Marinate your ear wax

Learn how marinating your ear wax properly can ensure successful removal

We understand how annoying it can be having your ears blocked with wax. We also understand that once it’s built up to a really significant level, you will feel like enough is enough and it needs to be removed from your ears now!

When people come to us for professional ear wax removal, we always advise that they really must soften the wax prior to appointment by applying medical grade olive oil drops for approximately five days. Despite this, many have often forgotten, applied the olive oil sparingly, or have just crossed their fingers and toes, hoping their ear wax will be soft enough for removal.

If your blocked ears are driving you crazy, please start softening your wax now so that we can be sure we can remove it comfortably and with ease on your first visit. If wax is too hard and impacted, any attempt to remove it can be very uncomfortable and, to be honest, it’s not going to work well at all which results in wasted money and time for you.

There are two really great ear wax softeners – one is medical grade olive oil, and the other is sodium bicarbonate drops; you can get both from pharmacies or prescribed for free (in Wales) from your doctor.

Olive oil is the most popular softener and so, with that in mind, I shall make this our focus. Olive oil encourages the natural movement of wax from the ear canal, it also softens it, making it easier to be removed.

Some patients may find that applying 2-3 drops at night for 2-3 nights prior to their wax removal appointment is enough; if your ears are incredibly full of ear wax, perhaps do it for a week prior to booking an appointment.

If you have continued problems with excess ear wax after removal (i.e., you have a very busy wax factory!), then try using 1-2 drops of olive oil, each week, in the affected ears, to prevent build up of hard impacted ear wax. You may also want to try medical grade olive oil spray. This is considered better at reducing wax build up and moisturising the ear canal, as it covers more area.

Using olive oil ear drops and sprays

Start this process of using olive oil products, regardless of whether you believe the ear wax to be hard and impacted, to ensure a successful ear wax removal appointment:

  1. Lie down on your side with the affected ear facing upwards.
  2. Gently pull the outer ear (the lug-hole stuck on the side of your head) backwards and upwards.
  3. Using room temperature olive oil, drop 2-3 drops into the ear canal (via the dropper – or you can use an olive oil spray), and gently massage the area in front of the ear.
  4. Stay in the lying position for about 10 minutes, and then wipe away any excess oil.
  5. Repeat the procedure with the other ear if necessary.

Using prescribed ear drops

If you are advised to use other ear drops, prescribed by a doctor or nurse, you can generally follow the instructions for olive oil drops above.

For prescribed ear drops, you are likely required to use the drops more often than olive oil. Follow the instructions on the bottle and make sure you complete your course of treatment.

If you have a known perforated ear drum, contact a hearing care professional or your doctor for advice before starting to use ear drops.

By Sonja Jones

Senior Audiologist & Clinical Director

If you feel that a build-up of ear wax seems to be impacting you, let one of our clinical team remove it safely, so that you can get your ears clear and healthy again.

Book online today, or contact us for in-clinic ear wax removal appointments in Cardiff, Taff’s Well, and Cowbridge.