General Question

Spargett's avatar

Has anyone used the cones that draw out earwax?

Asked by Spargett (5377points) March 7th, 2008

I’ve drastically lost hearing in one ear, and based on alot of reading and tests I’ve done, I’m pretty confident it’s due to a sudden blockage of earwax.

If you’ve used one the cones that you light on one end and draws out earwax, please post your experience. As well as if you found it effective, etc. Thanks!

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20 Answers

paulc's avatar

I’ve not used them but I dated a girl who used them a couple times at the massage therapist she used to go to. She said it worked great the first time because it was the first time she’d ever done it but subsequent uses weren’t as spectacular. Apparently, when you’ve finished, the contents can be a bit surprising. I don’t, however know if there’s any medical reasons not to do it. I’ve often thought of trying it myself but I’ve never had any reason to apart from seeing how many bugs have been trapped in there over the course of my life.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

The best thing is ear wax softener and one of those ear bulbs with lukewarm water.

delirium's avatar

Science news says its crap, actually. <.<
I just read about it.

Or it was skeptic magazine.

jrpowell's avatar

Doesn’t work… I have insane earwax. The best way is to have your doctor flush you ears with a syringe. I had the candle thing done and it didn’t work. I have to have my ears cleaned about every year and water is the best bet. A 50/50 peroxide and water solution and a healthy stream of water clears you out.

It might take 20+ minutes per ear. But water is better than the metal hook.

I should add that the metal hook is worse than anything the dentist has ever done to me. Think hot poker in the brain.

Spargett's avatar


I watched a few people use the earwax softener. I’ve never seen someone rolling around in such agony. I don’t know what they put in that stuff, but these people were in real pain.


I’m pretty sure we’ve read the same article, which seems really grounded (great mag btw). But I’ve talked to alot of people and heard mixed results first hand. I was just curious to hear some more personal experiences.


I don’t have health insurance, so anything involving a doctor is ridiculously expensive and only saved for emergencies. I’ve heard from doctors to not put peroxide into your ear canal. Are you positive that’s what was used?

jrpowell's avatar

I don’t have insurance either. I have to go to the poor persons clinic. It is 20$ per visit. And they used normal hydrogen peroxide. A 50/50 mix with water.

And I am certain thats what they used.

gailcalled's avatar

Don’t experiment w. your ears. I tried a Neti pot (A devise for pouring warm salt water into nostrils), as extolled on Oprah and elsewhere, in order to clear sinuses. Speaking of agony…. I was in torment. Then I read the very fine print that said, “Do not use this pot if you have wide or sensitive Eustasian Tubes.” Of course, I didn’t know that until damage was done.

@Spargett: can you find a cheap clinic connected to a local Med. School?

delirium's avatar

:) Haha, I love that other people read it. ;)
I adore it.

gailcalled's avatar

@Delirium, if you mean what I think (I am not sure what those “its” mean), the original recommendation for the Neti pot came from my holistically-minded sister who is usually spot-on. She noticed severe pain also, but I have lots of friends who love the Neti.

jrpowell's avatar

Gail, I think delirium was responding to Spargett regarding the article delirium posted about.

Kurtosis's avatar

Just use those water bulbs, sometimes you have to do it many, many times but it works.

bulbatron9's avatar

I just dip a Q-tip in peroxide, and stick it in my ear.

nuiloa's avatar

Don’t do it, go to your doctor if you can’t hear.

Those ear candles seem like they’re working because if you open them up afterwards there’s all kinds of orange goop in them.

But if you just burn one on its own without putting it in your ear you get the same orange goop. So the goop comes from the candle, not your ear. It’s a bit of a scam, seems to me.

jrpowell's avatar

I have to agree with nuiloa. The person that did it to me did the same thing with cutting open the candle to show me what came out. I think it was just the wax that was already lining the inside of the candle.

Spargett's avatar

Thanks everyone, you guys rock.

gailcalled's avatar

In May of 2004, I took a terrible tumble off my deck, in the dark and knocked myself unconscious so am not sure of details. But I did end up in hospital for 6 days w. broken ribs, subdural hematoma, enormous bruises, torn rotator cuff, and deep cuts that required stitches. There were so many serious problems that it took me a while to realize that I was having trouble hearing in one ear.

I fractured the stapes bone (one of the three little bones in middle ear that conduct sound) plus incurred some nerve damage. I tried three operations to replace broken stapes w. an artificial prothesis. Three failures, so now I have to wear a hearing aid in bum ear. Not the end of the world, but unpleasant, cumbersome, time consuming and not a sub. for normal hearing. So please don’t mess w. your ears

hearkat's avatar

I’m an Audiologist. Science has disporved the practice of ear candling AND I have seen the after-effects of putting fire near your ear… and yes, ear pain is excruciating as a protective measure since the mechanisms are so delicate.

The only way to be certain that the problem is impacted cerumen is to have your ears examined. One other possibility is that you have a sudden sensorineural hearing loss, which if not treated promptly can become permanent. One of the parts of my job that I hate is when I have to inform people that their hearing loss is not medically treatable – especially when it might have been if they had sought help sooner.

As for ear cleaning techniques used by physicians, it varies and people have had painful and even traumatic experiences with each type – flushing with water, removal with a curette, or suction. If at all possible try to see an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist that has ALL the tools needed and the experience necessary to determine which will be most effective for the amount and consistency of the wax (if any) that is in your ear. And Yes, a 50/50 hydrogen peroxide/water solution is a common recommendation… but peroxide alone is usually not adviseable.

Our practice has a reduced fee for people without insurance. Call around and ask what the fees are. Describe your problem as a sudden hearing loss (since you can not be certain that it is wax), so they’ll get you in as soon as possible.

Feel free to contact me at if you have any questions. Good Luck!

seafarer456's avatar

my parents have done the cone thing and love it. It should be pretty easy just to do it yourself, just get a friend to help you. As far as I know there are no problems with it.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar


Did you even read the previous response?
Just because your parents do something, doesn’t mean it is right.

MaryW's avatar

My daughter did the ear candle on me and it really did work.It did get the yucky out of one ear not much the other. It is not something you can do for yourself like the ear wax drops. For me it was painless and my ears really felt clean and cool afterwards. Use good cones. It was a production. Neither of us used them but the one time.
If you have any doubts at all I would follow @hearkat advice. It is good advice. No fire and smoke and possible flaming hair from giggling.

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