The Hydrogen Peroxide Treatment for Ear Wax

| Modified on Aug 01, 2022

Hydrogen Peroxide is Earth Clinic's most popular home remedy for ear wax removal with dozens of our readers reporting success with this natural treatment! One could hardly find a cheaper remedy to get rid of excess ear wax than hydrogen peroxide, which generally costs less than a dollar at most drug stores. While this method is simple, it does come with a few side effects to watch out for and some cautions.

How to Use Hydrogen Peroxide for Ear Wax

Set aside 20 minutes to treat your ears. The easiest way to get the hydrogen peroxide into your ears is to put some 3% hydrogen peroxide into an empty bottle with an eyedropper. Have a few tissues or cotton balls handy. Lay on one side and pour a few drops to a dropperful into your ear. If you do not feel the peroxide go down into your ear, tilt your head around some until you feel it go into your ear. Often you have to raise your chin up higher than your forehead to accomplish this. In less than a minute you will start to hear a bubbling in your ear as the peroxide reacts with the wax in your ear. If you have a large amount of wax in your ear, you may have some pretty vigorous bubbling and an observer may see white bubbles coming out of your ear! You will be ready with your tissues or cotton balls. You can add more peroxide if it seems to have all bubbled out. After 10 minutes, sit up carefully, to avoid dizziness. Have your tissue ready as the excess peroxide drains out of your ear. It may have a yellow tint to it from the ear wax it has broken down. Now get into position to treat the other ear. Repeat the procedure for the other ear.

For some people, a one time treatment will be enough to break down the wax and bring relief. For others, this will need to be repeated daily until the peroxide no longer bubbles in the ear, meaning, there is no more ear wax to break down.

If your ear wax is impacted, you may need to gently irrigate your ear after the hydrogen peroxide treatment. You will need a bulb syringe, found at most pharmacies. Fill it with warm (no warmer than body temperature) and gently squeeze the water into the ear, ideally over a sink. You may see bits or chunks of wax drain out with the water. If you do not have success, continue with the peroxide in your ears for a few more days and try the irrigation again.

Hydrogen Peroxide for Ear Wax - Side Effects and Cautions

Using hydrogen peroxide to break down ear wax can cause side effects. It can cause dizziness. If the hydrogen peroxide doesn't drain out of your ear, your hearing may be worse until the peroxide drains out of your ear.

Do not use this treatment if you have surgically placed ear tubes.

Do not use this treatment if you have a ruptured or perforated ear drum.

Do not use 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide for this treatment. You will burn your ear and risk serious damage.

Only use 3% hydrogen peroxide from the pharmacy for this treatment.

Have you tried hydrogen peroxide to remove ear wax from your ears? How did it go? Read on and you will find out how it went for dozens of our readers.

58 User Reviews

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Posted by Deb (Boone NC) on 06/13/2022

Has anyone used hydrogen peroxide for ear wax recently? Was it effective? I have read many of the older EC posts on the subject and wonder if anyone has any suggestions to add. Just doesn't seem to work for me, but I'm hopeful that it still might. Thanks for your input and suggestions.

Replied by Mama to Many

Dear Deb,

It has worked for me and mine for years.

If the wax is old and hard it may take more time.

If it doesn't seem to work, it might be good to get it looked into (literally.)

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Jenni
(New York, New York)

I also just tried this today, in one ear. For a little less than a week I've had sort of a "double frequency" in one ear (with actual sounds, not like tinnitus) and my ear felt blocked. So far, I have improvement after only ten minutes and 3 or 4 drops of hydrogen peroxide from a baby medicine dropper. I can still feel the blockage, but the extra tones are gone.

Hydrogen Peroxide
Posted by Mary (Ohio) on 12/29/2018

I have worked over the years with while trying to look up and stuff fell in my ears. I ended up in an ER once in so much pain. She removed some foreign object from my ear. The Doctor gave me a tip to take a shower sprayer and the hottest water I could take with my head tipped in a downward sideways position opposite the ear I was cleaning and spray it in there. I just had excess wax in my ear and gently with the other end of tweasers I could feel something hard in there.

I used Peroxide, then tried with a bobby pin, tweasers smooth end again, then more peroxide and then the bobby pin and got something very hard out of my ear I could feel in there. I took my time, was very gentle and very careful. Once it was moved about and the wax broken down it was the bobby pin that managed to coax it out.

I have NO doubt that I am better for it, and possibly safer than the shower method even that may have sent it into my inner ear. I might note that after I was done I put a dab of Coconut oil in as it is antimicrobial and will add some oil back to my ear as of course it felt sensitive a bit on my last dip in there to make sure the foreign object was out.

Hydrogen Peroxide
Posted by Barb (Wa) on 11/03/2018

Ear wax / hydrogen peroxide

It worked! I put hydrogen peroxide in my son's ear for 20 min and kept adding more to keep the bubbly sound going. I could see the wax swelled up a bit so I used an ear wax scoop tool and pulled out a huge long piece of wax. At least half an inch long! I couldn't believe what came out! That wax was causing ear infections when he would get a head cold. It all came out in one big piece thanks to the hydrogen peroxide loosening everything up.

Hydrogen Peroxide
Posted by Jose (C Town, Ca) on 07/09/2018

Thank you all for such an awesome remedy! The other day I decided to get in the pool with my kids to fight off this heat wave we are going through in Southern California. Towards the end of the pool session, my son asks if I can float. As I attempted to show him that I could not, my ears got completely submerged in water causing my ears to clog.

As I got out of the pool I thought, no biggie it's just water. As hours went by my ears stayed clogged so I decided to use a qtip. The qtip made it worse. I decided to try this peroxide method out of desperation as I was going on two days of not being able to fully hear.

My wife dropped the HP in my right ear to the point where it fuzzed. That lasted 10 mins then I laid down the opposite side to let it drain for another 10 mins. I did the same to the other ear. I was bummed as I didn't see any ear wax drain out of my ears nor did my hearing get any better. As desperation grew, I grabbed a clean bottle sprayer and filled it with lukewarm water and sprayed it directly into my ear. After 3-5 mins of spraying my ear, I felt a strong fuzzy feeling in my eardrum as if the HP and water were mixing in my ear. That feeling forced me to pull the spray bottle back. And as I did that small particles of ear waxed burst out onto the sink. Viola! My hearing came back 110% better.

Hydrogen Peroxide
Posted by Mac (Portland, Or) on 12/28/2016

I have had problems with wax buildup since my teens, generally with a slow progression where I realize at some point that I'm having problems hearing out of one ear. I would typically use some heated oil to loosen up the wax and it'd be fine. So imagine my surprise when I suddenly can't hear anything and my ear goes from fine to feeling like a cotton factory has taken up shop. I tried going between warm oil and HP multiple times, and no results. Two hours of trying this and nada!

I followed the directions someone posted about putting in 2-3 drops of 3% peroxide at first, then waiting 5 minutes and putting in another 2-3, for about 20 minutes. Then tipped my head over the sink and let it drain before irrigating. Sweet relief!!! First time didn't take, second time didn't take, but third time was a charm. A really, REALLY disgusting charm, but it worked! I have never seen that much wax in my life and hope to never see it again. If it doesn't work the first time, just try, try, and try again. It'll work, eventually, and it will be incredibly relieving and horrifying when it does.

Hydrogen Peroxide
Posted by Galaxytree (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Usa) on 08/15/2016

Hydrogen Peroxide for Ear Wax

IT WORKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW!!!! OH MY GOD! LIFE CHANGING!!!! THIS IS A REAL MIRACLE CURE!!!! Do it for 20 full minutes. Keep adding more drops with ear dropper and keep refilling it. You will notice a variety of bubbling/fizzing noises in your ear. THIS IS NORMAL and means that it is working. When the bubbling noise becomes less and less loud, add more droplets to your ear..fill it 4-5 droplets with dropper. I did it laying down in bed, completely sideways with my affected ear facing up. THANK YOU EARTH CLINIC! I cannot tell you how much I appreciate this, truly from the bottom of my heart -- thank you! I have FULL 100% hearing out of my left ear again!!!!!! IT WORKS. Read all other comments first before proceeding. And DO NOT use HP if you have a perforated eardrum and this will cause more problems. If your ear blockage is a result of EAR WAX, this HP method is you best to fix it. AGAIN, never ever ever ever use Q-tips! Those cause hearing loss!! Thanks again, Earth Clinic, I truly hope many people find relief with this simple, cheap and 100% effective technique. Cheers,

Replied by Htownfarmer
(Houston, Texas)
9 posts

I have been doing the same for years. I use to have ear aches, right side mostly.

A doctor told me about hp years ago. I fill the ear canal, wait until the fizzing stops, roll over and do the other ear. I might do this twice a month. I never use q-tips. If I have a build up it will dry out and fall out. I hear a doctor on tv say the ears are self cleaning. Not for everyone.

Hydrogen Peroxide
Posted by Ochoco Jan (Portland, Oregon) on 11/01/2015

I recently had success clearing an ear that was plugged up from ear wax using hydrogen peroxide. My ear was so plugged that it was really affecting my hearing. It took 3 weeks of once-a-day treatments with hydrogen peroxide, but it's mostly clear now. I almost gave up after 2 weeks, when I had barely noticed any improvement, but it was worth it to persist.

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

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!

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

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!

Hydrogen Peroxide
Posted by Cynthia (Fort Hood, Texas) on 09/20/2012

I have done the hydrogen peroxide a million times tonight and it didn't work at all. Then I tried the bobby pin and that didn't work. So I guess I have to go to the ent. :(

Hydrogen Peroxide
Posted by No Longer Yelling (Two Rivers, Wi) on 07/18/2012

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

Hydrogen Peroxide
Posted by Stuart (Lithgow, Nsw Australia) on 05/11/2012

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.

Replied by Ceruman
(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.

Hydrogen Peroxide
Posted by Taioron (Minneapolis, Mn) on 03/19/2012

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.

Hydrogen Peroxide
Posted by Ryan (Boston, Ma) on 01/27/2012

The peroxide remedy 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!

Hydrogen Peroxide
Posted by Bonnie (Halifax, Nova Scotia) on 01/01/2012

Hydrogen Peroxide did not work for me... my ear is worse clogged than ever and sore now too.

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