Olive Oil Ear Drops, Effectiveness, Uses and Safety

Olive oil is one of the common cooking oils that is used in the Mediterranean diet. Olive oil has many health benefits including lowering your risk of heart disease, cancer and other conditions. It is also a traditional home remedy that many people use for removing ear wax and treating ear infections.

Many people feel that they need to clean their ears and remove excess earwax, but there is no medical or hygiene need to do so, because the ear is completely self-cleaning and earwax plays an important role in the process. People produce different amounts of earwax and this is not related to hygiene.

So, read the article till the end to know more about the effectiveness of using olive oil ear drops and how to use it for yourself at home.

Uses of Olive Oil Ear Drops

Producing excess ear wax can affect your hearing, cause discomfort, and it can also trap bacteria that can increase risk of developing ear infection.

Many people use warm olive oil to break up earwax that has stuck in the ear canal. The olive oil helps to soften the earwax so you can easily remove it from the canal.

Some people suggest that placing a few drops of olive oil into your ear can treat ear infection, but there is no evidence that this remedy is effective. 

In a small study 2003 found that herbal ear drops which contain olive oil helped to reduce pain from ear infection in children, but these ear drops contain soothing herbs like lavender and calendula with olive oil.

Nowadays, most people use cotton swabs to clean their ears and also use them to remove excess earwax. But by using cotton swabs, there is a risk of accidentally sticking the swab too deep into the ear canal and damaging the eardrum.

Also, sticking the cotton swabs can push earwax deeper into the ear canal where it can harder to take it out. So, olive oil ear drops may be a safe alternative.

Does Olive Oil Ear drop Work?

In a small study in 2013, people who placed drops of olive oil in their ear every night to see the result, but they found that the earwax actually increased in the ears of people who used olive oil and also the olive oil did not help earwax to come out naturally.

But they got the benefits that the earwax was more easily removable.

A study 2010, suggested that olive oil is more effective than no treatment, and you can use olive oil to soften the earwax so you can easily remove it from the canal.

How to Use Olive Oil?

Before using olive oil, it is best to talk with a doctor to find out if olive oil is right for you or not. There is no specific evidence that olive oil is effective for common ear problems, but also, olive oil is not associated with any serious health condition.

To put olive oil in the ear, use an eyedropper or also you can dip a cotton swab in olive oil and allow the excess to go straight into the canal. Remember, don’t put the cotton swab in your ear.

You can use room-temperature olive oil and some people also use a bit of warm olive oil.

Here are some instructions to safely apply olive oil at home.

  • Lie down on your side with the affected ear facing up.
  • Then, gently pull your outer part of your ear up and back, this will open the ear canal and help the oil go straight into the canal.
  • Use an eyedropper to drop two to three drops of olive oil into the ear.
  • Then, gently rub the skin at the front of your ear canal to help the oil to work or settle down into the ear canal.
  • Lie down for minutes to let the ear absorb the olive oil, and oil may run out of the ear upon sanding or when you sit. Use the tissue or cloth to wipe it up.
  • If needed, you can repeat the same process in the other ear.  

If you are not seeing the desired results, then it is best to talk with a doctor for more help or treatment.


  • To treat an ear infection, do this process twice a day for three days.
  • For earwax removal, do this process once a day for two weeks.

Safety and Risks Using Olive Oil Ear drops

Generally, olive oil is safe to use in small amounts in the ear. However, a person with a ruptured eardrum should never put olive oil or any other substances in the ear.

People with an allergy to olive oil should not try this remedy. And irrigating the ear with olive oil can cause side effects like outer ear infections, itching, and skin irritation.

When using this remedy with children, do not use warm olive oil and you should talk with a doctor first, they can suggest olive oil is best for you or not.

QNA’s on Olive Oil Ear Drops

  • Is it Safe to Use Olive Oil Ear Drops

    Generally, olive oil is safe to use, there are few precautions you should take before using it in the ear.

    Don’t use olive oil in the ear if you have a ruptured eardrum, and first, you should see a doctor before using any remedy in your ear including any natural remedies. Don’t place cotton swabs or other objects into the ear to remove earwax or relieve itching.

    Make sure to use room-temperature olive oil or slightly warmed olive oil to avoid burning in your ear.

  • How to Choose an Olive Oil Products

    Choosing the best products is important, so you need to choose a high-quality olive oil if you’re using it for any medical purpose. When choosing the oil, look for extra virgin olive oil and this type of oil isn’t chemically processed.

    There are also available olive oil-based herbal ear drops that contain extracts from medicinal plants that might provide more benefits.


Using olive oil in the ear may have some benefits, but there is no sufficient evidence that it is more effective than medical remedies. Some people suggested that it can do more harm than good when it comes to removing earwax.

You can use it for a short period of time for both earwax removal or ear pain, with following a few precautions like using a small amount of oil and not overheating it. It is best to consult a doctor if their symptoms do not improve.  

Hopefully, you like this article, if you have any questions and suggestions kindly put them in the comment box below. 

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