How to Remove Water From Ears After Swimming

Woman swimming in infinity pool
Swimming without a bathing cap might cause water to accumulate in your ears. (Image: Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

It is common for water to become trapped inside the ear canal after swimming. Removing the water is important since moisture left inside the ear canal can cause ear infections or "swimmer's ear." Removing water from ears after swimming is a simple process, but must be done immediately after getting out of the water.

Step 1

Shake out your head. This is the simplest and most basic way to remove water from ears after swimming. Much of the water will simply pour out of your ears with a good hard shake.

Step 2

Pop your ears. Do this by holding your nose closed with your fingers, closing your lips, and blowing air into your nasal cavity. You will notice pressure build inside your ears and your hearing will decrease.

Step 3

Place drops of rubbing alcohol in your ears. Rubbing alcohol dries up water on contact and will not harm your ears. You can buy over-the-counter drops to dry up water in your ears, but they contain about 95 percent rubbing alcohol and are much more expensive than plain rubbing alcohol. Turn your ear up and place enough drops in your ear so that your hearing is diminished. This is usually about five or six drops.

Step 4

Pull on your ear lobe and yawn. This will help the drops of rubbing alcohol move farther down your ear canal. You want the drops to get as deep as they can to get to the water stuck inside.

Step 5

Wait at least 30 seconds while the rubbing alcohol neutralizes the water in your ears. Do not change the position of your head while you wait. The ear you put the drops into should still be facing up.

Step 6

Turn your head over and allow the drops of rubbing alcohol to pour out of your ear. Use a towel or tissue to soak up the rubbing alcohol. Check your hearing. If it is still impaired by water in your ears, repeat this process.

Things You'll Need

  • Towel

  • Rubbing alcohol

Warning

If you have tried these steps several times and you still cannot get the water out of your ears, see a doctor. Do not allow days to go by without removing water from your ears or you could get an ear infection. If you experience pain in your ears, see a doctor immediately.

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