Many try to clean their ears with cotton swabs that probably do more to push wax in than remove it. I have heard from patients about some very creative methods and fancy wrist action to get the wax out that might or might not get the job done. One easy and inexpensive way to keep your ear canals clean is to take a few drops of hydrogen peroxide mixed with a few drops of water. Lay on your side and put a few drops in your opposite ear canal. When the fizzing sound stops, just lean over to drain it out. It is a cheap way to slowly break down the wax if you repeat daily for several days and then just once every few weeks for maintenance. If you have a known or suspected 'ruptured ear drum,' then an ENT specialist should do that for you.