How to Put in Ear Plugs

Three Methods:Using Soft Foam EarplugsUsing Pre-molded Reusable EarplugsUsing Moldable Wax and Silicone Earplugs

Earplugs are useful for sleeping, swimming, and loud environments. There are a wide variety of ear plugs on the market, which can make it difficult to figure out how to insert an ear plug. Insertion methods vary depending on your type of ear plug. Usually, you insert an ear plug into your ear canal to block out or muffle sound. Most of the plug should be in your canal, with a small end sticking out so you can easily remove the plug. Ear plugs can be disposable, in which case they're made from soft foam or wax. You can also purchase reusable plugs made from silicone, plastic, or rubber.

Method 1
Using Soft Foam Earplugs

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    Wash your hands. Before you attempt to handle ear plugs, make sure to wash your hands. You do not want to expose your ears to dirt and germs.[1] Wash your hands with soap and clean running water before using earplugs.[2]
    • Get your hands wet with clear water and then lather your hands in soap. Scrub your hands for about 20 seconds. If you need help tracking time, hum the "Happy Birthday" song to yourself twice. Make sure to wash under your fingernails, between your nails, and the backs of your hands.
    • Rinse your hands completely when you're done. Then, dry your hands with a clean, dry towel.
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    Purchase earplugs that can easily be moved between your fingers. Try to test them in your fingers before buying if possible. Buying in bulk is advised as soft foam earplugs are not reusable. They should be thinner and rounded on one edge so the plugs can be easily inserted into your ear.
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    Roll the earplug between your your thumb and index finger.[3] You want to roll the earplug into a snake-like shape. This will make it smaller so it can be easily inserted into the ear. The foam will expand again once you’ve fitted it inside your ear, blocking sound. If the ear plug is particularly thick, you can roll it between your hands instead. Just make sure that you are just thinning the ear plug out lengthwise, rather than rolling it up into a ball.
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    Pull your ear up and back. Grab the top of your ear with the hand not holding the ear plug. Stretch it slightly up and backwards.[4] This will pull your ear open a bit, allowing you to more easily insert your earplug.
    • Don’t pull too hard. Just a gentle tug is enough to have your ear expanded enough for the ear plug.[5]
    • It may be helpful to use a mirror so you can more clearly see what you're doing.
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    Carefully insert the earplug. Slowly insert the plug it into your ear canal. It should easily slide in place with your ear canal expanded slightly. Do not put the plug in too far. While most of the foam body should be in the ear canal, there should be enough of the plug outside the canal that you can easily grasp it with your fingertips.[6]
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    Hold in place for 20-30 seconds. Hold the plug in place with your fingertips. This will allow the foam to expand, preventing sound from getting into your ear canal. Slowly count to 20 or 30 as you hold the plug in place.
    • To see if the plug is working, listen to yourself speak. You should sound muffled, as should the sound around you. Do not expect it to completely silence the surroundings, but simply quiet them.[7]
    • If the plug is not working, you may need to try a different form of plugs or possibly smaller ones. Most of the foam body should be in your ear canal by the end. Sometimes, you have to try again if the foam is not sealing sound out properly.

Method 2
Using Pre-molded Reusable Earplugs

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    Purchase the right size earplugs.[8] If you use ear plugs a lot, it may make sense to purchase reusable plugs. As long as you wash them after use, you can reuse plugs made from silicone, plastic, or rubber multiple times. However, you'll first need to figure out your size. Reusable plastic earplugs are sometimes marketed as "one size fits all" while some come in sizes ranging from small to large. You can try a "one size fits all" to start, but my have to do some trial and error before you find the right size for your ears.
    • You may need different sized plugs for each ear. This is not uncommon, so don't be surprised if you have to buy two different types of plugs.
    • It may be a good idea to buy a few packs of plugs in different sizes and see what works for your ears.
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    Read instructions first. Before attempting to insert a reusable ear plug, read the instructions that came with your package thoroughly. How to insert reusable ear plugs varies depending on the precise shape of your plugs. For the most part, the process of inserting a reusable plug is very similar. However, it's a good idea to review your instructions for any special considerations regarding your specific type of plug.[9]
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    Pull your ear up. Reach over your had with one hand. Grab the top of your ear and pull up.[10] This will pull your ear open a bit more, which makes the plug easier to insert.
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    Insert the plug using a rocking motion. Once you've expanded your ear drum, insert the ear plug using a gentle, rocking motion. Rock the plug back and forth to slowly push it into the canal. Keep going until you've sealed off the ear canal.[11]
    • Make sure you do not push the plug in too far. Most of the plug should be in the canal, but you should still be able to easily grab the plug with your fingertips when you need to remove it.
    • If you can still hear well with the plug in place, you may have inserted it incorrectly. Refer to the instructions manual and try again. If the plug still does not work after a second attempt, you may need a different size plug.

Method 3
Using Moldable Wax and Silicone Earplugs

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    Remove any cotton wrapping. Wax earplugs come packaged in tiny balls surrounded by cotton. Use your fingers to peel the cotton away before using. Use one hand to roll the ball between your thumb and index finger. With your other hand, pull away the cotton as you roll the ball. Continue spinning the ball of wax and pulling away the cotton until it is completely removed.[12]
  2. 2
    Soften the wax by enclosing it in your fist for 40 seconds. In order to make the ball of wax moldable, take a moment to soften it. You can do this easily by enclosing the ball in your fist for about 40 seconds. You should start to feel the ball become soft and sticky.
  3. 3
    Shape the ball into a cone. Hold the ball in between your thumb and forefinger. With your other hand, pinch the top of the ball of wax. Continue pinching while you rotate the ball with your other hand. The wax should start to form a rounded cone shape.[13]
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    Pull your hair out of your face and away from your ears. It is important to keep your hair out of the way given how sticky these plugs tend to be. If you have very long hair, you may want to tie your hair back before you attempt to insert the ear plug.
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    Insert and seal the ear plug. Insert the ear plug until it seals off your canal. Most of the plug should be in your ear canal, with a small end sticking out. Rub on the end of the plug, spreading it over your ear canal to form a seal. This should successfully muffle outside sound.[14]

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Categories: Health | Better Sleeping