But this cleansing ritual is actually counter-productive and possibly dangerous, and Q-tips advises against it: While you might see some residue on the swab, you're probably pushing wax further into the canal.
In Tech Insider's video above, William H. Shapiro, an audiologist and clinical associate professor at NYU Langone Medical Center, explains how swabbing inside your ears can affect your hearing, as wax gets pushed up against the eardrums.
"Wax is a safety device that keeps our ear safe from insects," Shapiro says. Our bodies create wax for a reason, and prodding at it with a cotton swab is keeping it from doing its job. If you really feel as though your ears need a good cleaning, leave the work to the medical experts and schedule an appointment with your doctor. Watch the video above for more.
H/T Tech Insider