Is it safe to remove ear wax with Hydrogen Peroxide?

Chris Wahl, AuD

Audiologist

04 October 2018 - 2.96K Views

It is best to have your ears examined by a medical professional trained in cerumen management, such as an ENT or audiologist, to determine if there is excess cerumen and if the ear canal and eardrum are healthy. This can be done by otoscopy and tympanometry. At that point the professional can give you the best recommendation for removing any excess earwax. At my facility I can show you a picture of what is in your ear canal on a big screen TV with a video otoscope device. And I can explain how the tympanogram can be used to evaluate the eardrum. I wouldn’t recommend you proceed with any over the counter earwax removal procedure until you have had the appropriate professional evaluation and recommendation.
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Monica Barnes, AuD

Hearing Healthcare Provider

04 October 2018 - 2.99K Views

I recommend using alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. Mix equal parts of each at room temperature. Leave in ear for a minute with head tilted or with cotton ball in ear then massage ear with towel to loosen wax and dry ear. Use every other night. If this does not clear it, please see your audiologist or ENT for removal. :) 
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Syed Ahmed

Professional Member

04 October 2018 - 2.99K Views

Hydrogen peroxide drops at a very low concentration have traditionally been used to clear wax from ears. A strong preparation can damage skin of Ear canal and ear drum too.

It is far safer to use Olive oil, 2-3 drops two to three times a day for 2-3 days and wax gets dissolved. One can go to Family Physician to syringe the ears or use Ear suction clearance too.

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Doctor of Audiology in Kailua

04 October 2018 - 2.99K Views

It is safe, and an effective way to remove earwax from the ear canals, provided that you do not have a perforated eardrum. I would also recommend a 50/50 mix with water, with the final mixture being as close to body temperature as possible. The reason for that is that cold or hot water will stimulate the balance organ in that ear, and make you dizzy. If you are not sure whether you have a perforated eardrum, see an audiologist first.
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Matt Watson, HIS

Hearing Instrument Specialist

04 October 2018 - 2.99K Views

Peroxide shouldn't cause any harm, I have tried it on myself just to experience the feeling.  My one caution would be not to do this often.  The peroxide tends to dry out your skin, leading to itchy, flaky skin inside your ear canal, which can then contribute to wax build up in the future.
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Jennifer Arndt

Hearing Healthcare Provider

04 October 2018 - 2.99K Views

We use peroxide and body temperature water 50-50. Using straight peroxide tends to make ears itchy in our experience. 
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Angela Lederman, MS

Audiologist

08 October 2018 - 2.89K Views

The best recommendation is to see a hearing professional, such as an audiologist or ENT physician for wax removal.  They have been trained to remove wax safely.  If you are going to clean your ears at home, then yes, it is safe to use hydrogen peroxide.  It is recommended to use a 50/50 solution of peroxide and water.  This will help to soften the wax.  It is important to make sure the solution is at room temperature-too hot or too cold will make you dizzy. This can be done safely as often as every other day.
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Jessica Strzepek, AuD

Hearing Healthcare Provider

04 October 2018 - 2.94K Views

Yes, it is safe to remove ear wax with Hydrogen Peroxide. It is often recommended to use a mixture of 50/50 hydrogen peroxide and water or hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. If you know that you are prone to the build-up of wax, best practice is to schedule routine appointments for wax removal with your Audiologist. 
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Maggie Robertson, AuD

Audiologist

04 October 2018 - 2.95K Views

Yes - it is safe to use hydrogen peroxide to remove/soften earwax. Most eardrops on the market contain hydrogen peroxide. It softens and helps to dissolve the wax.  We often recommend to our patients a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. We also recommend scheduling more frequent visits to the office for those who are more prone to wax buildup so one of our Doctors of Audiology can perform cerumen management. 

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Joe Perez

Hearing Healthcare Provider

04 October 2018 - 2.97K Views

Please be aware this is for healthy ears only! Consult a doctor otherwise. 

The safest way to remove wax buildup from your ears is to visit your doctor. At your appointment, your doctor can use special instruments, like a cerumen spoon, forceps, or suction device, to clear the blockage. Many offices also offer professional irrigation.

If you choose to try to remove wax at home, the following are the safest methods to try on your own:

Many pharmacies sell over-the-counter ear drops that soften wax. These drops are typically a solution. They may contain:

  • mineral oil
  • baby oil
  • glycerin
  • peroxide
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • saline

Place the specified number of drops into your ear, wait a certain amount of time, and then drain or rinse out your ear. Always follow the instructions on the package. Call your doctor if your symptoms continue after treatment.

You may also choose to irrigate your ears using a syringe. In this process, you’ll gently rinse out the ear canal using water or a saline solution. This method is often more effective if you first use some type of wax softener 15 to 30 minutes before irrigating.

It’s best to warm the solution to your body temperature to avoid dizziness.

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Discussion

Tracey C
Tracey C 09 October 2018
Yes, it is safe to use peroxide with or without the alcohol component. If the individual has a history of itching using peroxide only would be the preferred choice. Also, baby oil, vitamin E and mineral oils will also help with itching ears and to some extent softening the ear wax. 
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