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How To Remove Water From Ear

Water can get into your ear due to various reasons such as swimming and bathing with improper head position. This is taken to be a mild issue and many people just ignore when water gets into their ear. Water usually comes out of the ear as easily as it gets into it. However, sometimes water in your ear can penetrate into the ear canal, giving you a plugged ear. This, in turn, might lead to ear ache, itching, hearing problem, ringing in the ear and ear infections. Such conditions, when not treated, may damage your ear permanently. Therefore, remove water from ear as soon as possible. But how to do so? Here are some tips and tricks as well as home remedies to get rid of water inside your ear.

How to remove water from ear immediately

It is always better to remove water from ear as soon as possible. So, if you are swimming or taking bath and you realize there’s water in your ear, do the following immediately.

  • Get out of the water. If you are in a pool or the bath tub, come out of it. If you are in the shower, turn off the shower. The simple trick is to get out of the water so that no more water enters into your ear.
  • Shake your head. Move your head from side to side keeping it a little tilted on the side of your affected ear so that the water may flow out of it.
  • Tilt your head and use some force. Bend your head at the side of the affected ear. Take this ear down to your shoulder and hit the opposite side of your head using your palm. This may be enough to force the water out of the ear.

If all the above steps do not help you remove water from ear, take help of some of the specialized movements that can do wonders for you. Here are they, simple yet effective movements to remove water from your ear.

Gravity helps remove water from ear

This movement can be called gravity ear drain! You can either do it while standing or by lying down.

Stand and tilt your head

  • You need to simply tilt your head with the affected ear facing down so that gravity works at it and helps drain out water from the ear.
  • Keep moving your head gently back and forth while tugging on your earlobe. This will open the ear canal to let the water drain out.

Lie down to remove water from ear


  • Lie down on the bed with your head hanging down from its edge.
  • Tilt your hanging head so that your affected ear faces down.
  • Now gravity will take its own course and help drain out water from your ear.
  • Sometimes, sleeping on your side with the affected ear on the pillow can also help drain out the water.

Create vacuum in your ear to push out the water

  • Tilt your head to the side of affected ear and place your palm under the ear.
  • Gently push your palm in and out till the time water starts coming out of your ear. When you do this, you create a suction-like vacuum which draws the water in your ear towards your palm.
  • You may also use your finger instead of palm to create vacuum in your ear.
  • Place a finger in your affected ear which faces down.
  • Push and pull your finger rapidly to create a vacuum.
  • It will take only few seconds for the water to come out of your ear.

Precaution: Never try to create vacuum with your affected ear facing upwards. This will make the water go farther back into your ear canal.  Also, always try with the palm first. Using finger in the ear is not recommended. Use finger to remove water from your ear only when you cannot succeed in creating vacuum with your palm. Before inserting your finger in the ear, always clean the fingers properly and ensure that you do not have long or sharp nails. Never push your finger deep into your ear.

Pop your ear using Valsalva Maneuver

Valsalva maneuver is the common way to open up a clogged ear. It helps pop the ears to open up the Eustachian tubes. This, in most of the situations will push the water out of your ears.

  • Pinch your nose with your fingers while keeping your lips closed.
  • Now blow your nose gently.
  • Because you have pinched your nose, the force will be placed on your eardrums causing a popping action. If you do the movement correctly, you will hear a mild popping sound which indicates your Eustachian tubes are now open
  • This will probably push the water out of your ear.

Precaution– Do not be too harsh while blowing the pinched nose. This can cause certain damage to your ears or nose. Blow your pinched nose gently.

Yawning or chewing motions help remove water from ear

Nothing can be more simple than this. You just need to act as if you are yawning or chewing.

  • Open your mouth wide and yawn. You may hear a sound inside your ear. It is due to the pressure created in the middle ear and the stretching up of the ear canal.
  • Now tilt the head to the side of your affected ear and shake your head a little to drain the water out.
  • You may also do the chewing movement. This works the same way as yawning by creating pressure inside your ear. If you can’t act, eat a chewing gum.

These were the ways to get rid of water in ear as soon as it gets into there. But what if a considerable time has gone and now you feel uncomfortable with that water lodged into your ear? There are home remedies for this. These remedies can get you rid of water from ear.

Home remedies to get rid of water from ear

These remedies are not only for removing water but also for removing any other fluid that might enter your ear. Such fluid can also build up in the ear due to some ear infection. You should always consult a doctor to treat such ear infections. However, you may use the following home remedies to drain out fluid from your ear but do not cancel the appointment with your doctor. In case of water in the ear, you may just need to use the remedies only.

Take steam

When you give steam treatment to your ear, it helps open up the Eustachian tube. This helps water drain out of the ear easily.

Get this:

  • One large bowl filled with hot water
  • A towel

Do this:

  • Place the bowl on a flat surface.
  • Cover your head with the towel and bend over the bowl in a way that steam can’t escape.
  • Tilt your head in a manner that your affected ear is over the bowl.
  • Stay in this position for as long as possible for you but not more than 10-15 minutes.
  • The steam helps loosen the fluid which then gets out of your ear.

Hot Compress

If steam is too much for you, try giving heat therapy to your affected ear. The simplest way to do so is to make a heat compress which will work the same way as steam treatment does. It helps open up your Eustachian tube so that the fluid or water can escape without any difficulty.

Get this:

  • A bowl filled with hot water
  • Washcloth

Do this:

  • Soak the washcloth in the hot water
  • Wring out the excess water to make your heat compress.
  • Hold this compress against your affected ear only for 30 seconds.
  • Take a break for half to one minute.
  • Repeat.
  • Do this for 3-4 times.
  • Now tilt your head or lie down with the affected ear towards the ground so that the water may come out of your ear.

Use blow dryer to remove water from ear

This is not a foolproof way to get rid of water from ear but for some people it might work. The warm, dry air may turn the water into steam which will then be pulled out of the ear. You need to be extra cautious while using a blow dryer to remove water from ear. Intense heat can damage your ear. Always run your hair dryer on its lowest heat and blow setting. Also, hold it at least a foot away from your ear to minimize any ill effect.

Get this:

  • Blow dryer

Do this:

  • Hold the ear lobe of your affected ear and pull it a little.
  • Hold the blow dryer in the other hand and position it at least a foot away from your ear. The dryer should be on its lowest heat and blow setting.
  • Turn on the dryer and let the hot air enter your ear canal for only half a minute.
  • Turn the dryer off after 30 seconds.
  • Take a break of 30 seconds to 1 minute and then repeat the process.
  • Do this only for 3-4 times and not more than that.
  • If it feels too hot or if you experience some pain in the ear or your face, stop immediately and do not repeat it again.

Precaution: Be very careful while handling the blow dryer against your ear and face. Use this remedy as a last resort.

Make ear drop with rubbing alcohol and vinegar

Rubbing alcohol is a drying agent and it may help you dry the water in your ear. The vinegar helps keep bacterial infections away. It has anti-bacterial properties.

Get this:

  • Rubbing alcohol- 1 part
  • White vinegar- 1 part
  • Sterilized ear dropper

Do this:

  • Mix the rubbing alcohol and vinegar.
  • Using the sterilized dropper, pour 3-4 drops of the solution into your affected ear.
  • It will help break down infection as well as ear wax. It will also help dry the water in the ear.

Use hydrogen peroxide to remove water from ears

This is not only the remedy to get rid of water from ear but also a preventive measure for swimmers who frequently face this problem. Hydrogen peroxide, in fact, works to remove ear wax from your ear. This ear wax can trap water in your ear. Therefore, if you swim a lot, use hydrogen peroxide to prevent water from lodging into your ear.

Get this:

  • 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution
  • Sterilized ear dropper
  • Hair dryer

Do this:

  • Fill the dropper with hydrogen peroxide solution till halfway
  • Pour the solution inside your ear
  • Feel the bubble and fizz
  • Now tilt your head to the side and pull back on the top of your ear to let the solution drain properly.
  • With the hair dryer, dry your ear canal to remove all the moisture that might be there inside your ear. Don’t forget to set the dryer at the lowest heat and blow setting. Also, keep it 1 foot away from your ear.

Use salt to get rid of water from ear

It is a well known fact that salt pulls toxins out of your body. So, if water is there in your ear or there is some fluid build-up in the ear, you can use salt compress to get rid of them.

Get this:

  • Salt- ¼ cup
  • Clean cotton cloth

Do this:

  • Heat the salt. You may do this using microwave.
  • Now, take the hot salt and place it on the cloth.
  • Tie the cloth to make your hot salt compress.
  • Hold this compress against your affected ear for 2-3 minutes.
  • Now remove the compress and tilt your head to let the water drain from the ear.

Do’s and Don’ts to prevent and remove water from ear

  • Always dry your ears after swimming. Do this by wiping off the water outside your ears using a clean cloth. Pat dry the area near your ear canal. Tilt your head to one side and shake out the excess water in your ears.
  • See a doctor whenever you feel pain in the ear or see yellow-green pus like fluid coming out of the ear. If so, do not try to remove water from the ear yourself. Let the doctor do this.
  • Don’t use cotton swabs or tissues for cleaning or drying your ears. They may scratch the skin inside your ear canal making the condition of your ear worse.
  • Don’t use earplugs or cotton balls in your ears when you have water lodged in them.
  • Don’t use headphones until the water comes out of the ear and the pain subsides.

Keep this in mind. If the water comes out easily with any of these remedies, it’s good. But if you are not able to remove water from ear, do not try hard. This can make the condition worse for you. In such a case, go to a doctor and let him remove water from your ear.

About Sara

Sara is a Boston-based registered dietitian who works with clients to improve their health by optimizing nutrition. You can find her running, sweating in hot yoga, cooking in the kitchen, dining out, or exploring. Eating Food-Mostly Plants, and improving our relationship with food, is the secret to lifelong health in her eyes.

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