Mixing equal parts rubbing alcohol and white vinegar and placing a few drops in the affected ear causes the ear to drain wax after a few minutes. This method actually dissolves the cerumen, as opposed to other methods that simply soften the wax.
Using alcohol and vinegar has the added value of preventing fungus and bacteria growth. This helps prevent infection in the event that too much wax drains from the ear. Other home remedies include flushing the ear with warm, salty water and applying a mixture of baking soda and water to the ear using a dropper or a cotton ball. Another option is to apply olive, almond, baby or mineral oil to a cotton ball and insert it into the ear. This softens the wax and allows it to drain. Warm water is also an effective treatment when inserted into the ear using a rubber bulb syringe.
Wax removal is usually necessary when wax impaction occurs. Symptoms of wax impaction include hearing loss, pressure, pain or draining. Home remedies such as using drops made with alcohol and vinegar prevent ear wax impaction. By flushing and cleaning the ear canal every few weeks, wax impactions are less likely to occur.