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What are Ear Wax Candles?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Also known simply as ear candles, ear wax candles are sections of linen that are wound into the shape of a cone, then soaked in wax. The purpose of these candles is to treat ear discomforts that are caused by blockages caused by ear wax or other debris. Many people have claimed to gain relief from the use of these candles, although the evidence remains anecdotal rather than scientific in nature.

One of the key features in the design of ear wax candles is the creation of a central opening that runs from the top to the bottom of the candle body. This central opening or hole is formed as the linen or cotton is wound into an oblong cone shape. It is this open core that is said to provide the means of initiating the process of ear wax removal and bringing relief.

In order to use candling for the wax removal, the ear wax candle is fitted through a thin plate with hole in the center. The end of the candle is inserted into the ear canal, allowing the outside of the ear to rest comfortably on the plate. With the ear wax removal candle in position, the opposite end is lit.

As ear wax candles burn, they are said to create a vacuum that will softly dislodge impacted wax and draw it from the middle ear. There are also claims that candling helps to clear the inner ear and nasal passages during the process. Still others believe that ear wax candles function as a means of conducting smoke into the ear canal, which helps to dry the interior, which stimulates the body’s ability to excrete excess wax and any other matter that is causing the blockage. While there are a number of people who attest to the effectiveness of this method of removing ear wax, no concrete proof that the practice is actually effective exists.

In general, it is not recommended to attempt candling alone. A second party should be present to oversee the process, including the lighting of the candle. The individual receiving the candling should be in a comfortable position that allows the end of the candle to be inserted gently into the ear, using the plate to prevent the body of the candle from going too deep into the ear canal. The assistant can watch the process closely and extinguish the candle before the burning portion reaches the plate.

Ear wax candles can often be purchased at health food shops, vitamin stores, and herbal shops. Kits containing the candles and plates are also offered online, and include instructions in how to use the candles to best advantage. Some alternative medical practitioners make use of the candles along with other treatments to alleviate ear pain and blockage.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including The Health Board, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By anon240857 — On Jan 16, 2012

I have tried several brands like Biosun, Otosan, Myosotis, etc., but I have to say that the best ones and most effective have been Harmony Cone. I highly recommend them.

By EarlyForest — On Sep 25, 2010

Where can I buy Chinese ear wax candles in Winston-Salem? I really want to try using candles to remove my ear wax, and I can't find any around here. Are there any good stores somebody can turn me on to?

By LittleMan — On Sep 25, 2010

I have never used ear candles, but I have heard that they have good effects. Now after reading this I'm really quite curious to try them -- does anybody know a reputable web site or place to guy them?

There's really not a place around my town that has ear wax candles for sale, so I think I'm going to have to get them online.

Do I need to just google "candles for ear wax removal" or is there one really good site that anybody knows of?


By zenmaster — On Sep 25, 2010

I'm glad that you included some tips on how to use ear wax candles -- it really is important to get somebody else to help you, because there are real risks with this treatment.

However, when done properly, it can have really great effects. I have a friend who had it done and it totally cleared out her sinuses.

Just a note for those looking to buy ear wax candles -- you might look for bees wax ear candles instead, because there are some pretty wonky google results for "earwax candles" that you can run into.

By anon59574 — On Jan 09, 2010

Over 11 million people in Italy use ear candles each year.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
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