Earwax, also medically known as cerumen, is a natural substance produced by glands in the ear canal that has protective, lubricating and antibacterial properties. The main work of the wax is to protect the ears from bacteria and other external agents.
Ear wax traps dirt and other foreign particles as well as slows down the growth of bacteria and therefore you should not at all get worried about ear wax being formed in your natural hearing instrument. This wax in our ears is secreted by glands situated in our skin that lines the outer half of the ear canals. By trapping dust and other foreign particles, ear wax prevents damage to our inner ear parts like our eardrum.
There are many simple natural remedies to unblock and remove hardened earwax from your ears. But do not use these remedies if you have a perforated ear drum and get the problem treated by a professional.
Here are the top 10 home remedies to remove earwax.
1. Salt Water
Salt water is the inexpensive and best earwax removal solution that can be used at home. It can soften the wax accumulated inside the ear, making it easy to bring on the surface of the ear and falls off.
Salted water softens accumulated wax, making it easy for you to remove it without pushing it deeper into the ear.
- Mix one teaspoon of salt in one-half cup of warm water until the salt dissolves completely. Soak a cotton ball in the saline solution. Tilt the affected ear up toward the sky. Squeeze the cotton ball to put a few drops of the saline water into the ear. Stay in the same position for three to five minutes. Then drain out the saline water tilting your head in the opposite direction. Clean the outer part of your ear with a clean cloth to remove the softened wax.
2. Olive Oil
Oils are one of the popular ingredients when it comes to softening of impacted wax in the ears. Olive oil can be used effectively to soften your ear wax. Olive oil can soften the wax, making it easier to come out of the ear. Its antiseptic and strong bactericidal properties will reduce the risk of ear infection.
- Slightly warm some olive oil. Using a dropper put three or four drops of the warm oil into the affected ear. Allow it to settle for 10 minutes so that the earwax becomes soft. Tilt your head sideways and remove the oil and wax with ear buds.
Alternatively, you can also use mustard oil, baby oil, almond oil or mineral oil.
An age-old remedy to remove excess wax from your ear is vinegar. White vinegar not only softens the wax but can also balance the pH levels in your ear and reduce your irritating symptoms. The vinegar will fight bacteria and fungi, and hence prevent any kind of ear infection. But never use vinegar alone, dilute it with water before pouring it down your ears.
- Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water. Soak a cotton ball in the solution. Tilt the affected ear toward the sky and then squeeze two or three drops of this solution into the ear. Wait for five minutes and tilt your head to the opposite direction so that gravity can bring out the solution as well as the wax. Remove the earwax from the outer ear with an ear bud.
Glycerin is an effective wax softener due to its moisturizing and lubricating properties. It is also considered safe to be used when it comes to ear wax removal at home. Although glycerin can be put into the ears undiluted, its better to dilute it with some water due to its viscosity. Water makes glycerin a little thinner so that it may easily go deep down to soften the wax impacted there under.
- Tilt your head toward the sky and use a dropper to put three or four drops of glycerin in your ear. Put a cotton ball at the opening of your ear and leave it for a few hours. Remove the cotton ball and gently flush warm water in your ear. Tilt your ear in the opposite direction to drain out the water completely. Gently dry the outer ear with a towel or a hand-held hair dryer.
5. Baking Soda
Earwax is hard to remove is because the ear wax is tough. The main thing that people can do in order to get rid of it is to soften the ear wax. This can be done with the use of baking soda. A water-based solution that contains baking soda makes a great alternative to the saline solution. Much like salty water, a baking soda/water solution softens the accumulated wax inside your ears, making it easy for you to get rid of it.
- Mix one-fourth teaspoon of baking soda in two teaspoons of water. Tilt your head and use a dropper to put several drops of this solution in the affected ear. Wait for 10 minutes and then flush warm water gently into the ear with a rubber-bulb syringe. Tilt the head toward the opposite direction to drain out the excess solution as well as the dissolved earwax. Clean your outer ear with a soft cloth.
6. Warm Water
Flushing your ear with warm water will also help get rid of excess earwax. The gentle force of the water will dislodge the wax, making it easier to remove. Be sure to use only clean and filtered water.
- Fill a rubber-bulb syringe with slightly warm water (body temperature). Tilt your head upright and pull the outer ear to straighten the ear canal. Use the syringe to put a small amount of water into the ear canal. Leave it for a minute and then drain it out by tilting your head to the opposite side. Clean away the water and earwax that has come out of the ear with a clean cloth.
7. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is another very effective remedy for excess earwax accumulation. Hydrogen Peroxide features an effervescent property that enables it to liquefy hardened wax, making it easy for you to clear it out. But, it can be harmful when applied to an ear that has had surgery in the past or one with a hole in the eardrum. So, avoid using this home remedy if you fall under any of these 2 categories.
A high concentration of hydrogen peroxide can be harmful to the ear. So, make sure that the hydrogen peroxide you use is not above 3%.
- Mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide (3%) and water. Fill an ear dropper with this solution. Tilt your head sideways and put a few drops of this solution into the ear. Leave it for some time, and then tilt your head towards the opposite side to drain out the solution. Using a clean cloth, remove the wax that you can see near the outer ear.
8. Almond Oil
Almond oil can also aid in the removal of ear wax. This oil serves as a lubricant and softener for wax, making it easy for you to clear wax build up in the ear.
- Take room temperature almond oil and fill an ear dropper with it. Tilt the affected ear upwards, and then put five drops of almond oil in the ear with the dropper. Stay in that positive for 10 to 15 minutes to allow the oil to soak into the hardened wax. Now place a tissue over the oiled ear and tilt to the other side to drain out the excess oil as well as the wax. Clean out the ear and wax with a soft cloth.
9. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
One of the most common causes for excessive earwax production is a deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids. So, increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids can help solve the problem of excess wax accumulating inside the ear. Also Omega 3 fatty acids are known to be very good for the body because it can help get rid of the toxins that are inside the body.
- Do not place omega 3 fatty acids inside your ear. Instead, you would need to ingest it.
- It might be a good idea to ask your doctor about the required amount of fatty acids that you need to take every day.
- Include foods rich in omega-3 like walnuts, cod liver oil, avocados, salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring albacore and ground flaxseed in your diet.
10. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil contains MCFA (Medium Chain Fatty Acids) which is a form of fatty acid that can help get rid of the excess wax found inside the ear. Since coconut oil has anti-microbial properties, this prevents the ear from getting infected. It may actually kill a wide variety of harmful microorganisms that may result due to buildup of earwax.
- Place clean coconut oil on a dropper. Place about three drops of coconut oil on the affected ear. Wait for about 10 minutes. Flush warm water inside the ear to cleanse the oil. Wipe off the excess liquid and oil with a clean cloth.