If you are looking for the safest method to remove ear wax using home remedies then this is a must read the article for you.
Do you want to get rid of your ear wax? You should probably not do it unless your ear is blocked. Ear wax is a natural substance and it helps to protect you from dust and infections. It also helps in removing dead skin cells.
But if you are having blockages, earache or temporary loss of hearing then pay attention to your ear. There might be a build-up of excessive ear wax which might be causing these symptoms.
In this article, some of the best and safe methods have been provided to get rid of the wax.
What Is Ear Wax?
The ear canals have glands that produce a yellow-brownish oily substance. It is known as the ear wax or cerumen. It occurs naturally in everyone. The wax protects the ear canal and the eardrum from bacteria, dust, and other foreign particles. It traps these harmful substances before they can reach the eardrum.
It works as an antibacterial and antifungal agent. Wax helps remove dead skin cells from the ear canal. It also protects the ear from water. Ear wax contains dead skin cells, hair, and oil from the sebaceous glands. Sometimes the glands produce excessive ear wax. Here are some reasons why that might happen.
It is important that you know how to remove the ear wax at home.
So, here are a few reliable home remedies that can be used.
Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Ear Wax
Often, the problems occur because you try to take out the wax at home on your own. Without proper knowledge of the right method and tool, this can happen. To avoid this, follow the instructions given below.
A. Solutions And Oils To Remove Wax
1. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is a common household item. It is used for various purposes. But, it is very effective against ear wax. Hydrogen peroxide has an effervescent property that breaks the hard wax down.
How To Use It?
- Mix three-four drops of hydrogen peroxide with warm olive oil. Tilt your head upwards and using a dropper put it slowly in the affected ear.
- Wait for 15 minutes. Let the hydrogen peroxide seep into the wax. It will loosen the wax. You might have a bubbling sensation in the ear but you need not be alarmed. It is the effervescent property of the hydrogen peroxide.
- After 15 minutes tilt your ear downwards and let the substance come out.
- Put the drops at least three to four times for the wax to come out completely.
- If you do not have a dropper you can use cotton swabs. But, remember that you don’t push the swab too much inside your ear. That can push the wax further inside.
Saltwater is another simple way to remove the ear wax.
How To Use?
- Take a bowl of water and add two spoons of salt in it. Tilt your head upwards. Use a dropper or a cotton swab to squeeze it in the affected ear.
- Keep it there for two to three minutes. Then tilt your head downwards. The ear wax will soften and come out. Wipe it clean with a towel and repeat till all of it comes out.
- Make sure that the water drains out completely. Otherwise, it might lead to infection.
3. Rubbing Alcohol And Vinegar Solution
Rubbing alcohol and vinegar solution is an old method for ear wax removal. The solution helps in dissolving the ear wax. Vinegar helps fight against bacteria and fungi and prevents infection and alcohol helps in evaporating quickly.
How To Use?
- Take equal amount of rubbing alcohol and white vinegar in a bowl. Use cotton swabs to squeeze it in the affected ear.
- Leave it there for 15 minutes. Then tilt your head downwards. Clean the wax that comes out on the outer ear.
- You can also use apple cider vinegar or tea tree oil.
- Before trying this apply a little amount on your skin to check whether it has an adverse effect. Avoid, if there is a reaction.
Glycerine is another common method to dislodge impacted ear wax. It has a lubricating and moisturizing effect and can remove the wax easily.
- Use a dropper to put three to four drops of glycerine in the ear. Then cover the earhole with a cotton ball.
- Leave it for a few hours.
- Remove the cotton ball and use warm water to flush it out. Tilt your head to let the wax and the water drain out. Wipe the outer ear clean.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has antioxidants and can curb cell damage. When you put it in your ear it will take the wax and fight the infection too.
How To Use?
- Take apple cider vinegar in a dropper. Pour 3-4 drops in the affected ear.
- Keep your head tilted and let it soak for 5-8 minutes and break the earwax down.
- Turn your head down and let the wax fall out. Clean your outer ear with a tissue.
6. Coconut Oil
If you do not have any of the above options available at home you need not worry. You can still use coconut oil to remove the wax. Coconut oil has a softening and lubricating nature. The earwax can be removed once the oil has done its part.
How To Use?
- Take the coconut oil. Warm it in the microwave. Use your fingers to test that it is not hot.
- Put a few drops in the ear.
- Let it rest for 5-8 minutes. The longer you keep it in the ear the better the results.
- Then tilt your head and let it flow out. Clean the outer ear with a towel.
7. Olive Oil
Olive oil can help in softening the earwax. It also drains out the wax by itself. The olive oil is that effective for earwax.
How To Use?
- Take olive oil at room temperature. It shouldn’t disturb your ear. Olive oil is not cold but if you like you can warm it a little
- Pour five to six drops in the ear and lie down with that ear facing upwards.
- Let it sit there for 5 minutes.
- Then turn that ear towards the ground. Let the gravity flush out the oil and the wax. Wipe your ear clean with a tissue.
8. Almond Oil
Almond oil can not only remove the earwax but has anti-inflammatory properties. It can fight infection and can protect your ear
How To Use?
- Warm the almond oil and put five to eight drops in your ears. Do one ear at a time as you want to let the oil soak in the earwax properly.
- Keep the head tilted for 10-15 minutes.
- Then tilt the ear downwards to let the oil and the wax flow out.
9. Mineral Oil
Mineral oil can loosen and soften the earwax. It is one of the inexpensive oils that you can benefit from.
How To Use?
- Remember to warm the oil. Otherwise, your eardrum might face some discomfort.
- Put 3-4 drops in your ear and let it sit for 5-8 minutes. The wax will soften and loosen up.
- Tilt your head and let it flow out. Clean it with a soft towel or a tissue.
- Use this once for 5 days.
10. Garlic Infused With Olive Oil
Garlic contains allicin. It kills germs, bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It is a powerful antimicrobial agent and can also get rid of earwax at the same time.
How To Use?
- Take some olive oil and crush a clove of garlic in it.
- Let it soak for 15 minutes in it. Let the crushed clove settle down in the oil.
- You can even use garlic oil.
- Warm the mixed-oil. Then using a dropper, put a few drops in the affected ear.
- Let it seep in. Keep it there for 5 minutes and then drain it out. If you have a bulb aspirator you can suck out the wax.
11. Baby Oil
Another common household item easily available at hand. Baby oil is basically -mineral oil with perfumes in it. Mineral oil is a by-product of petroleum. It helps in dislodging the earwax but is also a powerful lubricant.
How To Use?
- Warm the baby oil. Then put 2-3 drops in the affected ear.
- Let it soak the earwax. Wait for 5 minutes.
- Tilt your head to let it out.
12. Baking Soda
Baking soda is also an antiseptic that can prevent future build-up of ear wax. When mixed with water it can also soften the ear wax making it easy to remove.
How To Use?
- Take two to three spoons of baking soda powder. Mix it well with water.
- Squeeze it in the affected ear. Wait for five minutes
- Tilt your head to let the softened wax out.
- Clean your ear with a towel.
- You can do this twice a week.
13. Mullein Oil
Mullein plant has emollient properties that can easily soften the harden earwax. It has also antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties that can even fight infection and other problems in the ear.
How To Use?
- Put 2-3 drops of warm mullein oil in your ear. Let it rest for at least 5 minutes.
- Then tilt your head and let it flow out. Wipe your outer ear clean of the earwax.
Sometimes most of the problems can be solved with a healthy diet. Evidence suggests that the earwax build-up could be caused by a deficiency of Omega-3.
If your diet doesn’t have Omega-3 the sebaceous glands start producing excessive earwax. You can get rid of it by correcting your diet.
Eat food like fish rich in Omega-3 or take a supplement of Omega-3. If you are vegetarian then you can have flax seed oil.
B. Few Harmless Handy Methodologies
Over the counter softeners and the above-mentioned oils are the best way to soften the ear wax. This is the easiest way to deal with the ear wax.
2. Taking Shower
When you are taking shower to let the water run in your ear for some time. Then tilt your head down to let the earwax wash out. It has been an effective method.
Note: If you do this you need to be very careful. Water, if it gets stuck, can lead to infection or pain in the ear. You won’t able to hear clearly either.
It can also lead to a disease known as Swimmer’s ear. You get an uncomfortable tingling sensation, irritation and itching. Make sure that the water drains out completely.
3. Ear Irrigation
Once you have softened the wax you can use the irrigation method.
You need a bulb syringe for this. Fill the syringe with warm water. Then place the nozzle facing it towards the roof of the canal.
Spray the water with full force. The water will go from above and push the ear wax out from inside while coming out.
The solutions are interchangeable. Sometimes saline water is used or sometimes a solution of water and vinegar is used.
Generally, people prefer to have a warm solution as the cold water makes them feel dizzy.
Make sure that the water comes out completely.
4. Curette And Cotton Swabs
Curettes or ear picks are generally used to take out the ear wax. Usually done by doctors or health professionals but it is safe and can be easily removed by these two tools.
Cotton swabs are not recommended. They can push the ear wax further inside. Also, the cotton ball can get stuck inside the ear if not done safely.
In certain cases, the use of cotton balls has damaged the eardrum too.
5. Ear Candle
The person is asked to insert a hollow lit candle inside his ear. It is claimed that suction is produced which pulls out the wax.
But, It is a false claim.
This method is dangerous because wax can fall onto the eardrum and damage it. It can even lead to bleeding. Dripping wax can burn your ear and face too.
This is a method but is strongly inadvisable.
The professionals use a microscope in this method. It helps them see the wax clearly. A small suction device is used with it to suck the earwax out of your ear.
7. Aural Toilet
A thin instrument with a small hoop at one end. It is a procedure used to clean the external auditory meatus (EAM), the debris and wax. It is also used to dry the ear after the cleaning.
You can avoid the excessive build-up of wax in the ear in the first place. For this, you should get your ears checked regularly. And take some preventive measures as suggested below.
As you know prevention is better than cure. Because once it is done without proper knowledge then you have to deal with it. And it is often a painful process.
Here is a list of Dos and Don’ts for you to know how you can stop before making it worse.
- Know that the symptoms are caused by earwax.
- Consult a doctor to know the safe treatments available at home.
- Be aware of any medical condition you might have in your ear.
- Reduce the usage of earphones.
- Clean your hearing aid regularly.
- If you had an ear surgery, don’t self-clean your ears.
- Don’t over clean your ears as it may lead to infection.
- Don’t put cotton swabs, keys or Q-tips in the ear. As this might push the wax deeper
- Don’t ignore your symptoms if home remedies don’t work. Visit your doctor.
- Don’t use ear candle. It can seriously damage your ear.
How To Remove Ear Wax Using Over The Counter Product?
Generally, it is recommended that you do not try to take out the ear wax on your own. People use Q-tips, earbuds, keys and other such tools to pull the wax out. It can damage the ear and can push the wax deeper.
But you can remove the ear wax by using certain ear wax removal kits. These are safe and recommended by the doctors.
1. Ototek Loop Ear Wax Removal and Ear Wax Removal Drops
2. Third Generation Dr. Mom Slimline Stainless LED Pocket Otoscope
3. Ear Wax Removal Kit – Ear Gator Ear Irrigator plus Third Generation Dr. Mom LED Otoscope Plus Lighted Ear Curettes
4. Elephant Ear Washer Bottle System-Ear Wax Removal Tools
5. Doctor Easy Wax Rx Ph Conditioned Ear Wash System
The instructions on the box should be followed strictly. These tools should be used as the last options.
It’s time to call your doctor
- If the ear wax doesn’t come out or the condition worsens then consult a doctor immediately.
- If you think the above-mentioned home remedies or other methods are not working don’t continue with it. Consult a doctor immediately.
- Sometimes, you might get severe pain, dizziness, loss of balance or sudden hearing loss. Go to the doctor.
- The problem might not be because of ear wax so it is necessary that you consult a doctor.
- If you are prone to ear wax build-up visit your doctor regularly for removal and check-ups.
These situations come often. When you are in doubt avoid doing anything that can be harmful. Visit your doctor immediately.
Causes Of Ear Wax
The ear has a self-cleaning mechanism. The older wax is pushed outward, dries up, and falls out. But, there are several reasons this might not happen. Below is the list of causes for this.
1. Excess Production Of Ear Wax
Sometimes the ear canal produces excess wax. This can lead to a blockage in the ear which can be dangerous.
2. Trying To Clean Your Ear
People use earbuds, swabs, hairpins, and keys to clean the wax. These are dangerous methods. The wax might get pushed inside and the ear canal will get damaged too.
3. Earphones And Hearing Aids
Earphones and hearing aids can push the ear wax inside too. If you use them for a long time they can prevent the ear wax from falling out. This can lead to blockages.
An infection or a disease can narrow your ear canal. It is known as stenosis. This can lead to a build-up of ear wax in the ear.
A decrease in the production of thyroid hormone can also produce excessive wax in the ear.
6. Abnormal Growth Of Bone In The Ear
This can also lead to a build-up of ear wax as the wax can get stuck because it can’t fall out.
7. Old Age
The cerumen can have less moisture as you grow older. It can get stuck in the ear canal.
Ear Wax In Children
Earwax is produced in children and the adults. But sometimes, children tend to produce more. If you suspect that it might be causing problems to take them to the doctor. Removing the wax at home can not only dangerous but ineffective too.
A child’s ear is very delicate and if you stick anything inside, it can damage the ear canal and perforate the eardrum. Even a cotton swab can damage it.
Often children are seen sticking their fingers or objects into their ears. This might be because of irritation or pain. Consult a doctor.
Ear Wax In Adults
Ear wax is produced naturally. Some adults might produce excessive ear wax. It might not be always dangerous but if you have any discomfort then you should consult your doctor.
There are several reasons and symptoms listed in this article and if you suspect any of them are caused by ear wax visit your doctor immediately.
But how would you know if there is some problem caused by the ear wax?
Here is a list of symptoms that can make you aware of the problem.
Symptoms Of Ear Wax
- Pain in your ear
- Ringing (tinnitus) or other noises in your ear
- Hearing problems/ hearing loss
- Odor or discharge from the ear
- Feeling that ear is clogged
- Bleeding from the ear
- Painful jaw movement
- A headache
- Vertigo (feeling dizzy)
- Vomiting/ nausea
Note: These might not necessarily be caused by ear wax.
1. Can Hydrogen Peroxide Damage Your Ears?
The hydrogen peroxide is the easiest and the most effective way of getting rid of ear wax. But it can be dangerous too.
A concentrated solution of hydrogen peroxide can damage your ear. The recommended concentration is 3% in the solution.
If you have experience pain or infection, avoid using it. And this can also cause severe itching and allergies if you have sensitive skin.
2. How Often Should You Clean Your Ears?
It depends. If your ear tends to produce excessive wax you should clean it once a month. Use one of the recommended home remedies or consult your doctor.
3. Is Irrigation Method Safe?
Yes. It is a routine method and can be done at home. There might be temporary side effects such as ringing in the ear or dizziness.
The validity of this test is questionable though.
4. Is The Ear Wax Harmful?
No. Earwax is a natural substance that your body makes to protect itself. It shouldn’t be removed if there are no problems. The body takes care of its removal naturally. If you suffer from any complications then only you should remove it.
5. Which Doctor Should I Visit If I Am Having Ear Pain?
You should visit a pediatrician or an ENT (ear, nose, throat) specialist, also known as an otolaryngologist
Keeping your ears clean is important. If it is not clean a lot of complication can occur. People constantly try to clean their ears with different objects that enter the ear and that can be really dangerous.
And it is often too late until they realize. Sometimes, the wax need not be removed because the body removes it naturally.
You should remember that ear wax is not always bad. Only when it is in excess should you treat it. And if you have a serious case visit the doctor.