Cotton buds, also known as cotton swabs or q tips, are hygiene products that are typically used to clean the ear canal by removing ear wax. People also tend to use it when removing makeup or other purposes such as arts and craft, cleaning etc. Q tips consist of two clumps of cotton wool placed around one or both ends of a thin stick made of plastic, wood or paper. Countries that mass produce cotton swabs are China, Japan, the U.S. and other regions where raw materials are readily available.

Is cotton bud good for the ear? | What to do if you get a cotton bud stuck in your ear? | Is ear candling a better choice?

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Everything You Need to Know About Cotton Buds

Is cotton bud good for the ear?

Believe it or not, doctors do not recommend using cotton buds for ear cleaning because your ears actually clean themselves. You may think that because cotton is soft, it can’t do much damage. Not only are you risking pushing the earwax deeper into the ear canal, but you can also unintentionally scratch and irritate the ear canal. By pushing it deeper, it can prevent your ears from cleaning themselves and cause pain, muffled hearing or even hearing loss.

A common injury caused by putting a cotton swab too deep into the ear is a ruptured eardrum. The eardrums are delicate and any forced occurrence towards it can lead to bleeding. It’s also possible for cotton residue or the whole cotton part of the q tip to come off whilst inside the ear.

What to do if you get a cotton bud stuck in your ear?

If you or anyone around you have steady hands, straightening the ear canal and pulling your ear up and backwards may help remove the cotton bud. If the person is calm and the bud is visible, it is possible to use blunt-ended tweezers to remove it. Although, if you are not a hundred per cent confident that you are able to remove it yourself, it is best to seek medical help from a healthcare provider/doctor.

Is ear candling a better choice?

Ear candling is in the list of home remedies No-Nos. Doctor’s do not recommend it as it has not been scientifically proven to get the ear wax out. Ear candling is when the wax from the candle creates a vacuum effect to remove any impurities. Apparently, a lot can go wrong when you put a burning candle in your ear whilst lying down.

Things you CAN use a cotton bud for:

  • Perfect your lip line

It is very satisfying when you manage to put on your lipstick with absolutely no smudges. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stay perfect for long. When that happens, you can use a cotton bud to fix it.

  • Clean electronic devices

Don’t you just hate it when there are dust and dirt built up in the crevices of your keyboard? A q tip can easily clean it down and have your keyboard looking fresh and new.

  • Clean your earphones

It may not be a good idea to stick a cotton bud in your ears to clean it out but earphones tend to collect a lot of earwax. So, clean it out from your earphones instead!

  • Rhine your jewellery

Jewellery looking dull after years of use? Cotton has a soft texture that will help buff the surface to make it look shiny again.

  • Nail art tool

Are you as bad as me when it comes to painting your nails without smudging it all over your fingers? With cotton buds, you can precisely apply nail polish and blend the colours for a dramatic effect.

  • Cleaning cuts and scrapes

Deeply cleaning a cut is hardly an appealing process but it is essential to provide a healthy healing process. Cotton wool is soft enough clean cuts and scrapes while lessening the chances of irritation.

  • Light candles

When a wick is hard to reach, just lightly soak the tip of a cotton bud in alcohol and carefully light it with a lighter. Make sure you have water nearby to extinguish it right after lighting the candle.

  • Get rid of leather scuffs

Leather is easily scuffed when you accidentally bump it on something. All you have to do is swab a cotton bud into some vaseline and buff it right out.