The Dirty Little Secret

Have you ever noticed that one of the primary uses of Q-tips is not mentioned on the box? They advertise that Q-tips are good for (as listed on the box):

  • First aid (applying ointments and creams)
  • Electronics (Cleaning and dusting)
  • Baby care (delicate for sensitive areas)
    (May I comment here that I’m not sure what sensitive areas they mean. I mean, if we’re talking the business area of a baby, you need something much more substantial than a Q-tip to do any good. Can you imagine a baby with a blowout diaper and you’re saying, “Hon, can you get me a Q-tip?” I don’t think so.)
  • Household use – (For all household cleaning)
    (For this they show (on the box) a Q-tip and a shower. I’ve never cleaned a shower with a Q-tip. And I’ve only seen them use a toothbrush in the movies.)

In fact the one thing that I know that Q-tips are good for, they explicitly warn you against doing:

WARNING: Do not insert swab into ear canal.

And now we get to the dirty little secret: This forbidden action is the one thing that Q-tips are good for. They are the perfect size and shape for sticking in your ear.

I admit it–I clean out my ears with Q-tips. In fact, I’m almost addicted to Q-tips. I like that tingly feeling that you get when you stick the Q-tip way down in your ear. I know, it almost makes you wince, but it’s also like scratching an itch that you didn’t even know you had.

Am I the only one who does this? I don’t think so. I grew up in a family where this was the sole use for Q-tips, and I have passed the same habit on to my kids. But maybe this is my own family’s weird heritage.

I don’t know about other people, because nobody talks about it. Nobody confesses to this guilty pleasure. It’s like some social taboo. Well, it’s time to bring it all out into the open.

And all you non-Q-tip users out there, I’d like to ask you 1 question:

What do you use to clean your ears?

No, I’d really like to know.

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