Earwax, also known as cerumen, is a natural substance that helps protect the ear from dirt, dust and bacteria. However, excessive buildup can cause discomfort, hearing problems and even infection. If you’re looking to clean your ears, it’s important to know the dos and don’ts of cleaning to avoid causing damage to your ears.

Dos and Don’ts of Earwax Removal


  1. Use ear drops: Ear drops can help soften and loosen earwax, making it easier to remove. There are over-the-counter ear drops available, or your doctor may prescribe drops if necessary.
  2. Use a warm washcloth: Wet a washcloth with warm water and gently wipe the outer part of your ear.
  3. Use a removal kit: There are removal kits available that come with a syringe or bulb that can be filled with warm water to flush out your ears.
  4. Seek medical attention: If you have excessive buildup, hearing loss or pain in your ear, it’s important to seek medical attention from a doctor or audiologist.Woman cleaning ear out with a cotton swab


  1. Use cotton swabs: Using cotton swabs is not recommended as it can push the earwax deeper into the ear canal and cause damage to the eardrum.
  2. Use sharp objects: Using sharp objects such as pins or toothpicks can cause injury to the ear canal and eardrum.
  3. Use excessive force: Applying too much pressure or force can cause damage to the ear canal and eardrum.
  4. Use cold water: Cold water can cause dizziness and discomfort when attempting to remove earwax.

Cleaning should be done carefully and with caution to avoid causing damage to your ears. Follow the dos and don’ts of earwax removal to safely and effectively remove excess earwax. If you have concerns about your earwax or experience any discomfort or pain, contact our team at Roanoke Valley ENT and Allergy.