5 Natural Remedies to Clean Your Ears Safely

01 February, 2021
Although they aren't the best option, if you decide to use cotton swabs to clean your ears, remember that they are only for external use.

Several home methods could clean your ears naturally and safely. They’re intended to slightly moisten the area and make it easier to remove excess wax. Do you want to know more? In that case, keep reading everything we’re going to tell you below.

In this artlcle, we’ll tell you more about cleaning your ears, what you should take into account, what you should avoid, and other interesting aspects that will prove helpful on a day-to-day basis.

Bad ear cleaning habits

Many people clean their ears by introducing objects such as cotton swabs or toothpicks into their ear canals. They believe that, by doing this, they can eliminate ear wax. However, this could make these foreign elements alter the pH and decrease the ability to protect against germs.

On the other hand, the ear has three parts: an external part (outer ear), a canal (middle ear), and the tympanic membrane at the back (internal ear). Ear wax, which is the ear’s natural means of protection, is found in the canal. It avoids water and other germs from entering the ears.

Below, discover how to clean them correctly.

What you shouldn’t do when you’re cleaning your ears

  • Don’t clean them with your fingers, as they easily accumulate germs and bacteria.
  • Avoid inserting cotton swabs, as this pushes the wax inside instead of facilitating its removal.
  • Don’t use candles to clean your ears.
  • Don’t clean your ears daily, as this can backfire. Ideally, you should do so every two to three days.

Discover: Habits for Good Food Hygiene

5 natural remedies to clean your ears safely

A person cleaning their eyes with a cotton swab.

1. Use a saline solution

Saline solutions are said to be the best option when it comes to cleaning ears naturally. To make it at home, you’ll need the following.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup warm water (125 ml).
  • 1 tablespoon of fine salt (10 g).

What to do:

  • Firstly, mix a tablespoon of fine salt in half a cup of warm water and stir well.
  • After that, soak a cotton ball in the solution and squeeze a few drops into the ear. 
  • Then, keep your head slightly tilted to the side, with the treated ear up.
  • Finally, after a few minutes, tilt your head to the opposite side, so that the solution drains out.

2. Hydrogen peroxide

Although some say that it’s advisable to clean your ears with hydrogen peroxide, you must be careful when using it, as it can irritate the ears. If you want to try it out, keep in mind that you must be careful.

Ingredients

What to do

  • Firstly, mix equal parts warm water and hydrogen peroxide.
  • Follow the same steps as with the saline solution, and apply the mixture with a soaked cotton ball or dropper.

3. Baby oil, olive oil, or mineral oil

A bottle of olive oil.

Another home remedy to clean the ears naturally at home is baby oil. However, olive oil or mineral oil have also been used.

Ingredients

  • A few drops of baby oil, olive oil, or mineral oil, whichever you prefer.

What to do

  • Firstly, place a few drops in the ear to soften the wax and allow the oil to work overnight.
  • Then, place a cotton ball in your ear so that the oil doesn’t leak out before reaching the wax.
  • In the morning, take out the cotton ball and clean the excess oil.

4. Vinegar and alcohol

This is another risky remedy. Thus, if you decide to use it, you must be very careful. To make it, follow these steps:

Ingredients

What to do

  • Firstly, mix equal parts white vinegar and alcohol.
  • Then, while tilting your head to one side, place a few drops of the solution in the ear, and allow to set for a few minutes.
  • After a few minutes, tilt your head to the other side to allow the solution to drain.

Read: 6 Things You Shouldn’t Clean with White Vinegar

5. Sterile water treatment

Sterile water treatment for the ears.

It’s said that, with two drops of sterile water at body temperature, it’s also possible to clean the ears. To do this, you just have to carefully inject sterile water with a syringe into the ears for a few minutes and then dry them very well afterwards with the help of a towel.

When to consult a doctor

Believe it or not, if you have doubts or feel discomfort, before proceeding to clean your ears with home remedies, it’s best to consult your doctor. This will help you avoid counterproductive reactions that can increase discomfort.

If you want to use a home remedy to remove cerumen impaction, it’s best to do it with your doctor’s authorization, since this increases the risk of complications and adverse reactions.

According to experts from the Visual Health, Optometric, and Audiological Development Foundation, if you have a cerumen impaction tendency or develop hearing problems, go to a specialist every so often for check-ups and to get the best indications.

Lee, L. M., Govindaraju, R., & Hon, S. K. (2005). Cotton bud and ear cleaning – A loose tip cotton bud? Medical Journal of Malaysia.