How Do You Get Water Out of Your Ear: Get Ready to Dive Again!

how do you get water out of your ear
Written by Kane Dane

Having water in your ear is probably the most annoying and irritating feeling in the world, right? Besides causing great discomfort, the water that’s clogging your ear can cause an ear infection if not drained properly. Also, you may not be able to hear well, or in some cases that tickling sensation in the ear may even extend to the jawbone or the throat, which is often a complete nightmare! That is where learning how do you get water out of your ear might help!

Luckily, there are a lot of ways to remove water from the ears on your own. Especially if you are a swimming enthusiast, or you fancy the water sports in general, you should benefit largely from mastering a few simple techniques that might go a long way and even save you a trip to the doctor’s office.

water out of ear

In order to help you out, you can read about some of the most effective tricks further on in this article. Also, you will read about what you are not supposed to do in such situations and how to prevent it from happening again. If any of those tricks don’t work, then it is important to visit the doctor as soon as possible.

How Do You Get Water Out of Your Ear

There are a lot of ways to remove water from the ear once it is stuck and it is really up to you which method you will choose. However, you have to be careful and gentle, since the area is very sensitive and even the slightest pressure might cause some damage to the ear.

Leaning your Head

The easiest way that usually comes like the most natural action to do in such a situation is to let the gravity do its work. And by gravity, we mean that you should tilt your head to the side of the affected ear. With that said, let’s break it down into few steps.

head tilting to get water out of ear

  1. Lean your head to the side of your affected ear, so that your head can be parallel to the ground.
  2. Once your head is tilted, place your hand against the ear, press it and hold for a few seconds. By pressing the hand, you will form a vacuum that will cause water to drain.
  3. In the end, carefully use a cotton ear bud to absorb the remaining fluid.

The famous ‘Valsalva Maneuver’

This maneuver works for unclogging any kind of blockage in the Eustachian tube. What you should do in order to successfully unclog your ear is the following:

  1. First, take a deep breath and don’t exhale.
  2. Keep your mouth closed and shut your nose with your fingers.
  3. While still keeping your nose and mouth shut, try to slowly exhale through your nose. By doing that, you will create pressure in the ear canals and if you hear a popping sound, it means that the tubes are being reopened again.
  4. Slightly lean your head on the side of the affected ear, so that the water can completely drain out of it.

Alcohol and Vinegar Combo

This is an old, homemade remedy which is easy to make and that it is really effective in the process of unclogging your ears. Besides that, it also has antibacterial properties which will free your ears from any kind of unwanted germs.

vinegar and rubbing alcohol

  1. The recipe for the remedy is one teaspoon of vinegar and one teaspoon of alcohol.
  2. When the mixture is ready, apply two to three drops in the affected ear by using a dropper.
  3. In order for the remedy to be absorbed entirely, rub the opening of the ear gently.
  4. Wait approximately one minute.
  5. In the end, drain out the remaining of the fluid.

Heat it Up

Another old and pretty successful method is by using a warm cloth, pressed against the ear. The heat actually opens up the ear canal, so every fluid that is trapped inside will flow out of it very easily. The method routine is as such:

  1. Dip a piece of an absorbent material in a hot water and squeeze out any excess water.
  2. Next, press the cloth against your ear and hold it like that for approximately 30 seconds.
  3. Repeat step 2. several times, but wait for a minute each time before repeating it again.
  4. When you finish the routine, lean your head to the side, so that the fluid escapes entirely.

Season it With a Bit of Salt

Who says that salt can be only used for seasoning your food? The salt has a big absorbing power and it will easily absorb fluids that are trapped in the ear tube. Because it is most effective when it is actually warmed up, this method not only it will speed up the evaporation process of the water, but it will also relieve any pain.


  1. Start by heating one-quarter cup of salt in the microwave and be careful to not overheat it.
  2. Next, put it quickly in a cotton cloth and tie it tightly so that the salt stays in the cloth.
  3. Once the hot salt compress is ready, hold it near the opening of the ear for three to five minutes.

Use the Blow Dryer

Even though its main purpose is to dry your hair, the dryer can be a useful tool if you are suffering from clogged ears as well. Similar as with all of the heat techniques, this one too speeds up the evaporation of the stuck fluid by turning it into steam and eventually dispersing it out of the ear.

  1. You should start by pulling your earlobe away from your body.
  2. Place the hair dryer approximately 12 inches away from the ear, set the heat at warm and start blowing with it directly into the ear canal.
  3. Blow for around 30 seconds and be careful not to overdo it.
  4. Depending on how much water it is trapped, repeat the process if it is necessary.

Inhaling Steam

Inhaling steam is another proven way in order to get water out of the ear and it works in such a way that opens up the ear canal so that the water can be drained out. The inhalation technique is the following:

Inhaling Steam

  1. You will need one large bowl, filled with hot and steaming water.
  2. Lower your head towards the bowl, so that the steam comes in your face.
  3. Cover your head with a towel and slowly inhale steam in that position for 10 minutes.
  4. After inhaling the steam, tilt your head to the side and let the fluid to come out of the ear.

His Majesty, the Hydrogen Peroxide

Out of all of the home remedies, this one is the one that feels the least ‘homey’, since you need to obtain it from the store and you cannot make it by yourself. Because it has a carbonated property, the hydrogen peroxide not only that it will remove the fluids, but it will also remove any debris and ear wax from the ear tube. This is how you can apply it:

  1. You need to get a three percent hydrogen peroxide and with a dropper apply four to five drops in the clogged ear.
  2. It is ideally to lay down and after you apply it, allow it to settle for few minutes, so it doesn’t get out of it.
  3. Once it absorbed, lean your head as usual and the fluid will drain out of it.

The Chef’s Ingredient pt. 1: Olive Oil

It is always good when you can choose a natural ingredient as a remedy and you can start by incorporating the olive oil into it. This is a really healthy alternative and besides facilitating the flow of fluids, with its antiseptic properties it will reduce the possibility of an infection.

pouring olive oil in bowl

  1. Start the ‘healing procedure’ by warming one tablespoon of olive oil. Be very cautious not to heat it too much, because it may cause serious burns.
  2. By using a dropper, apply few drops in the ear.
  3. In order to be effective, you have to leave it to settle for around 10 minutes.
  4. In the end, lean the head sideways so that all of the liquids flow out of the ear.

The Chef’s Ingredient pt. 2: Garlic

Another ingredient for a successful remedy that comes directly from the kitchen is the garlic. It is one of nature’s most healing goods and it should definitely ease any troubles you might have regarding your ears, such as trapped fluids and infections.

  1. Peel off two or three cloves of garlic and press them in order to extract the juice.
  2. Put the garlic juice in a dropper and put two or three from it in the ear while lying on the side.
  3. Wait for one minute so that the fluid is absorbed.
  4. In the end, blow dry the ear from a distance of 12 inches. You can see a more detailed explanation of the blow drying technique above.

How NOT to Get Water Out of Your Ears

At this point, it is safe to mention some of the methods that you should not use in order to drain out any trapped liquids. Using the wrong methods might have a negative impact on the ear canal, by causing certain damages or infections.

cotton swabs

Therefore, we felt obliged to share with you the undesired methods. Take a look at them below:

  • Avoid cotton ear buds. They can push earwax and dirt deeper into your ear canal and not only they will not take out water, but they might worsen the situation, by irritating the whole area.
  • Don’t stick your fingers in the ear too. By doing this, you will easily scratch the thin skin in the ear with the fingernails.
  • Avoid putting earplugs. When you put earplugs in your ear while there is water trapped in it, you will only push it deeper into the ear and that may cause an earache.

Offense is the Best Defense: Preventing Water to Get Inside

In order to save yourself from the trouble of trapped water inside your ear tube, there are several tricks that you can do in order to prevent the water from getting in. No matter if you want to prevent yourself while swimming, or just from a harmless sweat moisture, we have the solutions:

  • If you are sweaty, don’t keep the earbuds inside your ear, because they won’t allow for air to pass.
  • If you are really sensitive even to the smallest amounts of fluids, plug cotton balls in your ears while taking a bath. Ideally, you should dip the cotton ball in petroleum jelly. You can also use cotton balls when you use hairspray so that it doesn’t get inside your ears.
  • When you go swimming, earplugs and a swimming cap are a must.
  • From time to time, it is good to have the doctor remove the earwax from your ears. This is especially necessary if you have a buildup of ear wax. Also, remember to never try to get it out by yourself, as you may unintentionally hurt sensitive skin of your ears.

911 Emergency

We have outlined a lot of effective methods for successful cleaning of the ears, but if none of them doesn’t work then it is important to visit the doctor.

Valsalva maneuver

The ear is one of the most sensitive organs in our body and the healing process takes quite a long time. So, in continuation, we will mention the most common symptoms of an infection or inflammation and if you notice these, go straight to the doctor.

  • It is probably the first sign of an infection, so if you notice it, start with some kind of a therapy to avoid any further pain.
  • Probably you won’t be able to notice it with your bare eye, but if you start feeling some kind of a discomfort, it’s a sign that you need to need to visit your doctor.
  • Once you start feeling it, it is obvious that your ear is inflamed and a proper treatment, prescribed by your doctor is inevitable.

Wrapping Up

Coming to the end of our article, we can all conclude that it is really important to take a good care of your ears. Even though some of us may be more prone to getting water trapped, the ears are really sensitive organs in general and you should always make sure that there is no water inside them in order to prevent any inflammations.

man with finger in his ear

For that purpose, we have created this article to introduce you to simple, but effective home remedies when facing clogged ears. Also, we have devoted one section to what are the wrong methods and what you shouldn’t do in such a case, as well as how to avoid it from happening again.

If you think there are more tips and advice that we can add, feel free to share them with us by leaving us a comment in the comment section!


Kane Dane


45  −  35  =