1. Q-Tips are not meant for cleaning earwax out of your ears. If you say it's worked for you, you're just lucky.
2. Alcohol is not what is recommended for use - that would be peroxide. Don't ever go out and buy the earwax removal kits if you hate wasting money (unless you need the dropper) because that stuff is just peroxide. If you are really, really impacted, pour a cap-full of peroxide into your ear, lay on your side and let it sit for at least ten minutes. Drain, irrigate with warm - not hot - water.
3. I've found a good middle ground for those who just really want to keep using Q-Tips for some reason. I have a condition regarding my ear wax and we'll leave it at that. I take a Q-Tip, dip it in peroxide, and let it sit in my ear. You do not push anything, you do not insert it deep, you do not forcibly remove any wax, you are simply using the q-tip as a method of delivering peroxide to the wax, which dissolves it on contact. This is the only acceptable method of using a Q-Tip, and should only be done occasionally to keep up with the maintenance, not to clear out an impacted blockage.
4. Don't use any of the home remedies, honestly. Vinegar is not a great solution because peroxide will work perfectly. There is no reason to use anything else. My experience on this goes back a few years. I went to the doctor SIX TIMES in 2010 with impacted ear wax (at first thought it was an ear infection due to the pain, but really it was so impacted it was stabbing into my ear drum) and have learned plenty of lessons for it.