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David Vernick, Otolaryngology, answeredThe best way to clean your ears is to use a washcloth to wipe gently around the crevices. Soap and water work just fine. Ear drops and ear irrigation systems sold over the counter in drugstores are also safe as long as you use them according to their directions. Don't poke a washcloth or anything else into your ear deeper than the opening of the ear canal; otherwise, you may push earwax into the canal, where it can cause conductive hearing loss (hearing loss caused by a blockage of sound transmission through the outer ear or the middle ear that prevents sound waves from passing through to the inner ear). Avoid using cotton swabs to clean your ears. Many people wind up in the doctor's office with injuries to the ear canals because they worked cotton swabs too far into their ears.