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How Do I Use Olive Oil for Ear Wax?

There are several ways to safely remove ear wax.
Containers of olive oil.
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  • Written By: Alicia Sparks
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 14 April 2014
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If you have an excessive amount of ear wax buildup and want to try a do-it-yourself method for cleaning your ears, you might try using olive oil for ear wax removal. By heating the oil to a comfortable, warm temperature and inserting it in your ear canal, you can soften the ear wax and drain it from your ear. Just like other removal methods, using olive oilinvolves certain safety precautions. For example, you must be careful to avoid hot temperatures and inserting any instruments in your ear. If this removal method does not work for you, consult a medical professional for other options.

A certain amount of ear wax is necessary, as it protects the skin in your ear canal and helps keep it clean and lubricated. An excessive amount of ear wax buildup or impacted ear wax, however, can cause impaired hearing and infection, and can even obstruct hearing aids. When this happens, it becomes necessary to remove the ear wax.

To use olive oil for ear wax removal, heat the oil to a warm temperature and lie on your side. Place a few drops of the olive oil in your ear canal. Leave it there for a few moments so it can soften and melt the ear wax buildup. Turn your head to the side and allow it to naturally drain from your ear onto a clean washcloth or towel. Replace the olive oil with clean water and repeat the process to complete the ear wax removal.

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When done properly, using olive oil for ear wax removal can be a safe and effective do-it-yourself method for ear cleaning, but there are certain tips you should consider. For example, test the temperature before inserting the olive oil. The olive oil should be warm enough for ear wax softening but comfortable enough to touch without burning your skin.

Also, make sure any syringes or droppers you use to insert the olive oil and water are sterile and do not come in contact with your ear. You do not need to insert any instruments in your ear canal to insert the olive oil and water. Avoid using cotton swabs or other tools to add or remove the olive oil and water. If the oil and water do not completely drain from your ear when you tilt your head, you can remove the excess with a clean washcloth. If using olive oil does not help, the impacted ear wax might be severe enough that a medical professional must remove it.

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Discuss this Article

SarahSon
Post 4

It is amazing how many things you can use olive oil for other than baking. I use this in skin care products like lotion and lip balm, but have never tried it as an ear wax removal home remedy.

I also use essential oils for some home remedies, and I have put a few drops of lavender essential oil on a cotton ball and put in my ear with my head tilted to one side. This is also supposed to help get rid of wax, but you have to give it some time to work. It isn't something that will happen in just a few minutes.

You have to be really careful when you are working with your ears like that. Most people know it isn't smart to insert any sharp instruments, but even putting cotton swabs in your ears can cause damage. Using a soft cotton ball like I did is different than a small piece of cotton at the end of a stick.

bagley79
Post 3

I am surprised I have never heard of using warm olive oil to get rid of ear wax before. I will always try a home remedy first before anything else. In the past I have used mineral oil, which probably works the same way. I try to clean out my ears every few months just so they don't get a lot of build up in them. I can always hear better after doing this as well.

golf07
Post 2

@LisaLou-- Using olive oil worked for me. I think it might depend on how much wax a person has in their ear. I warmed the olive oil up for just a few seconds in the microwave, then put a few drops in my ear.

I did this right before bed and made sure and put a towel under my head so it could drain on the to that. When I got up in the morning, I washed out my ear and was impressed this had actually worked. I have tried other remedies for ear wax blockage before, but this is one I would definitely try again.

LisaLou
Post 1

I am very interested in trying olive oil for ear wax as I have wax built up in my right ear. At my last two doctor visits, he has commented on the wax in my ear, and I keep thinking I need to have something done about it.

I don't really want to go back to the doctor and have him remove it, so would be willing to try a home remedy first. A friend of mine said something about going to the health food store and buying ear wax candles, but this whole process sounded kind of scary to me.

The olive oil sounds much less invasive, and would be very inexpensive if it works. I would love to hear if using this method has worked for anyone with ear wax build up.

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