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Thread: ear cleaning

  1. #1

    ear cleaning


    I am having problems in cleaning the ears and nose of my son whose 2 years old now. When he was younger, I didn't have any problems at all but now he doesn't want his ears and nose to be cleaned. Why is that? I tried explaining to him that we need to clean his ears and nose or else it will get stuck.

    I remember so well, we brought him to the doctor just to have those dirt on his nose be removed and even the doctor had a hard time.

    So anyone here, please help me how to encourage my son to clean his ears and nose.

  2. #2
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Is it actual dirt (soil) that he is getting in his nose, or is it mucus (like what he gets when he has congestion or a cold)?

    As for the ears, we typically don't need our ears cleaned (at least in inside the ear), and if you feel that the part of the ear that you can see need to be cleaned, then that would just be a quick clean of the ear with a wash cloth or your hands during bath time.

    Please give more information as to exactly what you are trying to remove (dirt/mucus/ear wax) and in the case of the ear, where you are trying to remove it from, and what your son doesn't like (a washcloth on his ear, a cotton swab in his ear, etc.).

    Warm regards,


  3. #3
    Hi 5Homebirths4Kate. Thanks for the response.

    The thing on his nose I guess was a mucus that has dried and the pollution from the outside that accumulated from some time. It was like a size of a mung bean.

    Regarding to his ears, it is just the outside part of the ear and I use cotton swabs and that's what irritates him but sometimes I see some ear wax and I have to clean it with swabs.

    There are some moments when I let him clean his ears with cotton swabs by himself but of course, as mum it is a bit scary for he might inserted it all the way to the ear canal. Next time, I will teach him to clean his ears with washcloth during bath time.

  4. #4

    I'm a qualified Audiologist (as well as a member of this forum!) so I thought I would offer up my advice and experience.

    We tell our patients (and the parents of the children patients) never to put anything into the ear canal smaller than an elbow! It is fine to clean wax if it comes into the bowl part of the ear - you can wipe this away with a flannel. However, we don't advocate the use of cotton buds as we have sadly seen many injuries with these (for example, where the child has suddenly coughed and their hand has jolted and made a hole in the eardrum).

    Also, you might find it useful to know that the ear has natural cleaning properties. The skin in the ear canal actually naturally grows outwards very slowly all the time - it will bring with it any wax which is loose enough into the bowl part of the ear.

    It is fine to put a couple of drops of olive oil into each ear once a week to loosen up any wax in there to help with this natural cleaning process.

    I hope this helps.

  5. #5
    Hi ljmarsden, thanks for the info.

    As I said, I won't use cotton buds anymore and let my son clean it with washcloth. Don't want anything bad to happen.

    I really appreciate your advices, ljmarsden and kate.

  6. #6
    No problem - glad it was useful. LJ

  7. #7
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Great info. Laura-Jane. I never cleaned my children's ears with cotton swabs, and one child had a lot of wax. The grandparents were concerned but I didn't give in to their prodding to clean the ear with cotton swabs, and I just cleaned the outside of the ear.

    I think the ears never stop growing (like the nose, is this correct?) and it's interesting to know that the skin slowly grows outward. I also didn't know that the wax has self cleaning properties (this is great!) and I love the olive oil suggestion.

    Thanks for sharing!


  8. #8
    Yes that's true Kate. You can actually use any type of food based oil to help keep the ears clean e.g. sunflower oil and almond oil is also particularly good.

  9. #9
    Hi. ljmarsden, how much drop of oil should be used?

    Thanks for the info. It helps a lot to learn something new. Really appreciate it.

  10. #10
    The best way to administer the drops is to buy a pipette (a 3ml capacity pipette will be fine) from the chemist and just put a 1-3 drops of oil in (once a week).

  11. #11
    Thanks for the info, ljmarsden.

    How would you take the water out of the ear? When accidentally, water got in the ear while taking a shower or while swimming?

  12. #12
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Laura-Jane may have a good suggestion for this one, but what I've found is that if water gets in the ear (from swimming, shower, bath) I just try to "empty" the ear by tilting my head to the side and shaking it in hopes that the water clears. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't, I just walk around with a "clogged" ear until it clears on it's own (and it always does... eventually).

  13. #13
    I would advise exactly as Kate says! Just make sure you don't shake your head too vigorously!

    Many children also find swimming hats useful - they also protect them from ear infections.

    Last edited by ljmarsden; 11th April 2012 at 01:14 AM.

  14. #14
    To Kate and LJ,

    Thank you for taking time to answer my posts.

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