I recently bought some ear candles – often called Hopi Ear Candles, though these, like so many products from the great Zon, came from china. I have a huge safety concern to share on their manufacture.
As I have always suffered with blocked ears just as my father did, ear drops are a constant in my bathroom cabinet and on occasion I use ear candles. Last week, however, I lost hearing altogether in my right ear and had just one Hopi ear candle left, which I used and had some hearing restored but the ache and hearing remained muffled and because I could get same day delivery from Amazon ordered more from them.
In general I would not buy these things unseen but because of the Covid pandemic, and the inability to get to the usual places that I would buy from, and that these were for my own use and not for treatments on others, I took a chance.
Strike one. As with many Chinese products there is no makers name on the packaging so very hard to register safety issues with relevant authorities.
Now do not get me wrong. This product did work after a fashion, and hearing was restored, but they are not as efficient as more expensive candles I have purchased in the past for several reasons.
Strike two. Yes, the description said bees wax, but the feel was not quite right as the coating is rather crumbly. To be fair that may be because the coating is thin, but the thickness of the candle wall was an issue as they did bend rather easily once warmed.
Strike three. The tubes themselves were rather wider at the top than other I have had, meaning they did not ‘draw’ as efficiently as they might until they had burned a third of the way down.
Both points are minor in that they did work – albeit requiring a second candle to be effective – but they were suspiciously cheap. Yes, you do get what you pay for.
Strike four – and the greatest concern I have about this product – is that these candles have a plastic end, presumably for ‘comfort’. That would not have been needed had the candle walls been thicker and finished with greater care.
Leaving aside the issue of unnecessary pieces of plastic waste needing to be disposed of, I have a far greater concern over the safety of these plugs. I have had training in the use of Hopi candles so perhaps am more aware of the things to look for but even the newest user would have to wonder at the safety issues at hand.
Perhaps I was unlucky and the first candle I took from the pack was faulty, but when the plastic plug promptly fell out I was rather shocked : A/ that there was a plastic end at all and B/ that these could become dislodged inside somebody’s ear and result in a trip to A&E to have it removed.
Lesson learned: You get what you pay for. I shall not buy them again.
Added: removing plug and rubbing the bottom edge of the candle, using your thumb with outward motion, will ‘turn’ the edge over and eliminate sharp edges.