How to Get Water Out of Ear: What to Do and What NOT to Do

frustrated man covering ears how to get water out of ear caption

Getting water stuck in your ear, especially after you go swimming, is irritating and uncomfortable,and not getting it out can lead to inflammation and irritation. It is often very difficult to ignore when this happens.

You may notice your hearing is off or that your ear has a full feeling. You may even notice some drainage, but it will be obvious when water remain stuck in the ear.

The longer the water remains, the higher the chances are that you could develop an infection, so it is important to find a way to get it out as soon as possible.

How to get water out of ear canal is a delicate process. If it is not done correctly, you can do additional and possibly irreparable damage.

We are breaking down our guide into three sections: methods you can try to remove water from ear, natural ingredients you can use to remove water in ear, and ingredients and treatments to avoid when trying to unclog your ear. Be aware that these are not all inclusive cures.

Do note that if water in ear is not removed within 24 to 48 hours, it is best to seek the advice and treatment of a health care professional.

Preventing Water from Entering Your Ears

As is often the case, prevention tends to make for a better outcome than curing an existing problem that could have been avoided altogether.

Infections like Swimmer’s Ear and others that result from water getting stuck in your ear canals can be prevented by keeping water out of these areas in the first place. If you swim often, this means using earplugs to protect yourself.

Earplugs made specifically for swimmers are widely available and inexpensive to acquire.

Methods to Get Water Out of Your Ear

The following is a list of things you can try to do or use to help remove the water from your ear. Often, doing one of the things on this list will easily solve your problem. You should have or have easy access to everything you need to try them out.

1. Gravity

The first method of how to get water out of ear makes use of gravity, which is the most common way of removing the trapped water.

What to do:

  • Gently tug and jiggle your earlobe as you tilt your ear toward your shoulder.
  • Tilt it away and then back again several times until the water comes out.

2. Pressure

Pressure making use of what is known as the Valsalva maneuver is another effective method when it comes to how to get water out of ear.

What to do:

  • Take in a deep breath.
  • Hold your mouth closed and pinch your nostrils.
  • Try to push the air out through your nose.
  • You will probably hear a popping sound.
  • Release you nostrils and tilt your head to the side.
  • Repeat this several time, but do not blow too hard.

3. Yawning

Yawning is another effective method for hot to get water out of ear.

What to do:

  • Open your mouth wide and take in a deep breath, which usually will cause you to yawn.
  • As you yawn, tug on your earlobe and tilt your head to the side.
  • Repeat this several times until water in ear is gone.

4. Vacuum

We are not telling you to attach a vacuum to your ear, so please do not do that. The vacuum we create is one of the ways to get water out of ear which sometimes works very well. The suction often draws water in ear out.

What to do:

  • Place your cupped palm over your ear making sure to create a tight seal.
  • Tilt your head to the side and gently push your palm in and out in a rapid motion to create suction.
  • Remove your hand and allow the water to drain out.
  • Repeat this 2 or 3 times.

5. Chew Gum

Chewing gum is another of the effective ways to get water out of ear.

What to do:

  • Unwrap a stick of gum, put it in your mouth and chew.
  • As you chew, make use of yawning and gravity to help clear water in ear.

6. Warm Compress

An effective means when you have the problem of water in ear not coming out is to use a warm compress to open up Eustachian tubes.

What to do:

  • Soak a cloth in hot, but not scalding water.
  • Wring out the excess water.
  • Tilt your head toward your shoulder and press the cloth against your ear for 30 seconds or so and then remove it.
  • Repeat this 4 to 5 times allowing a minute or so of rest between each attempt to clear water in ear.

7. Warm Air

Blowing warm air into your ear using a blow dryer is another effective method for how to get water out of ear.

What to do:

  • Set your blow dryer on low heat and turn it on.
  • Hold the dryer a safe distance from your ear and blow the warm air into your ear for a few minutes, tilting your head to allow gravity to help as well.

8. Lying Down

Another method to consider when faced with water in ear not coming out is to lie down and let gravity and time do the trick.

What to do:

  • Lie down on your side with the affected ear downward.
  • Just relax and let gravity and time do their thing.
  • This will probably clear water in ear without you even doing anything else.

9. Use a Blow-Dryer

Enlisting the help of a common grooming tool such as your blow-dryer can actually work quite well if used safely.

What to do:

  • Turn your blow-dryer on at the lowest setting available.
  • Aim it at an angle to help the air reach deeper into your ear.
  • Repeat for the other ear.

Natural Ingredients You Can Use

If the above methods did not get rid of water in ear, then you might make use of a few natural remedies that are useful when it comes to how to unclog ear canals with water in them.

10. Add Water

Adding some more water, sort of like priming a pump, can often act as an effective method for how to get water out of ear.

What to do:

  • Lie down or tilt your head with the affected ear upward.
  • Place 5 or 6 drops of clean, fresh water into your ear.
  • Allow it to sit for about 5 minutes.
  • Tilt or turn your head so that the affected ear is turned downward and allow the water to drain out.
  • Repeat this remedy two or three times.

11. Steam

Similar to using water, steam can often penetrate to where the water is and help clear water in ear.

What to do:

  • Place a pot or bowl of boiling water that was removed from heat on the table or counter in front of you.
  • Position your face above the bowl and drape a towel over your head to direct the steam into your nostrils.
  • Breathing the steam for 5 to 10 minutes and then make use of the gravity method to release the water in ear.

12. Olive Oil

Other than clean, fresh water, olive oil is one of the few substances you should ever put in your ear. Besides being effective at how to get water out of ear, olive oil has antiseptic properties and anti-inflammatory properties to help prevent any further damage to your ear.

What to do:

  • Warm up 1 tsp of olive oil.
  • Lie down or tilt your head so that the affected ear is upward.
  • Drop 4 to 5 drops of olive oil into your ear and allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
  • Turn or tilt your head and make use of the gravity to drain water in ear.
  • Wipe excess oil from the outside of the ear.
  • Repeat this remedy a couple of times.

13. Essential Oils

When it comes to how to get water out of ear, there are some essential oils to consider. Though these oils should never be placed directly into the ear canal, garlic oil, basil oil and frankincense oil are often effective at helping remove water in ear as well as preventing infections and reducing any inflammation that might be present.

What to do:

  • Choose any of the three oils mentioned above and place a drop on your finger.
  • Rub the oil around the outside of the ear canal and behind the ear.
  • Repeat this 3 or 4 times a day to bring relief to the discomfort of water in ear.

What Ingredients or Treatments Should You Avoid?

One or more of the methods described above will eventually clear water from the ear. If they do not, do not resort to more drastic measures when it comes to how to unclog ears. The list we are about to present can make matters worse by causing infection, puncturing your eardrum, and/or causing permanent hearing loss.

1. Fingers

Putting your fingers in your ears as a means to get water out of your ear is a bad idea. Not only do you risk pressing the water deeper into your ear, but you might also damage your ear canal. Worse yet, your nasty fingers are a breeding ground for all types of bacteria, especially under your fingernails.

2. Objects

This is a pretty broad category because “objects” can include a very large number of things. The use of the word is intentional. You should not stick ANY object in your ear as a means to get water out of it.

Cotton swabs and bobby pins are included in this list of objects because you run the risk of damaging your ear canal or even puncturing your eardrum. Keep objects out of your ears.

3. Alcohol or Hydrogen Peroxide

Do not use alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to remove water in ear. These two solutions not only dehydrate your ears and prevent them from secreting the necessary wax and oils to clean and protect your ears, but if they penetrate into your inner ear, you run the risk of permanent hearing loss.

4. Vinegar or Other Solutions

Vinegar mixed with anything and poured into your ear is a bad idea. In fact, most otolaryngologists don’t recommend over-the-counter ear drops either.

Your ears enjoy a delicate chemical balance which needs to remain intact in order for them to function properly. Foreign substances and solutions always run the risk of penetrating into your inner ear and causing permanent hearing loss.

Wrapping Up

When it comes to how to get water out of your ear, the solutions and methods you will need to use are easy remedies. We have laid out the best methods and natural remedies as well as the ingredients and treatments to avoid in order to help you rid yourself of water in ear safely and effectively. If you have questions or comments concerning our list, please add them to the section below.