Do you Q-tip your ears?

Do you use Q-tips to clean your ear canal on a regular basis? If so, how often do you do it and how long has it been a habit? Topic in Audio Gear Talk because our ears are arguably the most important audio gear we’ll ever own!

I’m 23, and have Q-tipped after every shower for at least the last decade. I’m wondering if it has any short or long term effects, positive or negative. I’d assume it slightly improves hearing overall, given you don’t damage the eardrum.

No, it’s a stupid idea to insert anything into your ears. I clean the auricles, obviously. I visit an otologist every two years or so (or if something is wrong) for checking, who will also clean any excess wax safely.


The NHS will tell you it’s a bad idea:

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Hi @Max_Chambers

Can you fit your elbow in your ear? No, then stop putting Q-tips in your ears.

That’s what I got told when younger

However, I do use Q-tips in my ears as a nurse once showed me how far you’d have to got to damage anything.

10mm in is ok, but that is in my ears.

The adult human ear canal extends from the pinna to the eardrum and is about 2.5 centimetres (1 in) in length and 0.7 centimetres (0.3 in) in diameter.

I’ve been doing it forever without any problems. I can’t stand the feeling of walking around with cold and wet ear canals.

I’ve also run with scissors a few times without maiming myself in the process.


They dry in like a minute, but to each their own. Still a bad idea though, it’s not just about the maiming, read the link

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My comment about the scissors was meant to be tongue in cheek.

I have cleaned my ears out with Q-tips for around 35 years. I do it after every shower which is every other day.

there is no right answer to this, i think

Don’t use qtips, or anything else for that matter, to clean your ear canal. It’s not just because you might insert it too far and damage something, it’s also because with a Q-tip you actually push wax further into your ear and pack it towards your eardrum. This defeats the ear’s natural process for slowly moving wax out the canal. If you have wax buildup in your ears, tilt your head and put a few drops of olive oil in your ear and keep your head tilted for a few minutes. Do this for 3 days, then rinse your ear with warm water using a baby bulb. This is the recommendation I’ve gotten from two audiologists.


I’ve been told this too, this is the way

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I use a QT after a shower, and i’m realizing i put it in as far as my IEMs go in…

Not only did I grow up using Q-Tips in my ear canal, I didn’t have a car seat, seatbelts were not used and cars did not have air bags and I survived.


When did Q Tips become Audio Gear!! C’mon guys……

Input transducer maintenance device?


Of course not the standard cheap ones


I q-tipped my ears for 20 years. Things got better when I made sure water never entered my ears. Eventually tho, I started to get massive ear infections and the culprit was that the “gentile” q-tipping I was doing was ever so slightly scratching the delicate skin deep in my ear canal that would cause bacteria to gain a foothold. I bought an otoscope and could see the before and after effects of q-tipping - you can see where it irritates the skin. I stopped q-tipping and infections have gone away. Stopping q-tipping was very hard because your ear have to build up the wax to get ph-balance equilibrium that keeps away the infections. It’s a painful 2-4 weeks. I am now enjoying the freedom from the q-tipping cycle of doom.

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How do you listen? Your ears are the most important part of the chain, keeping them in “as best” condition is surely of paramount importance.

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And keeping them in best condition is not by poking blindly into them with devices


I listen the same as every one else. Thanks for asking, excluding deaf people of course. That was not my point. For you again:

Perhaps a change to “Off Topic” would be appropriate.