How to eliminate earwax at home

How to eliminate earwax at home

Feeling a sense of discomfort in your ears? Do they feel blocked, and you can barely hear? It is possible that the build-up of earwax in the ear canal is causing that stuffed feeling, which is accompanied by itching and pain. Earwax is a common problem, but if not treated at the right time, it can cause complications. What is earwax and what are the symptoms of its build-up? Are there any simple home remedies that can help you remove earwax without having to go to the doctor? If you want answers to all these questions, read on.
What Is Earwax Build-up?

Earwax or cerumen is a natural substance produced as part of the body’s defense mechanism against bacteria and other foreign particles. It acts as a natural lubricant that traps the dirt while reducing the growth of bacteria. Earwax removal should not be done on a regular basis but only as and when required. It is a natural protection for the inner ear and eardrum (1).

How To Get Rid Of Earwax

Many times, since the earwax hardens, it becomes difficult for it to fall off on its own. Softer wax tends to come off easily. Hence, most remedies for the removal of earwax will try to soften it to bring it out towards the exterior portion of the ear.
How To Remove Earwax Easily – 15 Safe Remedies

1. Clean Ears With Hydrogen Peroxide

• 3% hydrogen peroxide solution
• Water
• Cotton ball
What You Have To Do

1. Mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water to make a solution.
2. Tilt your head sideways, with your wax-filled ear facing the ceiling. Using the cotton ball, squeeze some of this solution in your blocked ear.
3. Let it settle for some time. Now, tilt your head towards the floor so that the extra solution can trickle out.How Often You Should Do This
A single use of this remedy should give relief from the blocked ear.

Why This Works

Even though it has a chemical name, hydrogen peroxide is absolutely natural. It is merely water reinforced with additional oxygen. All living organisms produce hydrogen peroxide naturally as a natural immune response to infection. Hydrogen peroxide bought from the medical store is chemically produced by passing compressed gas through a water solution. It can be used to remove earwax. It is also a disinfectant that will keep ear infections at bay

2. Coconut Oil For Earwax

You Will Need

• 1 tablespoon coconut oil
• Dropper

What You Have To Do

1. Lightly warm up the oil and using the dropper, pour a few drops slowly in the affected ear.
2. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Now, tilt your head to remove the melted ear wax.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this process if required.
Why This Works

Coconut oil is very useful to get rid of earwax. It contains medium chain fatty acids similar to sebum, and hence can be used without any worry. As it is also natural and effective against microbes, it lowers the risk of any infection. It may actually kill a wide range of harmful bacteria that accumulate due to the wax build-up .

3. Clean Ears With Alcohol

You Will Need

• 1 part rubbing alcohol
• 1 part white vinegar

What You Have To Do

Mix the two ingredients and flush your ear with this solution to get rid of earwax build-up.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this every few weeks to keep your ears clean and infection-free.
Why This Works

A mixture of vinegar and rubbing alcohol helps dissolve the earwax. Alcohol serves as a drying agent and evaporates when the temperatures are low (5). Vinegar has astringent properties and fights microbial infections (5).
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4. Almond Oil For Ear Wax

You Will Need

• Almond oil
• Dropper

What You Have To Do

Fill a dropper with almond oil at room temperature. Use it in the same way as the coconut oil.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this as and when required.
Why This Works

Almond oil is another lubricant that assists in the elimination of earwax. The almond oil softens the wax and makes it easy to remove (6).

5. Clean Ears With Baby Oil

You Will Need

• Baby oil
• Dropper
• Cotton ball

What You Have To Do

1. Put a few drops of the baby oil with a dropper or a cotton ball into the blocked ear.
2. Block the opening of the ear by using another cotton ball. This way, excess oil will not ooze out. Remove the cotton ball from the ear after some time.

How Often You Should Do This

This home remedy can be used every few weeks.
Why This Works

Baby oil is a mineral oil with the addition of a mild, soothing fragrance. Mineral oil is a by-product of petroleum. It is an effective moisturizer and lubricant and softens earwax in no time, making it easy to remove (8).

6. Clean Ears With Baking Soda

You Will Need

• 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
• 2 teaspoons water
• Dropper
• Soft cloth

What You Have To Do

1. Mix the baking soda properly in the water.
2. Pour a few drops into the affected ear with the dropper. Let it stay in there for a few minutes. Then, tilt your head to remove the melted earwax.
3. Clean thoroughly with a soft cloth.

How Often You Should Do This

You can repeat this home remedy after a day or two, if required.
Why This Works

Baking soda is a readily available natural therapy for earwax. It is an antiseptic that will also soften the earwax and prevents its future build-up

7. Earwax Removal With Saline Water

You Will Need
• 1 tablespoon salt
• ½ cup warm water
• Cotton ball

What You Have To Do

1. Mix the salt in the warm water. Let it dissolve completely.
2. Soak the cotton ball in this saline solution. Tilt your head so that the blocked ear faces the ceiling. Now, squeeze a few drops of the water into the ear.

3. Wait for a while till the water has penetrated into the ear canal. Do not change your position.

4. After a few minutes, tilt your head and bring your blocked ear towards the floor so that you are able to drain out the saline water completely.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat as required. The hardened wax should come out quite easily.
Why This Works

Saline water dissolves the earwax as efficiently as strong ear drops that are recommended by doctors .

8. Clean Ears With Apple Cider Vinegar

You Will Need
• 1 part apple cider vinegar
• 1 part water

What You Have To Do

Mix the ACV and water, and flush out the ear with this solution.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this process the next day if any irritation persists.
Why This Works

The antibacterial and antifungal properties of apple cider vinegar come into use to deal with any harmful microbes that may be residing in your ear canal. The mild acidity of this solution will dissolve the earwax and remove it

9. Olive Oil For Earwax

You Will Need
• Virgin olive oil
• Cotton ball or dropper

What You Have To Do
1. Warm up the oil for a few seconds in the microwave.
2. Pour warm olive oil with a dropper or a cotton ball as described earlier for coconut oil.

How Often You Should Do This
Repeat for a few days regularly so that the hardened wax gets ultimately dislodged.
Why This Works

Olive oil is very helpful in softening hardened wax in ears. As it is greasy, it
acts on the hardened wax and makes it pliable and easy to remove. Some studies have also indicated that virgin olive oil has strong bacteria destroying properties .

10. Garlic Oil For Earwax

You Will Need
• 3-4 garlic cloves
• 3 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
• Cotton ball

What You Have To Do
1. In a small pan, add the oil and a few peeled and crushed garlic cloves.
2. Heat the oil till the cloves turn black. Turn off the heat and allow it to cool.
3. When the oil is at about the room temperature, remove the cloves and use this oil in your ears.
4. Soak a cotton ball, tilt your head sideways and pour a few drops of the oil in the affected ear.
5. Rub a little oil around the ear that is paining.
6. Wait for a few minutes. Now, tilt your head in the opposite direction and drain.

How Often You Should Do This

For best results, do this at night before going to bed. Repeat the next day if required.
Why This Works

If the ear blockage is accompanied by a lot of pain, using garlic oil is an effective therapy. Garlic contains allicin, which makes it a natural antibiotic. Allicin fights off any inner or middle ear infections and helps fight the pain. The oil will work on the stiff wax, and the garlic will eliminate any lurking infection. In this way, you will be able to combat the pain as well (15).

11. Mullein Oil For Earwax

You Will Need
• A handful of mullein flowers
• ½ cup olive oil
• Cheesecloth

What You Have To Do

1. Place the herb flowers in a jar and cover with olive oil. If you are using dried flowers, then seal the jar. If not, cover with a cheesecloth.
2. Either heat the oil with the flowers or keep it in the sunlight for a fortnight.
3. Strain the oil and store it in a glass bottle in the refrigerator.
4. While using, warm the oil by placing the bottle in a warm water bath and then use it.

How Often You Should Do This

Use this remedy once every month for clean ears.
Why This Works

Mullein flowers, if infused in oil, can be helpful to remove earwax. And as they have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory attributes, they will also help fight any infection that may be present

12. Paraffin Oil For Earwax

You Will Need
• Paraffin oil
• Dropper

What You Have To Do
1. Use warm paraffin oil. Take a dropper and add a few drops of it in the infected ear.
2. Then, tilt the head the other way and drain the oil.
3. Flush your ear with warm water

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat for a few days to get relief.
Why This Works

The ear canal cleanses itself. But, at times, the accumulation of excess earwax causes discomfort and pain. Paraffin oil softens the earwax and helps in its easy removal

13. Glycerin For Earwax

You Will Need
• Glycerin
• Dropper

What You Have To Do

1. Using the dropper, pour a few drops of glycerin in the affected ear.
2. Let it sit for a couple of minutes. Then, tilting the head to remove the melted earwax.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this for a day or two.
Why This Works

Many earwax drops used as softeners have glycerin in them as an active ingredient. Glycerin is moist and an effective lubricant (18). It is also safe to be used at home.
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14. Warm Water For Earwax

You Will Need
Lukewarm water
What You Have To Do

Flush the ear with lukewarm water to remove excess earwax.
How Often You Should Do This
Repeat this as and when required.
Why This Works
If you have a recurring issue with earwax build-up, visiting your physician at short notices may be difficult. In such situations, a mild ear flush with lukewarm water should help. Warm water softens the wax and removes other dust, oils, and so on, thereby cleaning the ears thoroughly (19).
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15. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Walnuts, salmon, flax seeds, sardines, mackerel, and avocados are all rich in omega-3-fatty acids. Eating such foods reduces the problem of earwax (20).
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Earwax build-up can get annoying and can also lead to infections. It is better to include these remedies in your regular routine, instead of having to go to the doctor with an excruciating ear pain. Listed below are a few frequently asked questions regarding earwax.
FAQs

1. What causes a wax build-up in the ears?
Earwax is produced by the body to protect the outer and inner ears from germs, dust, and small objects that may enter the ear canals. It also protects the skin lining the ear canals from excess water. When the glands produce excessive wax, it starts piling up and hardening. Normal ear cleaning methods will only push the wax in further into the ear and cause more complications (21).
2. What are the symptoms of earwax build-up?
It is possible that your ear canal is blocked by earwax if you experience any of the following symptoms:
• Unbearable itching deep inside the ear
• A feeling of fullness or a blocked sensation
• Vertigo
• A ringing sound in the ear
• A fluid-like discharge from the inner ear
• A diminished hearing capacity
• Pain in the ear (1, 21)

3. How often should you do an earwax extraction?

When you feel experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms and if the earwax is causing irritation, you can go ahead with the earwax removal process. In an ideal situation, there should be no need to clean the earwax. But due to the pollution and unwanted irritants in the atmosphere, earwax build-up has become a common ailment.
When earwax accumulates, it causes pain and itching and is irritating. It can be easily removed by using any of the above-described home remedies. As the ear and ear canal are very sensitive organs, utmost care and patience need to be exerted while attempting to clean your ears. Clean when required, and if you notice any unusual discharge, consult a doctor immediately.
Do you know of any other ways on how to remove earwax easily? Share with us in the comments section below

Earwax, also called cerumen, serves an essential function in the body. It helps to remove dead skin cells, dirt, hair, and other debris from the ear canal.
Earwax lowers the risk of infection and prevents the ear canal from feeling uncomfortable and itchy. It also helps to reduce the irritation that water causes when it enters the ear canal.
However, it is possible for the body to overproduce earwax, allowing it to build up and block the ear canal. A blockage can also occur if a person cleans their ears using a cotton swab, as this can push the earwax further into the ear canal.
The medical term for an earwax blockage is a cerumen impaction. People can usually treat this condition at home using simple household products.
Treatments and home remedies
There are several ways to deal with an earwax blockage at home, including:

Hydrogen peroxide
A common method for earwax removal is to add a few drops of hydrogen peroxide to a damp cotton ball and apply it to the affected ear. A person can also use a clean eyedropper to drip the solution into the ear canal.
It is essential to tilt the head so that the affected ear is pointing upward for several minutes. This will allow the fluid to drip down into the ear canal to reach the blockage.
After a few minutes, tilting the head the other way will allow the fluid and earwax to drain until the ear canal is clear.
Rubber ball syringe
A similar method is to use a rubber ball syringe with warm water. A person should have the affected ear pointing upward and use the syringe to drip warm water slowly into the ear canal.
It is vital to avoid forcefully flushing the water into the ear canal, as this can cause dizziness. The water must not be too hot or too cold.
After a minute, the person should tilt their head the other way so that the fluid and earwax can drip out.
It may be necessary to repeat this process multiple times. Anyone who has an ear injury, such as a ruptured eardrum, should not use this method.
Ear drops
It is possible to purchase over-the-counter (OTC) ear drops to treat an earwax blockage. These are usually water- or oil-based solutions that soften the earwax. They often contain carbamide peroxide, which is similar to hydrogen peroxide.
To use an OTC solution, people should follow the instructions on the packaging. Usually, they will need to apply the solution to the affected ear twice a day for several days until the ear canal is clear.
Other household remedies
Using an eyedropper, it is also possible to apply other substances, such as:
• baby oil
• mineral oil
• glycerin
Again, a person should apply one or two drops with the affected ear facing upward, wait a few minutes, then tilt the head the other way to allow the fluid to drain out.
Should you use ear candles?

Ear candles are not a reliable or safe treatment for earwax.
People should avoid using ear candles to treat earwax blockages.
Using ear candles is also known as ear coning or thermal-auricular therapy. It involves covering a hollow fabric cone in wax or paraffin, inserting it into the ear of a person lying on their side, and then lighting it. A paper plate protects the skin by catching any dripping wax.
The theory is that ear candling creates suction to pull the earwax out of the ear.
However, there is no evidence that ear candles work. They can also cause injuries. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) state that the use of ear candles can lead to:
• bleeding
• ruptured eardrums
• burning
• fires

There are safer and more effective methods of treating earwax blockages, so a person should not attempt to use ear candles.
Symptoms
The most common symptom of earwax blockages is a temporary hearing problem or hearing loss. This may be worrying, but normal hearing should return upon removal of the blockage.
Other symptoms may include:
• pain in the ear
• tinnitus, or ringing in the ear
• dizziness
• a feeling of fullness in the ear

Prevention

Inserting cotton buds or other objects into the ear in an attempt to clean it can cause an earwax blockage. This is because the objects push the earwax further down the ear canal.
To prevent earwax blockages, a person should avoid sticking anything into their ear. Earwax may seem unpleasant, but cleaning is not usually necessary.
If the body is producing excessive amounts of earwax, people can buy OTC ear drops to deal with the problem safely.
Another method of preventing earwax blockages is to soften the earwax in the ears by putting a solution into them a few times a month. People can choose from a range of products, including earwax removal drops, mineral oil, and hydrogen peroxide.
Regularly irrigating the ear may help to prevent earwax buildups, but it is usually best to save this for treating an actual blockage. Never irrigate the ears of young children without talking to a doctor first.

When to see a doctor

People can treat most earwax blockages at home. However, the ear canal and eardrum are delicate, so it can be safer to visit a doctor for earwax removal.
People should also see a doctor if they have bleeding or drainage from the ear or are in significant pain, as another issue may be causing the symptoms.
Anyone with concerns about impacted cerumen in a young child should make an appointment with a pediatrician. They will be able to check the child’s ears and recommend treatment options.
A doctor may remove the blockage using:
• suction
• irrigation
• a rubber ball syringe
• a small surgical instrument called a curette
It may also be necessary to see a doctor if the blockage is still present or worsening after a few days of home treatment.
Earwax (cerumen) is produced in our ear canals. Its presence is usually normal and healthy. Sometimes, though, earwax buildup may be uncomfortable, unsightly, and, in some cases, temporarily affect your hearing.
Although there are over-the-counter earwax drainage products available for purchase, there are also several household items you can use to clear your outer ear canals of excess wax.
Read on to learn about safe earwax removal home remedies and what to avoid.
Home remedies for earwax removal
Baking soda
You can remove earwax at home using baking soda:
1. Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in 2 ounces of warm water.
2. If you have a dropper bottle, pour the solution into it.
3. Tilt your head to the side and gently drip 5 to 10 drops of the solution into your ear, one drop at a time.
4. Leave the solution in the ear for up to an hour, then flush with water.
5. Do this once a day until the earwax clears up. It may happen within a couple of days. Don’t do this for any longer than two weeks.
Hydrogen peroxide
You can remove earwax at home using 3 percent hydrogen peroxide.
1. Tilt your head to the side and drip 5 to 10 drops of hydrogen peroxide into your ear.
2. Keep your head tilted to the side for five minutes to allow the peroxide to penetrate the wax.
3. Do this once a day for 3 to 14 days.
Oil
Earwax is an oil-like substance. Thus, some oils can cause earwax to soften when the two substances come into contact. Proponents of this remedy suggest using the following oils:
• baby oil
• coconut oil
• glycerin
• mineral oil
• olive oil
To use oil for earwax removal:
1. If desired, slightly warm your chosen oil and pour it into a dropper bottle. Don’t warm the oil in the microwave. Always test the temperature before putting it in your ear.
2. Tilt your head to the side and place a few drops of oil into your ear.
3. Keep your head tilted to the side for five minutes.
4. Repeat once or twice per day.
Irrigation
Sometimes earwax can be dislodged by the light pressure of water flushing:
1. Purchase a soft rubber bulb made for ear cleaning, and fill it with warm water.
2. Tilt your head to the side with a thick towel or basin below the ear.
3. Gently squeeze the bulb so that the warm water shoots into your ear.
4. Allow the water to run down into the towel or basin.
5. You may even do this over a bowl so that you can see if any visible pieces of earwax fall out.
Irrigation can be combined with any of the methods recommended above. Perform irrigation 5 to 15 minutes after you use baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, or oil.
Potentially dangerous home remedies to avoid
Although earwax removal is often safe to do at home, there are some cases that require the attention of a medical professional. If the above home remedies don’t work for you, contact your doctor. Don’t use the following to remove earwax:
• Small objects. Avoid using small objects such as pen caps or bobby pins to clean out your ears. Many doctors agree with the old saying, “Never put anything in your ear that’s smaller than your elbow.”
• Cotton swabs. Although they may look safe and perfect for your ears, cotton swabs are too small to be used safely inside the ear and could cause damage.
• Ear candles. There’s been a lot of coverage regarding this technique, but there are concerns that they can cause injuries, such as burns and punctured eardrums.