Hopi Ear Candles – are they a good idea?

Also known as an ear cone, an ear candle is a thin, hollow tube of linen or muslin cloth, soaked in paraffin or beeswax and tapered at one end. Hopi ear candles are typically scented with herbs, honey, or aromatherapy oils.

The basic claim is that the heat from the flame melts and loosens the ear wax and creates negative pressure that ‘sucks’ the wax into the candle – the ‘chimney effect’.

Hopi Ear Candles are typically offered by beauty therapists and alternative medicine centres, you will never see them offered in an audiology or medical setting.

At best hopi ear candles could be described as ineffective quackery – and at worst dangerous to your health. Read this. Hot wax and soot from the ear candle entering the delicate ear canal is not a particularly good idea!

The American Academy of Otolarynology states that ear candles are not a safe option for removing ear wax and that no controlled studies or scientific evidence support their use for ear wax removal.

The Food and Drug Administration has successfully taken several regulatory actions against the sale and distribution of ear candles since 1996, including seizing ear candle products and ordering injunctions.

As an audiology clinic we can’t understand how they are still commonly available and used, although less widely as the detrimental effects become more widely known.