Whatever happened to …

… Q-tips?

This is a little different from the regular Sunday topic but it’s interesting and I was challenged to write about it.

Thanks to Sheila Stewart for the suggestion and the challenge. She passed me this article.

How we got addicted to using Q-tips the wrong way

I felt guilty reading it. As a kid, we always had Q-tips in the medicine cabinet and if there was anything remotely wrong with our ears, Mom would whip out one and use it to clean wax. There were two ends to it so, of course, she’d use the other end for the other ear.

As far as I knew, all my friends had the same procedure done to them.

As a parent, we passed along the tradition. When I had problems, I felt good that I’m married a nurse (see last week’s post) and I’d have her do it. Now, thanks to Sheila and this article, I guess we were all wrong.

I have had my ear cleaned by a doctor a couple of times and it’s not pleasant. It’s brutal, in fact. And, he didn’t use a Q-tip! It was a big syringe filled with warm water and I’d hold this rounded metal container to catch what came out after he shot the water into my ear. A lot of water and, holy cow, a whole lot of wax. I remember thinking that it would have taken a whole box of Q-tips to do that. I couldn’t imagine Q-tipping it out without damaging something in my ear.

Hopefully, by now, you’ve read the article and are as appalled as I am. I was curious and yes we have some in our own medicine cabinet although they’re a no-name brand.

Wow, we poke out eardrums at an early age?

Your thoughts for a Sunday?

  • did your parents use Q-tips to clean your ears?
  • did you maintain the tradition by using them on your own kids?
  • there always was a container of these in my doctor’s office although he never used them on me. What would he have used them for?
  • in the article, there are suggestions for what they should be used for. Do you use them that way?
  • they are excellent tools for cleaning things other than ears – what and how?
  • was the article wrong?
  • do you have any waxy stories to share?

As always, I’d enjoy reading your thoughts about this topic. Please do so in the comments below.

This is a regular Sunday morning feature around here. You can check them all out here.


7 thoughts on “Whatever happened to …

  1. Yes, I grew up using Q-tips the wrong way, and admit doing this again at times as an adult. Now I love to use Q-tips in the classroom for painting. They’re great for pointillism. I wonder if others use them for this too.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for “digging” into the topic, Doug! I think my parents always had Q-tips in the house, but I don’t recall them using them in my ears, but could have at times. We always have them in stock in our house, but I never used them on my kids’ ears. I am not sure when I heard the advice/saying, but it stuck: “Never put anything in your ear smaller than your elbow”. I do use them occasionally for my ears, but very carefully and not far in (TMI? haha). I think ear wax is another thing that changes as we age… oh joy! I am now familiar with the ear flushing at the doctor’s office!

    As I mentioned to you already, I have noticed diminished quality of “Q-tips” lately and submitted a complaint because I am concerned about those who do regularly use them for ears, including my husband! Perhaps we will try a new brand soon. I find them handy for many things — makeup, applying ointments, cleaning small items or spaces of delicate items (and perfect size to dust between the keys of my keyboard haha, right?)


Please share your thoughts here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.