Say What?! Try This Gentle Home Remedy For Earwax Buildup

This is a health hack every household needs to know.

February 8, 2016
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Does everything sound a bit muffled?

Excessive earwax can be as irritating as the common cold or a house fly; it’s a pest that pops up without warning. Frequently we’re not even aware we have wax buildup until–seemingly out of nowhere–everything isn’t loud and clear anymore, and the softer sounds become, the more miserable we feel. 

These symptoms are often accompanied by the dreaded question: “When am I going to find time to go to the doctor?” Fortunately, you don’t need to! An obstructed eardrum can be treated conveniently and inexpensively from home. 

Before we explain how you should treat this condition, (please) take note of how you shouldn’t! Write this down: Never attempt to dig out excess earwax on your own. All too often, people shove cotton swabs into their ears to “clean” them out. Not only is this counterproductive, it’s dangerous. This could cause the wax to become more impacted as it’s inadvertently jammed deeper inside. Worst case scenario, you could actually harm your eardrum or ear canal. Say sayonara to this harmful habit. Relief is only three perfectly safe steps away. 

(Please note you should not try this DIY remedy if you have tubes in your ears or if there’s a hole in your eardrum.) 

Step One: Soften the wax 

Earwax is hard. That imagery certainly doesn’t evoke happy thoughts (we’re sorry), but this is the reason why the first part of this at-home treatment is necessary. Placing a few drops of baby oil in your clogged ear will help soften the wax. If you don’t have any baby oil, then hydrogen peroxide, glycerin, or mineral oil are just as effective. All of these items will require time to work their magic. Wait a day or two before moving on to the next step. 

Step Two: Irrigate

Once the recommended amount of time has passed, fill a rubber-bulb syringe with warm water. Squirt it into your clogged ear and tilt your head until it’s in a position that enables the water to flow into the canal with ease. After a minute or two, tilt your head in the opposite direction so the water can drain out. 

Step Three: Dry your outer ear with a towel or a hair dryer on a low-heat setting.

Simple enough, right? This technique may not work on the first try. As we mentioned, the wax is quite stiff and may require a few treatments to loosen. If you repeat this process two or three times with no sign of improvement, then it is time to pay your doctor a visit. Although earwax removal kits are available for purchase, it’s best to ask a medical professional to walk you through the process before proceeding. Better safe than sorry!   

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Staff Writer