18 Proven Home Remedies For Clogged Ears

Home Remedies for Clogged Ears


Having clogged ears is not only discomforting and painful but it also affects your hearing capability. Your ears are one of the most important sensory organs that connect you to the rest of the world. They help you respond to various stimuli and also maintain balance in your body. Clogged ears can affect people of all ages, but is most common among children, especially when they have colds. Fortunately, plenty of clogged ear remedies are already in your kitchen.

The Eustachian tube regulate and also equalize the pressure between the middle ear and the pressure in the atmosphere outside the ear. You can get clogged ears when this does not open and close properly. Common factors that can cause clogged ears includes buildup of ear wax, sinus infection, water accumulation in the ear canal and also allergies.



Symptoms of clogged ear include; muffled hearing, ear pain and earache. You will also have a feeling of fullness in the affected ear. You may also not be able to hear well, feel dizzy and have ringing in one or both ears. But, if you have severe ear ache, bleeding or discharge from the ears, consult a doctor immediately.

Clogged ears can be quite disturbing and may even affect your day-to-day life. However, there are several home remedies that can help in unclogging blocked ears. Let’s take a look at them.

Home Remedies For Clogged Ears

It is important to ascertain the root cause of the problem and then take appropriate treatment. Here are simple home remedies to solve the problem of a clogged ear.

1. Valsalva Maneuver

Home Remedies For Clogged Ears

Valsalva maneuver helps relieve pressure from your ears. This remedy is simple and can be done any time and also anywhere. It is also very effective in equalizing the pressure in your middle ear.

How to Use

  • Simply close your mouth and pinch your nostrils tightly.
  • Then breathe out as if trying to exhale through a closed nose.
  • Do not do this in a forceful manner as you may damage the eardrum.
  • If you hear a popping sound, the pressure has been relieved.

2. Hot or Warm Compress

Home Remedies For Clogged Ears

Applying heat is the best way to soften the wax. It will also help loosen up congestion if you have a cold. But make sure to avoid placing too hot compress because it can hurt your ear.

How to Use

  • Iron a clean cloth.
  • Hold against the blocked ear for few minutes until the cloth cools down.
  • Repeat this process for about 10 – 15 minutes
  • Repeat regularly.

Or

  • Soak a clean cloth in hot water.
  • Squeeze to remove excess water and hold the cloth against the clogged ear.
  • Let it sit for about 5 – 8 minutes and use your palm to rub the ear.
  • Alternatively, you can wrap a hot water bottle in a thin towel and place it on the clogged ear for about 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Repeat regularly.

3. Hydrogen Peroxide for Clogged Ears

Home Remedies For Clogged Ears

Hydrogen peroxide is cerumenolytic and can help in softening the earwax. This makes it easy to remove. Hydrogen peroxide is almost as effective as any other ear drops for clearing ears clogged due to earwax build-up.

How to Use

  • Mix a tablespoon each of 3% hydrogen peroxide and distilled water.
  • Using a dropper, put two to three drops of the solution in the affected ear.
  • Let the solution sit inside your ear for about 5 minutes. You will experience hiss in your ear for some time.
  • Blot your ear with a tissue.
  • You may do this once daily for 4-5 days to clear the earwax build-up.

Note: Avoid this procedure if you have an ear infection such as otitis media.

4. Steam

Inhaling steam is one of the simplest ways to get rid of clogged ears due to cold. The steam will help thin and loosen the mucus, which in turn will give you relief from clogged ears. Steam can also help loosen earwax causing clogging.

How to Use

  • Pour hot water into a bowl.
  • Add few drops of any essential oil such as lavender, peppermint or tea tree oil and stir well.
  • Place your face just above solution and cover your head with a towel.
  • Inhale the steam slowly and continuously until your clogged ear opens up.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar and Rubbing Alcohol

Sometimes, the reason behind clogged ear could be a bacterial infection. Alcohol and vinegar can help combat bacteria.

How to Use

  • Fill either a medicine dropper or bulb syringe with equal parts of apple cider vinegar and rubbing alcohol.
  • Tilt the affected ear upward and release the solution into your ear.
  • While pressing a cotton pad to your ear, tilt your head in the opposite direction, so the ear faces downward.
  • Hold this position for a few minutes. The loosened fluid should drain from your ear. Repeat as needed.

Note: If you don’t have apple cider vinegar, you can substitute white vinegar.

6. Olive Oil For Clogged Ears

Olive oil will dislodge the impurities present in your ears and help in draining it out easily. It can also help soften the earwax.

How to Use 

  • Warm a little olive oil and use a dropper to put some drops of it in the affected ear. 
  • Let the oil stay for 8-10 minutes.
  • Drain the oil by keeping your head sideways.
  • Remove the oil and ear wax with ear buds. Do this very gently so you don’t hurt the delicate organ.

7. Garlic

Home Remedies For Clogged Ears

This natural antibacterial remedy may seem unusual, but it has been found to kill off infections. It also helps loosen any blockage or wax that’s causing your ears to feel full.

How to Use

  • Mash two cloves of garlic and let them stand for 10 minutes, allowing the allicin to form.
  • Then, put the crushed garlic in a saucepan with 5 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Warm for 10 to 15 minutes over a very low heat allowing the beneficial properties of the garlic infuse into the oil.
  • Allow the mix to cool down to room temperature then put it in your ear for 1 minute.
  • Drain the oil out. 

Or

  • Peel the skin of 4 – 7 garlic cloves, add them to 1 glass of water.
  • Heat the mixture for 10 – 15 minutes and strain the cloves.
  • Crush the cloves to make a paste.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and stir it well.
  • Apply paste on a thin piece of cloth and wrap it.
  • Hold this compress against the infected ear for few minutes.
  • Repeat the process 2 – 3 times a day.

Note: Salt absorbs the water or fluid present in the ear. Apart from that, it also fights with the infection.

8. Glycerin

Home Remedies For Clogged Ears

Glycerin helps in reducing congestion due to the accumulation of water in your ears. But don’t use this clogged ears remedy more than three times per day, or if you have an infection.  

How to Use

  • Combine a few drops of glycerine or mineral oil with ¼ to ½ cup of warm water.
  • Tilt your head to the side so your clogged ear is facing upward.
  • Slowly pour the solution into the affected ear.
  • Hold this position for 10 minutes.
  • Tilt your head to the other side and gently pull your earlobe to drain the solution.

9. Tea Tree Oil For Clogged Ears

Home Remedies For Clogged Ears

Tea tree oil contains antiseptic, antimicrobial and also anti-inflammatory properties. This helps to cure infection in the ears. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties which makes it the best remedy to cure sinus infection and also any other respiratory infections. Here is how to fix clogged ears instantly.



How to Use

  • Add a few drops of tea tree oil to a glass of boiling water and stir well.
  • Tilt your head over the glass and allow the steam to enter your ear.
  • This process will provide instant relief.

Or

  • Dilute few drops of tea tree oil with 1 tablespoon of warm olive oil.
  • Stir it well and then use a dropper to insert the mixture into the ear.
  • It will make the trapped mucus drain out of the Eustachian tubes as well as help to de-congest the sinus.

10. Gargle Salt Water

Gargling with water (either with or without salt) may help prevent upper respiratory infections. It can also help ease symptoms of nasal congestion and clogged ears associated with either cold or flu. It reduces the pain as it gives warmth to your respiratory system.

How to Use

  1. Add a teaspoon of table salt to a glass of warm water.
  2. Mix well and gargle with the solution.
  3. You can do this multiple times daily.

11. Saline Nasal Rinse

Home Remedies For Clogged Ears

Rinsing your nasal passage with saline water is a great way to unclog your ears. Salt is a well-known antibacterial agent that can help clear your sinuses, kill infections and also reduce inflammation in your nasal passages. Using a neti pot is a great way to help clear the nasal passages.

How to Use

  • Add 1 teaspoon salt to 1 litre lukewarm water.
  • Add the salt mix to the neti pot.
  • Place the end to one of your nostrils, tilting your head slightly back, then forwards over the sink.
  • Keep your mouth slightly open enabling you to breathe. The salt water should flow up through one nostril and out of the other.
  • Blow the nose before repeating it on the other nostril. Do it twice or thrice daily.

12. Yawning For Clogged Ears

Home Remedies For Clogged Ears

Yawning can be an easy but a very effective way to open up clogged ears. It helps in regulating the pressure of air in the ears and also relieves the muscles of Eustachian tubes. This greatly reduces pain. 

How to Use

  • Slightly open your mouth and try to yawn. 
  • You will hear a popping sound in your ears. 
  • Repeat yawning until you hear the popping sound and the pain is relieved.

13. Hop on One Foot

This method is mostly used when the ear is plugged after swimming.

How to Use

  • Just stand on one foot and tilt your head to the side of the blocked ear.
  • After that, hop on foot while your head is tilted downwards.
  • Hold the position until you feel the water draining out of your ear.

Note: Make sure that you don’t lose the balance because you might get hurt.

14. Jaw Wriggle

Are you wondering how to relieve clogged ears but don’t know how? This is the best way to unblock the ears very effectively. You can do the process instantly at anytime and place.

How to Use

  • Open your mouth widely.
  • Wriggle your jaws by moving the opened mouth from side to side in quick and regular motion.
  • Continue until your ears pop.

15. Otovent

Otovent is also another easy way to equalize the pressure. This is where you inflate a small balloon through your nose to pop your ears. Plus, this method is also effective against fluid in the middle ear.

How to Use

  • Place an Otovent balloon firmly against your left nostril.
  • While holding your right nostril closed, take in a big breath through your mouth, and hold it.
  • Close your mouth, and blow that air through your left nostril, as though you were inflating the balloon with your nose.
  • Switch the balloon from your left nostril to your right, and repeat. The process can be repeated as often as you find necessary.

16. Ear Wash

Ear wash, with warm water, is a simple remedy which may help in flushing out the wax and also other impurities. This helps opens up a clogged ear.

How to Use 

  • Warm up a cup of water and fill an ear syringe with it. 
  • Now, tilt your head and pull your earlobe. 
  • Insert the syringe lightly in the opening of the ear. Make sure it is pointing slightly up as well as sideways. 
  • Push the bulb gently to allow the water to enter your ear canal. 
  • Wait for 10 minutes and tilt your head on the other side to allow the water to drain out.

17. Home-made Ear Wax Solution

  • Add few drops of mineral oil into 1/4 – 1/2 cup of warm water.
  • Lie down on your side with the clogged ear facing upwards.
  • Pour this solution into the ear using a utensil of your choice.
  • Stay in this position for about 10 minutes.
  • Then tilt your head on the other side to drain out the solution from the ear.
  • Gently pull the ear lobe down to completely drain out the solution.
  • Do not repeat more than 3 times in a day.

Caution:

  • Avoid trying this process if you have plugged ears due to an infection.
  • If you have symptoms such as yellow or green discharge, feeling feverish or pains, then consult a doctor.

18. Toynbee Maneuver

In this process, you will swallow the water when your mouth and nose are closed. It equalizes the pressure inside your ear and also unclog them.

How to Use

  • Sip some water. Pinch your nose and also close your mouth.
  • Swallow the water while keeping your nose pinched.
  • Repeat this process as needed.

Tips For Clogged Ears

  • Use a humidifier in your bedroom. This provides the sinuses with the much-needed moisture and can also relieve the pressure in your Eustachian tubes.
  • Sit in the bathroom with the hot shower turned on so that it produces steam. The steam helps clear the ear canals and prevents them from drying. Dry ears can make the body over-produce ear wax, which leads to an excess wax build up in your ear canals.
  • Sinus-related problems such as sinusitis can worsen in extreme temperatures. If you feel your nose and ears are playing up, skip the morning jog on a freezing day.
  • Avoid sudden changes in body position, which can cause dizziness and keep your head up. Don’t shake your head or stand up too fast.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to thin the mucus in the nasal passages and prevent ear congestion.
  • Avoid alcohol, too much tea and coffee, tobacco, and very salty foods. They can affect the blood circulation and further worsen the condition.

What do you do to deal with clogged ears? Do you have any remedies you swear by? Share them with us in the comments section below.



About felclinic 593 Articles
Felix Ntifo is a Registered General Nurse who has so much passion to improve health care delivery. He founded FelClinic with the hope of making health information accessible to everyone who may not come in contact with him personally. "At felclinic.com we are very passionate about health and well-being of everyone. Our team is made up of professional doctors, nurses, midwives and lab technicians."

2 Comments

    • Hello.. Can you please describe how the sound was? Was it a continuous ringing, muffling, dull etc.sound? It will help narrow down what it is. Do you still feel the same sound now or it has stopped?

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