An ear pick is a tiny implement similar to a curette, which is a small surgical tool used for scraping inside various body parts. It is used to dislodge and remove dry, hardened wax inside our ears. Its tip often comes in the shape of a spoon or ladle, but it is also available in other designs that can effectively extract earwax. Some even have a small light or camera on the tip!
In this article, we put together a buying guide and examined the different types of ear picks to come up with a top 10 product list that you can purchase online. We've also shared some tips on how to determine when it's time to seek professional help for your ear wax problems. Know all that and more below!
Asians, especially East Asians and Southeast Asians, normally have flaky, light-colored earwax compared to that of Caucasians whose cerumen, which is the medical term for earwax, tends to be sticky and dark-colored. Dry, crusty earwax can be itchy, which is probably the reason for our obsession with ear picks in this part of the world.
Most of us first experienced having this implement inserted into our ears as little children when our mother or grandmother cleaned our ears, usually before going to bed, and the ritual then put us to sleep. We adopted this habit as we got older and learned to use an ear pick by ourselves. Later, we'd pass it on to our children as a tradition.
Most medical experts discourage putting anything smaller than your elbow inside your ear. Besides, our ears are self-cleaning anyway. But if you cannot resist the urge to scratch that itch inside your ear canal, then you should only use the safest ear pick to get the job done. Here’s a guide to help you choose the right one.
There are different types of ear pick tips that help you dislodge and extract cerumen from inside your ears. Each type of tip functions differently, which dictates how you should use it. These tips also have some disadvantages, so it's best to learn about them before purchasing the item.
Conversely, a disk tip is made of three to four tiny disks stacked on top of each other around the upper end of the stick. The disks loosen the earwax while the small gaps in between the disks trap and collect the cerumen when you twist the pick inside your ear.
Lastly, a spring or spiral tip with a twisted wire creates a hollow, coil-like structure that makes up the ear pick tip. It loosens and traps earwax between its wires when you turn the pick inside your ear, similar to that of a disk tip. However, since the center of the spring is hollow, expect flakes to get stuck inside.
Apart from knowing the type of ear pick tips available, finding out what they're made of can also help you decide what suits you and your family the best. Whether you need a gentle silicone tip for your baby's ears or a contoured rubber grip to make cleaning convenient, the material and design of the ear pick can make or break your decision.
Now that you know the different types of ear pick tips, it’s also good to take note of what they’re made of. Nowadays, most tips, sticks, or shafts are made of durable stainless steel material. On the other hand, ear pick tips designed for babies and children are made of softer materials like PVC plastic and silicone.
Avoid ear picks with tips made from materials that rust or break easily such as brittle wood. The last thing you would want to happen is to get an ear infection or a part of your ear pick stuck inside your auditory canal when all you needed was to clean your ear or scratch an itch.
Remember to choose an ear pick with a shaft or handle that makes use of non-slip material so that you can have better control of the implement. This is important to prevent you from accidentally losing your grip on the ear pick or having difficulty maneuvering it inside your auditory canal.
Rubber and silicone handles provide you with a good, anti-slip grip due to their soft material. Similarly, stainless steel shafts with notches and knurling provide traction for your fingertips to help you handle the ear pick more effectively. Shafts that have a flattened or wider mid-portion can also improve your grip on the tool.
Meanwhile, others have a piece of string or ring similar to a keychain which you can use to hang the ear pick. A few ear picks also have tiny trinkets as embellishments, which add to the appeal of the product.
Your auditory canal is more or less 2.5 cm deep. If you reach your ear pick beyond that, you might cause serious damage to your eardrum, and consequently, impair your hearing. That said, the length of your ear pick should roughly be 3-5 times longer than 2.5 cm, which is about 7.5 to 12.5 cm long.
When using a manual ear pick on yourself, you rely on your sense of feeling to navigate the tip inside your ear and blindly poke random spots along your auditory canal to get cerumen out. Asking someone else to do it for you may be better as they can more or less see what they’re doing.
Fortunately, some newer ear picks have a tiny light bulb inside to illuminate your ear canal and aid the person in cleaning your ear. Technology has even taken it a step further with “smart” ear-cleaning devices that not only have lighting but a camera attached to the tip that allows you to see inside your ear once it is synced to your gadget.
There are ear picks that are sold individually, while there are those that come in a set with various tip types and other ear-cleaning items. Also, some have caps or covers to keep the tips clean, while others come in a case to protect the instrument or store a variety of ear picks and other tools.
Electric ear picks such as those that have LED lights and "smart" features allow you to see inside your ear using a camera that is connected to your device either through a cord or Wi-Fi. As for the accessories, newer ear picks often come with a protective case, replacement tips, and batteries or a USB charging cable.
We hope our buying guide has prepared you to look through different types of ear picks and to make an informed assessment before committing to a purchase. Ready to scratch that itch inside your ear? Here's a list of our top 10 best ear picks that are conveniently available online.
**Prices may vary depending on the website and their campaign period**
|Tip Type||Assorted (Scoop, Spiral, Disks)|
|Tip Material||Medical Grade Stainless Steel|
|Handle||Medical Grade Stainless Steel|
|Length||8 - 12 cm|
|Accessories||Plastic Case, Small Cleaning Brush|
|Accessories||Two Scoop Tips, USB Charging Cable|
|Accessories||USB Charging Cable|
|Tip Material||Stainless Steel|
|Accessories||Cover, USB Charging Cable|
|Accessories||Iron Box, Ear Tweezers, Clip, 2 Replacement Tips|
|Accessories||Plastic Case, Large Ear Pick Head, Small Ear Pick Head|
|Accessories||Figurine on the Bottom End and a String for Hanging|
|Tip Type||Spiral and Brush|
|Tip Type||Scoop and Cotton Bud|
|Tip Material||PP, Cotton|
|Accessories||Cylindrical Container With Rotating Top|
Stainless Steel Ear Pick Set
Soft Silicone Ear Pick
R1 Smart Visual Ear Pick
Billeau Ear Loop
Visual Ear Pick
LED Flashlight Ear Pick
Baby Ear Cleaner
Bamboo Ear Picks
Silicone Dual Head Ear Pick
Double-Headed Ear Wax Pickers
A Compact and Complete Set of Ear Picks You Can Bring Anywhere
Lightweight Ear Pick for Every Member of the Family
Visual Ear-Cleaning Made Possible
Remove Earwax With Precision and Safety
Visual Ear Pick With Blue Light Sterilizer
Illuminate the Ear Canal and Pick or Pluck Stubborn Earwax
Luminous Plastic Ear Pick Perfect for Your Baby’s Ears
A Traditional Set of Ear Picks That Gets the Job Done
Maximum Flexibility for Maneuvering Inside the Ear
Disposable Ear Picks With Cotton Buds
|Price Starts at||₱84||₱121||₱659||₱250||₱996.55||₱109||₱82||₱48||₱46.55||₱87|
|Tip Type||Assorted (Scoop, Spiral, Disks)||Scoop||Scoop||Loop||Scoop||Scoop||Scoop||Scoop||Spiral and Brush||Scoop and Cotton Bud|
|Tip Material||Medical Grade Stainless Steel||Silicone||PC||Stainless Steel||PP||Plastic||Plastic||Bamboo||Silicone||PP, Cotton|
|Handle||Medical Grade Stainless Steel||Plastic Plastic||Not Specified||Stainless Steel||PP||Stainless Steel||PVC||Bamboo||Silicone||PP|
|Length||8 - 12 cm||15.6 cm||Not Specified||Not Specified||Not Specified||17.8 cm||14.3 cm||12.5 cm||14.5 cm||7.5 cm|
|Operation||Manual||Electric (Battery-Operated)||Electric (Battery-Operated)||Manual||Electric (Battery-Operated)||Electric (Battery-Operated)||Electric (Battery-Operated)||Manual||Manual||Manual|
|Accessories||Plastic Case, Small Cleaning Brush||Two Scoop Tips, USB Charging Cable||USB Charging Cable||None||Cover, USB Charging Cable||Iron Box, Ear Tweezers, Clip, 2 Replacement Tips||Plastic Case, Large Ear Pick Head, Small Ear Pick Head||Figurine on the Bottom End and a String for Hanging||None||Cylindrical Container With Rotating Top|
Ear picks can help remove hardened earwax or scratch an itch inside your ears. However, there are certain cases when using an ear-cleaning instrument on yourself or on someone else will not solve the problem and may even make it worse. Consult a doctor if you are experiencing any of the following:
These could be symptoms of a more serious condition, and seeking professional help early on will not only prevent further discomfort or damage to your ears but also give you access to the best treatment and most suitable form of relief. Again, do not attempt to put matters into your own hands as it might aggravate the situation.
Let's face it: it's so satisfying to get inside your ears and remove excess earwax and itchy flakes, but there are also other parts of your body that you can groom, such as your nails and eyebrows. Complete your arsenal of self-grooming and personal hygiene tools with these items.
We Filipinos are no strangers to dry, crusty earwax, so it's no surprise that ear picks are still a popular personal hygiene instrument in most households. Whether you prefer a manual or electric one or a scoop, loop, disk, or spring tip, you'll definitely find the right ear pick for your needs!
We hope our buying guide and top 10 list helped you choose the best ear pick for you to ensure effective, comfortable, and safe ear cleaning sessions. However, when using ear picks, remember to exercise caution and consult a medical professional if necessary.
Author: Martina Claudio
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