Some people just have waxy ears. Sadly, I’m one of them. Occasionally, it would get bad enough to go see my GP to get them flushed out, where they’d use the hydrogen peroxide squirt water method.
Those OTC ear cleaning kits don’t use hydrogen peroxide; they use something similar that isn’t as drying but is much weaker. (Not nearly the satisfying rice krispie sound.)
One time it got really bad; my home hydrogen peroxide squirty bulb trick didn’t work, and the GP couldn’t clear them up either, (both ears!) so he sent me to an ear, nose & throat guy. That guy subjected me to a quite painful vaccuum torture, and still no luck. So he prescribed me some drops, which after a couple days softened up the wax and I was fine.
I tell you all this because of the conversation I had with the EN&T guy:
“What did you put in your ears?”
“Hydrogen peroxide, then flushed with water.”
“That’s the worst thing you can do.”
“But my GP did it before sending me to you.”
“The hydrogen peroxide dries out the wax, and it looks like you managed to squirt some water behind the wax. So no water in your ears until the drops work; keep them covered in the shower.”
That little bottle of drops lasted me about 5 years; it worked like a charm every time. But then I ran out, and I was bummed, until I read a NYT article that recommended mineral oil.
So I picked up a bottle of mineral oil, and filled up the little dropper bottle with it, and it works every bit as well as the prescription stuff.
So I strongly recommend against using hydrogen peroxide or water. Drip seven or so drops of mineral oil into the ear and then lightly place a cotton ball (or half of one) in your ear and let it chill for 20 minutes. (You can keep your head upright.) Do this twice a day and you’ll be good to go after a couple days.
The hydrogen peroxide works much faster, of course, but if you’re unlucky you could wind up sitting in a chair in agony with a vaccuum torture device drilling into the side of your head.