Fab or flub: WaxVac

Posted Monday, Jun. 23, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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Talking about ear cleaning is gross, I know. But for the sake of this Fab or Flub review, please bear with me.

For as long as I can remember, I have always used Q-tips to clean my ears and most people I know use them, too. It turns out that being in the majority doesn’t necessarily make you right.

As I’m sure most people are aware, using Q-tips to clean your ears is a practice that is largely frowned upon by medical experts because of its potential for ear trauma. For my part, I’ve never experienced Q-tip induced ear trauma. But I am interested in finding a better alternative if there is one.

And that’s where the WaxVac comes in. Available wherever As Seen On TV products are sold (I purchased mine for $10 at Target), the WaxVac is advertised as a safe and efficient way to clean your ears. Using vacuumlike technology, the tip of the WaxVac, when placed in your ear, gently suctions out any moisture or buildup, giving you clean ears without any pain or damage.

Sounds pretty simple, right?

Originally, I intended to try the product by myself. My boyfriend, however, was eager to offer himself up as another test victim. Since he tends to get lots of buildup in his ear, he is a pretty good candidate to test the product. With the WaxVac in hand and our ears filled with wax, we set off on our quest for a safer way to clean our ears.

First impression

When I first saw the WaxVac, it reminded me of the ear thermometers that my doctor used when I was little. The product comes fully assembled but features three different parts: the safety ear guard (which helps keep the tip of the WaxVac from puncturing anything), the removable cap (where the wax goes after it is sucked out) and the main body.

In addition to the WaxVac, users also receive eight reusable silicone tip covers (for sanitary purposes) and a tiny brush for cleaning the WaxVac. As an added bonus, the WaxVac also features a light that can be used to peek inside your ear canal to see the amount of buildup you have.

It is also probably important to note that the product is wireless. It runs off two AA batteries that are not included. Now for some people, that might not be that big of a deal. But for me it was. While I wasn’t expecting it to come with any name brand batteries, I figured it would have at least come with some that are generic brand.

My boyfriend found my disdain for the lack of batteries hilarious, but when batteries are as scarce as they are in my apartment, the words “batteries included” are highly appreciated. Luckily, I set my feelings aside to make sure the battery issue would not heavily influence my opinion of the product.

Fab or flub?

Flub! A waste of time and money, the WaxVac is by far the biggest dud that I’ve experienced since the start of our Fab or Flub series.

After using it on the ears of both myself and my boyfriend, it soon became clear that the only thing this product was good for was blowing a weak stream of air into the ear. There was no suctioning. No drawing out of wax build-up or moisture. No indication whatsoever that it was working.

To be sure, I even took the WaxVac apart to see if anything had collected in its removable cap (the area where most of the wax and build-up should have been deposited). It was completely clean. Not good.

Clearly, I get better results using Q-tips. And while some medical experts might scoff, I’ll take my chances. It’s a lot better than a $10 chunk of plastic that does nothing.

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