How to Clean Ears Without Q-Tips

by Chris Sherwood ; Updated September 28, 2017

Earwax is the ear's way of protecting itself against foreign invaders. Created by the cerumen glands, earwax creates a sticky barrier that helps trap things that could potentially harm the inner ear. Q-tips cotton swabs have often been the common tool for cleaning out ears. However, there is another method that has less chance of causing harm to the inner ear.

Items you will need

  • Washcloth
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Ear syringe
Step 1

Clean the outer parts of the ear. Take a warm, damp washcloth and place a small amount of mild body soap on it. Gently scrub the outsides of your ear, including behind the ears. It is best to do this while you are in the shower, as you can easily rinse the soap off your ear.

Step 2

Fill an ear syringe with hydrogen peroxide. Ear syringes can be bought with an ear-cleaning kit found in most local drugstores. Pour a small amount of hydrogen peroxide into a clean glass. Stick the tip of the syringe in the solution, and pull the back of the syringe towards you. This will draw the liquid into the syringe.

Step 3

Tilt your head and insert the solution. Tilt your head backwards and to the side to expose the ear that you want to clean. Gently press the back of the solution back to its original position to expel the hydrogen peroxide into the ear. Do not do this too quickly, or it will squirt other places besides in your ear and create a mess.

Step 4

Let the hydrogen peroxide react. Once the hydrogen peroxide is in the ear, it will react with the earwax. You will feel a bubbling and popping sensation in your ears. Once that sensation stops, tilt your head over a sink and let the hydrogen peroxide run out.

Step 5

Dry the ear. Take a clean towel and gently towel the ear. Do not stick the towel too deep inside the ear.

Step 6

Repeat the process again for the opposite ear.


  • Only clean your ears with hydrogen peroxide once a week. More than twice a week will cause the inner ear to dry out. If this does happen, use a small drop of sesame oil to rehydrate the inner ear.


About the Author

Chris Sherwood is a professional journalist who after years in the health administration field and writing health and wellness articles turned towards organic sustainable gardening and food education. He now owns and operates an organic-method small farm focusing his research and writing on both organic gardening methods and hydroponics.