Distilled White Vinegar

Perhaps the safest and most effective wax PREVENTION technique is the use of vinegar drops, with or without alcohol.  While this is not meant as a solution to an active earwax impaction, it is an excellent way to prevent wax buildup without the downsides noted above.  Vinegar is an acid, and as such it is an excellent antiseptic used in appropriate circumstances.  Acid prevents bacterial and fungal growth.  This eliminates the infection concern present with some other remedies and techniques.   It will dissolve the edges of the wax, allowing it to migrate out as intended by nature.

Using 4-5 drops in the ear once or twice weekly and allowing it to soak for a minute or two before showering (adjust the frequency as necessary) is often enough to prevent frequent visits for ear cleaning.  This can be mixed with alcohol equal parts (alcohol helps to “dry” the vinegar).  If wetness of the ears tempts you to try q tip use, use a few drops of plain alcohol, or a hair dryer set on low for a short time.

As noted above, DO NOT put vinegar or anything else in the ear if you have ear pain, a hole in the ear drum, or a history of untreated ear problems (unless directed by your physician).  Putting liquids, particularly vinegar, into the ear with a hole in the drum will result in extreme discomfort which can last for minutes to an hour.  The likelihood of permanent damage is low, but spare yourself the discomfort.  When in doubt, come in for an exam.