When you put peroxide in your ear does it bubble?

If you’ve ever wondered whether or not putting peroxide in your ear will create bubbles, look no further! Here we explore the science behind this popular myth and find out the answer to this question.

Will it bubble?

According to a 2018 article, hydrogen peroxide can result in residual bubbling inside the ear canal.

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What is peroxide?

Peroxide, also called hydrogen peroxide, is a clear and highly reactive chemical that has the chemical formula H2O2. It can be formed by using an acid and a metal catalyst — for example, potassium dichromate will react with sulfuric acid to produce hydrogen gas and water. The name can be confusing since it has two “oxygen” atoms (per-oxid) even though there is only one oxygen atom (O) in its chemical formula.

What is hydrogen peroxide?

Hydrogen peroxide is an oxidizing agent, so it basically reacts with anything it touches to produce oxygen. You can think of it as a “poison” that kills cells by creating oxygen. It also works well as an antibacterial agent, hence the popularity of cleaning products like bleach and hydrogen peroxide.

What does it do?

Hydrogen peroxide can kill bacteria by forming toxic free radicals that then attack the cell walls and membranes of the bacteria causing damage to them (cell death). It also acts as an antiseptic by killing harmful microorganisms like bacteria.

How does it work?

Because hydrogen peroxide is easily oxidized with heat, light, acids, bases and metals it is possible that when mixed with human (or even animal) ears that there will be some type of reaction. The most common reaction that occurs with hydrogen peroxide is for it to break down into water and oxygen.

Is it safe?

Yes, if you are using the recommended concentrations of hydrogen peroxide (3%) then it is safe to use in your ears (or anywhere on the body). This concentration seems to be very effective at killing bacteria. It is important to remember, however, not to use more than the recommended concentration of 3% peroxide since higher concentrations can cause mild burns.

How is it used?

This type of treatment is called tympanocentesis and it involves putting hydrogen peroxide in the ears to treat infections. It is effective because peroxide disrupts the cell membranes of microorganisms like bacteria and fungi. This ends up killing the bad germs in your ear so they aren’t able to cause infection.

You can also use 3% hydrogen peroxide to flush out earwax buildup, although this process will require a visit to the doctor’s office instead of trying this at home.

What about the bubbles?

In order to actually form a bubble, you need to have a lot of oxygen interacting with a lot of water. Oxygen is a small molecule that easily forms a bubble when it comes in contact with water. This means that putting 3% hydrogen peroxide in your ears won’t create any bubbles.

When the hydrogen peroxide breaks down into water and oxygen, it becomes slightly acidic which can then react with water molecules and form either sodium hydroxide or calcium hydroxide depending on the temperature of the environment it is in. These different water molecules can then form small bubbles, but it’s not the hydrogen peroxide that is creating them, it’s the water.

The Bubble Myth: The Truth Revealed

So what would happen if you put high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide in your ears? Well, you would basically get a lot of bubbles, but not because the hydrogen peroxide was creating them. If you use too much hydrogen peroxide (such as 30% concentration - DO NOT DO THIS!), then the extra oxygen and water will react and bubble up and out of your ear (not something we recommend!).

How much H2O2 can you use?

To limit the amount of bubbles, if you must use hydrogen peroxide to clean your ears, then a concentration of 3% is a good place to start. Be sure to read the directions and only flush the hydrogen peroxide in for a few seconds just as directed.

Also, remember that it is important not to let any of the 3% hydrogen peroxide get into your eyes since it can cause mild burns. If you have any questions or concerns about using this product then consult your doctor before doing so.


To summarize, hydrogen peroxide will kill germs in your ear and help your ears to feel cleaner since it helps flush out earwax and debris. It is not necessary to use hydrogen peroxide in the ears because the alcohol swabs work just as well and sometimes better!

If somehow you run into hydrogen peroxide then it is safe to use this around your ears or around any other part of your body. Hydrogen peroxide does not need to be used for anything else than its intended purpose, so don’t put it on your skin or anywhere else except above the ears where they need cleaning.


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Experience : Hi, I am Nick, and I have suffered with ear problems my whole life, mainly tinnitus. I have tried a lot of products to help protect my ears over this period, and several devices to block out the constant ringing

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