Do not try to remove
earwax if you have
ear pain or a discharge that looks different than earwax, if you think you
ruptured eardrum, if you have had ear surgery, or if
you have tubes in your ears.
Soften and loosen the earwax with warm mineral
oil or a mixture of hydrogen peroxide mixed with an equal amount of room-temperature water. Place 2 drops of the fluid, warmed to body temperature, in
the ear twice a day for up to 5 days. Be sure to warm the fluid because cold
fluid can cause pain and dizziness.
Once the wax is loose and soft,
all that is usually needed to remove it from the ear canal is a gentle, warm
shower. Direct the water into the ear, then tip your head to let the earwax
drain out. Dry your ear thoroughly with a hair dryer set on low. Hold the dryer
several inches (centimeters) from your
If the warm mineral oil and shower don't work, use a
nonprescription wax softener followed by gentle flushing with an ear syringe
each night for a week or two. Make sure the flushing solution is body
temperature. Cool or hot fluids in the ear can cause dizziness.
not use cotton swabs, bobby pins, or other objects to clean the
Do not use a dental irrigation device,
such as a Water Pik, to remove earwax. The force of the water injures the ear
canal and ruptures the eardrum.
Do not use ear candles. They have no proven benefit in the removal of earwax and can
cause serious injury.
Symptoms to watch for during home treatment
Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home
Other symptoms develop, such as ear
pain, hearing loss, ringing in the ears, dizziness, severe itching, or
bad-smelling discharge from the ear.