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Ear Wax Removal Methods

There are a number of methods to remove ear wax but only a few are recommended in the UK. Microsuction, and irrigation are widely recognised as the safest forms to effectively remove troublesome ear wax.

Recommended Procedures


Microsuction involves placing a suction tube into the ear canal to gently suck the wax out.

There is no water involved, is a completely dry procedure and can be done on ears that are not suitable for irrigation.


Irrigation uses a controlled flow of warm water to flush the wax from your ear. It is often a pleasant feeling and is very gentle.

It requires the application of olive oil for 3-5 days prior to the procedure being performed.

Alternative therapies

Ear Syringing

Ear syringing is an outdated method of removing wax and should not be performed in the UK as it is no longer a recommended practice. If you have had a bad experience from syringing in the past it should not impact on your ability to have irrigation.

Hopi Ear Candles

‘Hopi ear candles do not remove wax from the ears and should be discouraged’ as stated by the British Society of Audiology. There is a high risk of burning yourself and no scientific evidence of effectiveness.

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