its gross appearance, earwax serves some good purposes. For example, it can prevent insects from finding their way into your brain, which is, I think, a positive thing. It’s also antibacterial and anti-fungal and can trap dirt and dust so it stays on the outside of your head. And earwax isn’t an indicator that you have nasty, dirty ears, even though that might be a widely held perception. So cultivating your ugly, cruddy earwax is apparently not a bad thing.

Of course, knowing all this will not cause me to change my daily grooming routine, which includes inserting a Q-tip deep into each ear and digging out as much of that yucky, spicy brown mustard-colored gunk as I can.

Hmm. Perhaps that explains why, after decades of using Q-tips in my ears, I suffer from tinnitus and have become a little hard of hearing. But, hell, what a small price to pay for sparkling clean, waxless ear canals.

Am I right, or what?

14 thoughts on “Don’t Try This At Home!

  1. baddadcartoons101 July 20, 2017 / 12:00 pm

    I think there are far worse things you can stick in your body such as a Z-tip (alright don’t google Z-tip, I made it up)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kijo July 20, 2017 / 1:17 pm

    “it can prevent insects from finding their way into your brain, which is, I think, a positive thing.”

    Love the understatement. Hilarious.

    “It’s also antibacterial and anti-fungal and can trap dirt and dust so it stays on the outside of your head.”

    When people go 100% at keeping human canals clean, I’m like… worse things will enter!

    It was a difficult lesson for me to learn. I mowed down some hostas when I was new to gardening. I mowed down the weeds that grew in their place. Then the cats came. Please don’t cool-story-bro me, the lesson still hurts.

    So don’t clean your ears too much or worse things will grow in them.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Kijo July 20, 2017 / 2:28 pm

        That is a ridiculous comment, but I like it.

        I just noticed the expression on Q-tip guy’s face (1st photo). What on earth is going on?

        Also, I recently noticed that when people cut food, they open their mouths. Has there been a zombie apocalypse?


        • Fandango July 20, 2017 / 3:07 pm

          What? I thought the comment was quite clever? As to the guy’s face, he was clearly having an orgasm while cleaning his ears with a Q-trip. Maybe his “g-spot” is strangely located. Hadn’t noticed the open-mouthed food cutting thing. I’ll have to pay more attention. Maybe they do it so they can catch flies before they land on the food.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Kijo July 20, 2017 / 3:24 pm

            Yes, it was LOL clever, as is this one.


  3. John Holton July 20, 2017 / 1:38 pm

    I learned my lesson the time I ended up with both ears clogged and I was unable to hear until I went to a doctor and had them flushed out, and I had to drip antibiotics in my ear twice a day. Now I only use Debrox to clean them out, and then only when I have to.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango July 20, 2017 / 1:50 pm

      What did you say? I can’t hear you. Yikes! I think my ears are clogged.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sight11 July 20, 2017 / 1:59 pm

    Nope never did it. I read it the first time I was about to use it. Funny everyone else in my family use it. No matter how many times I say.. Don’t do it..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. newepicauthor July 20, 2017 / 4:15 pm

    Strange location for g-spot kind of like deep throat. I am not an expert on ear wax, but I am sort of a water expert and I hate the water build up after swimming or showers, so I twist cotton balls and insert them in my ears to dab up any water.


  6. Sandi July 21, 2017 / 10:02 am

    My aunt did that – she had to go to the doctor to have them remove wax on her ear drum (she had pushed in with a QTIP) – any nurses in anyone’s families? My grandma taught my mom, the trick is to get hydrogen peroxide. You lie down on a towel, on one side – you pour peroxide into your open ear, and let it sit for about 5-6 minutes. As it bubbles, any wax will dislodge and float to the surface. If you have big wax build up, you may have to let it sit for a little longer or do a couple of times. Then tilt you head to the other side, let one ear drain, while you repeat with the other ear. It feels really weird, when you initially pour the stuff, but after – it feels good.

    I usually don’t see much of anything, but I did this for my daughter and one time, a huge piece dislodged. So it works. Then you gently take the Qtip and lift the wax.

    Liked by 1 person

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