I've never done this medically inadvisable thing that you probably do often

Two years ago I posted a list of 9 things that I have never done that most people in the world have tried at least once. 

Today I add a tenth item to the list:

I've never inserted a Q-tip or cotton swab of any kind into my ear.

Every doctor in the world will tell you that you should never clean your ears with a Q-tip or cotton swab. It is bad for many reasons and can cause permanent hearing damage. 

Even Unilever, the company that makes Q-tips and depends upon people ignoring this universal warning in order to stay in business, advises its customers not to insert their product into ears with warning labels on the packaging.

Nevertheless, I've watched countless people, including my wife, clean their ears with Q-tips. I've watched mothers clean their children's ears with Q-tips. And even though they have read the warning labels and are fully aware of doctor's warnings about this behavior, they continue to risk permanent hearing loss for the sake of an ear with slightly less wax than before.


I didn't grow up with Q-tips in my home, so the habit of cleaning the ear with cotton swabs was one that I never developed.

As an adult, I was fully aware of the dangers involved and have always avoided this process.

In fact, I don't think I've ever purchased Q-tips in my life. They are in my bathroom closet because my wife purchases them, but I have never used one on myself or my children.

And so my list of things I have never done that most people have tried at least once is now ten items long.    

  1. Never watched a single episode of The Real Housewives, The Jersey Shore, or anything involving those Kardashian people
  2. Never used an illegal drug in my entire life 
  3. Never bought a lottery ticket
  4. Never smoked a cigarette
  5. Never revealed a secret that I was asked to keep
  6. Never swore in the presence of my mother
  7. Never shoplifted
  8. Never taken a selfie
  9. Never actually said the word “selfie” aloud
  10. Never inserted a cotton swab of any kind into my ear