Ways to Help Reduce Earwax Buildup

Helpful Prevention Choices

  • Rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide drops or irrigation
  • Earwax softening drops/agents
  • Irrigation with bulb syringe or irrigation kits
  • Checking of the ear canal for earwax by clinician in hearing aid users
  • Physically removing earwax by health care provider

Not Advised

  • Daily olive oil drops or sprays
  • Ear candling
  • Putting any objects in the ears (i.e. cotton-tipped swaps; pens/pen tops; paper clips)


Adapted from Schwartz SR, Magit AE, Rosenfeld RM, et al. Clinical Practice Guideline (Update): Earwax (Cerumen Impaction). Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2017;156(1_suppl):S1-S29.

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