Removing Ear Wax: Ear Wax Removal Tool or Bulb Syringe?

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Earwax removal is a not often discussed. However, it’s an issue people face all the time. Earwax is the natural buildup of debris in the ear canal. Over time it is important to remove the wax to keep the ears clean and to keep debris away from the eardrum.

plastic ear wax removal toolBut not all ear wax should be treated equal. It’s interesting to note that earwax takes a different form based on your ethnicity. People of Asian and Native American descent likely have earwax that’s dry and flaky due to a recessive gene. People of European and African descent tend to have wet earwax due to a dominant gene.

As you might guess, having dry or wet ear wax will affect what kind of earwax removal method you should use.

Earwax removal may become necessary when you experience symptoms of earache, a fullness in the ear, partial hearing loss, tinnitus, a ringing noise in the ear, itching, odor or discharge. If this occurs, you could be experiencing impaction. Although most of the time you will just experience build up, impaction is also a possibility and should be taken seriously.

Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent ear wax build up. It’s natural for the sebaceous glands of the ear to produce wax. And on top of that, some people produce more wax than others. The best thing to do is to occasionally pay attention to any earwax build up and remove it to prevent impaction.

Most of the time ear wax will naturally fall out due to jaw movements or chewing gum. However, if the wax does not come out naturally, there are several ways to take this into your own hands and clean it out yourself.

One way to approach wet earwax removal is by irrigating the ear with a bulb syringe of mineral oil, baby oil, glycerin, or commercial drops from a kit found at a drug store. Wetting ear wax with these products for a few minutes can soften and loosen the earwax. Then, simply tilt your head to the side to let it drain out.

Ear cleaning tool to remove ear waxFor dry earwax a completely different method must be used and this usually involves an ear cleaning tool. In Asia, earwax is often removed by using ear picks. A highly popular removal method, the ear pick usually has a scoop or screw-like head that dislodges, removes, and acts as an earwax catcher.

One must be careful when using an Asian ear pick and not push the ear pick in too far and damage the ear canal. For children, it is not uncommon to get their ears cleaned by a parent using an ear pick. Most Asian countries use similar types of ear picks so a Japanese ear pick is very similar to a Chinese one etc. Many are made of plastic or bamboo.

In the United States and other Western countries, people like to use Q-Tips. Q-tips can be detrimental for earwax removal as the Q-tip can end up pushing the earwax deeper into the canal. Since Q-Tips merely consist of small cotton swabs at each end, there is no scooping piece to it that pulls it out.

Also, ear candles are not a safe option either. Both Q-tips and ear candles can possibly do more damage than good and should be avoided. So if you want to have safe earwax removal that does the job choose either the liquid approach or use an ear wax removal tool.


JATAI provides innovative and professional quality beauty implements with world-class customer service and educational support. To offer great products as a master distributor, we seek out and select only manufacturers who demonstrate superior workmanship, the most advanced technology, and respected business core values of reliability, honesty and integrity. Accordingly, JATAI represents three major ‘workhorse’ brands that dominate within their categories. Feather, Seki Edge and Fuji Paper. JATAI Academy brings beauty tools to creative life. It’s the ultimate professional information resource where Education, Artistry and Trends CONNECT for Stylists and Barbers.

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