Skin Home > Hydrogen Peroxide for Earwax

Because hydrogen peroxide is a product that many people already have at home, it is commonly used to help remove excess earwax -- hydrogen peroxide helps soften and break up the wax. However, not all cases respond to this treatment, and sometimes irrigation of the ear is required. Do not use hydrogen peroxide in your ear if you have an ear infection or a perforated eardrum.

Using Hydrogen Peroxide for Earwax

Hydrogen peroxide is a commonly used home remedy for aiding in the removal of earwax. Although commercially available products for earwax removal (such as Debrox®) are available, many people would rather use something they already have on hand, such as hydrogen peroxide.
 

Does It Really Work?

Hydrogen peroxide works to soften and break up impacted earwax and may be helpful in many cases. However, some people will still require irrigation -- a technique involving flushing the ear canal with warm water, usually using an ear syringe. Some particularly stubborn cases will require the assistance of a healthcare provider.
 
There is little evidence that hydrogen peroxide works better than any other topical products for earwax removal. Such products can include:
 
  • Almond oil
  • Mineral oil
  • Olive oil
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda mixed with water
  • Water
  • Sterile saline
  • Murine® ear drops
  • Debrox ear drops
  • Colace® (docusate sodium) liquid, a product that is usually taken by mouth as a stool softener.
     
Any topically applied product for earwax removal (including hydrogen peroxide) can potentially result in discomfort, temporary hearing loss, dizziness, and skin irritation.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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