How to remove soft ear wax

Written by terrie dominguez
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How to remove soft ear wax
The human ear is very complex. (ear image by Connfetti from

The human ear is very complex. One of the things the ear does very well is clean itself. There are tiny hairs inside the ear that help to push out earwax. The earwax brings out dirt and debris that get into the ear canal. Once the soft earwax gets to the outer portion of the ear, it tends to build up and must be removed. If the earwax is not removed, it could harden and cause an impaction in the ear canal. If there is an ear canal blockage, it could cause a slight hearing loss in that ear, or lead to an ear infection.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Washcloth
  • Earwax-removing ear drops
  • Tissues or towel
  • Bulb syringe

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  1. 1

    Wipe the outer part of the ears with a warm, wet washcloth. Once the earwax reaches this part of the ear, it can be easily removed by wrapping a washcloth around your forefinger and wiping the area clean.

    How to remove soft ear wax
    Gently wipe the outer part of the ear with a washcloth. (different coloured washcloths face cloths on yellow background image by Steve Johnson from
  2. 2

    Tilt the ear you want to clean toward the ceiling. Insert several drops of an earwax-removal solution into the ear. Leave the drops in the ear for a few minutes and then tilt your head to the other side to let the drops drain out of the ear. Hold a tissue or towel to your ear to catch the drops. Do this for both ears.

    How to remove soft ear wax
    Place drops of an earwax solution into the ear. (medicine dropper image by jimcox40 from
  3. 3

    Fill a bulb syringe with warm water by squeezing the bulb, dipping the tip into the water and releasing the pressure to draw in water. Tilt your head, and place the tip of the bulb syringe in your ear just outside the canal of the ear.

  4. 4

    Squeeze the bulb syringe so that the warm water flows into the canal and flushes out the earwax. As the water drains out, the wax should be removed. Hold a tissue or towel under your ear to catch the water.

  5. 5

    Remove the bulb syringe from your ear so the water can drain out of the ear completely. It might be necessary to gently move your ear lobe around with your fingers to dislodge all the water. Repeat the process on the other side if necessary.

Tips and warnings

  • Never stick anything smaller than your forefinger into the canal of your ear. Avoid using cotton swabs, as they can push the wax farther into your ear. If you are unable to flush out the earwax from the ear canal, seek medical attention.

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