Hydrogen peroxide provides an effective method of softening ear wax blocking the ear canal. Ear wax is necessary to protect the skin of the ear canal and trap bacteria and dust, but sometimes too much wax is produced. Medline Plus reports that the extra wax can harden in the ear canal and block the ear, making it difficult to hear. Using hydrogen peroxide allows ear wax to gradually soften, permitting removal by an irrigation method.
Lie on your side with the ear you are treating facing the ceiling. If it is difficult for you to reach your ear this way, ask a friend or family member to put the drops in your ear.
Place five to 10 drops of hydrogen peroxide in your ear with an eyedropper. Put the drops in the ear one at a time. DrSears.com recommends placing drops in the ear until you see that the drops fill the ear canal.
Remain on your side for at least five minutes. Staying on your side for five minutes allows sufficient time for the hydrogen peroxide to penetrate the wax.
Use a tissue to wipe up any drops that flow from your ears when you sit up. Put drops in your ear each day for five days.
Flush the softened wax out of the ear after the fifth day. Fill a rubber bulb syringe with warm water and squeeze the bulb to force water into the ear. The force of the water should break up the softened wax and allow it to flow from the ear.
Repeat the drops and irrigation procedure if you don’t notice any wax flowing from the ear. You may need to repeat the process several times if wax is very thick or hard.
Things You'll Need
Rubber bulb syringe
Be sure to dry the ear completely after using hydrogen peroxide drops. Medline Plus suggests placing a few drops of alcohol in the ear to speed drying or drying the ear by using a hair dryer on the low setting.
MayoClinic.com reports that softening agents may only loosen the outer layer of wax and cause it to move deeper into the ear canal or against the eardrum. If your symptoms don’t improve after several treatments, call your doctor. He may be able to remove earwax with suction or with an ear scoop tool.
Don’t use irrigation to remove wax if you suspect that you have eardrum damage. Medline Plus cautions that using irrigation on a ruptured eardrum may cause an ear infection or injury to the inner ear.