Book an appointment
Book a free appointment with one of our experts at a store near you.
What happens in a hearing test?
Understand what happens at your free hearing test with Boots Hearingcare

How to Remove Stubborn Earwax at Home

If you've ever experienced earwax blockage, you know how uncomfortable it can be and it can lead to discomfort, hearing problems, or even ear infections. 

Impacted earwax is common and can be tempting to address with a cotton bud. However, before taking drastic measures, read on to learn safe and effective ways to remove stubborn earwax at home. 

Why do I have excessive earwax?

Several factors can contribute to excessive earwax, such as gathering dirt and debris, prolonged presence in the ear canal, or underlying conditions like eczema and dry skin. 

Some people naturally produce more earwax without any apparent reason.

Best way to remove stubborn earwax at home

Avoid cotton buds or putting any object inside your ear canal. This can push the earwax deeper, potentially causing a ruptured eardrum or an ear infection.

You can always get professional help to safely remove earwax. Find your nearest wax removal clinic, or alternatively, you can try these effective home remedies:

Soften the earwax


1. Soak a cotton ball in plain warm water, saline solution, or hydrogen peroxide.
2. Tilt your head so the affected ear faces up.
3. Drip a few drops of the liquid into the ear.
4. Keep your head tilted for about 60 seconds to let gravity pull the fluid down to the wax.
5. Tilt your head the other way to let the fluid and wax mixture drain out


Over-the-counter ear drops can also help with small wax impactions. You can purchase wax removal spray from our online store.

Using ear cleaning drops


1. Lie down on your side with the affected ear facing up.
2. Place a few drops of the ear cleaner as directed.
3. Let the drops work for about five minutes.
4. Sit up and allow the liquid to come out with the wax. Wipe the mixture away with a tissue.

Use a warm compress


Applying a warm compress to the affected ear can help soften the earwax further and provide relief from discomfort:

1. Soak a washcloth in warm water and wring out the excess.
2. Hold the warm cloth against your ear for 5-10 minutes.
3. Follow up with gentle ear irrigation or allow gravity to help drain the wax naturally.

Excess earwax and hearing aids

If you use hearing aids, you might notice an increase in earwax production. Hearing aids can block the natural migration of earwax and stimulate glands to secrete more. This can lead to blockages in the vents and receivers of your hearing aids. If you notice a drop in hearing quality, get your hearing aids checked for wax buildup.

Removing stubborn earwax at home is manageable, but everyone’s situation is different. Ensure your eardrums are intact before attempting any home remedies. Introducing liquids into a damaged eardrum can lead to infections. If home remedies don’t work,  our healthcare providers use similar methods but with better tools and expertise, such as a thin, spoon-shaped curette designed for earwax removal.


Book earwax removal online