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How To Clean Ear Wax in Kids

Kids rarely produce enough earwax to need cleaning, according to the KidsHealth site 1. Wax is part of the ear's natural cleaning process 2. The body produces enough for its needs and disposes of it naturally. Sometimes nature needs a little help, but you must clean a kid's ears carefully to avoid damaging them.

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Position the child with the ear to be treated pointing at the ceiling. This will allow you to put a wax-dissolving substance in the ear without spilling it.

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Fill an eye dropper with mineral oil, and use it to put the oil into the ear canal. You can also use baby oil or purchase over-the-counter drops specifically meant for wax removal.

Hold the child's head in position for 5 minutes, if possible. You may need to shorten this step with very young children who don't want to hold still for that long. The removal will be more effective if your child can remain still for the entire recommended time.

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Place a towel over the child's ear. Hold it there while she straightens up into a normal position. Allow the liquid to drip out into the towel. Gently wipe the outer ear area to remove excess oil, but don't put anything into the canal.

Repeat the process with the opposite ear if it also needs cleaning. This can be done at the same time if the child is willing to sit through the process again. Otherwise you can do it a day or two later. This earwax removal technique can be repeated once or twice a week until the ears are cleaned to your satisfaction.


Ear candling is sometimes touted as a way to remove kids' earwax because it is natural and painless, but KidsHealth warns it has never been scientifically proven to work. The flame is close to the child's skin, posing a burn danger, and hot wax drops can also cause injury. Stick to proven earwax removal methods.


Never put anything inside a child's ear. Even a soft cotton swab can potentially damage the ear drum or push wax farther down the ear canal, compounding the problem. Take the child to a doctor if you cannot safely remove the wax at home. Physicians have special tools to remove earwax quickly and effectively.