Asian Ear Wax Is Different

While living in Seoul I discovered for the first time a timeless truth: Asian ear wax is different from mine.  Our first clue to this discovery was realizing that Asians typically have one side Q-tip and one side scoop.  They even have wooden ear cleaners that consist of only an ear scoop.

This seemed very odd to me but it didn't seem any reason for alarm.  Once back in the states we used our ear scoop on my friend's wife and our video was put on youtube resulting in a considerable number of views.  Odd, huh?  Anyway, someone pointed it out and after researching it is completely true.

There are two distinct genetically determined types of earwax: the wet type, which is dominant, and the dry type, which is recessive. While Asians and Native Americans are more likely to have the dry type of cerumen (gray and flaky), white and black peoples are more likely to have the wet type (honey-brown to dark-brown and moist).  (Wikipedia)

I never realized that something like ear wax could actually be different in Asians but here I am, standing next to my wife laughing about our differences.  These are the little joys of a bi-racial relationship--every day a discovery!

**Please try to ignore my voice--I am trying to narrate but I think I'm obnoxious!

Wikipedia: Earwax.


  1. I'm Asian, but this is the first time I've even heard of an "ear wax scooper!" LOL! :P

  2. You have no idea how fascinated I am by this. Like, it's intense.

  3. lol, when she was doing the ear cleaning, my ear tickled! ;)

  4. eww, I never knew ear wax could be different but the type of earwax mentioned in that wikipedia excerpt is correct! I don't know about Korea but in Malaysia, we've double-ended Q-tips. hahah.

    - RS

  5. Shutterbug, I thought every Asian used these from birth? I'm continually amazed :)

    D4, this is particularly interesting to you because it might affect your hearing, which in turn affects how music sounds... And we all know how important music is to you!

    Jay, it's almost an eerie feeling isn't it? So much more so when it's someone else digging in your ear. I for one like to do it myself. The doctor even told us it is unwise to have a third party do it on our behalf :) (Seriously, he said that)

    RS, I'm much more comfortable with double ended Q-tips... I think it takes a special kind of person to appreciate the scoop. Are you wet ear wax or dry in Malaysia? It depends on migration patterns, as not ALL Asians necessarily have the dry type.

    Thanks everyone!

  6. I'm Filipino but I do have the wet type ear wax..

  7. Check this out

    . This explains on the genetic level why East Asians have dry earwax. Curious thing though, my Mother had dry earwax and she was African-American. She was a descendant of slaves . We don't know of any Asian blood in our family. Maybe it was a mutation or maybe one of our ancestors played around with an Asian or Native American friend. You never know. If they did, I wish they would have told us. I would be proud to have Asian or Native-American.blood, dry wax or not

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