How to Use Ear Cones

Ear cones, more commonly known as ear candles, are long, tube-like instruments made from fabric that has been coated in wax. The idea behind an ear cone is that when you insert it into your ear and light it on fire, the gentle heat creates a mini vacuum that draws heat-softened wax up through the open end of the tube. Natural healers claim that ear candles help clean your ears, improve hearing and detox the body. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises consumers to avoid using ear candles because their benefits haven't been scientifically verified 1. The FDA also warns that ear cones are dangerous and have caused burns, hearing loss, fires and other injuries. Use ear cones at your own risk and with the help of a partner.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Cut a hole in a paper plate large enough to fit your ear candle through.

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Lay on your side and place a pillow under your head so your ear is parallel to the ceiling. Have your partner cover your hair, head and shoulder with the towel, being careful to leave your ear uncovered.

Ask your partner to place the paper plate over your ear to protect it from falling ash.

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Guide the candle into your ear canal just far enough to form a gentle seal. Do not insert the candle deep into the ear canal 3.

Instruct your partner to light the candle with a lighter or matches. You should hear a series of popping and fizzing sounds. You should also feel some warmth. If the sensation shifts from warm to hot, immediately take the candle out of your ear.

Have your partner trim the burnt, blackened ends of the candle about every 2 inches because, as it burns down, the tube stays somewhat in tact. The portions of the ear candle that have already burned down remain attached as a charred, fragile paper tube. This prevents the delicate burnt ends from coming detached from the candle and floating away. Place the trimmings in a cup or bowl of cool water.

Remove the candle when the flame is 4 inches from your ear and dip it in the water to extinguish. Repeat on the other ear.