Have you ever experienced a clogged ear that just won’t seem to clear up? Whether it’s due to ear wax buildup, fluid accumulation, or another issue, a clogged ear can be uncomfortable and even affect your hearing. In some cases, it can even lead to an infection. Fortunately, there are a variety of remedies you can try at home to unclog your ear and get some relief.

In this article, we’ll discuss several solutions you can try to address a clogged ear. From using a warm compress to trying over-the-counter drops, there are plenty of options available to you. We’ll also offer tips for preventing clogged ears in the future, so you can keep your ears healthy and clear.

Use a Warm Compress

One of the easiest remedies for a clogged ear is to use a warm compress. This can help loosen and soften ear wax or fluid, making it easier to remove. Here’s how to make and use a warm compress:

  1. Start by soaking a washcloth or small towel in warm water.
  2. Wring out any excess water and fold the cloth or towel in half.
  3. Hold the warm compress against the affected ear for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Remove the compress and gently tilt your head to the side to allow any fluid or wax to drain.

Repeat this process as needed until your ear feels unclogged.

Try Over-the-Counter Drops

If a warm compress doesn’t do the trick, you may want to try using over-the-counter ear drops. There are several different types of ear drops available, each designed to target different types of blockages. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Ear wax softening drops: These drops contain ingredients that help break down ear wax, making it easier to remove. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and avoid overusing these drops.
  • Ear drying drops: If your clogged ear is caused by excess fluid, these drops can help dry out your ear canal. Avoid using these drops if you have a perforated eardrum.
  • Ear infection drops: If your clogged ear is due to an infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotic ear drops to help clear up the infection.

To use ear drops, follow these steps:

  1. Lie on your side with your affected ear facing up.
  2. Gently tug on your earlobe to straighten out your ear canal.
  3. Place the recommended number of drops into your ear canal.
  4. Remain lying down for several minutes to allow the drops to work.
  5. Tilt your head to the side to allow the drops to drain out.

Be sure to carefully read and follow the instructions on the package. If you’re unsure which type of ear drops to use or how to use them, consult with your doctor or pharmacist.

Use a Saline Solution

Another effective remedy for a clogged ear is to use a saline solution. Saline can help break down ear wax and flush it out of your ear canal. Here’s how to make and use a saline solution:

  1. Mix together 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 cup of warm water.
  2. Fill a bulb syringe with the saline solution.
  3. Tilt your head to the side and gently insert the syringe into your ear canal.
  4. Squeeze the syringe to release the saline solution into your ear.
  5. Tilt your head to the opposite side to allow the solution to drain out.

You can repeat this process 2-3 times per day until your ear feels unclogged. Be sure to use only sterile water and be cautious when using a bulb syringe to avoid injuring your eardrum.

Try the Valsalva Maneuver

The Valsalva maneuver is a technique that can help open up your Eustachian tubes and relieve pressure in your ears. Here’s how to perform the Valsalva maneuver:

  1. Inhale deeply.
  2. Pinch your nostrils closed with your fingers.
  3. Exhale gently through your nose, while keeping your nostrils pinched shut.

This technique can be repeated several times until your ears open up. Be cautious when performing the Valsalva maneuver, as it can cause discomfort or even injury if done too forcefully.

Get a Professional Ear Cleaning

If none of the home remedies seem to be working, you may need to seek the help of a healthcare professional. In some cases, a professional ear cleaning may be necessary to remove stubborn wax or fluid buildup. Here’s what to expect during a professional ear cleaning:

  • The healthcare professional will examine your ear canal using an otoscope.
  • If necessary, they may use a tool like a curette or suction device to remove any blockages.
  • You may experience some discomfort during the procedure, but it should be relatively quick and painless.

Be sure to select a qualified healthcare professional for the procedure, and be prepared to ask any questions you have beforehand to ensure you feel comfortable with the process.

Use a Gentle Suction Device

Another option for removing ear wax or fluid buildup is to use a gentle suction device. These devices can help remove the blockage without the risk of injuring your eardrum. Here are some types of suction devices you can try:

  • Bulb syringe: A bulb syringe can be used to gently flush out excess fluid in the ear canal.
  • Ear irrigator: Designed to mimic the flow of water in our ears, an ear irrigator can help remove excess wax or fluid buildup. Be sure to use only sterile water and follow the instructions carefully.
  • Ear wax removal kit: These kits often come with an irrigator and a softener solution to help gently remove ear wax. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and avoid overusing the solution.

Consult with your doctor or pharmacist to select the best type of suction device for your specific blockage.

Avoid Using Cotton Swabs

Although cotton swabs may seem like an easy solution for unclogging your ears, they can actually make the problem worse. Cotton swabs can push wax or other debris deeper into your ear canal, making it even harder to remove. Instead, try these alternatives:

  • Rinsing: Using gentle rinsing techniques like the ones listed above can help remove blockages without causing harm.
  • Gravity: Simply tilting your head to the side can allow fluid or wax to drain out of your ear naturally over time.
  • Professional cleaning: If you’re concerned about significant blockages, seek the help of a healthcare professional to safely remove the blockage.


Hopefully, these remedies have helped you to unclog your ear and get some relief. Remember to avoid using cotton swabs and be cautious when trying any of these solutions. If your clogged ear persists or if you experience any pain or discomfort, be sure to consult with your doctor. To prevent clogged ears in the future, be sure to practice good ear hygiene and avoid water or excessive noise exposure whenever possible.

By Riddle Reviewer

Hi, I'm Riddle Reviewer. I curate fascinating insights across fields in this blog, hoping to illuminate and inspire. Join me on this journey of discovery as we explore the wonders of the world together.

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