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10 Tips To Remove Water From Your Ear

Published: April 19, 2024

Updated: May 9, 2024

If you have water trapped in your ear canal, knowing how to clear it out can make a big difference. It’s not a pleasant feeling and can lead to muffled sounds, inflammation, and even the risk of an ear infection. Usually, the water will drain naturally, but there are times when it lingers, and you might need to take action. If your ear is inflamed or swollen you may have an ear infection. In this case, you will need to visit a medical professional ASAP. A prolonged ear infection could lead to hearing loss. 

If you have water trapped in your ear canal, don’t panic! There are many ways you can remove it at home.

Here are 10 tips to help you safely remove water from your ear.

Safely remove water from your ear

1. Jiggle your earlobe

If you’ve gone swimming, you’re probably already familiar with this method. It’s easy and, as the name suggests, you simply grab your earlobe and gently tug or wiggle it while tilting your head toward your shoulder.

2. Let gravity help

Gravity is a beautiful thing, and it’s great for more than just keeping us fixed on the ground. Lay on your side for a couple of minutes, or as long as you need, with a towel against your ear, and let gravity do the rest. The idea is to let the water slowly drain out of your ear.

3. Make a vacuum

No, you can leave the Hoover out of this. The vacuum we’re referring to here is a force that will “suck” the water out of your ear.

  • Tilt your head sideways, on the side of the affected ear, resting your ear on your cupped palm, creating a tight seal.
  • Gently pulse your hand back and forth against your ear in a rapid movement. Make sure to flatten your hand against your ear when you push against it, and cup your hand when you pull it away to generate the vacuum.
  • Allow the water to drain out of your ear.

4. Get a blow dryer

While it may seem strange to blow air into your ear if you are trying to get water out,it’s the heat from the hair that will help the water drain out of your ear. 

  • Switch your blow dryer onto its lowest setting.
  • Position your hair dryer roughly a foot away from your affected ear. Make sure to move the hair dryer in a back-and-forth motion. 
  • At the same time, gently tug down on your earlobe, to let the warm air into your ear.

5. Rubbing alcohol and vinegar drops

You might think that adding more liquid to your ear can’t be helpful. However, rubbing alcohol can help evaporate the water from your ear. Vinegar can help if the water is trapped because of earwax buildup. Please don’t use alcoholic spirits as they may damage your ear and don’t use this method if you are currently suffering from any of these conditions:

  • Middle ear infection.
  • Perforated eardrum.
  • Tympanostomy tubes.

Follow these steps to create the rubbing alcohol and vinegar solution and apply it:

  • Make the eardrops by combining equal parts rubbing alcohol and vinegar. 
  • Apply three or four drops of the rubbing alcohol and vinegar mixture into your ear using a sterile dropper.
  • After adding the drops, gently rub the outside of your ear. 
  • After 30 seconds, tilt your head sideways to let everything drain out. 

6. Hydrogen peroxide ear drops

Hydrogen peroxide is more than a cleaning agent or a hair-dying fad from the 90s. It can also help to clear debris and earwax buildup. Hydrogen peroxide is a great way to clear the blockage out if you have water trapped in your earwax buildup. Ear drops that contain hydrogen peroxide and urea are a great solution to unclog your ears. 

It is important to note that if you suffer from the following conditions, you should not use this method:

  • Pain, swelling, warmth, drainage, bleeding, or any other signs of infection or injury.
  • Middle ear infection.
  • Perforated eardrum.
  • Tympanostomy tube.

7. Olive oil

Olive oil is incredibly versatile and has been used in medicine for thousands of years. Olive oil can help remove water from your ears and prevent ear infections.

Follow these steps to remove water from your ear using olive oil: 

  • In a small bowl, warm some olive oil. Test the temperature to ensure it’s not too hot by placing a few drops on your inner wrist. 
  • Place three or four drops of the warmed olive oil into your affected ear using a sterile dropper.
  • Lie down in the same position (so your affected ear is facing upwards) for about 10 minutes.
  • Tilt your affected ear downward after sitting up. The water and oil should drain out.

8. More water

While this may sound a little strange, more water could help remove the water that is trapped in your ear. 

  • Lie on your side with the affected ear pointing up.
  • Using a sterile dropper, or syringe, gently fill the ear with water.
  • After roughly 5 seconds, turn over to your other side to allow all the water to drain out. Make sure you put a towel down to catch all the water. 

9. Yawning or chewing

Try yawning or chewing gum, it can be surprisingly effective in helping you get rid of water in your ear. These simple actions activate the muscles around your Eustachian tube, the connection between your middle ear and throat. When you yawn or chew, it gently opens up this tube, allowing the water to drain naturally. Plus, swallowing can also play a part by helping to equalize pressure and encouraging the water to flow out of your ear canal.

10. Over-the-counter ear drops

If you still can’t get the water out of your ears, getting over-the-counter ear drops may be your last step before needing to visit a medical professional to help you. Many over-the-counter ear drops can help remove water from your ear, kill bacteria, and remove earwax. Ask your pharmacist which option is best for you. 

Things to avoid

These home remedies can help remove water from your ear, but there are some things you should avoid at all costs. If these remedies don’t help remove  the water from your ear, do not use ear swabs, fingers, or other objects to dig inside the ear, as they may:

  • Injure your ear canal.
  • Puncture your eardrum.
  • Introduce bacteria to your ear.
  • Push the water deeper into your middle ear.

When to get medical advice

These are just a few home remedies you can try before getting professional medical help. It’s important to be cautious when attempting any of them. Water usually exits the ear by itself or with the help of some of these home remedies. If you still have water trapped in your ear it might be time to visit a healthcare professional, to avoid any further complications, like ear infections or damage to the ear canal.

Image of post writer Natalie Gould.

Written by Natalie Gould



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