I know there are many ways to use cotton swabs, but the most popular still remains cleaning ear wax out of ear canals. Medical professionals recommend not using them in the ear canals and say that cleaning the ear canals has no medical benefits. In fact, using cotton swabs in the ear canals is the main cause of perforated eardrums. So not only are there no medical benefits, but there are clear medical risks. Ear wax, or cerumen, is naturally occurring and protects the skin of the inner ear while also keeping out bacteria, fungi, insects, and water.
I used to clean my ears and ear canals with cotton swabs after every single shower, even though I've been well aware of the above information for a long time. Now that I'm only showering once or twice a week, I have inadvertently cut way back. I do still find the habit very satisfying, but when my current stash runs out I'm not going to run out and buy another box of 500. It's going to take me a while to use up what I've got. Will report back later this year on how my ears feel not being poked and obsessively cleaned out on the regular.
If you will continue to use cotton swabs in your ear holes or in other ares of your life, have at it, but can you commit to buying the paper ones? And disposing of them properly? I dump mine in my lazy man compost pile out back.
I know for some this would be a great place to also discuss ear candling, but I'm only sharing things I actually do, have done, or would consider doing and ear candling is not on any of those lists. No judging from me if you do it, but nothing about the process has ever seemed appealing to me. In fact, I think it looks and sounds downright terrifying. I have used hydrogen peroxide a handful of times when I've been sick and the wax build up seemed excessive. It created an odd sensation, but it worked to soften the ear wax. If you're interested, Google it or message me for more details. Of course, I am not a doctor. If you have specific questions or issues, consult your doctor.