Natural Ways to Remove Ear Wax

Ear wax builds up to a greater degree in some people than in others. This phenomenon is related to the ongoing process of shedding skin cells over the human body. Inside the ear canal, discarded skin cells would simply build up and block the eardrum if wax were not secreted and allowed to drop away gradually, carrying the shed skin with it. However, ear wax itself can build up quickly and block the ear canal. Excess ear wax can easily be removed using natural substances, such as hydrogen peroxide.

Step 1

Spread out the towel on a bed or couch. The towel should be large enough to cover a wide area to guard against spilling peroxide.

Step 2

Lie down on one side with the head positioned fully over the towel (placing a pillow underneath will keep the neck straight). Insert the eyedropper into the bottle of peroxide and, squeezing the bulb, withdraw a few drops. Have a tissue or napkin ready.

Step 3

Position the eyedropper over the ear. Keeping the head parallel to the floor, squeeze the peroxide out of the dropper and let it fall into the ear canal. The peroxide will typically begin to froth and bubble, sometimes accompanied by a tickling sensation. Catch the spilling peroxide with the tissue.

Step 4

Wait until the bubbling noise subsides. Cover the ear with the tissue, sit upright, letting the peroxide drain and be absorbed into the tissue. Some ear wax will have been dissolved, but solid pieces of wax may remain in the ear.

Step 5

Stand at a sink and fill a cup or other clean container with warm water. Take the ear syringe, squeeze the bulb, immerse it in the water and release the bulb so that the syringe fills with water. Lean over the sink and position the syringe nozzle at the entrance to the ear. Squeeze sharply to provide a jet of water to dislodge loose bits of ear wax. Repeat this step as many times as needed. Success in clearing the ear wax creates a pleasant empty sensation inside the ear canal.

Step 6

Repeat Step 2 through Step 5 with the other ear. The ears can be kept free of excess wax by using this procedure every 2 to 4 weeks.

Step 7

As an alternative to peroxide, consider using warm olive oil. Put approximately 1 tsp. olive oil into a microwave-safe container and heat on full power for 5 to 10 seconds. Test the temperature to be sure the oil is not too hot. Follow Step 2 through Step 6, using the olive oil in place of the peroxide.

Things You'll Need

  • Hydrogen peroxide

  • Eyedropper

  • Rubber ear syringe

  • Napkins or tissues

  • Old towel

  • Pillow

  • Cup or other container for water

Tip

Some practice is required to aim and use the syringe. If the ear fills with water and does not drain even when turned toward the floor, this indicates that significant ear wax is still inside. If repetition does not clear the blockage, it may be necessary to make an appointment with a physician to use a high-powered electric syringe to blow out the ear wax.

After clearing major blockage from one or both ears, high frequencies (sounds like bells or jingling keys) may suddenly seem overly clear. This sensation will fade as the ears readjust to the open ear canal.

Warning

Peroxide, if spilled on fabrics or other surfaces, can easily bleach or stain them.

Several different types of ear wax are known to exist, related to the genetic makeup of each person.

Peroxide treatment works for many people, but some individuals' ear wax might fail to bubble or dissolve.

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