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How to Get Water Out of Your Ear

Water in the ear can be a very irritating thing. It mostly happens to swimmers, but can occasionally happen to you when you bathe or shower. Most of the time, water in the ear is just aggravating because it tickles. However, sometimes water that is dirty, or that was entered into your ear during a severe situation like a high jump into water can cause an ear infection. It is especially then that you would want to get water out of your ear as quickly as possible. Here are some of the best ways to pull water from your ear:

Q-tip/Cotton Swab:

This is often the go-to item for many who are cleaning water and/or wax out of your ear. It is important not to stick this tool too far into your ear, as it can damage your eardrum if you push on it. Because of this, many medical professionals severely warn against using these for ear cleaning.


A lot of the water can leave your ears if you turn your head the right way for it to leave. Some people who do this like to twist their hair into a towel, bun or ponytail if it is wet to keep the wet hair from dripping more water into the ear. Successful positions include turning your head upside down and shaking it like you are saying “no”, or laying on your side over a towel that is wadded up to go slightly into your ear- often if just the tip of the towel touches the water, the whole amount will wick into the towel and out of your ear.


Placing a hot washcloth behind your ears can reduce any swelling that may be happening, and change the way the water is flowing around your ears. This might be enough to have the water work its way out of your ears, or it is something to try before returning to the q-tip and positioning tricks a second time.


Several ear drops exist to help ease the water out of your ears and protect you from infection. Check the pharmacy section of your favorite store.

When to Call the Doctor:

If the water in your ears is causing pain instead of tickling, you might have the beginning of an ear infection. These can become more and more painful as time goes on. If your pain lasts more than a day, or becomes too much to bear, go see a doctor immediately. They will likely give you antibiotics or antibiotic drops to end the infection.

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