So Long, Q-Tips: The Truth About Ear Cleaning

Do you clean your ears with Q-tips? Almost everyone I know does. I used to. Even after watching Lena Dunham's infamous, horrifying scene on Girls, in which she painfully ruptures her eardrum with the aforementioned swab of choice, I still saw them as the go-to for removing earwax. At least that's what I thought I was doing—"removing excess wax." Then one day, I lost my hearing in my left ear and learned a very valuable lesson that surprisingly few people know and even fewer practice—you're never supposed to put anything in your ear that's smaller than the size of an elbow. Keep scrolling to learn why, and what to do about earwax in lieu of using Q-tips.