How do I Use Hydrogen Peroxide for Ear Wax?

M. Haskins

Using hydrogen peroxide for ear wax removal is a common home remedy, and even many medical professionals recommend it to clean the ears. Earwax, also called cerumen, prevents foreign contaminants like dust and micro-organisms from entering the ear canal, but an excessive buildup can cause discomfort and hearing loss. Do not use hydrogen peroxide to remove ear wax if you have ear pain or if there is fluid coming from the ear. In these cases, it is best to consult a medical professional. People with sensitive skin should not use this home remedy because it can cause skin irritation.

A medical professional may be consulted when dealing with ear wax.
A medical professional may be consulted when dealing with ear wax.

When using hydrogen peroxide in the ears, use a 3% solution, commonly available from any drugstore. The hydrogen peroxide will work on its own, but sometimes oil is added to loosen the wax further. Baby oil or olive oil work well for this purpose. An eye dropper makes it easier to administer the hydrogen peroxide and oil to the ear.

Earwax prevents contaminants from entering the ear canal.
Earwax prevents contaminants from entering the ear canal.

Tilt the head while standing up, or lie down exposing the ear to be treated. The oil, if used, should be added first. Using the eyedropper, place two to three drops of oil in the ear and wait a couple of minutes before putting the hydrogen peroxide in. Put two to three drops of hydrogen peroxide into the ear using the eyedropper. It will bubble and fizz quite noisily.

A bottle of hydrogen peroxide.
A bottle of hydrogen peroxide.

Keep the head still until the fizzing stops, which will usually take a few minutes. Then tilt or turn your head, making sure that all the liquid is allowed to drain from the ear. Wipe the outside of the ear clean using a cotton ball. Gently squirt warm water into the treated ear with a syringe or bulb aspirator to help clean out the wax. Never use sharp objects to clean the ear.

Wipe the ear clean using a cotton ball.
Wipe the ear clean using a cotton ball.

It is sometimes necessary to repeat this procedure, especially if there is impacted ear wax in the ear canal. You can use the hydrogen peroxide twice a day for up to three to four days, if necessary, to loosen and clean out all the wax. A cotton ball can be placed in the ear between treatments to prevent the liquid from draining out onto the clothing. If there is hardened wax in the ear canal, it is best to talk to a healthcare professional rather than using this procedure. There is a risk of ear and jaw pain after using hydrogen peroxide for ear wax removal, and it is not a good idea to use this treatment right before flying.

Ear wax is meant to prevent foreign contaminants from entering the ear canal.
Ear wax is meant to prevent foreign contaminants from entering the ear canal.

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Discussion Comments


I have found the combination of hydrogen peroxide and olive oil, or mineral oil works best to remove my ear wax. Once I started using a little bit of oil first, it seemed like the hydrogen peroxide worked better and faster.

I have always done my own home ear wax removal, and have never been seen by a doctor for this. I used to buy the kits at the drug store, but found it was cheaper and just as effective to use the hydrogen peroxide and olive oil.

It is amazing how you can treat yourself for many things with some simple products you have at home like this. I have also heard that putting a few drops of Lavender essential oil on a cotton ball, and putting in your ear while you sleep can help remove ear wax.


@bagley79-- I have never used any of the candle kits to get wax out of my ears. I think I was too afraid I would burn myself somehow.

I have had good results using hydrogen peroxide for my ear wax cleaning. The first time you do this, the fizz and bubbling of the hydrogen peroxide can be a little unsettling, but this is what helps make it work.

Once you get used to it, it's not that bad and doesn't take very long. I will usually do both ears, one right after the other just in case. Even though I seem to accumulate wax more often in my right ear, I do the left ear just to be on the safe side.

I don't think there is anything you can do to prevent ear wax build-up. I just figured it was something everybody had, and some people have more of it than others. If there is something you can do to prevent it, I would love to hear about it.


The last time the doctor checked my ears he told me my left ear was full of wax. Has anybody ever tried any of the natural ear wax removal products?

I have seen some ear wax candle kits at the health food store which is supposed to be a natural way to get wax out of your ears. I know people who claims this works, but it sounds kind of scary to me.

Using the hydrogen peroxide sounds like it would be just as effective and might also be a little safer.

Is there something you can do to prevent wax from building up in your ear? I clean my ears out frequently, but wonder if there is something else I need to be doing to keep this from happening.


My husband gets ear wax build up more often than a lot of people do. He usually tries to treat himself at home using hydrogen peroxide every few months.

Sometimes his ears are so full of wax that he has to go to the doctor. Even though the doctor may also use hydrogen peroxide, he also has certain tools that are more effective at getting all the wax out of his ears.

He says it is amazing how much better he can hear once he gets all the wax removed. The hydrogen peroxide treatment helps get most of the wax out, but for any kind of impacted ear wax removal, he always goes to the doctor.

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