How to Get Water Out of Your Ears: 7 Easy Steps

Getting water in your ears after swimming or a shower can be painful. It can also lead to infection if not drained. Discover the 7 best ways to get water out of your ears.

How Does Water Get Trapped in Your Ears?

Typically, water drains naturally from the ear after swimming or showering. On the rare occasion water does get trapped inside of your ears, it can lead to discomfort, and if not resolved, infection. Did you know that water can even get trapped in the ears due to sweat from wearing earbuds? Gross, right?

So, why does water get trapped inside of the ears? This could be because of several reasons:

  • Narrow ear canals
  • Excessive ear wax
  • Objects trapped inside of your ear

No matter the cause, getting water trapped in your ears is no fun. Let’s dive into the best ways to get water out of your ears.

The 7 Best Ways to Get Water Out of Your Ears

  1. Let Gravity Do the Work: Gently tip your head to one side while pulling on your ear lobe at the same time. 
  2. Form a Natural Vacuum: Gently tilt your head to one side and tightly cup the opening of your ear with one hand. Push your hand back and forth towards the opening of your ear like a suction. Remove your hand and continue to tilt your head until the water drains. 
  3. Apply a Warm Compress: Soak a towel in warm water. Apply the warm towel to the opening of your ear for 30 seconds. Do not insert it into the ear. Remove the towel and tilt your head gently to the side and let the water drain.  
  4. Use a Blow Dryer: On the lowest setting, blow hot air into the opening of your ear to evaporate the trapped water. Keep the blow dryer at least one foot from your ear and move back and forth over the opening of the ear. 
  5. Use an Alcohol & Vinegar Mix: Combine 1 part rubbing alcohol with 1 part vinegar. Use 3 drops in the ear with trapped water. Wait 30 seconds then tilt your head to the side and let the water drain. 
  6. Chew Gum: Move your jaw dramatically while chewing gum. 
  7. Over the Counter Drops: When at-home remedies fail, try over the counter drops. 

When home remedies fail, be sure to contact an audiologist like Dr. Dean at Sierra Nevada Hearing Aid Center.

What Not to Do When Water Gets in Your Ears

  • Stick an object inside of your ears. This includes fingers and cotton swabs. 
  • Don’t use hydrogen peroxide in your ears if you have an infection, ear tubes, or a ruptured eardrum. 

How to Prevent Water in Ears While Swimming

The best way to keep water out of your ears while swimming or showering is to use custom ear molds. Swimmers use specialized ear molds designed to keep water out of their ear canals. Earmolds must be custom fitted to your ear. It’s important for them to be tight enough to prevent water getting into your ear, while still being comfortable enough to wear for extended periods of time. That’s why a hearing healthcare professional will make a cast of your ear, known as an ear impression, to make sure they get the right fit.

See if custom ear molds are right for you.

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