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How to remove earwax without cotton swab – tips and home remedies for clogged ears.

When experiencing problems with hearing or ear pain, sufferers often need to remove their earwax to relieve symptoms. The so-called cerumen is a natural substance with which the body protects itself from external influences through the ear canals. It also performs an essential function in the body. It helps remove dead skin cells, dirt, bacteria, hair and other debris from the ear canal. However, sometimes the accumulation of earwax can be uncomfortable and unsightly. In some cases, it even leads to temporary complications and hearing loss. To be able to solve such a problem yourself, here are some methods and remedies for cleaning ears that you can use at home.

Prevent infections and remove earwax

use home remedy to clean clogged ears with cerumen instead of cotton swabs

While it normally drains naturally, sometimes earwax builds up until it clogs the ears. This can sometimes lead to hearing problems and discomfort. In the first place, you should avoid using cotton swabs. You should only use them when you need to clean the outer part of the ear. In fact, such means tend to push the earwax towards the bottom of the ear instead of removing it. Accordingly, this can lead to the formation of cerumen deposits and, in the worst case, perforation of the eardrum. Therefore, to get rid of earwax and possible earache with home remedies yourself , you should opt for gentler and more effective solutions.

remove earwax with mineral oil or olive oil and use alternative home remedies for hearing loss

Normally, earwax dries out and falls out of your ear over time. However, some people produce more than necessary, and the excess can accumulate in the ear canal. In some cases, this buildup or blockage causes infections, which then require medical treatment. Although over-the-counter earwax drainage products are available for purchase, you can also find several household items that you can use to rid your outer ear canals of excess earwax. Here are some options and home remedies that help with this, as well as cleaning methods that you should rather avoid.

Make your own solution with baking soda for earwax.

daughter treats her mother with homemade drops against earwax from natural substances

Alternatively, accumulated cerumen can be removed with baking soda. Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in about 60 ml of warm water. If you have a dropper bottle, pour the solution into it. Tilt your head to the side and gently drip 5 to 10 drops of the solution into your ear, 1 drop at a time. Then leave the solution in your ear for up to 1 hour and rinse with water. Do this once a day until the earwax dissolves, which may happen within a few days. However, do not use this method for more than 2 weeks.

Use different oils for earwax

drain drops of olive oil into the ear and remove clogged earwax


Olive oil is the most commonly used oil to remove earwax blockage naturally. However, you can also choose almond or mineral oil. Warm the oil in your hands until it reaches the right temperature, then pour 3 or 4 drops into the ear canal once or twice a day with your head tilted to one side until you can remove the earwax naturally. The oil softens the buildup and allows it to drain away on its own, painlessly. This method can be used once a week as a preventative measure. You can use your shower head with lukewarm water and very low pressure to rinse your ear.

Massage the outer ear

mother uses cotton swab to clean baby's outer ear

This simple method can sometimes be enough to remove earwax blockage. To do this, simply massage the outside of the ear gently in a circular motion. Doing so will soften the impaction, which can help cerumen drain away more easily. When you’re done with the circular motions, gently pull your ear back, from the earlobe to the tip of the pinna. This massage is especially effective when used in addition to a treatment with olive oil.

Trick against earwax with damp or warm cloth.

father wants to use ear drops to remove earwax and prevent complications in a toddler


This old-fashioned method involves heating the cerumen blockage to soften it and remove it naturally. To do this, simply heat a folded cloth with an iron. Once the cloth is warm enough, lie on your side and with your ear facing up. Then, rinse your ear with warm water using your shower head. You can also do the same with a damp cloth for an even better effect.  The steam will help loosen the accumulated earwax from the walls of the ear canal.

How to remove earwax with saline solution.

home remedy saline solution against earwax with a syringe drip into the ear and remove cerumen

Many saline solutions for cleaning ear canals are sold in stores, but you can also make them yourself. To do so, simply mix one tablespoon of sea salt in half a cup of warm water. Then soak a compress with the solution and, with your head tilted to one side, let the liquid flow into the ear canal drop by drop. In addition, you can also use salt water as a preventive measure.

Cleaning method with hydrogen peroxide for earwax.

foam in the ear caused by hydrogen peroxide as a home remedy for earwax

A common method for removing cerumen is to put a few drops of hydrogen peroxide on a damp cotton ball and apply it to the affected ear. Hydrogen peroxide is a common antiseptic. However, you can also use a clean pipette to drop the solution into the ear canal. It is important to tilt your head for a few minutes so that the affected ear is facing up. This will allow the liquid to drip into the ear canal to reach the blockage. You can remove earwax yourself at home by using 3 percent hydrogen peroxide:

  • Tilt your head to the side and drip 5 to 10 drops of hydrogen peroxide into your ear.
  • Then keep your head tilted to one side for 5 minutes to allow the peroxide to penetrate the wax.
  • Do this once a day for 3 to 14 days.

Remove earwax with alternative home remedies and tricks

young woman has her ears cleaned by a professional therapist using an alternative method

With a pipette, you can also apply other substances. These include products that can help with clogged ears, such as baby oil, peanut or camphor oil, sodium bicarbonate, 10%, glycerin, as well as acetic acid, 2.5%. At the same time, experts warn against the use of sprays, cotton swabs or ear candles. Again, you should apply one or two drops with the affected ear facing up, wait a few minutes, and then tilt your head in the other direction to allow the liquid to drain. As with other remedies, do not put any of these in her ear unless her eardrum is intact or the treatment is approved by a doctor.

Dangerous methods and home remedies to avoid

removing earwax with cotton swabs can affect the ear canal

Attempting to manually remove earwax yourself with your finger or other objects can make the blockage worse. It is okay to pick out cerumen that is visible right at the entrance of the ear canal. What is deeper, you should either work out yourself or have a doctor remove it. If the above home remedies don’t work for you, consult your doctor. Do not use the following to remove earwax:

alternative methods and candles to remove earwax rather not recommended

  • Small objects: Avoid using small objects such as pen caps or hairpins to clean your ears. Many doctors agree with the old adage, “Never put anything in your ear smaller than your elbow.”
  • Cotton swabs: although they may look safe and perfect for your ears, cotton swabs are too small to be used safely in the ear and could cause damage.
  • Ear candles: The use of ear candles is also known as ear plugs or thermal ear therapy. It involves covering a hollow cloth cone with wax or kerosene, inserting it into the ear of a person lying on their side, and then lighting it. A paper plate protects the skin by catching dripping wax. This technique has been widely reported, but there are concerns that ear candling can cause injuries such as burns and punctured eardrums.

patient at the hno doctor is examined for ear infection with a special medical instrument

All home remedies can be potentially dangerous, so it is best to consult a doctor to make sure the eardrum is not punctured before engaging in any self-medication. If your ear hurts, avoid cleaning it yourself at all costs and see an ENT. Finally, make sure you never put fluids that are too hot or pressurized in your ear, or you risk making the situation worse.