Removal of Ear Wax Using Hydrogen Peroxide

By Patricia | February 2, 2010

Ear wax, or cerumen, cannot be completely removed with the use of hydrogen peroxide. This is because the chemical constitution of cerumen is that of a lipid; hydrogen peroxide will therefore not have much of an effect in removing ear wax at all. Doctors, however, do use hydrogen peroxide when syringing, or cleaning, out the ear. This is because of the dual purpose nature of hydrogen peroxide. First of all, because it is more of an aqueous material, it can displace ear wax and since it has antibacterial properties, it also disinfects the ear. What is more important in the use of hydrogen peroxide is that it also eats away into some of the dead tissue in the ear canal that can sometimes be a result of an infection. Besides this, the benefits of hydrogen peroxide in ear cleaning are limited.

Ear wax is a substance that consists of triglycerides, wax monoesters, essential fatty acids, and a degree of cholesterol. All of these substances are lipid in nature and therefore the oily and waxy consistency of the material. This makes sense because it is supposed to be a lubricant to the ear canal as well as a protective layer against infections. Ear infections are quite common and sometimes caused by infection of the outer ear, but very early in life are commonly caused by nose and throat infections. These infectious bacteria will travel to the ear through the Eustachian tube and cause havoc in the middle ear. Outer ear infections include diseases like Swimmers ear. These are because of bacterial or protozoan infections from contaminated water attacking the delicate skin of the outer ear.

Clearing out wax from the outer ear is rarely required because the ear has a mechanism for pushing out older blobs of wax from the ear by movement of the jaw breaking up older layers of wax. This sometimes needs some help and since cerumen is mostly oily in nature, you need to use a solvent to dissolve the material. The best solvent that you can use to dissolve out oil is alcohol. You can use any alcohol, even from your bar, like vodka, whisky, or rum. Fill your ear with the alcohol and wait for a few minutes before draining it out. This may have to be repeated a few times. When you are done, stand under a jet of water for five minutes ensuring that the broken up wax is flushed out.

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