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Ear Wax Removal Remedies: Safe and Effective!

Last Modified on Feb 07, 2015

Natural Remedies to Remove Ear Wax
Ear wax is part of the body's immune defense system, protecting the ear canal from dirt and bacteria. Ear wax normally makes its way to the opening of the ear where it can be washed away. However, for some people ear wax buildup becomes a problem and causes blockage; sometimes regularly and only in one ear. Blocked ears are actually more likely to occur for people who use cotton swabs to clean out their ear canals, as they can actually impact the wax deeper into the ear.

Signs of ear wax blockage exhibit themselves as ear aches, a stuffy fullness sensation of the ear, decreased ability to hear in the affected ear, and sometimes even a ringing in the ear. Unfortunately, sometimes these symptoms are representative of a different ear affliction and not ear wax buildup, and it may be best to get a professional medical opinion.

Find an Effective Ear Wax Removal Home Remedy!

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 healthy with these natural ear wax cures! The most popular ear care solution among our Earth Clinic readers is hydrogen peroxide ear wax removal, but another recommended remedy is mineral oil. Let us know what ear wax removal home remedy you try; and if you know of a treatment we do not have listed here yet, please let us know.

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Most Popular Ear Wax Remedies:

Hydrogen Peroxide43
Warmed Oil4

User Reviews

Bobby Pin   1  1   

Posted by Matt (El Paso, Tx) on 12/27/2011

Bobby Pins for Ear Wax: 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.

Posted by KY (Ashland, KY) on 04/28/2009

[YEA]  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.

Replied by Maidenohio
Cleveland, Ohio

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.
Replied by Michele
Sapulpa, Oklahoma

[NAY]   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.



Ear Cones   2  5   

Posted by Angelica (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) on 06/07/2012

[NAY]  I was told that Ear Coning 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.

Replied by Rev Dr Tilly

To debunk a few myths and misunderstandings re ear cones/ candles...... I have been a professionally trained and practising auricular (ear) therapist for more than 15 years and am quite well aware of the attitude towards candling, negative and positive. The first and most important part of this therapy is whether a therapist has been trained professionally as opposed to a 2 hour course or reading a book! The 2nd is the type of candles that are used - 100% natural ingredients as a candle (tube) not a cone. When both are correct then the wax will be gently removed from the ears, equilibrium will be restored, leaving no negative side effects. A 'crackling' in the ears after a treatment, as reported by one correspondent, suggests that too much wax was removed - we need some wax in our ears - and incorrect cones/candling were used. She also mentioned the therapist told her she could tell by the removed wax the patient had had many ear infections. This is total rubbish and said I suspect to impress the patient! The ONLY readings you can get from the wax is whether it is impacted wax (it will be a dark colour and quite hard) or just excess wax (which many people have). Nothing more. In all my years of treating hundreds of patients, I have never had anyone dissatisfied.

Posted by Karen (Ellensburg, Wa) on 01/13/2012

[NAY]  "Candling" to remove ear wax 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!

Replied by Sandra
Blue Springs, Mo

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.

Posted by Blacky (Tampa, Florida) on 11/03/2011

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?

Replied by P
Middle, Fl

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!

Replied by Helen
Brentwood, Ca, Usa

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!!
Replied by Kay
Destin, Fl

[WARNING!]   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! )

Posted by Alex (Morgantown, Wv) on 07/15/2011

[NAY]  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.

Replied by Wendy
Ontario, Canada

I am not sure who told you that ear candles/candling was illegal in Canada, but you were misinformed. You can purchase them at any health food store.

Posted by Anna (Philadelphia, Pa, usa) on 11/05/2010

[NAY]  Ear Cones 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.

Posted by MandyMc (Kokomo, IN) on 07/26/2009

[YEA]  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.

Posted by bass_ga (Lithia Springs, Ga) on 04/30/2009

[YEA]  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.

Posted by DL (Atlanta, GA) on 03/13/2009

[NAY]  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.

Posted by Sonny (Vancouver, Canada) on 03/12/2009

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.

Replied by Sher
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

ear candles or cones are not illegal in Canada
Replied by Cred
Innisfil, On, Canada

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.

Ear Wax Remedies   1  0   

Posted by Trandall (Wasilla, Alaska, Usa) on 12/06/2011

I am looking for a way to encourage the removal of dried earwax from my 6 year old son's ears. There is a non functioning tube crusted over with earwax, not embedded anymore. The ENT said he can put him under anesthesia and remove the tube but there is a chance that the delicate tissue could be punctured in the process. My concern is that it may interfere with his hearing at some point. He has only had one ear infection but the tubes were put in because fluid would build up and it was affecting his hearing and speech. They served their purpose but his ears still seem to have problems draining. Maybe the wax is keeping them from draining. Any input at all would be greatly appreciated!

Replied by Louwrence
Rustenburg, North West South Africa

Hi TRandaal, Try putting hydrogen peroxide in the ear & it will disolve the wax. Try 3% hp. Good Luck.
Replied by Anna
Philadelphia, Pa

homeopathic SILICA is said to help body expel unwanted objects from inside.

Posted by London (Sandusky, Ohio ) on 10/15/2008

[YEA]  Firstly, I just want to say, NEVER USE Q-Tips. You know the old saying, never stick anything smaller than your elbow in your ear. That's right!

I am a recovering q-tip addict. I have always had a problem with excessive ear wax build-up and itchy ears. Every other year or so, I'll lose my hearing in one ear, and go to the emergency room to have it cleaned, and irrigated. I began using q-tips to help remedy and control the problem. All I did was push the wax further into my ear, and cause more problems, not too mention, I got addicted to it, because it feels so good. I would sometimes get severe ear aches because of it. I ended up causing chronic itching in my ears, the only way to relieve it, was q-tips, I became dependent. It was a vicious cycle of itchiness deep in the ear canal, and pain from the excessive use of Q-tips. I would insert the q-tip way to far, almost puncturing my ear drum, it was terrible. Finally, gradually, I stopped using them, but then, I ended up with rapid, over excessive wax production, because I over stimulated the ear canal.

I started using hydrogen peroxide which is excellent, and a bulb syringe with WARM water. It has to be warm, because you'll make yourself too dizzy,(Inner ear balance, etc) if the temperature is too cold compared to the ear canal. Also use purified water, (Not Tap water)with a small amount of peroxide when you irrigate. If you don't you might end up with an ear infection(I did, one time). Sometimes, I put Castor oil in there, when it feels too dry. Castor oil is a wonderfully healing and lubricating oil. Garlic Oil cured my ear infections, and oregano oil, (MUST be diluted with a carrier oil or it will burn, and be intolerable.) Just apply to the very outside of your ear opening. Needless to say, this summer has been a real battle with my ears. Having your ear canal blocked is the most annoying feeling ever! You feel off balance. Your ears are very important in your sense of balance and equilibrium.

Hydrogen Peroxide   43  2   

Posted by Arahant (Ravenna, Ontario, Canada) on 02/20/2013

[YEA]  Hi, just wanted to write this after trying peroxide and how it worked for me.. I don't have ear wax problems all the time but for some reason something triggers it that I'm not aware of and every once in awhile my ear start over-producing wax. I've used an irrigation bulb before and that worked well but this time I tried that and it was doing nothing.

I tried putting in the peroxide.. Waited like 40 seconds, tried irrigating.. Nothing. So I came back and read that I had to do it for like 10-15 minutes... I went laid down and put it/topped it up for like 15 minutes, irrigated it.. Nothing! I did it for like another 5-10 minutes... Got up and tilted the peroxide out of my ear... Nothing again! So frustrating I can't hear. So I go and sit down and read some more... I somehow got the idea that I shouldn't leave the peroxide in my ear and that it needs to be cleaned out so I went to the sink and irrigated it with water and BAM, I could hear, nothing came out tho so I irrigated it again(with some trepidation) and a chunk of wax came out, it was impedded in dried skin.

Thanks for the help.

Replied by Cindy
Charlotte Nc

I just did the same thing. I kept putting in peroxide in my ear throughout the day. Then I finally got a bulb and squirted peroxide in my ear. Still nothing. I put warm water in the bulb and and irrigated. A big chunk of wax came out. What a relief!

Posted by Agie (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) on 11/12/2012

[YEA]  I specifically logged in today just to say thank you to this site and all the posts about hydrogen peroxide! It definitely works.

I wanted to emphasize how diligent you may have to be when doing this treatment though. I didn't realize how clogged my ear was until I started doing this treatment. I always (20 years or more) have cleaned my ears with a bobby pin. It has always worked for me. Recently, my one ear was opening and closing while I slept and seemed to be creating more wax than usual. It would always pop open in the morning, though, and I would be fine. One day, it stayed closed after I massaged/tickled it. Uggh... I remained with my ear plugged up and hearing muffled for one week before I decided to try something else.

I did as others here have said to do; put the hydrogen Peroxide in a syringe and flooded my ear while tilting my head to the side. I would continually fill it and hear it bubbling. I actually used my 20 vol peroxide for hair, but cut it in half with distilled water. Worked fine. I did this for several days with no real effect. I then read that olive oil (warm) may also help dislodge it in between the HP treatments. I warmed some of that in a bowl of water and would fill my ear and put in a cotton ball during down time.

It took a full week (5 days) to start seeing an effect from all this. I started noticing my cotton ball with orangey/brown wax on it when I took it out from my ear. It is still a little clogged, so I'm continuing the treatment, but I can tell it is going to totally clear! I am so happy! It might have helped if I had better syringes/ear bulbs that could shoot water more rapidly in my ear after the treatments.

Don't give up! If you try this, just keep at it. I have an almost two-year old and had to do it whenever she would allow me to do it! LOL. I was getting a bit distressed after four days since nothing seemed to be happening. Fifth day was when it all came to fruition. It DOES work; just don't give up. Can't stress that enough.

Thanks to this site and everyone's feedback for helping me find this treatment and giving me hope that my hearing would return!

Replied by J
Middleton, Wi

I use a large paper clip. You can pull the wax out, but it is too large to touch the ear drum.

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DISCLAIMER: 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.

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