Ear candles: Do they work?

No doubt, earwax is not the most fancy topic of discussion. But this by no means suggests that it does play a key role in your ear health.

Earwax is a mixture of oily secretion from ear glands. It protects our ears while engulfing the dead skin cells, bacteria and dirt. Thus, it keeps the infection away from your ears. So, earwax does an excellent cleaning job even when you’re sleeping.

Despite this natural phenomenon, people stay eager to clean their ears. Some may use cotton buds and strip off the layer of natural oils that are keeping the ears moist. As a result, they feel itching. Even people don’t hesitate to use weird things like hairpins or pens to damage their delicate eardrums. 

Now it’s the turn for ear candles. Most people consider it effective because you don’t have to stick anything inside your ears. But in reality, little evidence favors its use. The use of candles may cause more harm than good. 

Experiencing any earwax problems, like hearing issues? Don’t hesitate to contact our professionals at Squeaky Ears to get the best advice. 

What is ear candling?

Ear candling is an alternative procedure for removing earwax. There’re three types of ear candles:

  • Ear cones: These types of candles are wide and short. They don’t allow the debris to enter the ear. 
  • Hopi ear candles: These are traditional long cylindrical candles and come with a filter. 
  • Basic ear candles: You will find these candles in various shapes. Moreover, they don’t have any specific safety features. 

All of these above candles feature an open chimney to hold the earwax. 

What is the classical way of candling?

  • Lay on your side. 
  • Secondly, put the candle into ear. 
  • Then, cover your face with flameproof material to protect you from hot ash and falling wax. 

Another way is to insert the candle at an angle while the person is sitting upright, using a towel along the shoulder and face to prevent burns. 

Whatever method of ear candling you choose, it should be done with a professional who can safely remove the candle remains as it burns.

Theoretically, burning an ear candle produces pressure that withdraws the earwax into the hollow candle. Keep in mind that no scientific evidence supports this procedure.  

If you do have issues with earwax, book an earwax removal appointment


Whilst we advocate homeopathic remedies and recommend using olive oil to soften the impacted earwax before the earwax removal treatment, we can’t rely on ear candles as safe and evidence-based treatments. 

You will be amazed to see images with ear candles carrying earwax on Google. Even the ear candle makers claim they can remove wax and treat sinus, tinnitus, and other ear and nose issues. But research doesn’t support these claims. 

In fact, researchers are afraid of candle wax deposition into the ear during this process. Moreover, they have not found any evidence of such suction or earwax removal.  

In simple words, ear candles can put your ears and face at risk of injury. Although Ireland and UK have no restrictions on using ear candles, the FDA has serious concerns about it. Therefore, FDA and their Canadian counterparts have taken all the measures to stop the manufacturing of ear candles. The main reason behind this restriction is that manufacturers have not provided evidence for their effectiveness. 

Common complaints of using ear candles are:

  • Burns to ear and face
  • Ear blockage due to candle wax
  • Attachment of hot ear wax to the eardrum, leading to permanent damage. 

We believe in not putting anything smaller than your elbow into your ears unless a professional is doing so. However, if you want to remove the earwax at home, see our advice for safe cleaning of your ears at home.  

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