Natural Remedies to Remove Earwax

(Last Updated On: August 3, 2018)

Earwax buildup can be a daily struggle for many individuals, dulling their hearing and causing a variety of issues for them. The ear canal produces a waxy oil called cerumen, otherwise known as earwax, in order to protect the ear from dust and harmful organisms. Usually, earwax would make it’s way out of the ear canal and into the opening of the ear where it is washed away easily and without difficulty. When the glands begin to make more earwax than is necessary, it may begin to harden and start to become a blockage within the ear. This blockage is one of the most common causes of temporary hearing loss.

We know that earwax can be one of the most difficult and annoying things about the human body, to remove and keep the issue solved. Treatments for excessive earwax may become a regular process you may have to go through to keep on top of it. For example my step father uses ear drops around every other month in order to keep his hearing at the optimum level and reduce problems in the future, such as having to have your ears syringed -which is not nice!

Causes of earwax blockages aside from the overproduction of the wax include a variety of at-home earwax removal procedures such as using cotton buds, bobby pins or other objects into your ear which pushes wax deeper into the ear. Using in ear earphones, earplugs and hearing aids are also another common cause of earwax blockages, due to the stoppage of ear wax from coming out of the ears easily. Further causes of excessive earwax is having narrow or especially hairy ear canals, being older as earwax becomes drier with age and bony growths in the ear canal.

Symptoms of earwax buildup can include:

  • A dulled sense of hearing
  • Frequent earaches
  • Tinnitus -a ringing or buzzing sound in the ears, usually apparent when it is quiet
  • A feeling of fullness within the ear
  • Persistent hearing loss
  • A unpleasant odor coming from one or both of your ears
  • Vertigo
  • Itchiness inside the ear

If your symptoms persist after completing some of our natural home remedies, and giving them adequate amount of time to work,  it may be wise to visit your local healthcare provider for further advice and help regarding the situation. Especially if your symptoms begin to worsen or you lose all sense of hearing in one or both ears.

Our natural home remedies for removing earwax

Hopefully our natural home remedies for removing earwax will help you achieve full hearing again, as well as keeping the problem at bay. From using salt water to olive oil in treating the earwax we have a whole variety of ideas to help your persisting or one off issue with the wax. So without further ado, here are our natural home remedies sourced especially for our much valued readers here at Balance Me Beautiful:

Salt water

Salt water is one of the best ear wax removal home remedies known, by working to soften the wax and making it far easier to get rid of correctly.

  • Simply mix one teaspoon of sea salt in a half a cup of warm water, stirring until the salt has dissolved completely.
  • Soak a cotton ball or ball of tissue in the saline solution you have created.
  • Turn your head so that the affected ear is facing upwards and squeeze the cotton ball or ball of tissue, causing a few drops of the solution to enter the ear.
  • Wait in this position for around 5 to 10 minutes -we know it may be uncomfy but try to bear with!
  • Then tilt your head the opposite way, allowing the solution and any wax to pour out onto a tissue.
  • Lastly, clean the outer parts of your ear from any leftover wax with a clean damp cloth.

Repeat this method once a day on the affected ears until the problem has improved or cured entirely. Once the initial issue has been dealt with, use this method around once a month in order to give your ears the best clean possible and avoid future build ups in the ear canal and hearing/ pain issues.

Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is another very good home remedy method for an accumulation of earwax in the ear canal. Due to many of it’s properties hydrogen peroxide is fantastic for removing stubborn wax and improving the problem drastically overall, and in many cases even curing it.

  • Mix hydrogen peroxide (at 3%) in equal parts to lukewarm water.
  • Fill an ear dropper or cotton ball with this solution.
  • As in the last method, tilt your head sideways with the affected ear facing upwards towards the ceiling. Place a few drops of the created solution into your ear.
  • Leave for around 10 minutes (try using a pillow to rest your head on to make the process more comfy) before tilting your head the opposite way to drain. Use a paper towel or old hand towel to catch the solution and ear wax that comes out.
  • Wipe the outside of your ear clean with a damp cloth, perhaps even take a warm shower afterwards.

Repeat this method for around one week, once a day until the problem improves. If the problem persists after using this home remedy for a week try other methods on our list or consult your GP for further help.

Baby oil

Another way to soften awkward and stubborn earwax in the ear canal, helping to facilitate it’s removal is baby oil.

  • Fill an ear dropper with baby oil (or alternatively mineral oil if you’d prefer)
  • Tilt the bad ear up to the ceiling and place around 3 to 5 drops in the ear.
  • Wait for around 10 to 15 minutes in this position. Try placing a pillow underneath your head for a comfy waiting period. It is important not to tilt your head any other way while waiting as the baby oil (or mineral oil) will begin to ooze out prematurely.
  • After the time is up waiting, tilt your head the opposite way onto a piece of paper towel to drain the excess oil out of your ear.
  • Clean the ear opening with a soft and damp cloth to remove leftover wax and oil from the ear.

Repeat this method around 1 or 2 times per day for a week. If the symptoms fail to improve even slightly you may want to visit your local doctor’s surgery for further help and advice, or choose another method from our list of natural remedies. If after trying a variety of our home remedies and you still see no improvement we recommend you visit an experienced healthcare provider to treat your condition/ issue.

Vinegar and rubbing alcohol

An older method of removing earwax now is a solution of vinegar and rubbing alcohol. This mixture should help to dissolve any problematic earwax within the ear canals, while the alcohol should act as a drying agent and evaporate at low temperatures whilst the vinegar should help bacteria and fungi. Thus this method is also useful in treating/ preventing ear infections.

  • Mix vinegar and alcohol in equal amounts, within a bowl.
  • Soak a cotton ball in the solution or use an ear dropper.
  • Tilt the ear in concern upwards, facing towards the ceiling, and squeeze two or three drops within the ear.
  • Wait for around 5 to 10 minutes and spin your head the opposite way, using a paper towel to catch and fluid leaving the ear.
  • As in every other method, use a clean, soft and damp towel to remove any excess wax from the outer ear area.

This method is also claimed to be able to help treat swimmer’s ear.

Warm water

Flushing your ear with warm water is another natural and easy home remedy for removing troublesome earwax

Flushing your ear with warm water is another natural and easy home remedy for removing troublesome earwax. The force of the water should dislodge any wax that is stubbornly stuck, making it easier to remove and clean. Make sure you only use clean and filtered water for this method however, as unclean dirty water could cause ear infections and only serve to worsen the problem.

  • Fill a syringe full of reasonably warm water (around body temperature).
  • Tilt your head so that the ear in concern is facing upwards, while pulling the outer ear to straighten the ear canal.
  • Use the syringe to place a small amount of water into the ear, leaving for a short amount of time (Around 1 to 2 minutes) and then tilting your head the opposite way to drain out the water. Don’t forget to use an old towel or paper towel to catch the ear drainage -gross we know haha!
  • Clean away any excess wax and water from the outer ear with a clean damp cloth.

Repeat this method around once or twice a day in each ear affected for best results.

Olive oil

Olive oil is another simple and effective way to remove excess earwax from the ears. Olive oil can soften the wax making it easier to come out of the ear. Olive oil also has antiseptic properties which will help to reduce the risk of ear infections.

  • Using slightly warm olive oil, place around 2 to 3 drops into the affected ear.
  • Allow the olive oil to settle within the ear for around 10 to 15 minutes, whilst holding your head tilted to one side. Use a pillow for comfort.
  • After 10 to 15 minutes the earwax should of become soft enough to be easily removable. Tilt your head the opposite way and catch the fluids with a paper towel.
  • Using a clean damp cloth removes any excess wax and oil away from the outer ear. If this does not work, try having a warm shower and washing the outer ears thoroughly within the shower.

Almond oil

Almond oil can also aid in the removal of ear wax build ups, by serving as a lubricant and softener for stubborn wax.

  • Using room temperature almond oil and a dropper, place a few drops of the oil into the affected ear.
  • Stay in the same position, with the affected ear facing upwards for around 20 minutes for best results.
  • The hardened wax should of now been softened and be more easily removable. Tilt your head the opposite way using a paper towel to catch any drops from the ear.
  • Using a damp cloth clean the outer ear from oil and wax.

 

Baking soda

Baking soda is another natural remedy for helping ear wax to be removed.

  • Mix a tiny amount of baking soda with two teaspoons of lukewarm water.
  • Tilt your head and use a dropper to place several drops of the solution into your ear.
  • Wait for around 10 minutes and then using a syringe flush the ear with warm water to remove excess solution.
  • Tilt your head in the opposite direction and collect the drainage and water with a paper towel.
  • And, as always, clean the outer ear with a damp cloth.

Glycerin

Glycerin has both lubricating and moisturizing properties, making it perfect for loosening hardened wax and allowing the substance to be more easily removeable from the ear. Hopefully improving and hearing loss and blockages after just a few uses.

  • Tilt your head so that the ear concerned is facing upwards, towards the sky, and place around 5 to 8 drops of glycerin into the ear canal.
  • Place a cotton ball at the outside of the ear to prevent early leakages.
  • Remove the cotton ball from the outside of the ear and use a syringe full of warm water to flush the glycerin from the ear.
  • Tilt your ear in other direction and catch the fluids with a paper towel.
  • Gently dry the outer ear with a cloth.

Omega-3 fatty acid

One factor of excessive earwax production can be a deficiency in omega-3 fatty acid. Therefore increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids can help to solve the problem of excess wax forming inside the ear canal.

Try taking omega-3 supplements, as well as including foods rich in omega-3 such as cod liver oil, avocados, salmon, mackerel and flaxseed.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil contains MCFA which is a fatty acid which can help to remove excess wax

Coconut oil contains MCFA which is a fatty acid which can help to remove excess wax. Coconut oil also has microbial properties which can also prevent ear infections.

  • Use an ear dropper to place clean coconut oil into the affected ear’s canal.
  • Wait for around 10 minutes.
  • Flush with warm water to cleanse the oil out of the ear.
  • Turn your head the opposite way and catch fluids with a paper towel.
  • Clean the outer ear with a sensitive baby/ hand wipe or clean damp cloth.

What not to do when trying to remove earwax.

  • Do not use any pointed objects inside the ears, as this can cause infections as well as further wax builds ups.
  • Avoid inserting cotton buds or ear buds into the ear canal.
  • Do not use candle ear wax remover as it can burn the inside of your ear canal.
  • Do not use ice cold water to flush and drain out excessive wax as it can result in dizziness.
  • Do not spray or squeeze water into the ear with excessive force as this can damage the ear canal or ear drums.
  • Do not place hot oil within the ears.
  • Do not clean your ears too hard or too often.

Final thoughts

Hopefully one of our methods will have brought you the relief you’ve been looking for! From using mineral oil to baking soda for cleaning that stubborn wax out we hope you’ve found the method that’s just right for you and your situation personally. However, if our natural remedies haven’t aided your earwax problems in any way we advise you to visit your local doctor’s surgery as there may be something going on that these remedies cannot target or treat. We do not condone using our remedies as an alternative to seeking professional medical help and advice, and if you believe your symptoms are worsening please visit your doctor.

Earwax is, quite frankly, gross. So we understand it can be embarrassing or stressful when suffering from blockages in the ear or not very nice build ups in your ear canals, as well as scary when suffering from any form of hearing loss. Hopefully our natural remedies can help to aid in beating your suffering and soothing any embarrassment you may have -it happens to the best of us!

From everyone here at Balance Me Beautiful we would like to thank our readers and hope your issue is solved quickly! If you’d like to submit a question, query or perhaps even a suggestion for a future article visit our Contact Page. We always love hearing from our readers and appreciate everything you have to say! Also feel free to leave a comment below telling us which method works best for you!

Thanks for reading guys.

Written by Irina Radosevic MD
Irina graduated from the University of Belgrade, School of Medicine as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and spent over 3 years working in the Clinical Hospital Center Zvezdara, in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She also undertook a postgraduate in Cardiology from the same University and had previously worked for over a year as a Physician and Nutritionist Dietitian for the Fitness club Green Zone. She eventually left her chaotic but fulfilling job in the ER to pursue her passion of writing, travelling and mountain climbing which has included writing a first aid course for the alpine club of Belgrade. Irina currently works as a VA for PintMedia focusing on medical and travel writing. Feel free to connect with Irina on LinkedIn and FaceBook. Her CV can be seen here.