Can you make homemade ear plugs?

DIY Homemade ear plugs

Can you make homemade ear plugs? The short answer is: yes. You can created DIY earplugs at home. However, we recommend sticking to professional made and manufactured earplugs for the most protection for your hearing.

Foam earplugs, for example, and widely available, extremely effective and very affordable. For just a few dollars you can get a container of foam earplugs that could potentially last you a long time.

But if you’re stuck and need earplugs right away, here are a few ways you can make homemade ear plugs.

Earplugs made with toilet paper

If you’re desperate, it’s possible to create earplugs from toilet paper. As you can imagine, these are not durable or reusable, but could be used if absolutely necessarily.

  1. Wad up toilet paper into two small balls
    • They should be large enough to fill your ear canal, but not too big that they wouldn’t fit your ears
  2. Wet the toilet paper wads
    • Moisten the two paper wads and then squeeze out the extra water
    • These two wads should be damp, but not dripping
  3. Put the toilet paper wards into your ears
    • If they don’t fit, you may need to take some paper away, or add in more. Adjust the size of the plugs until they are comfortable.
  4. Throw the plugs away once you remove them
    • Toilet paper earplugs cannot be reused, so make sure to throw them away once you take them out of your ears
    • If you need another pair, you’ll need to make a new pair with new pieces of toilet paper

Tips on toilet paper earplugs:

  • Make sure to wash your hands with soap before starting this process
  • Do not use toilet paper earplugs consistently as they could cause an ear infection. Small pieces of paper could also get stuck in your ears
  • If you do make toilet paper earplugs, do not use these for long periods of time, such as sleeping

Earplugs made with cotton balls

Again, these are not ideal for earplugs, but can work if you’re in need of some hearing protection. Just like the toilet paper earplugs, you shouldn’t reuse these earplugs. If you need to consistently protect your hearing from loud noises, it’s important to invest in some professional earplugs.

However, here’s how you can make cotton ball earplugs:

  1. Buy a cotton balls
    • Make sure not to buy cotton balls that are too big as they won’t fit your ears
  2. Pull away a small piece of cotton ball
    • You’ll need to roll this piece into a round ball that should fit your ear canal.
  3. Wrap the small cotton ball in a plastic wrap
    • By using plan plastic wrap, wrap the cotton ball with a little tail of plastic sticking out
    • You’ll need to keep this tail so it’s easy to remove the earplug later
    • Wrapping the cotton ball in plastic will prevent any of the cotton pieces being left in your ear
    • Wrap the cotton ball tightly so it’s secure, but not too tight that the ball is crushed
  4. Test your new earplug
    • Insert the cotton ball wrapped in plastic into your ear. You may need to adjust the size to make sure it fits comfortably
  5. Tie the end of the earplug
    • Use a rubber band or hair elastic to wrap around the tail of the plastic. This keeps the plastic in place and keeps the cotton ball protected inside

Tips on cotton ball earplugs:

  • Make sure to wash your hands before beginning the process
  • Keep your earplugs in an airtight container to keep the earplugs as clean as possible
  • Do not reuse these earplugs, but re-make them if you need to use them again
  • If you use a pair of scissors to put the plastic, make sure the scissors are washed and cleaned before used

Problems with homemade earplugs

Of course, there are a few issues with homemade earplugs, or DIY plugs. The main issues are that they are not as effective as proper earplugs and they aren’t as sanitary. There is also the possibility of homemade earplug fibers being stuck in your ear, which could leave to ear infections if they aren’t removed.

Alternatives to homemade ear plugs

Protecting your hearing shouldn’t ruin your budget. While it’s possible to make DIY earplugs, it doesn’t cost much to buy plugs, especially foam earplugs. Below are three of our favourite foam earplugs.

While they are disposable, they provide incredible protection from harmful noise. Not only are they super effective, they’re all comfortable and affordable. Forget messing around with cotton balls when you can buy these for cheap.

Moldex Pura-Fit Ear Plugs

Moldex Pura-Fit earplugs

These Pura-Fit foam earplugs come from the trusted company Moldex. With a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) 33 dB, they provide the maximum rating possible for foam earplugs. What’s best? They’re super affordable!

HEAROS Xtreme Protection Earplugs

Best noise cancelling earplugs

The Xtreme Protection foam earplugs from Hearos are super comfortable while still providing incredible protection. Again, these foam earplugs have a NRR of 33 dB, so you know your hearing will be safe when wearing these.

Mack’s Ultra Soft Earplugs

Mack's Ultra Soft

One of the softest foam earplugs on the market, Mack’s Ultra Soft earplugs come with a NRR of 32 dB. One of the best foam earplugs to sleep in, these plugs are super affordable without having to make them out of toilet paper.

HearStoppers is a blog dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of hearing protection.  Many people don’t realise how easily it can be to lose your hearing. Keep your hearing alive with proper protection.

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