First we're bleaching out buttholes, now we're bleaching our ears?
After recovering from a nasty ear infection my dad used to do this to us as kids every other week or so and it's a practice I've carried into adulthood. Q-tips are for cleaning outside the ear canal, the ear canal itself should pretty much take care of itself, but sometimes it doesn't so a little diluted h2o2 can be very helpful.
Ear candling is a little odd because of the open flame thing, but I got over that and love it. The best/ grossest part is unraveling the candle and seeing all the earwax that got pulled out. And, yes, it is earwax, not just wax from the candle itself. The difference is obvious.
People who think it "sucks toxins out of your head" should be kept far away from children.
Sorry, but hydrogen peroxide is a witch's brew.
@3: " unraveling the candle and seeing all the earwax that got pulled out. And, yes, it is earwax, not just wax from the candle itself. The difference is obvious."

God you're the stupidest motherfucker alive. If you burn the candle outside of your ear, it gives the same waxy residue. It would rip your eardrum out if it created that much suction. Let me repeat- you are fucking stupid. The human body does not work that way. You really should have been forced to take biology in school.
7 columns/read/1103/how-do-ear-candles-work

"When the candle had burned down to two inches we snuffed it and examined the treated ear with the otoscope. No change, except that possibly the wax was dented where the candle had been stuck in. Upon slicing open the candle stub, however, we found a considerable quantity of brown wax and whitish powder. The manual had the audacity to intimate that the powder was candida yeast extracted from the ear, conceding that possibly "1% to 10%" was from the used candle. The disappointed MDs were more inclined to say it was 100 percent, but just to be sure we burned another candle in the open air. When we sliced it open we found wax and powder identical to that in the first. Conclusion: it's a hoax. Ain't it always the way? Maybe we're not doing enemas anymore, but we're winding up with the same old stuff."

Seriously, be ashamed at your gullibility.
Two chemists go into a bar. One orders H2O and the other orders H2O-too, and dies.
Just burn one in open air if you want to easily debunk the ear candling hoax. They still sell them which really gets me. I only hope they aren't jacked up in price like other herbal and homeopathic medicines.
If there's nothing blocking your ear, however, and you decide to put a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in it anyway, you're only risking going deaf.
This reminds me of a scene in Mountains of the Moon where Burton pours a little hot/warm candle wax into the ear of Speke in order to get a bug out. Speke loses hearing in that ear. If there ever was a story/scene/tale told that has kept me away from sticking stuff into my ear it was this.

I've used the hydrogen peroxide method ever since I was a kid. I've also been told about putting a few drops of oil (mineral oil, etc) to soften up any built up earwax.
Earcandles would have given P.T. Barnum a little boner.

"Unless something's really wrong in there"

If there's a good chunk of wax in there then a few drops of hydrogen peroxide isn't going to clear it all out. It doesn't mean there's something "really wrong" in there. Getting the ears irrigated at the doctor's office (usually performed by a nurse/assist/etc.) is quick and usually painless (unless they mess up the temp of the water). No need to scare people.
If there's something wrong with my ears, I will GO TO A FUCKING DOCTOR. I'm not gonna play around with fire or bleaching products. I value my hearing too much.
Twenty years ago my doc's RN's used hydrogen peroxide diluted with water to wash out ear wax. Today they use warm water. However hydrogen peroxide is an excellent mouth wash and minor wound cleaner.
Hydrogen peroxide will not make you go deaf. Who started that rumor?
Glycerine is the stuff you want if you have dried wax buildup in there. Which you probably wouldn't have if you hadn't used that Q-Tip to pack it in deeper, which is what you're doing when you think you're cleaning them. You can get glycerin in ear-cleaning kits at the drugstore, complete with a blob of wax to seal it in for fifteen minutes or so and a rubber bulb syringe to rinse it out with hot water afterwards.

Too much glycerin or too much hydrogen peroxide won't hurt you at all. Ear candling probably won't either, unless someone sees you doing it and hits you with a stick for being a dumbass.
@18 My roommate (who has some new age-y tendencies) came home with a package of ear candles last year. My girlfriend and I freaked out and and strongly encouraged him to go to the doctor for his ear block instead. The roommate is the nicest, friendliest guy I know so I didn't want to be a total dick about this but in the end he listened to us....after he tried it (it didn't work, obviously). Ugh
@18: The same way that the west coast is infested with "naturopaths" and "doctors" of "oriental medicine" who sell this snake oil for their living.
The only good thing about ear candling is that it feels pleasantly warm in your ear canal for a short while. That's not terrible, but it's also not worth $12 fucking dollars (or more?) for a cone of burning bullshit and lies.
@21 Wash-cloth and hot water from your tap can give you the same sensation.

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