How to Clean Out a Clogged Up Ear

Updated February 21, 2017

Muffled sounds and voices may be due to a clogged-up ear from wax build-up inside the ear canal. Wax may solidify within the inner ear, creating a blockage that disrupts your hearing. Cleaning out a blocked ear canal requires softening the wax so it can drain from the ear. Warm and oily substances melt the ear wax, allowing you to hear sounds clearly without the distortion from a clogged ear.

Pour 3 to 4 tablespoons. of baby oil into a bowl. Heat the baby oil three seconds to five seconds in the microwave. You want the baby oil warm, but not hot. Pour the heated baby oil into a medicine dropper.

Tilt your head so the affected ear faces up. Pull the top portion of your ear up to open the hole in your ear wider.

Place three to four drops of the baby oil into the ear canal. Keep your head slightly tilted for 30 seconds so the oil can reach and melt the wax.

Tilt your head so your ear is facing down, toward the sink. Allow the wax and baby oil to run out of the ear. Wipe the outside of your ear with a damp washcloth. If the ear remains clogged, repeat the steps one or two more times.


You can use mineral oil or glycerine in place of the baby oil. Use warm substances only; cold mixtures can result in dizziness and hot can damage the inner ear canal. If you cannot clean out the wax, consult your physician. He has procedures to relieve a clogged ear.


Do not use a water pick or ear candles to clean out the ears as you risk damaging the ear drum.

Things You'll Need

  • Baby oil
  • Medicine dropper
  • Wash cloth
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About the Author

Constance Barker, located in the hills of southern Ohio, is the owner and writer of several financial, credit report and travel websites. She started writing in 1999 for private clients and began creating website content in 2004. She gained expertise in home improvement after she and her husband built their home themselves.