How to Clean Ears With Hydrogen Peroxide

Ear wax protects your inner ear from dirt and other foreign matter. However, too much ear wax can affect your hearing and cause dizziness, pain or itching. For mild to moderate amounts of ear wax buildup, you can clean your ears with hydrogen peroxide at home. Regular cleaning prevents hard wax buildup, which can trap bacteria in the inner ear and causing ear infections. Consult your doctor to determine whether it is safe for you to use hydrogen peroxide to clean your ears.

Clean your ears so you can hear more clearly. Credit: Karin Dreyer/Blend Images/Getty Images

Step 1

Pull your hair back and cover your head with a towel or hat to prevent hair lightening or discoloring from the bleaching properties of peroxide. Alternatively, you can apply petroleum jelly to the hair strands around your ear.

Step 2

Lie down on your left side. You may use a pillow, but choose a flat or low loft pillow to keep your head level so your ear is parallel to the ceiling. This allows the hydrogen peroxide to penetrate deeper and prevents drainage from coming out of the ear.

Step 3

Using the cap as a measuring tool, pour 1 capful of hydrogen peroxide into your right ear. You should experience fizzing or popping sounds, and you may feel a deep itch inside of your ear. This is the hydrogen peroxide activating, breaking down ear wax buildup.

Step 4

Leave the hydrogen peroxide in your ear for 20 minutes. Stay in your resting position and allow the solution to work. The fizz and popping sounds may become less frequent or intense after a few minutes.

Step 5

Stand up and tilt your head to the right to drain the peroxide solution from your ear. Hold a bowl or towel under your ear as the solution drains. Small pieces of wax may also leave your ear.

Step 6

Dry the outside of your ear with a towel.

Step 7

Repeat the ear cleaning process on the left ear, resting on your right side. Cover the pillow with a towel to catch further fluid that may drain from the right ear.

Things You'll Need

  • 3 to 4 percent hydrogen peroxide solution

  • Towel

  • Bowl

  • Cotton Balls


Do not use hairpins, cotton swabs or any object to clean wax from your ears. You may damage an eardrum or allow bacteria into your ear canal.

If you experience changes in your hearing, make an appointment with your doctor.

Frequent cleaning may cause bacterial infections and provoke dryness and itching in the inner ears. Keep your hands out of your ears, even in the event of itching and discomfort. Your fingers carry germs, and this causes ear infections.

Do not contaminate the entire contents of the bottle of peroxide by dipping or soaking contaminated cloths, fingers or other objects from the bottle. Once contaminated, the peroxide loses potency. Pour the solution onto a sterile cloth, cotton swab or other object and discard after use.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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