How to clean your ears in the shower

Last update on Feb, 19, 2024

What is the best way to clean ears?

Cleaning your ears isn't always necessary as earwax naturally forms to protect the middle and inner ear by trapping bacteria and dirt. However, if you produce more earwax than usual, cleaning your ears can be a good hygiene practice. Let's explore the best way to clean your ears in the shower.

Is it safe to wash my ears in the shower?

The best time to clean your ears is in the shower. However, there's no set frequency for ear cleaning; you can do it whenever you feel the need. It's a safe and straightforward task that you can easily do at home on your own.

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Tips for cleaning ears in the shower

Understanding how to clean your ears in the shower can help you avoid minor issues. 

  • If you feel like your ears are blocked or plugged, use lukewarm water to clean your ears and gently insert it into the ear canal only. 
  • Clean the outer and back parts with your fingers or the shower head. 
  • After cleaning, tilt your head to let the water drain out and prevent it from pooling, which can lead to ear infections.


Clean the ears while using the shampoo

You can clean your ears while shampooing using your fingers to clean the outer ear, including the pinna and the back of the ear, without going into the ear canal. You can use your regular shampoo for this purpose, however, it's advisable to use gentler products for a more thorough cleaning. 

Clean the outer and the back of the ear

When cleaning your ears in the shower, it's important to focus on cleansing the outer and back areas of the ear, avoiding the internal part. Inserting liquids or other objects into the ear can disrupt ongoing cleaning processes and cause complications. If you experience issues like a blocked ear, it's best to consult your doctor or a specialist for guidance on how to proceed.

Remove excess water from the ear canal

To prevent water from getting trapped in your ear canal after a shower, tilt your head towards the affected ear and hold it there for a few seconds to let the excess water drain out.

Drying well after a shower

You might often wonder about the right way to dry your ears after a shower or hair wash. All you have to do is towel-dry the outer ear, ensuring that any water inside the ear has drained out.

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Recommendations for cleaning ears in the shower

Even a simple procedure like cleaning your ears in the shower can have some risks, if not done carefully. Let's explore a more detailed overview of the best practices to avoid these risks. 

Do not use cotton buds

Medical experts strongly advise against inserting cotton buds into the ear canal due to the potential for serious harm. These swabs can cause damage such as eardrum perforation, hearing loss, or scratches to the ear canal walls, which may lead to infections. Moreover, using cotton buds often pushes earwax deeper into the canal, with only a small portion being visible when the swab is removed.

Do not throw water directly into the ear

An additional precaution is to keep direct water jets from entering the ears, as the pressure may harm the inner ear. If needed, it is better to tilt your head to one side and slowly let some water in, always making sure to let it out by turning your head in the opposite direction.

Can I wear hearing aids in the shower?

It's not recommended to shower with hearing aids, even if they're water-resistant. Products like soap and shampoo can damage the internal circuits of the hearing aids, causing malfunctions or permanent damage. To avoid any risks, it's best to remove the devices before showering.

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