Natural Remedies to Remove Ear Wax
A few simple home remedies can help you naturally remove ear wax without pain. Restore your hearing, get rid of your ear pain, and get your ears healthy with these natural ear wax cures!
"Earwax, also known by the medical term cerumen, is a yellowish, waxy substance secreted in the ear canal of humans and many other mammals. It plays an important role in the human ear canal, assisting in cleaning and lubrication, and also provides some protection from bacteria, fungi, and insects. Excess or impacted cerumen can press against the eardrum and/or occlude the external auditory canal and impair hearing.
Cerumen is produced in the outer third of the cartilaginous portion of the human ear canal. It is a mixture of viscous secretions from sebaceous glands and less-viscous ones from modified apocrine sweat glands. The primary components of earwax are the final products in the HMG-CoA reductase pathway, namely, squalene, lanosterol, and cholesterol." (Wikipedia)
Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.
|Hydrogen Peroxide||43 YEAS|
[YEA] 04/28/2009: KY from Ashland, KY: "the old fashioned bobby pin is a good tool for removing ear wax. use the rounded end inside the ear. used 100 years in my family with safe results."Replies
04/30/2011: Maidenohio from Cleveland, Ohio replies: "You are not supposed to stick things in your ears, but the bobby pin does work. Please be very, very careful while scraping the insides of your ears. Do not go down too deep."
12/27/2011: Matt from El Paso, Tx replies: "I once had a nun in school who said "don't put anything in your ear smaller than your elbow". Good advice.
I have had heavy earwax buildup all of my life. I do a monthly peroxide drop treatment that works wonders. I was career army so I also took Murine ear drops to the field with me. Both break up the ear wax and allow it to naturally work its way out of the ear canal to where you can swab it up with a Q-tip. Far better than mining with a bobby pin."
[NAY] 02/29/2012: Michele from Sapulpa, Oklahoma replies: "I am a Registered Medical Assistant and used to work for an ear specialist. He showed us a video on ear/ER cases. The #1 most frequent ear damages are caused by using Q-Tips. Several were men and women who were in their bathroom with a Q-tip in their ear, possibly, not too far in. Then one of their kids comes RUNNING into the bathroom slamming the arm and q-tip DEEP into the ear canal and puncturing the ear drum.
Bobby Pins ARE JUST AS DANGEROUS, POSSIBLY WORSE BECAUSE THEY ARE METAL!!! I can see brain injuries from a bobby pin being SLAMMED DEEP INTO THE EAR DRUM and possibly on into the brain.
The old saying: "DON'T STICK ANYTHING INTO YOUR EARS LARGER THAN YOUR ELBOW!!!"
11/03/2011: Blacky from Tampa, Florida: "Is ear candling recommended? Anyone have any positive feedback on it? Is the gunk they find in the end from the wax or from the ear?"Replies
11/04/2011: P from Middle, Fl replies: "I knew someone whom did it and was satisfied with results, if I am not mistaken it is ear wax at the end, because she was amazed at how much came out.
I was not to convinced on putting something lit near my ear so I never tried it, but I do the hydrogen peroxide and like the results. I lay on my side and pour in my ear canal, wait 10 min and pour it out on a towel and then clean your ear out, but make sure you dont push the wax back in. My boyfriend was having trouble hearing out his ears, I did it to him and now no problem.
I read, thats what some doctors do to patients when there is infection in the ear!"
11/04/2011: Helen from Brentwood, Ca, Usa replies: "Hi P. I used to do this a lot in the past. It's not ear wax at the end of the ear cone candles, it's bee's wax from the candle! I tested it by burning down a candle without putting it against my ear.
However, it is very relaxing!!"
[NAY] 01/13/2012: Karen from Ellensburg, Wa replies: ""Candling" is BS, my husband had it done and brought home his used "candle" to show me all the wax that came out, gross! But he also brought home an unused "candle" we burned it without putting it in his ear and it looked exactly like the one that supposedly removed the wax, just another useless treatment to get your money!"
03/05/2012: Sandra from Blue Springs, Mo replies: "That's really interesting to know. I've used ear cones in the past and I've always wondered if that really is earwax inside the candle."
06/07/2012: Angelica from Calgary, Alberta, Canada replies: "I was told that this method was excellent for removing wax from your ears. I also had never heard any bad stories concerning candling, so, I happily made an appointment to have it done. I have so many problems with my ears now it isn't funny. They crackle all the time (sometimes painfully), and when I blow my nose I can hear the air coming through my ears (never happened before). I realize to some that these experiences may seem unrelated, but I can only conclude, since I never had those issues previously, that the cause was the candling. Also, to debunk this a bit further, when the candler looked at the candles, they said that I had experienced "many" ear infections according to her findings... I only had a couple in my lifetime prior to the candling."
[WARNING!] 09/02/2012: Kay from Destin, Fl replies: "WARNING: I had good results many times, as did many of my friends; but once we had a VERY DANGEROUS experience so I will never do it or recommend it again. I assume it was because of an inferior brand of candle or manufactirer defect. To make a long story short, I stopped the procedure just as roilling HOT WAX melted down the cone into a friends ear! Fortunately I was watching very closely because the candle was not the brand I was accustomed to; this one was more flimsy and not made of sturdy cloth; and it burned hotter & faster; too fast for my comfort and obviulsy so fast it melted the wax coating enough to drip down the come... Very, very dangerous... and could instantly have rendered my friend deaf and/or disfugured had I not stopped immediately!
BEWARE! Having shared this treatment with many folks before the above incident, I noticed that most people do not follow the directions and they burn away too much of the cone before removing it from the ear, which is also very, very dangerous!
For everyones sake it's much safer to use the Hydrogen peroxide treatment (but not if you have a reptured eardrum or other ear problems! )"
[QUESTION] 03/12/2009: Sonny from Vancouver, Canada: "I have read conflicting reports about ear candling. Does it actually work? Some people say that if you burned it without even putting it in your ear, there would still be 'gunk" left - which people mistake for wax when they do use it in the ear. I am thinking of trying it, but am reluctant to make matters worse, or just waste my money on something that is ineffective. Any learned and/or experienced feedback would be very much appreciated. Thanks."Replies
[NAY] 03/13/2009: Deirdre from Atlanta, GA replies: "I did lots of these ear cones in the 1990s, thinking I was removing oodles and oodles of ear wax. My ears itched like crazy for a few days afterwards. Finally my brother and his wife did an experiment and burned down 2 candles to see what happened. Yes, oodles and oodles of what appeared to be ear wax! The candles did make me feel very relaxed."
[YEA] 04/30/2009: bass_ga from Lithia Springs, Ga replies: "Last year I went to a herbal store and had ear candling done.Very simple procedure. I immediately had improved hearing over the course of 3 days.( I could hear a fly take a piss). Sinuses opened up and increased my tasted buds. Not to mention it indeed pulled a blocked wax build up problem I had had for years. I was so impressed I bought some ear candles myself and use them on my 9 year old daughter, whom also had a build up of wax in her ears. Take Note: Ear candling is not used with real candles, it is a hollow cone made of pure bees wax. Do not use cones made with some other materials that are on the market. After ear candling place cotton balls in ears for at least 24 hours, Keep ears secured with cotton or ear plugs pending your work environment, if dusty for at least 2 days. Ears are very sensitive and needs to have time to rest.
How I used it:(never perform this on yourself)
2 ear cones
1 large bowl of water
2 matches or a lighter
1 pair of scissors
1 hot water bottle or heating pad
1 ball of cotton
Place heat on ear your going to do for 5 min. It loosens up the wax. Lay on your side(using a pillow under your head). Exposed ear facing up. Place 1 ear cone in the opening of the ear slightly tilted, Light the top part of the cone with a match. Not to worry bees wax does not melt, it evaporates as it burns. place the match in the bowl of water. At this time you will hear crackling camp fire noises. As the smoke rises it pulls wax out of the ears. when It burns 1/2 way down remove from ear. Take scissors and and cut off the burning part into the water. Inside the cone will be wax and yellow dust. If you see yellow dust it comes from moisture in the ear. Clean out the wax/dust in the cone with a long small stick and repeat the process again w/ remaining cone in the same ear. Then repeat the whole process on the other ear."
[YEA] 07/26/2009: MandyMc from Kokomo, IN replies: "My husband was complaining that his ear was plugged and he was slightly dizzy. I had heard of earcandling and thought we would give it a try. I went to the health store and purchased some earcandles, they weren't expensive at all $3.99 for 2 candles. I used them as directed and my husband said he couldn't tell a difference. We used the other one on the same ear about 3 hours later and he said he still couldn't tell a difference. I was pretty disappointed, my hopes were high since I had heard such good things. When he got up the next morning he said "Mandy thanks my ear feels great, those candles really worked"!!! Awesome!!! I will definitley use these again."
[NAY] 11/05/2010: Anna from Philadelphia, Pa, usa replies: "They made my earwax more dense and pushed it deeper. I lost heaing for few hours until I went to dr to have lots of earwax flushed out. I'll never use them again."
07/15/2011: Alex from Morgantown, Wv replies: "ear candles are illegal in Canada and it is illegal to import them from Canada into the US. While they're not illegal in the US, pretty much all medical science is against them.
I've done them twice before actually, was sold a wholistic cure (by the same place that sold my mom saltwater to relieve arthritis). First one did nothing at all, second one singed my ear a bit, hurt for a few days.
Aside from that, do you really think a little negative pressure from the heat is going to pull an awful disgusting glob of tar out of your ear?
I've had fair success with using over the counter carbamide peroxide treatments (similar to hydrogen peroxide but better for the ear). It's pretty uncomfortable to blow water up your ear, but if it helps then it helps.
Had to go to an ear specialist once and have him suck it out of my ear with a little..... Sucker tool. Don't know how to explain it, a long metal tube that sucks lice a vacuum. Was very uncomfortable and somewhat painful, but so was the ear wax and this helped tremendously.
Go to a drugstore, or go to a doctor, stay away from quackery."
08/25/2011: Sher from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada replies: "ear candles or cones are not illegal in Canada"
09/02/2011: Cred from Innisfil, On, Canada replies: "actually, the Health Canada website says that they are illegal to sell in Canada but some get around the rule and can be found for sale.
However, the reason is that Health Canada deems them to be ineffective and has not issue a license to sell them as a medical device. They state that they are dangerous due to fire. That said, so are fireworks and they are now legal to sell in Canada. Again, legislation designed to protect the ignorant. I'm sure most people could properly use ear candles safely (however, not on oneself, as it is dangerous to try to do this yourself).
Health Canada rarely identifies alternative therapies as effective so I wouldn't rely on their information."
Hydrogen Peroxide Treatment for Ear Wax
Home Remedy Ingredients
- Hydrogen Peroxide - 3%
Lay a towel down on your bed or carpet. Then drip a bit of 3% hydrogen peroxide into one ear. After a few moments you will hear fizzing. Wait until the fizzing stops -- 10 to 15 minutes, occasionally adding more hydrogen peroxide. Shake remaining liquid from your ear onto the towel and repeat on the other ear.
[YEA] 07/18/2012: No Longer Yelling from Two Rivers, Wi: "After reading the testimonials on this website, we tried the HP treatment for my husbands EXTREMELY clogged left ear. It was causing him much pain and causing us both irritation that everything had to be repeated - loudly - each time I spoke to him.
After following the suggestion to continue adding the peroxide as the bubbling subsided, after approx. 25 minutes, he went to the sink and flushed out an enormous (or so *I* thought) amount of dark orange wax. He was so pleased!
He said it didn't hurt AT ALL, but did tickle quite a bit! :-)
He can now hear perfectly out of that ear and wants to do the other one as a maintainence before it gets clogged.
THANK YOU to all who posted to this site, and especially to the people running the site!
No longer yelling in T'Rivers, WI"
06/14/2012: Ceruman from Galena, Il: "Actually, a nice way to gently clear impacted earwax or Cerumen is a syringe with a soft non latex tip. This will irrigate the earwax using warm water after pre-treatment with Debrox or hydrogen peroxide."
[YEA] 05/11/2012: Stuart from Lithgow, Nsw Australia: "Using 3-5 drops of Hydrogen Peroxide in the ear will remove all wax, just continue to do it. Do not use if the ear drum is perforated."
[YEA] 03/19/2012: Taioron from Minneapolis, Mn: "I will just say, this works. When I get water in my ears, the wax ends up swelling so much that I get complete blockage of the canal, and I can't hear out of that ear. After seeing the doctor, they themselves used hydrogen peroxide. My problem when I used it, is I will put some it but not allow it to sit very long. When I kept adding more and more while letting it sit for over 20 minutes, the problem was solved.
Now, it is not the most gentle thing ever, which is why bottles of it are usually diluted. Most bottles will be diluted down to 3%, which will be fine for when there is no other choice. If you want to do a more regular cleaning, consider some of the oils that are mentioned as it will be more gentle. Most people seek out advice when other solutions aren't working, and in that case, 3% hydrogen peroxide for over 20 minutes. It will work."
[YEA] 10/17/2011: Marcie from Portland, Oregon: "I had one ear totally blocked and the other ear was getting there. Tried various store "ear wax removal oil" from the pharmacy plus a natural tea tree ear oil. Nothing worked. Then I came upon your suggestion. I had to do 3 treatments (50, 40, 20 minutes) on the totally blocked ear and 2 treatments (40, 20 minutes) on the other. I could hardly believe what came out of my ears! For me, I think the important part was to keep putting the peroxide in over and over throughout the time period. Then using warm water and a bulb I swished out the goop! Having had this problem all my life, it is wonderful to now have an easy solution to keep my ears clean! Thank you!"Replies
[YEA] 10/31/2011: Tory from Muncie, Indiana replies: "I love this remedy! After having trouble for months with my ears, peroxide cleaned them out in 2 days. 20 minutes a few times a day, and then use an ear syringe filled with warm water to rinse them out. Peroxide works much better than traditional ear drops."
[NAY] 01/01/2012: Bonnie from Halifax, Nova Scotia replies: "It did not work for me... my ear is worse clogged than ever and sore now too."
[YEA] 01/27/2012: Ryan from Boston, Ma replies: "This was like a miracle. My ears get blocked up a couple of times a year. I've always used the CVS brand Ear Wax Removal System, with the drops and the bulb syringe. Yesterday, that didn't seem to be doing the trick. When I put the drops in, I barely even heard any crackling like I think I sometimes used to. Gave the Hydrogen Peroxide a try today and it made a world of difference. Instantly and consistently hearing the crackling noise confirmed for me that it was really doing the trick and eating away at the wax. Left the drops in for ~5 minutes at a time and let it drain. Did that 4 times or so and then the flushed everything out with the syringe. I feel so much better!"
03/03/2012: Em072205 from El Cajon, California replies: "Okay I wanted to comment on this because I had once used Marine ear to try to clean my ears. I will never ever go back to q-tips ever again (and I don't use them on my children). Here is my story--I have suffered from chronic ear wax, but never able to fully get it out. I attempted originally with Hydrogen Peroxide by itself and it never worked. I tried Marine ear at the store--nothing worked. After reading this page, I decided to try the hydrogen peroxide the way that was mentioned. Let me tell you, it worked with getting a little bit out of the ear, but my right ear was highly clogged and began ringing and tons of pressure (felt like a balloon was in there). I could not hear properly and figured it would right itself in the morning.
I woke up the next morning only to suffer the same results--I was not going to give up though. I did some reseach and found that Olive Oil softens the wax and along side that, I figured the bulb that I had was not pressure enough to push the wax out. I went out and got Olive Oil and a new bulb (this was actually a baby mucus cleaner). I put the olive oil in--2-3 drops and waited about five minutes. Then I went on with the hydrogen peroxide. Every 2-3 minutes I would put another drop in of peroxide and did this for about 15 minutes. I then went to the sink, made a bowl of warm water and tilted my head and position the bulb to help push the wax out. I had to do this three times (oil, peroxide, syringe) before the syringe blew the wax out. It was such a relief!!
I did this with my other ear (because now that my right ear was clear, I could offically tell it was clogged) and it blew old wax out that was black!! I was amazed. Therefore, if hydrogen peroxide alone will not work for you, get some olive oil to soften the wax because it is too hard for the hydrogen peroxide to break down."
03/03/2012: Che from Iloilo, Maasin, Philippines replies: "How did you do it? You drop the olive oil right to your ear will it not cause ringing just like when you go to the beach and some water enter into your ear? Which sometimes cause infection and it's so smelly."
[YEA] 03/04/2012: Andrea C from Cardiff, Wales replies: "warm a tea spoon in a cup of hot water, pour olive oil on, lay on your side, and get some 1 to drizzle the olve oil in your ear. MAKE SURE THE SPOON DOES NOT TOUCH YOUR EAR AND THE OIL IS WARM. Lay for a few minutes , then turn over and repeat in other ear. You can also put cotton wool in your ear's and leave it for a few hour's if needed. Be carefull not to push the cotton wool too far into your ear channel, when finish just tilt your head, an let the oil drain. You may have to reapeat this a few time's, but have patience, it works. Love Andrea c x x x x x"
[YEA] 10/03/2011: Marc from Boston, Ma: "The Hydrogen Peroxide definitely works to clear out ear wax. However it may take SEVERAL DAYS for it to work, as you are applying this technique twice a day, say morning and night. If the wax is impacted against your eardrum, you may feel fullness, itching/tickling, diminished hearing, tinnitus/ringing, even balance issues.
Now if you try the Hydrogen Peroxide and notice any relief whatsoever after using it the first day or two, it's safe to say wax is the problem and to keep on going for up to 5 days. What can happen in the initial days is that the initial treatments are barely getting around the outer layers of wax, or are melting them a little and then they re-form, so you feel better for a little bit after the H202, then the symptoms come back.
It totally sucks that this takes DAYS and DAYS to get rid of. But if you look at the instructions on any OTC ear wax softeners such as Murine etc it says use it for 4 days. I find this H202 method works far better than the oil based stuff like Murine, although you could also try placing some plain mineral oil in your ear during the day in between the H202 treatments.
What I do is I bought a 20cc ear cleaning syringe at a pharmacy (CVS sells them, etc) that has a removable special spray tip. I use the syringe without the tip to apply the H202 for the 20-30 minutes, and then if I feel it's needed, I attach the spray tip and use warm water to spray out the ear. This type of syringe with special tip works WAY better than those little blue bulb sprayers you see included with the ear wax kits.
Also, each time I put the H202 in the ear, I'll warm it first by placing the whole syringe (with about 5cc of H202 in it) inside a tall plastic cup full of warm/hot water. This will warm the H202 to body temp, and I'll even draw in a little bit of this warm water to add it to the H202 just before putting it in my ear. Then test a few drops on your hand before putting it in your ear to make sure it's not too warm or cold, since any liquid too warm or cold going into your ear can make you nauseaous."
[YEA] 05/11/2011: Craig from Toronto, Ontario: "Let me add my voice to the many others here who have had success using Hydrogen Peroxide. I have what my physician describes as very small ear canals. As a result, I have had to deal with blockages due to ear wax all my life. I typically must have my physician clean my ears with a syringe of warm water ever couple of years (it's usually very messy and she has to do it several times.... Getting handily sprayed in the meantime). She has often recommended using H2O2 before seeing her for this (and as a preventive maintenance).
Recently, after months of partial blockage in my left ear, I began putting H2O2 in the affected ear. The downside was this softened the wax enough to lead to a full blockage! (this has happened before too). I booked my appointment with the physician, however, I had to wait several days to see her. In the mean time I kept adding H2O2 twice a day for several days (I even tried some lavage, using warm water in a squeeze bottle). Finally, last night, after reading about others' success, I went with the full treatment: For 40 minutes I lay on my side, adding more H2O2, every few minutes as the bubbling and warmth subsided, always trying to work it in as deeply as possible, and always using a tissue to clean out H2O2 that had stopped bubbling and was now a yellowish colour. After 40 minutes of this, I again rinsed the ear with a strong spray of warm/hot water and on the second blast, out came several large chunks of deep brown/black ear wax. Wonderful! I could fully hear again!
I cancelled the medical appointment and went to listen to my favourite music to hear all the glorious detail that I had been missing for months."
[YEA] 08/11/2010: Tacomagic from Milwaukee, Us: "I had a blockage show up this morning and called my doctor. He suggested using H202 in a similar method as outlined above but also included using a warm water irrigation after every application of peroxide. Basically I put a few drops of peroxide in the ear and let it sit for 3 minutes. The ear was then irrigated with 2 bulbs of water from an infant nose cleaning bulb*. This was repeated 3 times with each time having a large amount of debris being washed out of the ear. On the third time a huge chunk of wax was washed out and my blockage was cleared. I was told by my doctor not to do more than 5 repetitions per ear a day and if I couldn't clear the blockage in 3 days that I would need to come in and have him extract the blockage. He did say that if I wanted I could use the warm wash as much as I wanted as that would eventually clear the blockage if it had been weakened enough by the H2O2, but it might take a long time. *He also suggested that a 50cc or larger syringe could be used and might be easier than a bulb."Replies
[YEA] 05/02/2011: Eliza from Nyc, Ny, Usa replies: "This really works! It took three days of applying almost a dropper-full of 3% hydrogen peroxide to my clogged ear twice daily, but I kept at it and now I can hear again!
I think what did it was accidentally falling asleep with the stuff in my ear.... Probably sat in there for a good hour and when I woke up and rinsed the ear out with an ear syringe, out poured tons of little chunks of wax :)
So, try keeping it in for a long time (I suggest while reading a good book lying on your side) and make sure to irrigate the ear with an ear syringe and warm water after soaking and draining. Don't give up if it doesn't work right away!"
[YEA] 08/03/2011: Angie from Valencia, Ca replies: "Oh my gosh! Works like a charm. After over a week of complete blockage in my right ear I found this remedy and gave it a try. I used a bulb syringe to place a few drops of peroxide into the ear and reapplied a few more drops as the bubbling stopped. I did this about 4 times, it took about 20 minutes. After letting the peroxide soak, I then used the bulb syringe to rinse out the ear canal with warm water. Chunks of dark wax came out in the rinse and I could immediately hear. Thanks for the relief!"
[YEA] 04/06/2010: Lilydy from Alice Springs, Australia: "Hydrogen peroxide helped with my ear wax problem. I used a medicine dropper and place about 3 or 4 drops on the blocked ear while lying in bed sideways, with the infected ear facing up. The peroxide will cause fizzing, wait till it subsides then place more drops. Repeat the procedure for about 10 minutes. Then turn to the other side lying down to drain any excess liquid in your ear. The key to this procedure is patience. Mine takes about 2 days before I was able to hear properly again and the wax did not just drain in one go.I waited for about 8 hours before repeating the procedure. Also, I did have to use an improvised ear cleaner to get out some of the dissolved wax in the ear. Oh and you may try to use the hand palm trick like a sucking cup on your ear till the blockage clears. Again this treatment requires patience. It does feel good and ticklish when the peroxide bubbles in my ear.Hope this helps."
[SIDE EFFECTS] 08/05/2009: Bobby from Dallas, Tx: "I tried this method to the letter. I had my ear stopped up for days and could not take it any longer. Unfortunatly i did not do the test with the wax in the peroxide first, It did not work for me even after soaking for an hour. My ear hurt from the treatment. How i finally fixed it was i went in the shower with one of those ear bulbs that you use on babies, And with natural hot water and a cup about thirty times all kinds of junk came out of my ear. I hope this will help someone."
[WARNING!] 07/21/2009: Luis from Cali, Colombia: "HP 3% Food Degree in Ears: Please, be cautious with application of HP 3% food degree in ears, since after sprinkling it with an inhaler to my elderly mother, she experienced an inflammation of drums and internal channels, with the side effect that she lost the hearing almost completely for one day. Nevertheless, with medicinal drops for inflammation and pain, the following day she began to recover gradually her normal level.Thanks God. I was very worried and disheartened.
EC: Hi Luis, was she trying this for ear wax removal or for a cold/flu? We are posting this on the ear wax page unless you tell us otherwise!