Hydrogen peroxide (H202) in a concentration of 3% or less is a common bottle to find in a household remedy kit. This antimicrobial agent is a solution for getting rid of stains, sanitizing surfaces, supporting oral health, and eliminating molds or fungus.
While there are plenty of uses for low concentrations of food-grade hydrogen peroxide, a useful remedy to remember is its effectiveness in removing excess wax and preventing ear infections from developing.
Remove Earwax with 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
Cerumen, better known as earwax is a natural substance that the body produces to keep the ears moist, lubricated and free from bacteria. Excess cerumen is washed out of the ear naturally, however – if the body produces enough cerumen to block your ears, hydrogen peroxide is a cleaning method to soften up that wax and eliminate the discomfort or blocked ears.
This procedure is simple and can be performed at home with a 3-5 ml syringe or dropper:
- Add 1-3 ml of a 3% food-grade hydrogen peroxide in a syringe or dropper
- Tilt your head to the side apply a few drops to the ear canal
- Pump in the hydrogen peroxide by slowly pressing on the tragus (the small pointed part that protects the canal) for 10-15 seconds. You should hear a bubbling noise
- Tilt your head the opposite way over the sink so that the hydrogen peroxide can drain from your ear
- Use a cotton swab to carefully remove any earwax from your outer ear
- Allow to dry and then repeat on the other side
Treat External Ear Infections with 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
External ear infections (otitis externa), also known as swimmer’s ear, consists of inflammation of the outer ear and it usually causes itching, pain, redness and discharge of clear fluid.
At the first sign of an external ear infection, you can utilize the antimicrobial benefits of 3% hydrogen peroxide to prevent an infection from developing:
- Tilt your head to one side and put a few drops of hydrogen peroxide into the infected ear.
- Leave for 10 to 15 seconds, no ‘pumping’ required, then tilt your head to the other side to allow the hydrogen peroxide solution to drain out from the ear
- Use a cotton swab to gently remove any excess earwax from the outer ear
- Repeat 2 to 3 times a day until your ear infection has gone completely
Remember that you should never insert an object into your ear canal in an attempt to unclog. This will merely push the wax even deeper and further blockage, infection or serious damage may occur.
Excess earwax should be removed regularly as a buildup can lead to ear infections.
It should be known that hydrogen peroxide should not be taken internally as it may cause irritation, even in concentrations of 3% or less. Ingesting a higher concentration of more than 10% can result in severe injury such as ulcers, internal burning, vomiting or intense abdominal pain  .
While 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide is generally safe for ear infections, you shouldn’t use it if you have an inner ear infection, perforated or punctured eardrums. If a blockage is severe or if the earwax blockage is affecting your hearing, you should visit your medical practitioner.
Always choose a “food-grade” hydrogen peroxide which has been manufactured and tested as safe to use with and around food, for processing and sanitizing. Industrially produced hydrogen peroxides which are not certified as food grade are likely to contain harmful heavy metals, chemicals and stabilizers and these should always be avoided.
- Hydrogen Peroxide Poisoning. B Watt-A Proudfoot-J Vale – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15298493
- National Capital Poison Control https://www.poison.org/articles/2012-jun/hydrogen-peroxide
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