Delicious pasta, fun cocktails, and cleaning hacks are a few of the things you expect to go viral on TikTok. But now, some folks on the video-sharing platform have become obsessed with … cleaning their ears.
Content creator, @ayishafrita, has racked up over 16 million views on a DIY ear-cleaning video in which she recommends using hydrogen peroxide to clean your ears. Pouring directly from the bottle, she places a few drops into her ear as she lays on her side and lets it fizz until it stops. Then, she flips her head over onto a towel to catch whatever comes out.
So, does this really work, and, more importantly, is it safe?
While you should always take any sort of wellness, health, or beauty advice on TikTok with a grain of salt, according to Dr. Seth Schwartz, ear, nose, and throat specialist, this trick actually does check out.
“In general, (hydrogen peroxide) is a safe thing to have in your ear,” Schwartz said. “It has some positive qualities for your ear … it can be antibacterial and it helps with the general cleaning process of the ear.”
But there’s a caveat: you shouldn’t use the product at full strength. Your general drugstore hydrogen peroxide is typically between 3-9%. If you have hydrogen peroxide between these percentages, Schwartz advises diluting it with water before using it to clean your ears. If you use it at full strength, it could irritate your skin.
If, however, you’re not too keen on taking medical advice from TikTok, you can always just pick up an earwax removal kit instead.