Earplugs can provide many benefits for you. In addition to helping you sleep better at night or study in a noisy room, earplugs also protect your body by preventing noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). If you need earplugs urgently to block out sound for only 1-2 hours, it's a good idea to make them out of toilet paper. If you need earplugs to last longer, try making cotton or plastic ones.
Method 1 of 3: Making Earplugs from Device
Step 1. Purchase a custom-made earplug kit
This earplug kit allows you to make your own moldable earplugs at home. These earplugs can be much more effective and comfortable than the other types.
You can buy this device online or in a number of stores
Step 2. Separate the ingredients
These earplugs are usually made up of two different materials. These materials should be of different colors and packaged separately. Take each ingredient and break it into equal pieces.
Step 3. Mix the ingredients of different colors
Next, you need to mix different colored ingredients to make earplugs. Take one piece of material of each color. Knead and massage these foam ingredients together for a few minutes until the colors blend together.
Step 4. Press the foam into your ear
Once your ingredients are evenly mixed, press one piece of earplug material into each ear. Press the material into your ear until most of the sound is no longer audible, as with other types of earplugs.
These stoppers feel comfortable and are neither too loose nor too tight when worn
Step 5. Wear earplugs for 10 minutes
Leave the earplugs in your ears for 10 minutes. This will allow the earplug material to dry and retain its shape. When the earplugs are removed, you will have your own pair of forged earplugs.
Method 2 of 3: Making Toilet Tissue Earplugs
Step 1. Squeeze some toilet paper
Take two clean toilet paper and squeeze them into two balls. The clump of tissue should be big enough to plug your ear canal, but not so big that it can't fit in your ear.
- Don't forget that you should do this if you have no other choice. Do not continue to use toilet paper as earplugs on a regular basis as the tissue can stick to the ear and cause infection.
- Toilet paper should only be used as a short-term solution, such as at a concert. Don't sleep with the toilet paper plug in your ear.
Step 2. Moisten the clumps of toilet paper
Hold each clump of your tissue under gentle tap water for a few seconds, just to moisten them both. After that squeeze the remaining water in the tissue so that now the tissue only feels damp.
- If the tissue clumps shrink from the water, it's a good idea to add a little more tissue for each clump.
- The tissue must be moistened because dry tissue is not able to block sound well. Dry toilet paper can also stick to the ear and cause an infection.
Step 3. Put a wad of toilet paper in each ear
Place a lump of toilet paper in your ear canal to test whether it is the right size or not. After that, you can adjust the size by adding or removing some toilet paper.
Make sure you reshape the clump of tissue before inserting it back into the ear canal
Step 4. Discard the toilet paper ear plugs when removed
Do not reuse your tissue ear plugs as this can cause ear infections. Remove the ear plug once it is removed from your ear.
If you need earplugs again, use two fresh, clean toilet paper
Method 3 of 3: Making Cotton Earplugs
Step 1. Buy a bag of cotton balls
Cotton comes in a variety of sizes, but you can usually get 100 cotton balls for IDR 50,000. You can find it in the beauty care section of a supermarket or pharmacy.
- Choose a normal size cotton ball instead of a jumbo size.
- You can buy both sterile and non-sterile cotton balls because the cotton ends up being packaged in plastic.
Step 2. Wash your hands
You should wash your hands before handling the cotton ball to reduce the chance of infection in the ear canal.
Use antibacterial soap and wash your hands with warm water. After that, dry with a clean towel
Step 3. Divide the cotton balls into small coins
Roll the cotton into a ball. Insert the cotton ball into your ear to make sure it is the right size so that it fits securely in your ear canal.
Step 4. Wrap the cotton ball with protective plastic
Use plastic wrap that is flexible and not sticky, such as clear plastic wrap. Cut the plastic so that it is large enough to wrap the cotton ball while leaving a small tail. This will prevent harmful fibers from getting into the sensitive ear canal and reduce the chance of infection and injury from the cotton ball.
- Wrap the cotton tightly in plastic, but not so tightly that it flattens the cotton.
- Make sure your scissors are clean, if you are using them to cut plastic. You can wash it with antibacterial soap or dish soap with a clean sponge.
Step 5. Test the size of the earplugs in your ear
Carefully insert the cotton ear plug into the ear canal to test the size. Just notice how comfortable the earplugs feel in your ear.
- The earplugs should feel snug, but not like pressing or pushing against the walls of your ear canal. If the earplugs feel loose, you will also need to adjust the size.
- You can add cotton to the earplugs, or remove some of the cotton from the earplugs if they are too large.
- Make sure not to insert the earplugs too deep. The plug should only be placed in the mouth of the ear canal, and not into it.
Step 6. Tie the end of the plastic wrap around the earplugs
After you have tested the earplugs and adjusted their size, take a small rubber band and tie the plastic tail around the earplugs. Make sure the rubber binds tightly.
Use scissors to cut a small tail on the plastic wrap. Make sure you leave the tail slightly to make it easier for you to remove the plug from the ear canal
Step 7. Test your earplugs
If you plan to wear earplugs all day, try wearing them in a busy cafe or restaurant. This way, you can determine how effective the earplugs are at reducing sound.
If you plan to sleep with earplugs on, try a nap test. If you sleep on your side, you may need to adjust the size of the earplugs that the pillow presses against
Step 8. Replace the earplugs weekly
Since the earplugs are made of cotton, they don't stay clean for long. You should change the cotton plug every 5-7 days to prevent bacteria from ear wax or oil deposition in the ear canal. This can lead to infection.
Store earplugs in a clean container, such as a plastic sandwich bag
- Many high quality and durable earplugs can be purchased for less than IDR 100,000. While you may have to spend some money, these earplugs are manufactured and tested under quality control and safety.
- If you have trouble sleeping at night, try using the sound enrichment method instead of sound-blocking headphones. This can be done using a white noise machine or a device that produces soothing music that helps you sleep well
- If you're staying in a hotel room and lots of noisy buses pass by while you're trying to sleep, try not to tear a tissue or sponge and place it in your ear. The fibers from these items (especially if not sanitized) can cause ear infections or perforate the eardrum. You should always use a safety wrap, such as plastic wrap, when making earplugs.
- If you work in a noisy place for a long time, be sure to follow safety guidelines. For example, if you work in a construction site or a dentist's clinic that has a loud drill bit, follow industry guidelines regarding the proper protection for your ears. Don't rely on homemade earplugs to protect your ears.