An overabundance of ear wax can be uncomfortable, itchy and even make it difficult to hear. When gentle cleaning with a cotton swab doesn't resolve the problem, it's time to try something else. There are a number of commercial remedies available for removing ear wax, but if you want to try something a little more natural, a warm vinegar solution is a mild and relatively easy home remedy.
Things You'll Need
- Olive or mineral oil
- Cotton balls
- Bulb syringe
- Apple cider vinegar
Soften the offending ear wax before attempting to remove it. Hard ear wax won't flush easily from your ear canal and you run the risk of impacting it further against your eardrum. Warm 10 to 15 ml of olive or mineral oil to room temperature and fill an eyedropper with the oil. Tilt your head to one side, place a few drops in one ear and stay in that position for 10 minutes. Repeat this with the other ear.
Mix a 1:1 solution of Apple cider vinegar and warm water. Apple cider vinegar is less acidic than white vinegar. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-fuingal effects, which can help with any irritation caused by flushing out excess ear wax.
Warm the solution to just above body temperature (about 100 degrees F) and fill a bulb syringe with it.
Ask a friend or family member for assistance with the next few steps. If you do not have someone assisting you, you may not be able to hold your ear canal open while you flush with the warm vinegar solution. It will still work, but the ear wax removal may not be as thorough.
Tilt your head over a sink or a basin. Grasp the earlobe of the upward-facing ear and gently pull it upward and toward the corresponding shoulder. This will straighten the ear canal
Point the nozzle of the bulb syringe slightly upward in the very outer edge of your ear canal. You are attempting to have the warm vinegar solution hit the roof of your ear canal first.
Squeeze the bulb, steadily but not forcefully, so that the solution is flowing at a steady rate but not fast enough to hurt your eardrum. Repeat until you see ear wax draining into the basin with the warm vinegar solution. It may take 5 or 6 flushes before the ear wax is completely removed.