How to Clean Dog Ears with Hydrogen Peroxide

Update - 2017.06.12

Have you cleaned your dog’s ears lately?

Clean dog ears, just like humans! Your pet need to have their ears cleaned on a regular basis. Wax, dirt, grime, and God knows what else is constantly building up inside your dog’s ear. If left untreated for a prolonged period of time, your dog’s ear could become a home to mites, or even worse, get an infection! Here’s how to clean dog ears:

Inspect your dog’s ears!

Before you begin to clean dog ears, it’s important that you regularly inspect your dog’s ears. The first few times you do this, try tiring your dog out first so that they’re calm. Get them into a comfortable spot, such as their dog bed. It’s also good to reward the dog with high quality dog treats after they let you touch them. Luckily, dog’s LOVE having their ears played with. It’s practically orgasmic for them.

What to look for!

When you’re inspecting your dog’s ears, look at the general condition of them. Do you see anything aside from dirt and wax? If not, then you can begin to clean your dog’s ears. If you see any fluid drainage, severe wax buildup, deep scratches, cuts, or abrasions, it’s imperative that you DO NOT proceed with cleaning your dog’s ears. Consult your veterinarian immediately!

This is also a great opportunity to make sure that there aren’t any creatures, such as ticks and mites, living in your dog’s ear. Side note: Please make sure you’re inspecting your dog for ticks every time you come back in the house – especially if you’ve been in the woods!

Do your dog’s ears have a bit of a funky smell? This could be the sign of a yeast infection. Yeast infections are very common when you don’t clean your dog’s ears for a prolonged period of time. If you think your dog has a yeast infection in their ear, consult your veterinarian immediately. It’s easily treatable, but requires medication.

I’m ready now! so How to clean dog ears?

Great! I love your can-do attitude!! Okay, so, you have several options for cleaning your dog’s ears. You can pick up a dedicated dog ear cleaning solution, such as Zymox Ear Cleaner. However, common household items such as vinegar and hydrogen peroxide can be used to clean dog ears. Do not, under any circumstances, use rubbing alcohol in your dog’s ears. Rubbing alcohol dries out your dog’s ears, which can lead to cracking and infection.

Great! So what’s needed to clean dog ears?

I’m accustomed to using hydrogen peroxide, so I’m going to focus on that. Before you start, make sure your hydrogen peroxide is room temperature. Dogs really do not like cold liquid in their ears!

You’re going to need cotton balls, hydrogen peroxide, water, a tablespoon, a small bowl, and a dry cloth.

Here’s how to clean dog ears!

  1. Pour 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide into a bowl
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of water
    1. Note: If your dog’s ears are super dirty and you need more cleaning solution, add 1 part water for every 1 part hydrogen peroxide
  3. Stir the mixture
  4. Dab a cotton ball into the mixture
  5. Gently rub the damp cotton ball onto the outer rim of your dog’s inner ear using circular motions
  6. Slowly move towards the inside of your dog’s ear with the circular motions
    1. Note: Get a new cotton ball whenever necessary. You want to be removing the wax and grime, not spreading it
  7. Go until you’re just on the outside of your dog’s ear canal. It’s VERY IMPORTANT that you do NOT go into your dog’s ear canal!
  8. When you’re done with circular motions, dampen a new cotton ball and place it in the middle of your dog’s ear
  9. Smush your dog’s ear around the cotton ball and gently massage
  10. Repeat steps 4-9 for the other ear.
  11. Take the dry cloth and dry off your dog’s ears

That’s it! You’ve successfully cleaned your dog’s ears! Great job!

If your dog’s ears still aren’t cleaned, then you can try a dedicated dog ear cleaning solution.  Here we present a list of good products that can help you to clean your dog’s ears.

Our top 5 products to clean dog’s ears

1. Zymox Ear Cleanser With Bio-Active Enzymes

The Zymox ear cleanser is a cleaning product for dog ears. It is marketed as an effective, non-toxic way to manage dirty ears. This ear cleanser is a thin product, so it is easy to work into all areas of your dog’s ears. It is quick to administer, and you may immediately see a difference in the outer areas of the ears. One thing to note about Zymox is that over the first couple of days after application, you may see MORE “grime” on your dog’s ears than you would if you used peroxide in dogs ears, for instance. This result is perfectly normal and is a result of the deep-down wax and build-up working its way out of the ear canal. In addition to being an excellent way to clean the ears when there is an active infection, using this regularly for maintenance will keep your dog’s ears cleaner, healthier and less prone to irritation and itchiness. Many customers report excellent results with this product and find that it works just as good as the more expensive brands you may purchase from the veterinarian. Additionally, there are no harsh chemicals, so your dog will appreciate the immediate relief without added pain.

Get this product here

2.  Ear Cleaner for Dogs and Cats with Aloe Vera, Tea Tree Oil & Vitamin E 

This particular Paws Ear Cleaner for Dogs and Cats with Aloe Vera, Tea Tree Oil & Vitamin E is an ear cleaner approved for use in both cats and dogs. It offers many benefits when compared to the dog ear infection home remedy peroxide. First and foremost, Particular Paws Ear Cleaner is ideal for both treatment and prevention of ear infection. Plus, the Aloe Vera, Tea Tree Oil, and Vitamin E are excellent ways to promote soothing and healing of an irritated ear. Healing of this is crucial if your dog (or cat) has been scratching at the infection for some time. Using this soothing treatment will allow the ear to heal and reduce the risk of long-term ill effects. Even if you aren’t sure how to clean dog’s ears you’ll find that this is particularly easy to apply. All you need to do is squeeze a few drops in the outer areas of the ear and massage gently so that it works its way down deep. You may be able to wipe away some grime immediately, and more build-up will work its way to the surface over the next couple of days. Particular Paws Ear Cleaner is also 100% satisfaction guaranteed, so there is no risk when trying this product for your pet.

Get this product here

3. EcoEars Dog Ear Infection Formula

Eco Ears Dog Ear Infection Formula is a top-rated, natural product that is approved for use with many different dog ear issues. It provides multi-symptom relief without the addition of pharmaceuticals, synthetic chemicals, hydrocortisone (or other steroids) or antibiotics. While you may use this product when your dog is suffering from an active infection, ear mites of serious dirtiness, you can also get a great benefit by utilizing Eco Ears as a maintenance solution. Including the product as part of your regular grooming activities will keep ear dirtiness at bay and may even prevent an infection from occurring in the first place. The before and after pictures offered by the company are hard to ignore—you can immediately see a difference in how the dogs’ ears look, and can only assume that the pet is more comfortable and happy too. The only complaint many pet owners have about Eco Ears is the significant amount of solution that must be applied—you fill the dog’s ear cavity. This can make the product harder to apply and costly than some other solutions. However, with the excellent results and all-natural formula, it may still be a good choice for many pet owners.

Get this product here

4. SEAMUS Otic Ear Solution 

seamus otic ear cleaner

SEAMUS Otic Ear Solution is a professionally formulated dog ear treatment designed for long term relief. SEAMUS is a remedy for mites, debris, bacteria, general itchiness and even bad smell. It is a very gentle solution, making it an excellent choice for daily or weekly use as a preventative. When ears are very dirty or irritated, you can even use it multiple times a day. Applying with a cotton ball is relatively easy. Some of the soothing ingredients in the product will give your pet nearly immediate relief from pain and irritation. This ear cleaner includes Essence of Cucumber, Melon, Aloe Vera and Oatmeal Extract, all of which have been shown to provide quick relief from ear problems. This is a no-sting formula, so your dog will be less likely to be bothered by treatment. Additionally, there are drying ingredients that help the ear canal to heal over long term use. You’ll find your pet is happier and healthier when using a product like this to get ear issues taken care of and maintained over time. Finally, unlike other products, SEAMUS has a very pleasant smell, this is especially beneficial when your pet is facing issues that cause his or her ears to stink.

Get this product here

5. Doggie Pit Stop Dog & Cat Ear Infection Solution Formula

Doggie Pit Stop Dog & Cat Ear Infection Solution Formula can be used in the treatment of ear infections, irritations, itchiness and mites in both dogs and cats. This is a fast-working treatment that cleans and deodorizes, leaving your pet feeling his or her best. When used regularly, it will not only relieve itchiness but also restore your pet’s ears to a healthy condition. You’ll love that there are no harsh chemicals so that you can use it regularly as a preventative. Plus, your pet will be less bothered by the application process. The product itself is fully biodegradable, and it is packaged in a recyclable container—making Doggie Pit Stop a green product. In today’s environmentally-conscious world, this is a great benefit. If you have been using hydrogen peroxide dog ear remedies, you’ll immediately see the difference when you switch to a natural product like this. There is less burning and pain when administering the product, assuring your pet will not be bothered by the treatment process. Finally, Doggie Pit Stop is 100% satisfaction guaranteed by the manufacturer, so you can try it out on your dog or cat and find out for yourself if the product meets your needs.

Get this product here


Regularly cleaning your dog’s ears is very important to having a happy and healthy dog. This is a great way to bond with your dog, since they love being groomed and having their ears massaged! The best part is that it takes about 5 minutes to clean dog ears! It’s so simply!

Like what you read? Be sure to check out our product reviews!

  1. Reply
    jim November 6, 2016 at 3:44 am

    can you squirt a 50/50 solution with a comman sprayer to loosen the black whatever it is in my dogs ear

  2. Reply
    Joe November 9, 2016 at 8:56 am

    Hi Jim,

    I wouldn’t advise that. I don’t see a particular need to use a common sprayer. What’s going to remove the debris from inside your dog’s ear is the agitation caused by the cotton ball. The 50/50 solution is just acting as an agent to loosen the debris.

  3. Reply
    Trish December 22, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    How often do you recomend cleaning my dogs ears?

    • Reply
      Joe January 2, 2017 at 2:05 pm

      Hi Trish,

      I clean my dogs’ ears once per week, at minimum. I spot check the ears when I’m cleaning my dogs’ eyes every night. If I see that they’re dirty, I’ll clean them as needed. But once per week is fine.

  4. Reply
    winnie January 9, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    yh dog does not like his ears cleaned. I need my husband to hold his head down I feel so bad doing this to him but it has to been done, Any solutions? He gets up and goes into another room when He sees the container I keep all his cleaning stuff in

    • Reply
      Joe January 11, 2017 at 7:14 pm

      Hi Winnie,

      If it helps, lots of owners have this problem with their dogs. The best advice I ever received regarding any dog training, which I consider this to be, is to initially train the dog when they’re exhausted. With that said, my advice to you is to tire your dog out. When s/he’s about to fall asleep on their bed, pet her while your husband cleans the ears. You may also want to swaddle your pup the first few times.

      And as always, be sure to give plenty of praise afterwards.

      Let me know how it goes!

  5. Reply
    Christin September 5, 2017 at 11:32 am

    My dog has a lot of affects his ears the most..we use the liquid and the cream drops..and then we clean them by scooping the debris it’s black..looks like dry blood..I’m wondering since he has allergies..would hydrogen peroxide hurt or make it worse?

    • Reply
      Site Manager September 27, 2017 at 2:47 pm

      Hi Christin, We recommend hydrogen peroxide as basic care for dog’s ears. In this case it is best that you consult with your veterinarian.

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