How to Get Water Out of Your Ear After Swimming?

How to Get Water Out of Your Ear After Swimming?

Is swimming your favorite hobby but you hate getting water into your ears? Or are you a professional swimmer who spends most of his time in the pool? However, the entrance of water into the ears and problems associated with its stay in the ear always keep you on the toes, right?

Well, swimming and water getting into the ear go hand in hand and it is difficult to keep your ears dry when you immerse in a deep swimming pool. But do not worry as we are here to help you.

Let us discover the 11 top methods on how to get water out of your ear after swimming along with some tips to prevent it from getting into the ear.

How Long Can Water Stay in Your Ear?

Water can stay in your ears for some hours, many days, and rarely a few months depending upon a number of factors. These factors include,

  • Your activity level: If you only swim once in a while, the water will be evaporated within a day or two. However, if you swim every day, the chances of water staying in your ears for weeks are high. 
  • Formulation and consistency of the water: Plain water with a thin consistency is removed faster from the ears as compared to viscous water with additives. 
  • Anatomy of your ears: People with narrow ear canals are likely to have water trapped in their ears for a long time. 
  • Quantity of wax in the ears: If your ears are already blocked because of excessive or hard wax, the removal of water from the ears is going to be difficult. 
  • Measures you take to keep the ears dry: If you pay attention to drying your ears after swimming, the water will be gone in a few hours. On the other hand, it stays for many days if you do nothing.

Although water is harmless, its presence in the ears for a long time puts you at risk of developing the following conditions,

  • Swimmer’s ears
  • Ear infections
  • Discharge from the ear
  • Pain in the ears
  • Itching and irritation in the ears
  • Muffled sounds

Therefore, it is essential to remove water from your ears as soon as possible to avoid these diseases.

The Best Way to Get Water out of Your Ear

Here are the 11 methods to get water out of your ears after swimming. 

1. Using A Towel

Removing water from the outer ear will help in evaporation of the water from the inner ear as well. So, 

  • Immediately after you come out of the pool, take a clean towel or washcloth
  •  Gently pat the area around your ears dry. 
  • Then use this clothing on the sides of the ear and outer ear canal to get rid of the water present here

2. Tilting the Head

If you feel like the water inside your ears is too much to simply evaporate by itself, remove it by movements of the head. For this,

  • Keep a towel on your shoulders and lie down on a bench on your bed
  • Wait for a few minutes
  • Pat the outer ear dry with another towel
  • Repeat the process on the other side

3. Moving Your Jaw

The eustachian tube is a small structure present between the inner ear and nose. Removal of water from this narrow tube can be a little tricky if it is close. You can open it by

  • Move your jaw in a way that you are chewing gum
  • Open your mouth wide as in a yawn
  • Tilt your head and remove the water

4. Trying Valsalva Manuever 

Valsalva maneuver is another way of opening an eustachian tube to remove water from it. For this, 

  • Close your nostrils by pinching them
  • Fill the air in your mouth
  • Carefully blow the air out 

5. Creating Vaccum 

When the water is deep inside the ear, you can use pressure to get it out. So, here is how you can create a vacuum in the ear,

  • Make a cup of your palm and place it on your ear
  • Now flatten the palm and make a cup of it again
  • Repeat it for a few time
  • Drain the water by tilting the head

6. Pulling the Ear Lobe

People with narrow ear canals can benefit by jiggling the ear lobes to remove water. You can perform this method by,

  • Shake your head from side to side
  • Keep a towel on your shoulder and turn your head towards the shoulder
  • Hold your ear lobe and pull it gently until water is removed 

7. Using a Hair Dryer

If you have a habit of drying your hair after swimming, it can help you remove water from the ear as well. Simply,

  • Turn on your hair dryer at its lowest level
  • Get it in front of your ear at some distance
  • Move it towards the ear and away from it while pulling your ear lobe down 

8. Putting Ear Drops/Spray into the Wet Ear

Some alcohol, glycerol, olive oil-containing ear drops, or sprays are available in the market. These can help in the removal of impacted wax and thus water retention in the ear. For this,

  • Take over-the-counter ear water drying drops
  • Put it in both ears one by one by tilting the head

9. Using Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is an effective home remedy for removing water from the ears and preventing swimmer’s ear. Therefore,

  • Make your own rubbing alcohol solution by mixing it with white vinegar
  • Put it inside your ears with the help of a soft bulb syringe 
  • Drain it out 

10. Using Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide helps in opening the ear canal and thus draining water from it. Here are some steps to use hydrogen peroxide at home.

  • Take any solution of hydrogen peroxide with a 3% concentration and add water to it in a ratio of 1:1
  • Put a few drops of diluted hydrogen peroxide in your ear
  • Wait for a few minutes 
  • Drain the excess solution out

11. Use More Water

Lastly, you can use warm water or saline solution to clean your ear and remove the swimming pool water from it. You can do so by,

  • Lying on your side with a towel on the pillow
  • Use a soft dropper or syringe to put water/saline solution inside it
  • Draining it out by turning your head to the opposite side 

What Not To Do While Getting Water Out of the Ears?

You can use any of the methods mentioned above to remove excess water from the ears. But, here are some things you must avoid,

  • Using Q-tips inside the ears
  • Taking the hair dryer too close to the ear canal
  • Putting anything in the ears if your tympanic membrane is perforated 

How to Prevent Water Get in Your Ear?

Here are some ways to prevent water from getting into your ear while swimming. 

1. Ear Plugs

Use waterproof ear plugs that fit perfectly into your ear canal before you jump into the water. You can also get ear molds customized to fit your ear. 

Also, dry your ear and remove the plugs as soon as you get out of the water.

2. Head Cap

Try to cover your ears with the head cap in a way that they cover your ears. Head caps or ear plugs alone might not be as effective as using both together. 

3. Keep Your Head Above Water

If swimming is your hobby, swim to your heart without putting your head underwater. Keeping your head above water will prevent direct inflow of water into your ears. 

4. Use Petroleum Jelly and Cotton Balls

If you do not have earplugs, cotton balls covered with petroleum jelly can serve as the best fix. 


Water gets inside the ears when you swim regularly and can become a source of infection and discomfort in the ears. So, it is essential to remove it from your ears after swimming to prevent ear diseases.

We mentioned some simple methods like pulling ear lobes and tilting the head to some solutions like OTC drops and rubbing alcohol to remove this water from your ears.

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