A fellow subway passenger sitting across from me had a funny look on his face. I looked to my right, and my seat mate was going to town in his ear with a swab. I noticed an object in his left hand. It looked like a hearing device. His cleansing could have been a necessity - maybe he couldn't hear.
This a special case and sometimes one has to do what they have to do. But there is no reason to go digging in public.