How to Get Water Out of Your Ear

Wondering how to get water out of your ear? It's best to first try methods that don't include adding additional fluid to your ear, even if the liquid is white vinegar or rubbing alcohol.

While you can remove water in ears with warm vinegar, water, rubbing alcohol or sweet oil, it makes sense not to add more liquid. You could wind up driving the water deeper, or making yourself more uncomfortable. Before you attempt to use liquids, first try this simple method. If it doesn't work, you can break out the liquids.

Removing Water from Your Ear

  • Lie on a bed with your painful ear closest to the bed.
  • If possible, hang your head and shoulders over the side of the bed, so that your ear canal is at a downward angle.
  • Bring your hand, from the same side as the painful ear, close to your ear.
  • Cup your hand so that the meaty part of your palm is close to the ear opening.
  • Press your palm into your ear tightly so that the entire opening is covered. Pull your hand back quickly. When done correctly, you will feel suction. You also may hear the sound of the water sloshing around.
  • It may take several attempts before you finally feel the water start to trickle out of the ear, but this generally brings quick relief.

Water in the ear is not only annoying and uncomfortable, it can also stagnate and cause infection. If you use rubbing alcohol to dry the water, you can actually dry out your ear canal too much and cause the skin to crack, which is an invitation to bacteria.

Vinegar is a better choice, as it will create an acidic environment that will make it harder for bacteria to grow. If bacteria have already begun to grow in your ear, you will begin to experience pain. This pain may be worsened when dropping vinegar or rubbing alcohol into the ear. 

If you do not have vinegar or rubbing alcohol on hand, there is an old remedy that calls for several drops of warm milk or sweet oil to be dropped into the affected ear to relieve the pain of an infection. While this is said to work, it also means you now have additional fluid in your ears. Any time pain accompanies the feeling of water or liquid in your ear, your best course of action is to contact a physician. Ear infections are very painful. An undiagnosed ear infection can cause scarring and also damage the eardrum, so it's best to get it looked at promptly.

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