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How to Safely Remove Earwax

Updated on March 11, 2015
Learn how to safely remove earwax
Learn how to safely remove earwax | Source

Introduction

Excessive earwax can be a problem for many children and adults, causing blocked ears and making it more difficult to hear what is going on. This can be both annoying and uncomfortable.

Fortunately, there are several simple methods that can be used to treat excess earwax that provide immediate relief. This article discusses three of the most popular.

  • Using a homemade mixture to remove earwax
  • Using commercially available ear drops
  • Using a specially designed ear syringe

1. Use a homemade mixture to remove earwax

You can use one of the following mixtures to soften and remove earwax.

  • Salt water - ½ cup of warm water with one teaspoon of salt dissolved in it
  • Hydrogen peroxide - a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide
  • Isopropyl alcohol and vinegar - Mix equal parts of 70% isopropyl alcohol and vinegar
  • Almond or baby oil - Warm up some almond or baby oil

Whatever mixture you choose, you can apply it in the same way:

  1. Lean your head to one side so that the blocked ear is uppermost
  2. Use a syringe or a cotton ball dipped in the solution to drip several drops of the mixture you have chosen into the ear
  3. Leave it for around ten to fifteen minutes with your head to one side
  4. After this, have some tissue on hand to mop up any excess mixture and earwax that comes out of your ear

Never, ever insert cotton buds into the ear directly; you are likely to impact the earwax further and could damage the eardrum
Never, ever insert cotton buds into the ear directly; you are likely to impact the earwax further and could damage the eardrum | Source

2. Use commercially available ear drops

You can buy ear drops to soften earwax from your pharmacy or chemist. These drops are specially made to soften and remove earwax and can be quite effective.

You use them in the same way as the mixtures that you make yourself.

A specialized ear bulb syringe can be used to safely wash out earwax
A specialized ear bulb syringe can be used to safely wash out earwax | Source

3. Use a specially designed ear syringe

Many pharmacies also sell ear syringes that will allow you to squirt warm water into your ear to irrigate it and remove excess earwax.

These syringes have a specially designed head to avoid squirting high-pressure water into your ear and damaging your eardrum. Always use the syringe with the head provided and never use a regular syringe to clean out your ears.

Hints and tips

Here are some more hints and tips on getting rid of earwax:

  • Never insert a cotton bud or anything else into your ear canal. They can actually make things worse by compacting the earwax and could even damage your eardrum.
  • If you have ongoing problems with earwax, your sinuses or hearing loss, go and see your doctor to make sure there isn't a more serious problem.
  • 'In-ear' headphones (ear-buds) can contribute to the buildup of earwax, so you might want to consider getting over-ear headphones if you continue to have problems.

How to remove earwax at home

What technique do you use to remove earwax?

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In closing

These simple techniques can remove earwax quickly and effectively, providing you with immediate relief and helping you to hear more easily.

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    • Paul Maplesden profile image
      Author

      Paul Maplesden 2 years ago from Asheville, NC

      Yes, having suffered from it myself, I can only empathize!

    • tlcs profile image

      Trudy Cooper 2 years ago from Hampshire, UK

      Interesting hub, blocked ears can be a real pain, I know!