About Doctor's Ear Wax Cleaner
Using powerful built-in lights and disk ear guard technology to help prevent canal damage, Doctor's Ear Wax Cleaner is a pediatrician-created device that promises to be the safest and most effective way to remove wax at home.
Compared to other manual options, this battery operated, FDA registered medical device features soft, slow-spinning SpiralTEK silicone tips that work safely and easily. Just insert the grooved spiral tip into your ear, press the button, and activate the rotation, and it will proceed to grab and remove wax buildup.
These tips come in three different sizes, which the Ear Wax Cleaner website tells us ensures proper insertion depth for all ages. When you're done, wash the tips with soap and water.
Based on the product’s commercial, it certainly seems like Doctor’s Ear Wax Cleaner could help make the removal process easier, as well as safer with its disk ear guard technology. But is it really the “doctor’s secret to cleaning ears,” as claimed on the site? Even then, will it deliver a solid level of value for the money?
Here, we’ll explore everything we learned so you can answer questions like these.
What Is Earwax & Is It Safe to Remove?
MedicineNet reports that earwax is a combination of cerumen (natural wax) and dead skin cells that helps repel water and protect the ear from damage and infections. As it’s slowly pushed out of the ear canal by the body, this wax dries up and flakes off, at which point it also carries away any accumulated dust or dirt particles.
Sometimes, however, earwax can build up inside the ear canal, which can be caused by a variety of factors, including physical narrowing of the canal, reduced or excessive cerumen production, hearing aids, and earphone usage. Another major cause is sticking things in the ear to clean out any accumulated wax.
In fact, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (AAOHNS), “Wax blockage is one of the most common causes of hearing loss. This is often caused by attempts to clean the ear with cotton swabs. Most cleaning attempts merely push the wax deeper into the ear canal, causing a blockage.”
As a result, they recommend that, “Under ideal circumstances, the ear canals should never have to be cleaned.” This relates to all objects, including Q-Tips, Doctor’s Ear Wax Cleaner, as well as bobby pins and candles.
However, if you’re experiencing symptoms of earwax blockage, such as earache, hearing problems, ringing, itching, or ear canal discharge, the AAOHNS notes:
“Patients can try placing a few drops of mineral oil, baby oil, glycerin, or commercial drops in the ear. Detergent drops such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide (available in most pharmacies) may also aid in the removal of wax.”
At-home saline irrigation kits are commonly available as well, although they can cause temporary dizziness. And the AAOHNS recommends that they shouldn’t be used by anyone with torn eardrum or tubes implanted.
Finally, if your pain or hearing loss has become severe enough and none of these other methods have provided relief, it’s time to speak with your physician. Based on your specific diagnosis, they might prescribe eardrops or even manual removal using microscopic visualization.
How Much Does the Doctor's Ear Wax Cleaner Cost?
One Ear Wax Cleaner Device is priced at $19.99 plus free S&H. During checkout, you’ll be able to order a second unit for an additional $9.99 fee.
Each unit includes three sizes of flexible tips:
- Blue: 0-6 months
- Green: 6 mo - 6 yrs
- Orange: 6 yrs+
We reached out to customer support to find out if more replacement heads were available, their price, what kind of batteries the device uses, and if they’re included, although none of the representatives we spoke with showed the product in their system.
All Doctor’s Ear Wax Cleaner orders come with a 60-day money back guarantee, less S&H. To request one, you’ll need to call Tristar Products’ customer service department at 973-287-5126.
Doctor’s Ear Wax Cleaner vs. Smart Swab & Other Competition
Earlier, we discussed common at-home products that are advertised to help consumers remove earwax, such as candling, saline irrigation, and drops that contain mineral oil, baby oil, glycerin, hydrogen peroxide, or carbamide peroxide. But what about twist devices like the Doctor’s version?
Searching online for the term “twist ear wax remover” returned quite a few results for a competing product named Smart Swab, as well as one unbranded option on Amazon that appeared functionally identical. But are these competing options anything alike?
While Smart Swab featured soft, flexible, interchangeable heads like Doctor’s, different lengths weren’t available, and no disk protection technology was mentioned. And based on the images shown on their respective sites, Smart Swab’s tips featured a more triangular, drill-style shape, while Doctor’s were more akin to deeply grooved cotton swabs.
Perhaps the biggest functional difference, though, is that Doctor’s is battery powered, while Smart Swab is manual (i.e., you have to twist it yourself, like the handle of a toothbrush).
Despite the added engineering that seemingly goes into any product with a motor, if purchased through their respective manufacturers, Doctor’s Cleaner and Smart Swab were both priced at $19.99 plus free S&H. Additional devices of each could be purchased for $9.99 a piece.
Will you necessarily get a better value by ordering the Doctor’s Cleaner, though?
Our Final Thoughts About Doctor’s Ear Wax Cleaner
If you’re looking for a battery powered earwax removal system with swab-like interchangeable heads that are reusable, features ear canal protection technology, or utilizes one button operation, Doctor’s Ear Wax Cleaner was the only game in town at the time of our research.
It also came with free shipping and a money back guarantee, making it a potentially appealing option if you’re worried about earwax buildup. And its FDA registered status (“an indication that a medical device is substantially equivalent to an existing device for a particular purpose”) might certainly sound appealing.
But here’s the thing: While we’re certainly not medical professionals here at HighYa, wherever we looked online, those who are medical professionals consistently recommended that you not clean earwax out of your ears.
Picking back up with what we discussed earlier, Ana Kim, M.D., director of otologic research at New York eye and ear infirmary of Mount Sinai, reemphasizes:
“When you jam a Q-tip into your ear canal, that disrupts your skin's natural shedding process—and can actually cause your ears to make more wax. Plus, over time, you could push the wax back in your ear canal and create big ol' blockage that needs to be removed by your doctor.”
But are kids any different, since they seemed to be the main focus in the Doctor’s Cleaner commercial?
The Nemours Foundation's KidsHealth.org warns that, “Parents — and kids — shouldn't attempt to remove earwax at home, even with remedies that promise to be safe and effective. Doing so risks damage to the ear canal and, possibly, a child's hearing.”
Canada’s About Kids Health notes that, while “Your child’s ears should be cleaned regularly to remove any dirt,” they also note, “the safest way to do this is to use a soft washcloth or a cotton swab around the outside of the ear.”
Pro tip: Remember, they tell us, “nothing smaller than your elbow” should be put in your child’s ear. Putting anything into the ear canal will only pack dirt in further.”
Finally, not to put too fine a point on it, the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles warns that “you certainly don’t want to teach your child that it is okay to put anything in their ear or a sibling’s ear,” whether by cleaning out their ears, or by them watching you clean yours.
Given these similar points from a wide cross-section of medical professionals, we think you should definitely reach out to your doctor before placing an order for Doctor's Ear Wax Cleaner—or any other earwax cleaning product, for that matter.