What Dissolves Ear Wax Fast? (2024)

Ear wax blockages and impacted wax can be painful and debilitating. Getting the right treatment for an ear wax blockage can make a huge difference in providing symptom relief. There are products around that enable wax to be dissolved which can be helpful to reduce symptoms but may not always completely effective.

What Dissolves Ear Wax Fast? (1)

What Causes Blocked Ears?

Ear wax plays an important role in maintaining clean and healthy ears. An overproduction of ear wax however, environmental factors and using items in the ear such as cotton buds can inhibit the normal self-cleaning mechanism of the ear and cause too much wax to build up within the ears.

Ear wax, or cerumen, is produced in the outer third of the ear. Generally speaking ears are self-cleaning, and typically do not require manual removal of ear wax. The superficial skin layer within the ear canal creates a ‘conveyor belt’ motion in the ear, carrying the ear wax out of the ear canal. Assisted to loosen by jaw movement, the ear wax either then just falls out, or can then be gently wiped away at the entrance to the ear.

In some instances, individuals can produce excessive ear wax which can build up and may be unable to migrate out of our ears naturally. This build up can continue until the ear canal is completely blocked, creating a feeling of fullness in the ear which can result in itchiness, dizziness, earache, tinnitus, hearing loss and even pain.

Common causes of wax impaction and blocked ears include:

  • Regularly wearing hearing aids, ear buds, ear plugs or anything that stops the natural self-cleaning mechanism
  • Using cotton buds or other implements (including ‘twisty topped’ wax removal tools) which further impact wax but pushing it further down the ear canal
  • Working in a dusty or dirty environment
  • Having a genetic predisposition to wax build up
  • Having naturally curvy, narrow and hairy ear canals
  • Stress

Elderly people are more likely to suffer from blocked ears as wax glands tend to ‘atrophy’ as we age, causing wax to become more dry and therefore more likely to become stuck in the ear canal. Swimmers, surfers, and people who spend a lot of time in the water can also experience blocked ears due to earwax’s tendency to absorb water; this can cause any excess wax to expand within the ear canal and block the ear.

Blocked ears can also be caused by middles ear issues which may occur after a cold due to congestion and related pressure changes in the middle ear. In a similar way, sinus infections and allergies can also lead to a blocked ear. For these issues please consult your local GP and pharmacist in the interim for symptom relief. This is not something that a wax removal appointment can correct but rather, will assist with the ‘process of elimination’ in determining the cause and will assist the GP / audiologist with further assessment by ensuring a clear view down to the eardrum.

What Are Wax Softening Drops?

Ear wax softening drops can be safely used to loosen and dissolve ear wax which can help improve symptoms of an ear wax blockage. Wax softening drops should not be used by anyone who has a perforated ear drum or a current ear infection. If you’re unsure as to whether wax softening drops are suitable for you, you should first consult with your doctor.

Wax softening drops can be found at most local chemists and generally come in three varieties: water based, oil based, or non-oil, non-water based.

If you are attending at Earworx clinic, the aim is not necessarily to ‘break the wax down’ as quickly as possible. Rather, it is to soften and lubricate the wax in order to allow a suction catheter to ‘latch on’ to the wax and remove it in one piece. Our products of choice are Ear Clear from the chemist, or just plain olive oil from your cupboard. If the aim is to completely break down the wax, waxsol, peroxide 3% or a sodium bicarbonate solution (which can be prepared by your local pharmacist) is effective. It is important to remember that whilst this may break the wax down quickly, in so doing, it may also coat the eardrum in soft wax, leading to a worsening in the feeling of blockage or hearing loss.

While ear wax softening drops can help to provide temporary relief by creating a ‘gap’ in the impacted wax as it is broken down, this gap can quickly close back over as more wax builds. Wax softening drops can be more effective therefore when used in conjunction with wax removal techniques such as microsuction and curettage, to ensure all excess wax is removed from the ear canal.

Micro-Suction – The Universal Solution

Where practitioners are suitably trained, micro-suction is an effective and safe method of wax removal. This is the procedure used at all Earworx clinics by Registered Nurses who have completed both a period of study and an extended practical placement to ensure they can work safely within your ear and around your precious eardrum. Softening drops used prior to your appointment will assist in speeding up the procedure and ensuring the wax removal is comfortable. Softening drops may also be used in between appointments where wax is too dry or hard to safely remove and requires softening between appointments.

Micro-suction is a dry technique, making it suitable for people who are unable to use wax softening drops, or for those with perforated eardrums or ear infections. This technique involves a small catheter attached to suction tubing being gently inserted into the ear canal. The tubing is attached to a machine which gently suctions the wax from your ear, much like a mini vacuum cleaner. Throughout the whole process, the Registered Nurse wears converged binocular lenses or ‘O-Scopes’ that magnify and are fitted with a bright light to carefully observe the ear canal and ear drum during the procedure; enhancing safety.

Generally, an Earworx appointment will last about half an hour including a thorough history taking, performance of the procedure itself, and education. Using wax softening drops in conjunction with micro-suction can help to remove the wax in a timely and effective manner.

Contact the friendly team at Earworx or book your appointment online today.

What Dissolves Ear Wax Fast? (2024)


What Dissolves Ear Wax Fast? ›

Use an eyedropper to apply a few drops of baby oil, mineral oil, glycerin or hydrogen peroxide in your ear canal. Use warm water. After a day or two, when the wax is softened, use a rubber-bulb syringe to gently squirt warm water into your ear canal.

What draws earwax out? ›

Earwax removal tips

Instead, soak a cotton ball and drip a few drops of plain water, a simple saline solution, or hydrogen peroxide into the ear with your head tilted so the opening of the ear is pointing up. Keep it in that position for a minute to allow gravity to pull the fluid down through the wax.

What dissolves hardened ear wax? ›

Your provider can also flush out the wax using a syringe filled with warm water and saline or diluted hydrogen peroxide. Medicated ear drops may also be recommended to help soften the wax, such as carbamide peroxide (Debrox Earwax Removal Kit, Murine Ear Wax Removal System).

How do you get rid of earwax in 30 seconds? ›

Soak a cotton ball with the hydrogen peroxide. Tilt your head and drip the peroxide into your ear. You may hear it fizz as it tries to dissolve the earwax. After about 30 seconds, drain your ear onto a washcloth.

How do you make ear wax fall out faster? ›

People should not poke anything into the ear to remove earwax, but gently dripping hydrogen peroxide, ear drops, or baby oil into the ear will soften the wax, which may cause it to come out. Earwax, also called cerumen, serves an essential function in the body.

How long does it take for hydrogen peroxide to unclog ears? ›

Insert the drops: Carefully insert a few drops into the ear canal using a dropper or syringe. Wait: Stay still and wait about five minutes, giving the drops time to work. Drain: Tilt your head to allow the solution to drain out.

Will hard ear wax eventually come out? ›

Will impacted ear wax fix itself? The short answer is that it is unlikely. While it is true that our ears are self-cleaning, and wax should be carried out of the ear canal naturally, if your ear wax has built up to the point that it is symptomatic, and impacted, you may need a little more help.

How do you get ear wax out without anything? ›

Use a warm, damp cloth — placing your finger inside and running around your ear's curves. You'll pick up excess earwax or debris effectively without risking damage to your inner ear. Important: Inserting objects into your ear to clean them is a big no-no.

Can you pour peroxide in your ear to clean it? ›

Hydrogen peroxide is a solution (liquid) that can be used to treat ear infections or the build-up of wax. It is generally safe to use in all ears. Do not use if it irritates you or causes pain. You can buy 3 per cent hydrogen peroxide from your local chemist – no prescription is required.

How do you get hard chunks out of ear wax? ›

If your doctor recommends that you try to remove earwax at home: Soften and loosen the earwax with warm mineral oil. You also can try hydrogen peroxide mixed with an equal amount of room temperature water. Place 2 drops of the fluid, warmed to body temperature, in the ear two times a day for up to 5 days.

Does hydrogen peroxide dissolve hard ear wax? ›

The medical term for earwax is cerumen, and hydrogen peroxide is a cerumenolytic, which means that it can soften, break down, and dissolve earwax. Ear drops can contain a variety of forms of hydrogen peroxide. A common type is carbamide hydroxide, which adds oxygen to the wax, causing it to bubble.

Does rubbing alcohol dissolve ear wax? ›

Antiseptics such as rubbing alcohol and hydrogen/carbamide peroxide can also help remove wax, but be very careful with these because they can have harsh side effects. Alcohol dries out the skin and exacerbates itching, while peroxide can leave the ears wet, which encourages bacterial growth.

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