Learn how to safely remove ear wax from the comfort of your own home and without an expensive trip to the doctor

Oftentimes people go to the doctor for ear, nose and throat concerns, however when it comes to ear wax, many people would rather learn how to remove ear wax safely at home. Not everything requires a visit to the doctor, especially matters of simple hygiene. Here are some methods and advice on how to safely remove ear wax buildup at home.

What are the benefits to cleaning your ears?

The reason we might want to learn how to safely remove ear wax at home is because of a substance called cerumen, commonly called earwax. It’s normal for your body to produce it, and it actually helps protect and lubricate your ears. If you didn’t have earwax, your ears would probably be itchy and dry. Earwax even has antibacterial properties, which means your ears are self-cleaning. Earwax is like a filter for your ears, keeping out harmful things like dirt and dust, and trapping them so they don’t go deep inside.

Sometimes it builds up inside your ear canal and can be irritating and itchy. In extreme cases it can clog the canal, if this happens you should remove the wax to prevent your hearing and balance from being impaired.

Why would you want to remove ear wax safely at home instead of going to the doctor?

In most cases, with the right tools, it’s quite easy to clean ear wax out of your ears at home, and is easier than going to a doctor. Doctor appointments take time and cost money so cleaning your ears at home is almost always easier.
What should you do before starting to remove ear wax safely?
It is safe to use warm water to irrigate the ear, doing this at room temperature is best. Flush the ear gently, as a forceful flow of water can damage the ear. Don’t stick any objects like a Q-Tip into the ear, this can cause the wax to be pushed further into the ear.

If you need something more effective to soften the wax and avoid the need to dig deep into the ear canal, you can use some home remedies like baby oil, mineral oil or glycerin. Using an eyedropper, apply a few drops (5-10) of warm oil or glycerin in the ear canal. This should soften the ear wax and help it work its way out naturally or make it easier to flush out.

How do you remove ear wax safely?

Learning how to safely remove ear wax isn’t that difficult, you just need the right tools. A modern approach to earwax removal is to use a digital otoscope with a wax removal attachment.

ScopeAround makes a number of devices that are safe to use because you can see inside your ear canal the entire time you are using the device. You can’t see what you are doing if you poke your ear with a Q-Tip. Digital otoscopes have integrated LED lights to illuminate the ear canal and help the tip of the otoscope avoid your eardrum.

Ear wax removal is easy to do because a soft silicone-tipped spoon attaches to the end of the otoscope and that combined with the camera gives you the perfect tool to scrape out pieces of ear wax.

If your ear canal is completely blocked, meaning you can’t look down the canal and see your eardrum, then it might be time to visit a doctor. Your doctor can remove excess wax using a small, curved instrument called a curet or by using suction while inspecting the ear. Your doctor can also flush out the wax with a syringe filled with warm water.

What are some ear wax removal methods?


Ear drops including over-the-counter products like Debrox only soften ear wax, they don’t remove it.

Bulb Syringe

A bulb syringe provides suction and usually is good for removing water or ear drop solution but not for removing hardened ear wax.

Olive Oil

Olive oil has some antibacterial properties and is a healthy oil to use in your diet, and although there have been a few studies none seem to support the belief that olive oil dissolves ear wax. Olive oil may add a bit of lubrication to the ear and make it easier for a doctor to remove the wax, but it does not appear to dissolve the wax.

Ear Cleaning Candle

Ear cleaning candles have not proven to be effective at removing ear wax and sometimes they have even resulted in burns to the person using them so we cannot endorse this ear cleaning method.

Cotton Swabs

Cotton ear swabs are good for cleaning your OUTER ear - the part with all the folds including your ear lobes. Cotton swabs should not be used for cleaning inside the ear canal. Cotton swabs are a leading cause of ear injury due to eardrum trauma. When you use a cotton swab you can’t see how close you are to your eardrum so it’s very easy to bump into your eardrum - it’s also quite painful! Additionally, using cotton swabs to clean out earwax can be difficult, sometimes it just results in the earwax being pushed further down your ear canal.

Q Grips

If you are seeking a safer alternative to cotton swabs, then Q Grips for ear wax might be the answer, but do Q Grips really work, or are they actually effective? In our experience, Q Grips can remove some ear wax, but they won’t remove it all and they don’t give you a good view of the inside of your ear canal so you can’t see how much ear wax is in there or where it is at.

Ear Cleaning Tool Kit

Don’t put tools in your ears unless you also have a clear view of your delicate eardrum. Ear cleaning tools are safe for trained medical professionals only.

What might happen if you don’t clean your ears?

It certainly is convenient to learn how to remove ear wax safely, but many tools on the market fall short. If you don’t clean your ears they could get dirty and if dirt and wax starts to accumulate then they could eventually get clogged, which might impair your hearing and balance and possibly cause an infection.

Finding the right tools to safely remove ear wax at home is easier than ever now with the availability of inexpensive digital otoscopes for consumers. Shop ScopeAround otoscope cameras today!


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