Don’t put anything in your ear but your elbow

Almost every single person I’ve mentioned Q-tips to has said, “Ooh. I know you’re not supposed to put them in your ears, but I do it all the time. I love it.”


About S.

Reader, writer, talker, knitter, picture taker, tennis player, music lover, Southerner.
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4 Responses to Don’t put anything in your ear but your elbow

  1. Someone said on Twitter one day that they’d like to send pizza to the Q-Tip headquarters and instruct them to insert it around the mouth, but never into it. I thought that was fitting.

    Ear wax is a funny thing; if you read about it, you will see people tell you it needs to be there, that it is doing its job, etc, and yet so many people wind up with hearing problems because they are just genetically prone to producing lots of ear wax. So, I try and adopt the every other day method; same with shaving my underarms and shampooing my hair, simply so I’m not overzealous about it. I also find that if you use your left hand to clean your right ear and vice versa, you get a better angle and get them cleaner. There is nothing more satisfying than looking at that dirty Q-Tip, I know.

    Anyway, if you want to see my ER doctor friend Murt turn red and stomp his feet, discuss ear candling with him for a while. Ha.

    • S. says:

      My ear used to itch all the time, so much so that it was waking me up from a dead sleep in the middle of the night. So I went to see an ENT about it, because I was seriously sleep-deprived. He looked in my ears and said, “These are the cleanest ears I have ever seen. On anybody.” I thanked him for the compliment.

      It wasn’t a compliment. I ended up having to have my nose operated on and putting a Q-tip in my ear only if it had some Very Special Ear Drops on it, because the wax in your ear is like the wax on your car – it protects the finish. But the operation on my nose was because my Eustachian tubes were always full of water and they were itching, but of course you can’t get a Q-tip down there.

      So anyway, I’m not ever pulling out a dirty Q-tip, because my ears are scrupulously clean, though they shouldn’t be.

      Fast forward to many years later and I’m having six or seven sinus infections a year and I go to a new ENT and she looks around inside my head, and then says, “your ears are ridiculously clean. You have to stop this.”

      I went right home and threw away all the Q-tips (and I buy them in boxes of 500) and starting using yet another kind of Very Special Ear Drops. I managed to not use Q-tips until Lynn’s Big Fall, and the stress of the whole thing just drove me right back to it. I swear, it’s like an addiction.

      I am not going to go for ear candling, though, because I’m aware there are tiny hairs in there to protect things and I don’t want them singed out. Plus, I’m afraid something would go wrong and I’d get my brain burned somehow.

      • My old dog loves his ears cleaned so much, that when we leave him in the kitchen, since he is blind, he looks for things to scratch his ears on, and we come home and the chairs are all pulled out from the kitchen table, because he moves them all.

        The new little fellow despises ear cleaning, which is too bad because his really get bad quickly. I don’t know if chihuahuas can scream, but by God, pugs can, and squirm like greased pigs.

        I love the sensation of the Q-Tip. But sometimes you have to be patient and let it build up a few days to make it worth it.

    • Kt says:

      I have been warned about Q-tips, too. And I’m pretty sure they sell them only in 500 packs or more just to drive people crazy. I’ve also learned that brand name is better in this case, as the store brand ones can leave cotton balls behind in your ears.

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