Various methods have been used to remove ear wax since ancient times. The earliest tools were fingers and small sticks. Although these tools are still used, other methods have proven to be more effective and safe.
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Ear Cones or Candling
This ancient tool is still used in modern times. A hollow cone made of cloth dipped in paraffin (wax) is placed in the ear and lighted. The burning creates a suction action to pull the ear wax out. The Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery advises against coning, stating that it is unsafe and unproven through scientific research.
Olive, Baby and Mineral Oils
Any of these oils placed in the ear canal will soften ear wax. Use 2 to 3 droppers two to three times a day, then flush your ear with warm water using a rubber-bulb syringe.
Hydrogen peroxide diluted with water instead of oil can be effective. It creates a fizzing mechanical action to dislodge the ear wax. The same application process is used.
A saltwater solution instead of oil or hydrogen peroxide is reported to dissolve ear wax. The same application process is used.
Home wax removal kits
Home wax removal over-the-counter kits that you purchase from stores are considered to be no more effective than the oils and solutions described above. Although they may be more expensive, all the tools you will need, as well as detailed instructions, are included in the kits.
Medical doctors advise against using any object to dig wax out of ears. It can push ear wax deeper into the ear or puncture the eardrum.
A clean, damp washcloth is the safest and easiest way to clean the entrance and outer parts of the ear canal. Do not twist the corner and push it into your ear.
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