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How to Use Alcohol to Clean Out Earwax

author image Adam Cloe Ph.D./M.D.
Adam Cloe has been published in various scientific journals, including the "Journal of Biochemistry." He is currently a pathology resident at the University of Chicago. Cloe holds a Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry from Boston University, a M.D. from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in pathology from the University of Chicago.
How to Use Alcohol to Clean Out Earwax
Close-up of a man's ear. Photo Credit: FlairImages/iStock/Getty Images

Over time, earwax buildup can cause pain, temporary hearing loss and even ringing in the ear (also known as tinnitus). In some cases the ear wax can become so thick that it is termed "impacted" and cannot be cleaned out using a cotton swab. In these cases the earwax will need to be cleaned out with liquid mixtures such as alcohol.

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Step 1

Mix equal parts of vinegar and rubbing alcohol (also known as isopropyl alcohol or isopropanol). A good amount would be 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol.

Step 2

Fill the rubber syringe with this mixture.

Step 3

Lie on your side with the ear you wish to clean facing up.

Step 4

Straighten your ear canal by grabbing the lobe of your ear and pulling up and back.

Step 5

Irrigate your ear canal with the vinegar/alcohol mixture in the rubber syringe, expelling it with a steady but gentle pressure.

Step 6

Keep your head turned in this position for five minutes. Then wash out your ear canal with water for several minutes.

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