What Are The Different Types Of Ear Wax Removal?

Below we will discuss the most common methods of ear wax removal. You have probably been guilty of using a cotton bud yourself to try and remove ear wax however we will discuss why this should be avoided along with other methods you should stay clear of and those that are safe and recommended to use.

Cotton Buds

When it comes to DIY ear wax removal using cotton buds is probably the most common method used. Even though it is now widely known that cotton buds can do more harm than good it is still commonly the go-to approach. When someone uses a cotton bud they can see ear wax come out on the cotton tip and wrongly assume they have removed the ear wax from their ears. However, in many cases, a cotton bud actually makes matters worse and ends up pushing the majority of the wax further down the ear canal and compacting it further. There is also the risk that if the cotton bud is pushed too far in or used too harshly that damage can be done to the eardrum.


Candling is another method used by people at home to remove their ear wax and involves putting a hollow cone candle in the ear whilst the other side is lit. The claim is that the suction caused by lighting the candle draws out the ear wax from the inner ear, however, this method is extremely dangerous and can result in some serious injuries. There are many studies that show that candling is very ineffective and this procedure can result in serious burns if something is to go wrong.

Ear Syringing

Ear syringing is the classic way of removing ear wax by professionals but is no longer used by credible practices due to better techniques being developed that are more effective and safer. This procedure involved squirting water down the ear canal to dislodge the ear wax from the ear. Ear syringing can be very uncomfortable and even painful at times with the possibility of the eardrum becoming perforated in rare circumstances.

Ear Irrigation

Ear irrigation is the evolution of ear syringing and uses a pressure controlled electric irrigator to carefully use water to dislodge ear wax. usually, an experienced audiologist will start with the lowest pressure, gently dislodging any ear wax in the ear canal. If the ear wax is very impacted the pressure can be safely increased to remove even the most stubborn ear wax. The water used is set to a temperature near body temperature and since the pressure is controlled this treatment is comfortable and is much safer than its predecessor.


Microsuction is the latest advancement and is considered the gold standard treatment for ear wax removal. Microsuction uses a suction device to suck out the ear wax which is very effective and comfortable. This procedure is very safe and can even be used on people with perforated eardrums, unlike those treatments that use water. Microsuction usually only takes a few minutes meaning you can be in and out within 10-15 minutes.

If you have blocked ears or an issue with excessive ear wax buildup book in to see now of our expert audiologists today. We will examine your ears and if any ear wax is found we will use microsuction ear wax removal to remove the wax.