We were talking about Q-tips and how they say you’re not supposed to put them INSIDE your ear. My question has always been, “How are you going to clean the inside of your ear if you can’t put the Q-tip inside?”

The answer came from two of my co-hosts ( I won’t say which two but if you listen you know): “That’s what ear-candles are for!”

Maybe I have damaged my eardrums because I thought EVERYONE knew by now that those ear-candles are complete nonsense. They don’t remove wax from your ear. They don’t do anything, unless you’re looking to accidentally set your hair on fire.

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If you weren’t aware, THIS is what an ear candle looks like.


That looks like a giant, lit blunt sticking out of a senior citizens ear! Why would anyone do something like this?

The claim is that you light one end of this wax and cloth candle on fire. Then, it’s claimed, the heat will “draw out” the earwax that’s deep down and impossible to reach. Some people claim it helps in other ways, including as a treatment for cancer.

Again, for clarification, they don’t. At all.

The main “evidence” for ear candling is that you can SEE all the ear wax on the inside of the cone when you’re done. Where else could that wax have come from, if not your ear?

The answer is simple: the wax comes from the candle. Skeptical scientists have actually analyzed the “ear” wax from these candles under laboratory conditions. They found that the gross gunk that ends up inside the candle is a mixture of wax and it’s not from your ear. When studied, it’s been identified as wax from the candle itself and fabric, also from the candle. So, basically the candle burns itself, melts into the cone and makes a gross, gunky mess that I GUESS looks like what a glob of earwax MIGHT look like.

Don’t take my word for it. Here are LOTSO LINKS: from WebMD, the Mayo Clinic and the United States Food and Drug Administration.

Also, you could recreate an experiment I did over 20 years ago when ear-candling was a hot trend. Although, I probably need to tell you NOT to do this experiment because, as every one of those links says, it has zero health benefits and can actually cause harm. So, I guess, DON’T do this:

Get two ear candles. Use the first one as directed. You will see it fill up with nasty, waxy gunk. THEN, do the SAME ear with the other candle. You’ll see the same amount of wax as you did with the first one. Again, because the wax is run-off from the candle itself; NOT from your ear.

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