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11 Safe And Effective Home Remedies To Remove Earwax And Treat Earache

| Reviewed By Sandeep Radhakrishnan

Earwax buildup and blockage is a common ear problem. People feel a sense of discomfort in their ears due to earwax blockage that results in pain, itching or partial hear loss. Untreated earwax buildup can cause several complications and may lead to an ear infection or permanent hearing loss.

A buildup of earwax is a natural phenomenon. It helps prevent the entry of germs, dirt, infections and other foreign substances from entering the eardrum (inner part of the ear). When the production of earwax increases, it naturally finds its way towards the outer ear and gets washed away. The problem occurs when people insert objects like cotton swabs or bobby pins to clean the inner portion of their ears, and unknowingly force the wax more towards the eardrum, causing a blockage.

Home remedies are the best way to remove earwax without causing any damage to your eardrum, which is responsible for your hearing ability. Take a look at these simple home remedies to clear earwax and stop inserting any object in the ears the next time.


1. Baby Oil (To remove earwax)

Baby oil is a mineral oil that acts as an effective and safe moisturiser for the earwax. It helps soften the wax and removes it in no time. Caution, the softening agents may only loosen the outer layer of the wax and cause it to lodge deeper in the ear canal.

How to use: Pour a few drops of baby oil in the ear by tilting the head. Leave it for 5-7 minutes. Tilt the head opposite and let the oil come out. Repeat the process for 1-2 weeks if pain continues.


2. Garlic oil (For earache)

Untreated earwax blockage can lead to an ear infection. In a study, garlic oil has shown antimicrobial activity against ear infection due to the presence of four diallyl sulfides. [1]

How to use:

Heat 3-4 garlic cloves in 3 tbsp of coconut or olive oil until the prior turns black. Let the mixture cool. Remove the cloves. Pour a few drops of the oil in the ears. Leave for 5 minutes and then drain out.


3. Onion oil (For ear ache)

Quercetin, a flavonoid in onion possess an anti-inflammatory property that helps in reducing the pain and discomfort in the ears. [2] Onion wraps are also used to cure earache.

How to use:

Heat an onion at a high temperature and cool it. Squeeze the onion for the oil. Pour a few drops in the ear and drains after 5-7 minutes.


4. Basil (For ear ache)

The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of basil (tulsi) leaves helps in reducing the ear pain as well as a fight ear infection. [3]

How to use:
Take a few basil leaves and mix them in olive/coconut/baby oil. Leave the mixture for a day. Pour 2-3 drops of the oil in the ear and drain out after 5-7 minutes.


5. Tea tree oil (For ear ache)

A study says that tea tree oil is effective against the micro-organisms which are responsible for swimmers' ear and inflammation of the middle ear. It should be used in minimum amount. [4] It has a antiseptic, antifungal and anti inflammatory properties.

How to use:
Tea tree oil is usually used in other ways as well like, a couple of warmed drops in the ear per day may ease earache but before using it in the ear it is important to do a skin test to check for allergies. Tea tree oil should be diluted in olive oil, almond oil or another carrier oil, usually 3 to 5 drops in 1 ounce of oil.


6. Olive oil (To remove earwax)

Olive oil helps to dissolve the earwax at a faster rate and helps in its easy removal. It should not be used if a person has ruptured eardrum. [5]

How to use:
Pour 2-3 drops of the oil in the ear. Drain it out after 5-10 minutes.


7. Glycerol (To remove earwax)

Glycerol is an active compound in most of the eardrops. It helps to soften hard or impacted wax in a short interval, causing them to come out and wash away easily.

How to use:
Mix glycerol, baking soda and water. Pour 4-5 drops in the ears and drain out after 5-10 minutes. You can also use glycerin available in the market. Repeat the process for 1-2 days, not more.


8. Mustard oil (For earache)

A study says that mustard oil has a neurogenic property that helps in reducing ear swelling or ear oedema. [6]

How to use:
Warm the oil and allow it to cool a bit. Pour 2-3 drops in the ear and leave for 5-7 minutes. Then drain out the oil. You can also burn a few garlic cloves with mustard oil and use.


9. Apple Cider Vinegar (For earache)

It is an inexpensive, effective and simple way to clean earwax. There is no study to definitely prove that apple cider vinegar cures ear infection, but it does contain acetic acid which is bactericidal.

How to use:
Mix 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar with 1 tsp ofwarm water. Pour 2-3 drops in theaffected ear. Leave it for a few minutes and then drain out. Repeat the process another day only when the pain persists


10. Saltwater (To remove earwax)

A study says that sodium in saltwater is effective in softening earwax in a short time. Saltwater is as effective as other essential oils. [8]

How to use:
In a half cup of warm water, mix around 1 tsp of salt. Soak a cotton ball in the liquid and pour a few drops in the ear. Leave it for 5-7 minutes and drain out. Repeat the process if the stiffness in the ear persists.


11. Aloe vera gel (For earache)

A study says that the anti-inflammatory property of aloe vera helps in reducing the ear swelling, itching and pain. [9] It also helps in restoring the PH level inside the ears.

How to use:

Pour a few drops of market-based aloe vera gel in ears and leave for 5-7 minutes and then drain out. You can also make aloe vera gel at home by cutting and peeling out its sticky portion and blending them in a grinder with a few drops of essential oil.


Common FAQs

1. Is it safe to put hydrogen peroxide in your ear?

Hydrogen peroxide is a mild antiseptic commonly available in medical shops or cosmetic shops. It acts as a cerumenolytic and helps in dissolving, softening and breaking down hard or impacted earwax.

2. How does hydrogen peroxide remove ear wax?

The use of market-sold hydrogen peroxide should be as instructed. Also, you can mix an equal proportion of hydrogen peroxide and water and pour a few drops of it with a dropper or cotton balls. Leave for 3-5 minutes and drain out.

If you feel that you have an issue with earwax or any ear related problems, always and always your first priority should be to consult a doctor to rule out whether it is a serious issue or not. Being overly aggressive with removing wax from your ear can lead to problems with your hearing, itchy, painful or more prone to infection. While consulting doctor you can discuss the above home remedy ideas to see if they are suited for you or not.

Sandeep RadhakrishnanHospice Care
Sandeep Radhakrishnan
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