My Home Remedies

Swimmer's Ear Home Remedies

35 Home Remedies for Swimmer's Ear


when you have swimmers ear do not buy that stuff from the stores because it is alcohol based when i went to the doctor he told me it dries out your ear canal. your thinking ya but thats supposed to help but it doesnt it also causes pain and burning in the ear the best thing to do is go to the doctor and get a prescription.


I just put 4-5 drops of rubbing alcohol in each of my ears (tilting my head) so it will run & stay in 30-45 seconds, then repeat if needed. The rubbing alcohol evaporates water. Legal:see a dr- this is just what workds for me.


I have found that mixing 1 teaspoon of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of rubbing alcohol in a bowl and putting mixture into a eye dropper works well too. MAKE SURE IT IS WARM, if it is cold or hot it will cause dizziness. If you buy actual ear drop this is what you can do: first, warm the drops to body temperature by rolling the container in your hands or placing it in a cup of warm water for a few minutes. Inserting cold ear drops can cause pain and dizziness. Have the person lie down, ear facing up. Place 2 or 3 drops on the wall of the ear canal so air can escape and drops can get to the ear. Gently wiggling the outer ear will help. You may find it easier to insert ear drops in a small child's ear by holding the child on your lap with his or her legs around your waist and head down on your knees. If possible, remain in this position for 2 to 3 minutes.

Red Robert

Dear folks,

I had ear infections back in 1979-1980. I lived at the beach in SoCal and body surfed a couple of times a week. I went to 3 different specialists in CA costing several C notes apice. They cleaned with a loop, washed with hot water and I applied the anti-biotics as per instructions. Nothing seemed to work and the pain became so bad I had to take codine for relief. I happened to be in Gainsville Florida to score some weed and went to a very old EN&T specialist who charged, believe it or not, ten bucks a visit. He turned me on to the '2 parts alcohol to 1 part white vinegar' cure. He told me to use cane alcohol if it was available. I've been using it on q-tips after every shower for 40 yrs., as the Colorado River water we get in SoCal has a high salt content. I mix up a new batch every few months. It works for me.

The vinegar is to set a proper PH to hinder fungal growth. The alcohol is anti-bacterial and a dessicant to dry the ear cannal, so I would use 70% plus.

Take care of each other.



I have had swimmer's ear all week (been too busy to look up how to properly fix it, until today).

After looking up some remedies on here, I recalled the old remedy my mother used to use, which was simple Olive Oil on some kleenex (or cotton ball if that suits your fancy).

I can see how the rubbing alcohol or vinegar might work, given that swimmer's ear is a bacterial infection that causes the inflammation (so no, people, there is *no* actual 'water' that is 'stuck' in your ear).

This site seems to recommend vinegar, though:

National Center for Biotechnology Information (web link does not work when posted here, so best to google them, adding 'swimmer's ear' to your query).

I just tried my left ear with the Olive Oil and it worked like a charm. Within about 5mins it seemed to want to clog up again, so I took a Q-tip and cleaned it out gently. That seemed to fix things on a much longer level for the time being.

My right ear is currently being difficult, so I may go with the alcohol (or vinegar) in it.

I am thankful that at least I have some oil in my right ear to (hopefully) help soothe the sting.

Cheers and thanks again to everyone for all your help,



Put a little bit of cotton wool with olive oil on it in each ear. The oil is on the side closest to the inside of your ear, the outer bit of the cotton is dry. Then put on your swimming cap. Water will not soak through to ear. And your ear gets a natural clean as a bonus! I've had ear problems since I was a small child (infections), too much wax build up. I've tried plugs, etc etc etc. This is the one I always go back to. Good luck and have no fear as oil and cotton is at your service.


A simple way to prevent swimmer's ear... get one of those little triple antibiotic spritz things and spritz in each ear before you swim and at night before you go to bed. You'll never have a problem with swimmers ear again.
I think it's called Neosporin To Go...great little product to have on you for all little emergencies, but I find it works great to keep the ears from getting infected.

Rainville , Barnstead

Ok People here it is , I have had constant itching of the ears for many years and since this past week i have been doing some research. I spent a week in Aruba, last week and i swam in the ocean and pools there, hence the outer ear problem and recent research. I had full ears, I could not here, swelling in the jaw where i could not bite properly, ringing, painfull eartags.......Very serious. This went on approx. three days untill it got to the point preveously mentioned. The last day there I went out for lunch at what i thought to be the best place I had eaten (half way across the island) and asked around for a Botonica, a pharmacy, God works in funny ways and next door down there I was. I was happy to hear that in Aruba you can call the doctor and get a perscription for a small fee. Diagnosis, outer aer infection, prescribed oral emycin and cipro drops. Turned out that I am allergic to emycin and stopped taking after day 3.5 and the drops did nothing I was beginning to reallly worry, I felt like i was in a test tube, I could not here at all. After much research, time and some thought this is what I did, keep in mind I have had itchy ears for many years so this could have been fungal or bacterial (do some research). I heated to a boil about a quart of water then let it cool to body temp., added salt, vinigar, and peroxide. I used an ear cleaning bulb that u can get at the pharmacy and gently rinsed my ears with this salution to attack any infection be it fungal or bacterial. I followed with a flushing with a salt solution. Then I rubbed a natural vapor rub on my neck and around the ears. Next I had a salad with lots of onions, garlic, horse radish and olive oil. At this time my eyes are beginning to water a little.....this is good. Now for the best of all I took the small jar of minced organic garlic and turned it on its side to get at the oil, next I used the dropper I had gotton from the cipro and put about seven or eight drops in my worst ear. I laid with that ear up and worked it in tugging on my lobe and messaging the whole area, I then heated in the microwave a sock full of rock salt that i had made earlier to releive pain and placed it over the ear(DO NOT OVERHEAT) ABOUT A MINUTE ON 60%. I then messaged the area, I could feel something like little bubbles, it tickled a little. I thought this could be good. Now here this, years earlier i had asked an airplne pilot how to equalize the ears and he told me to stretch the neck on the troubled side(or bend it away from) and yawn, maybe pinch your nose and push lightly...this works better than chewing gum...(he was nice, great information) I did this and at the same time i stuck my finger in my ear and jiggled it side to side as you might see a dog do when itching for fleas.....This worked, the muffled sound was gone I COULD HERE FINE AGAIN. After doing both ears i rinsed again with the bulb as descrbed before with warm water and some alcohol maybe 80/20 respectively to rinse the oil and alcohol to help dry.....One more thing, I dont like computers and I type maybe fifteen words a minute, Ha HA, (no really) and I have never talked on a forum but i know some of you are going insane like i was so there it is, it works, be gentle and God bless, AJR in NH


As a preventive treatment against infection or for minor ear pain caused by water in the ear (but before you develop a full blown infection, which would require other treatment), there is an OTC product called Swim Ear manufactured by the Fougera Company that you can replicate at home. It consists of: 95% isopropyl alcohol (AKA isopropanol or rubbing alcohol) and 5% anhydrous glycerin (AKA vegetable glycerin or just plain glycerin). The isopropyl alcohol is an antiseptic (kills germs) and a drying agent, and the glycerin is a skin protectant and humectant (helps to moisturize, ironically, but in this case I believe it helps to prevent irritation from overdrying). You can mix this preparation yourself at home or, more simply, just use straight isopropyl rubbing alcohol, available in 70-99% concentrations at any drug store in the USA. I bought a dropper bottle of Swim Ear when I swam a lot as a kid and had problems with swimmers ear (decades ago), but ever since I have just refilled it with isopropyl alcohol. It's less than 1/10th the cost. DIRECTIONS FOR USE: Lay on your side or just rotate your head to the side, drop 3-5 drops in the ear until you 'hear' it fill in and you hear white noise. Wait several seconds or up to a minute, then turn your head the other way to drain the liquid back out. VERY IMPORTANT WARNING: DO NOT PUT DROPS IN YOUR EAR IF YOU HAVE A PERFORATED EARDRUM OR RECENT EAR SURGERY!!! This will allow the fluid to penetrate into the inner ear, which can be very dangerous.

jamie peveto

one day after a day at the lake i was feeling water swooshing in my ear so i talked to some people i knew and figured out i needed one ingriedient rubbing alcahol, you need to get a cotton ball and fill it with rubbing alcahol, then you slowly drip it in the should feel the water slowly disapear and the pain that came will disapear......

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