Every now and then, your earwax can build up until it clogs your ear. If you’ve ever used foam ear plugs you’ve probably seen wax building up on a previously used earplug. If that happens, there are some safe things you can do at home to remove the extra wax.
First, you should know that putting foreign objects like cotton swabs into your ear canal is a bad idea. The swab pushes the earwax deeper into your ear; you’ll see only a tiny amount on the swab when you remove it. Compacting the earwax only makes it that much more difficult to remove. Also, your eardrum is small and fragile. Impacted ear wax can cause a painful rupture, which needs medical attention.
How to Clean Ear Wax
These safe alternatives to clean ear wax are available at the pharmacy or directly on Amazon. Most aren’t expensive, but the treatments might take time to work.
A very-hot shower or humidifier can create steam that loosens the earwax. Doing this once a day for a few days can help your ear expel the extra wax without any further effort on your part. Try it and see if it helps. If not, you may want to think about softening the earwax before cleaning it.
2. Debrox like Earwax-softening solution
Several brands exist, including Debrox, but they’re all designed to soften earwax so that your ears can expel it. To find out more on how to clean ear wax using Debrox (and similar products), read and follow all of the instructions.
3. Hydrogen peroxide
Lie on your side with the affected ear exposed. You can use a clean medicine dropper to apply several drops of peroxide. This is going to feel weird because the peroxide foams; you’ll hear crackling noises and, possibly, feel the inside of your ear get warmer. These things are normal but, if you feel pain, immediately stop.
Distract yourself from the irritating noises and sensations by watching TV or reading if necessary. The peroxide should stay in your ear for several minutes. When you’re finished, turn over—it’s a good idea to have a towel on your pillow—and let the ear drain for at least ten minutes.
4. Baby oil
How to clean ear wax using oil? It’s simple. Baby oil can soften earwax, making it easier for your ear to push it out. Lie on your side and put several drops into your ear canal. Wait at least ten minutes for them to work down into your ear. At that point, you can insert a cotton ball; that will keep the baby oil inside. You should leave everything alone overnight; in the morning, you can remove the cotton.
Some people suggest vegetable oil, but that’s not the best option. This kind of oil can turn rancid if it sits in your ear canal, making the problem worse. Baby oil is inexpensive and easy to find at grocery stores, pharmacies, and big-box stores.
You can gently flush out your ear with an ear syringe. Fill it with equal parts purified water and white vinegar. Make sure you put a towel on your shoulder to protect your clothes. You can also do this while you’re in the shower.
If the earwax doesn’t come out after a few days, you should see a doctor. Impacted earwax can make you nauseous and dizzy. In some cases, not seeking treatment can permanently damage that ear, affecting your hearing.