Top 6 Tips to Remove Ear Wax

Because most people don’t know how to remove ear wax themselves, they often rush to the doctor and incur large doctor bills for something they could do just as easily at home.

1. Try chewing gum. The jaw movement is part of the body’s natural way to remove wax, and it may help to dislodge whatever is stuck in there.

2. Use a medium-size syringe or bulb aspirator to squirt water inside the ear. A few precautions here: don’t stick the tip (or anything else) inside your ear canal. Place the tip right at the entrance to the ear and squirt warm water inside, leaving plenty of room for water to also come out again.

3. If just plain water doesn’t work, use some warmed-up oil to try melting the wax first. Sometimes a hardened ear wax buildup needs to be dislodged from its position first, then blasted out with the water. Knowing how to remove it at home is all about trying safe and recommended things out to see what works.

4. Some people swear by ear candling, in which one end of a hollow cloth candle is placed inside the ear and the other end is lit. Contrary to what some of the less-reputable manufacturers claim, no ear wax is “drawn out” by the process, although warm smoke and air may help to dislodge a stubborn ear wax build up.

5. Still nothing? Try one of the many wax removal products available on the market, such Debrox or Murine Ear Wax Removal System. Most of these kits use hydrogen peroxide to partially dissolve the blockage, and then follow it up with the same water blast treatment. Not only that, but what did you think the doctor was going to use? Most times the ENT (ear, nose, and throat doctor) will start his treatment using one of these kits.

6. If after steps 1-4 you still have an impacted earwax problem, it may be time to bite the bullet and visit the doctor. He has all kinds of ear wax removal tools at his disposal, including one called an “otoscope” that will make it possible for him to view inside your ear canal and see what’s keeping that wax stuck inside your ear. He can also use a specialized ear “scoop” to get that wax out, sometimes also called a “curette.”

If you don’t succeed at home and end up going to the doc, ask him what to do in future so you don’t have to visit every time you’ve got excessive earwax. Some people’s ears just require a regular ear wax cleaning, which you can just as easily do at home as at the doctor’s office.