How to use olive oil drops

Ear Care & Audiology Services

Most people find that applying 2 drops of olive oil, 1 or 2 times a day, for 3 to 5 days before their ear care appointment, is helpful for wax removal. Please read these instructions in full before using your drops.

  • Lie down on your side with your affected ear upwards.
  • Gently pull your ear backwards and upwards, gripping your ear at the top.
  • Using room temperature olive oil and the dropper, drop 1 to 2 drops in your ear canal (the hole) and gently massage the area just in front of the ear (your tragus).
  • Stay lying down for 10 minutes and then wipe away any excess oil. Do not put any cotton wool in your ear canal, as this will absorb the oil.
  • Some of the oil may spill out of your ear. Gently wipe this away with a clean tissue.
  • Repeat this process for your other ear if needed.

Information for people with a Mastoid Cavity

The instructions above can be used for any ear drops. When administering drops when you have a mastoid cavity, they have to reach two areas; your ear canal and your mastoid cavity.

  • Follow the instructions above to administer your drops, however instead of staying on your side to let the drops go down your ear canal, please lay on your back. This will make sure that the drops reach the back of your mastoid cavity.
  • Remain on your back for 10-15 minutes, and then gently wipe any excess with a clean tissue when you get back up.



Produced by Kirsty Cartwright & Jodie Whitehead. January 2023. Revision Due January 2025. 
Version 1.0 © The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust 2023. All rights reserved.

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