How to Clean Ear Wax at Home Safely?

Dr Neetu Modgil

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Neetu Modgil,
January 8, 2023

How to Clean Ear Wax at Home
Safe ear wax removal

How to clean ear wax at home: Many of us tend to clean earwax the moment when we notice that we have excessive earwax, but the earwax is actually good for our ears and cleaning in real terms cause more harm than good.

How to Clean Ear Wax at Home Safely?

Many of us don’t even care to talk about ear wax and prefer avoiding it assuming that it is bad, but in real terms ear wax is not at all bad. Excessive ear wax is a big cause for concern for many people; however, wax is not something to worry about because ear wax helps in trapping small particles and dust and blocking them from entering, infecting and damaging the eardrum. It is produced by the glands in the ear canal. The color, type and amount of ear wax are genetically influenced. In general ear wax dries up and falls out of the ear. However, sometimes ear wax gets trapped inside the ear canal and do not get out of the ear canal and cause wax impactions or ear wax blockage.

Facts about Earwax

Cerumen is the scientific name for earwax. It is formed from the secretions of the glands present in the outer ear canal and skin cells from the inner ear (sebum). Earwax can be dry and wet and the color may vary from tan to dark brownish black.

“How to clean earwax at home safely” is the most common question that many people ask me.

But what I strongly recommend them is this: “please do not clean your ear at home because the practical role of earwax is to lubricate your ears and keep them free from dryness and itching. Contrary to the common myth that earwax makes the ear dirty, it in fact helps in keeping the ear healthy as the wax helps prevent dust, dirt, small insects and other environmental substances from entering into ear.”

If you are the one who thinks that earwax should be removed on a regular basis as it is unhealthy to have a buildup of waxy substances in the ear – then I suggest you not to clean your ear as it gets clean itself.

Why ear wax removal at home is risky?

Earwax generally makes its way out on a regular basis in most people. When it gets out of the ear opening it is usually washed away or falls out and new wax is formed to replace the lost one. But when excessive earwax is produced or when the earwax is not getting cleared naturally in an effective manner then wax builds up and blocks the ear canal. And most of us when notice this try to clean the ear by several means – and one such method is by putting cotton swabs in the ear. Such risky methods rather than removing the wax pushes it further deep inside the ear causing wax impactions – which is risky.

After reading this you might have understood as to why using even soft cotton buds could cause more harm than good. Therefore, a general rule of thumb is to leave the earwax undisturbed even if you experience excess wax. If you think that you could block your ear, and then approach your ENT surgeon as early as possible.

How to remove earwax?

Don’t ever try to remove earwax on your own as your ear canal and eardrum are quite delicate and can easily be damaged by the objects that you place into ears. The risk of damaging your ears increases if you have had undergone ear surgery or if you have ear discharge or pain. The best bet would be to get the excess wax removed safely by an ENT surgeon.

To sum it up – the above facts about earwax have been divulged to you to provide you with the detailed knowledge of the earwax and the important role of earwax for the health of your ears. You must always keep some levels of safety while setting your own personal hygiene guidelines as far as your earwax is concerned. If you find anything really abnormal then don’t delay in seeing an ENT specialist.


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