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How to Get Rid of Clogged Ears

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Has your hearing become muffled? Fortunately, in many cases, it may have nothing to do with your actual hearing ability. Often it is simply due to a clogged ear, which refers to a blockage in the ear canal.

Symptoms of a clogged ear include reduced hearing capacity, a popping sensation in your ear, a windy sound inside the ear, and a feeling of having mucus or liquid within the ear.

You can get a clogged ear when the Eustachian tube does not open and close properly to regulate and equalize the pressure between the middle ear and the pressure in the atmosphere outside the ear.


Common factors that can cause clogged ears are wax buildup, air flow blockage to the Eustachian tubes, pressure differences in the middle ear, and cold and sinus problems. Clogged ears can affect people of all ages, but is most common among children, especially when they have colds.

As well as being annoying, a clogged ear can be quite painful. It’s important to treat it early. There are many natural treatments that you can use to unclog ears.

how to get rid of clogged ears

Here are the top 10 ways to get rid of clogged ears.


1. Valsalva Maneuver

You can easily get rid of clogged ears by performing the Valsalva maneuver. It will relieve stuffiness and pain in the ear.

  1. Close your mouth and pinch your nostrils closed with your fingers, then take a deep breath.
  2. Blow air out of your nose to regulate the air pressure. If done correctly, you will hear a slight popping sound which means the Eustachian tubes are open again.

Note: Don’t blow your nose too hard as it may cause damage to the ear drum.
Check out this video to learn about Valsalva maneuver and other ear equalization techniques.

2. Olive Oil

For clogged ears due to a buildup of wax inside the ears, you can use olive oil. Olive oil will help soften ear wax so you can easily remove it.

  1. Gently warm some pure olive oil.
  2. Use a dropper to put a few drops of the lukewarm olive oil in the affected ear.
  3. Allow it to settle for 10 minutes so that the earwax becomes soft.
  4. Keep your head sideways and remove the oil and ear wax with ear buds. Do this very gently so you don’t hurt the delicate organ.

You can also use baby oil or mineral oil in place of olive oil.

3. Alcohol and Apple Cider Vinegar

To destroy any kind of bacterial infection that may be causing clogged ears, you can use a combination of alcohol and apple cider vinegar.

  1. Mix equal amounts of alcohol and apple cider vinegar.
  2. Lie down on your side and use a dropper to put a few drops of this mixture in the affected ear.
  3. To keep the mixture from spilling out, place a cotton ball in the ear and do not raise your head.
  4. Rest for five to 10 minutes to allow the mixture to do its work.
  5. Remove the earwax with an ear bud.
  6. If the other ear is also clogged, repeat the process with the other ear.

4. Warm Compress

A warm compress is a very good natural treatment for clogged ears associated with colds or sinus congestion. The heat from a warm compress will help loosen congestion, unclog the ear and ease the pain.

  • Soak a washcloth in warm water, wring out the excess water and then hold the washcloth over the affected ear for five to 10 minutes. This will help to ease pain and promote fluid drainage.
  • Alternatively, you can wrap a hot water bottle in a thin towel and apply it to the clogged ear for five to 10 minutes to relieve the pressure and open up the clogged ear.

5. Steam

Inhaling steam is one of the simplest ways to get rid of clogged ears resulting from a 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.

  1. Pour hot steaming water in a large bowl.
  2. Add a few drops of tea tree oil or lavender essential oil to it.
  3. Cover your head with a towel and inhale the steam slowly until the clogged ear opens up.

You can also take a hot shower for about 10 minutes to relieve clogged ears.

6. Hydrogen Peroxide

You can use hydrogen peroxide to unclog ears blocked by wax accumulation.

  1. Using a dropper, put two drops of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide in the affected ear.
  2. You will hear fizzing within a few minutes. Wait 10 minutes or until the fizzing stops.
  3. Then tilt your head to let the solution and earwax drain out.

Note: Do not use hydrogen peroxide in excess as it can cause harm to your ear drums.

How to Get Rid of Clogged Ears was last modified: September 30th, 2016 by Top10HomeRemedies
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150 thoughts on “How to Get Rid of Clogged Ears”

  1. Regarding the use of ear candles~Before becoming a nurse, I worked in the O.R. as a surgical technologist/First Assist with my speciality being ENT (eyes, nose, throat).
    Our most seasoned surgeon of 20+ years, highly advised AGAINST the use of ear candles.
    The debris given off as the candle burns can cause more ear canal build up and thus increasing the risk of further damage.

    Do what you will with this information. I appreciate and support holistic, Natural remedies but we must be sensible. Just because something is organic or all natural doesn’t make it safe. Keep in mind poison ivy is 100% all natural!

  2. Warm baby oil in problem ear, leave 10 mins. Then tilt head , oil will loosen wax then out it comes. Works for me.

  3. I suffer at least one ear infection a year, even though I try to keep the wax minimized (with Debrox, etc.). This time it felt like it was almost done and then completely relapsed, which is even more maddening. I felt like I was teased and then had my dream torn away.

    I think I have issues with Eustachian tube issues because I feel build up, become water logged, feels like the ear canal swells (probably because I can’t stop myself from trying to re-open by every means) and then finally I am unable to hear from that ear. It sometimes feels like someone glued my ear canal closed.

    Today I tried something (that I read elsewhere) and it seems EXTREMELY helpful. Take 2 wash clothes, wet them down with hot water, wring out excessive water (but not too much). Put them both on a plates an microwave them for about a minute (you will get a hang of how much time feels right for you). Put each one in a separate cup and hold them against your head with one around each ear (for at least a couple minutes until you feel the steam cool).

    IMPORTANT: Make sure the cups are deep enough so the wash rags don’t touch your ears. It is the steam effect that helps, not physical .

    I found this sooooooooooooo soothing and vowed to spread the word. I was up last night looking at every possible path to relief and I feel for anyone else going though that pain. I did this once an hour for a total of 4 times today and my ear is open. It was totally sealed shut when I got up this morning (if you consider what I did last night as “sleeping”).

    I really hope this helps at least one person, as I know the madness that comes with clogged ears. No one can truly understand the mental state a clogged ear can bring unless that have been unlucky enough to have suffered one.

    If this works for you, please pass it on.

    1. Thank you Jim for sharing this info! My ears have been stopped up for over 3 weeks. I’m on my second round of antibiotics and had a steroid shot last week, none of which has worked. I’ve also tried peroxide, alcohol, vinegar mixtures and none of those worked for me either. But the info you shared WORKED!!!! THANK YOU AGAIN!

  4. Have just given this a go and hey think it may have helped. Can certainly do no harm apart from my hubby walking in on me and thinking I have finally gone totally nuts.. Will try again in an hour

  5. All of these but one, are not good to do. 3 years ago I had a severe block in my left ear, and had to go to the E.R. The size of the build up that was removed looked like an alien and when they were done, the doc used a peroxide AND warm water flush afterward. He said and I quote, “never use anything BUT this solution to clear out your ears. oils only build up as fast as the build up initially does.”

  6. My boyfriend is a chiropractor and whenever my ears feel clogged he adjusts them. You can feel them drain afterwards and it really helps. If you see a chiropractor for back stuff maybe ask them if they can do your ears as well when you go in (Warning: it’s the most uncomfortable adjustment in my opinion. But I’m also a big baby when I get adjusted)

  7. Most of the previous solutions work for some people. But here’s one that I use. Open your mouth and
    drop your jaw as far as you can make it go. Then move your jaw from side to side as far as you can make it go. You can feel the feel your ears pop. Good luck

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