Stop using Q-Tips to clean your ears. Hydrogen peroxide is more effective, ear drops are even safer
- TikTokers are cleaning their ears with hydrogen peroxide after a woman's earwax hack went viral.
- Doctors said the method is safe as long as you use a low concentration.
- Over-the-counter earwax removal kits are even safer.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
A woman went viral on TikTok for showing how she cleans her ears with hydrogen peroxide, letting the liquid fizz and bubble in her ear canal.
In the video - which has been viewed more than 14 million times, BuzzFeed reported - Ayisha Friedman-Negrín (aka @ayishafrita) called it the "proper" way to clean your ears. Doctors have weighed in with their own videos, and they say the method is far safer than cleaning with Q-Tips.
Cotton swabs will only push earwax deeper into the ear canal, and frequent use could interfere with the ear's ability to clean itself.
However, doctors warned against using high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide on your skin, and one said that over-the-counter ear drops are a safer option.
Hydrogen peroxide breaks up earwax, but the wrong kind could irritate your skin
In the TikTok, Friedman-Negrín described the hydrogen peroxide "bubbling" in her ear. She kept the liquid in her ear until it stopped fizzing, and then flipped over to let the gunk deposit on a towel.
"When hydrogen peroxide reacts with your nasty earwax, it releases oxygen, which bubbles up," he said in the video.
While this is an effective way to clean your ears without a Q-Tip, Youn said that high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide can cause skin irritations and blistering.
He suggested buying an over-the-counter earwax removal kit instead. Ear drops made with carbamide peroxide will achieve the same satisfying fizzing effect with less risk of damaging your skin.
In a separate video, Dr. Sina Joorabchi, a doctor of osteopathic medicine, said to stick with concentrations of less than 10% if you're using hydrogen peroxide. Ideally, five drops of a 3% concentration (that's the brown bottle in your bathroom) will get the gunk out.
Don't try this at home if you have a history of ear infections
Dr. Joorabchi also warned against using hydrogen peroxide to clean your ears if you have a history of ear injury or infection.
If your eardrum has any small holes or perforations, the liquid could cause you pain and lead to further damage.
People with a history of ear problems should see a doctor if they want ear cleaning.
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