Infants and children who have earwax buildup should be taken to a doctor. Adults can try the following remedies: Add one teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide to an equal amount of warm water, then:
- Tilt your head, and put a dropperful of the warmed liquid into your blocked ear. Leave it there for three minutes, keeping your head tilted.
- Let the liquid run out onto a towel or tissue. The wax should have loosened and become soft enough to wipe away from the outer ear with a cotton ball. Repeat if necessary.
- If the wax is particularly stubborn, soften it up first with three or four drops of castor oil or glycerin. You may need to do this several times.
Over-the-counter liquid earwax softeners can help to loosen earwax. But avoid using them if you have an ear infection or eardrum rupture.
You can also use a soft rubber bulb syringe to dislodge wax by gently rinsing the ear canal with warm water and hydrogen peroxide — except if you have an earache, fever, discharge or a perforated eardrum.
Never try to remove earwax with a cotton-tipped swab. You could damage your eardrum or cause an infection.