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How to Quickly and Safely Clean Your Ears

Your ears are one of your most valuable possessions, and like anything else you own, you’ve got to take care of them. The importance of learning how to safety clean your ears cannot be understated.

But most of us are not ear or hearing specialists, and you don’t want to do something wrong and damage your ears. So if you’re wondering how to safely clean your ears, you’re in luck – cleaning them is something you can do yourself, at home, quickly and easily using common household items.

Since there are multiple parts to every ear, make sure you read all of the below to stay safe and keep your ears properly and thoroughly cleaned!

Clean Out the Earwax From the Outer Ear Canal

Earwax is actually a good thing. It helps prevent dust and germs from entering the inner parts of your ear. But having too much can be unhealthy. A buildup of wax can block your hearing. It can also cause dizziness, pain, itching or ear infections by trapping bacteria.

Typically, your ears are self-cleaning, but sometimes wax can gather in amounts larger than what will go away on its own. So it's best to periodically clean the wax out of your outer ear canal by using:

  • Salt water
  • Olive oil
  • Hydrogen peroxide

Salt Water Is a Way to Safely Clean Your Ears

Using salt water is one of the best solutions for how to safely clean your ears. You can mix a teaspoon or so of salt into some warm water and dissolve the salt entirely. Get a cotton ball or two and soak them in the water.

Turn your ear towards the ceiling and squeeze some of the solution from the cotton ball into your ear – not too much, just a few good drops. Stay in that position with your ear up for three to six minutes, then turn that same ear towards the floor and let it drain.

The salt water will soften the wax and loosen it up while it soaks, and draining your ear will get rid of the solution and the earwax that it pulled loose. Use a cloth to finish the job around the outer ear and clear away the last of the wax, as well as dry your ear off.

Olive Oil Can Be Used to Safely Clean Your Ears

Warmed olive oil has a similar softening effect on earwax, and you can apply without the use of cotton balls, though it does require more time. Simply drop four or five drops into your ear in the same manner (held toward the sky), and let it stay there for ten to fifteen minutes.

Drain it out afterwards, and use a cloth to clear it away. Olive oil is great because it also carries antiseptic attributes and helps ward off ear infections!

Hydrogen Peroxide Can Safely Clean Your Ears

Hydrogen peroxide is something many people have around the house, as it is useful for a number of other things. When using it to clean the outer ear canal, you don’t need to warm it up, you may simply apply at room temperature in the same manner.

Afterwards, hold your ear toward the ground to allow the hydrogen peroxide to drain. It does have healing properties but may cause some uncomfortable stinging or a burning sensation for a few minutes, so most people typically avoid this option. But it is safe and effective.

Clear Your Eustachian Tubes to Safely Clean Your Ears

Deeper than your outer ear canal are the Eustachian tubes. It’s important to clear them as well because when they are clogged, they can cause pain, hearing dampening or distracting “popping” sensations inside your ear.

Luckily, the recommended methods of clearing them don’t take much time or any household resources at all. To clear them, you can simply close your mouth and hold your nose closed, and then gently try to blow out your nose. The pressure will clear the Eustachian tubes!

You can also simply try to yawn. Chewing gum also helps unclog them. Basically, anything that gets your jaw opening and closing can help clear your Eustachian tubes. You’ll feel a familiar pop when it happens. That pop means the pressure is equalized, and you’re good to go!

Talk to an Ear Specialist about Antibiotics

Antibiotics can be taken to destroy or inhibit the growth of microorganisms such as the pathogenic bacteria that can cause inner and middle ear infections. But you can’t simply pick them up over the counter; you’ll need a prescription.

If you see a doctor about an ear infection, you can ask them if an antibiotic such as amoxicillin might be helpful. But be cautious, as some oral antibiotics have been known to cause more hearing loss than they help. Antibiotics are not a standard solution for ear maintenance, and should be viewed much more seriously.

Contact North Shore Hearing P.C. for More Ways on How to Safely Clean Your Ears

Understanding how to safely clean your ears is important and can affect the way you experience the world. As hearing experts, North Shore Hearing P.C. offers innovative solution to a wide range of hearing conditions.

We provide free hearing screenings and free hearing consultations to help you understand where you stand. After your screening, we can provide personalized solutions to help you hear and experience your world as vividly as possible.​

Diane Faulknor, MA, CCC/A

After 18 years of experience in the field of audiology and hearing aid dispensing, I felt it was time to start my own practice which has led to the creation of North Shore Hearing, P.C. I take pride in the care I provide for my patients as hearing is not just a medical issues we need to deal with, but also the social and lifestyle ramifications that people with poor hearing live with on a day-to-day basis. Based on not only your hearing loss, but also the type of lifestyle you lead, we'll work together to fit you with the most appropriate hearing aid available in today's marketplace.