Do Ear Wax Candles Actually Work? Take a Break from Q-Tips and Try One

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I clean my ears with a Q-tip twice a day, and to be honest, I know it’s wrong. I recently had a situation where I inserted the Q-tip too hard, and seriously hurt my ear drum as a result. After a trip to my doctor’s office because of it, I swore I would never go back to the Q-tip again. With that said, I recently tried out something different—an ear wax candle.

Yes, I know it sounds (and looks!) super weird (photo below), but it was such an interesting experience. Believe it or not, it was actually quite relaxing. I went with an all-natural beeswax candle with a pleasant aroma—try Wally’s Natural Products All-Natural Herbal Beeswax Candle ($16; or White Egret Beeswax Candles ($8; to help set the mood. As I lay there while the candle slowly burned, I was surprisingly able to unwind and relax my mind. The best part? It actually works! Below, I break down exactly how to successfully complete this process without getting hurt (it includes always having someone else with you). By the way: do not perform this procedure every day.

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Wash your hands thoroughly to avoid infection.

Take a paper plate, and cut a small hole through the middle of it (make sure the opening can fit the candle through it.

Make sure the small end of the candle will securely fit into the ear (you may have to gently cut it if not).

Once the candle is properly sized, place the small end through the opening in the plate.

Light the large end of the candle and make sure the smoke is effectively going through the tube (you’ll know because smoke will be coming out the other end).


Lie down comfortably, and have someone else place the candle in your ear.

Once the candle is securely fastened, make sure it’s pointing directly at the ceiling so the smoke evenly flows through.

As the candle begins to burn, it will produce ash, which should be cut off with a scissors and discarded immediately.

After the candle has burned for up to 15 minutes, have the other person gently remove it from your ear (blow out the flame once it’s completely removed from the ear).

To view the remains, cut the candle down the middle (this part is really gross).

Clean Up

Discard the candle when finished (make sure the flame is completely out).

To soothe the ear and prevent future itching or dryness, apply a moist towel, a few drops of ear oil or a cotton ball delicately into the ear.

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