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Blocked Ear Cures

Last Modified on Nov 28, 2014

We all know the feeling of blocked ears – cottony feeling on the inside, difficulty hearing…But, what you might not know is that most causes of ear blockage are relatively easy to treat. If you are dealing with blocked ears, try a natural cure like vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, mineral oil, or one of our reader-contributed suggestions.

What Is Ear Blockage?

We use the term ear blockage to refer to the feeling of stuffiness or congestion in your ears. The feeling is typically caused by inflammation or a blockage in the tubes that connect your middle ear and the back of your throat. The causes of ear blockage vary and range from wax buildup to cold congestion and even hearing issues.

Can Natural Remedies Unplug Stubborn Blockage?

Treatment for ear blockage depends largely on the cause of your condition, which is one of the biggest reasons it is important to consult your doctor prior to treating naturally. With many cases, though, you can successfully clear ear blockage with natural remedies. Vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and mineral oil are three of the best treatment options; however, there are a number of others as well.

1. Vinegar

Vinegar is an effective ear remedy for a variety of symptoms associated with ear blockage. The liquid can help relieve itchiness and discomfort, prevent infection, and remove excess ear wax. In most cases all you need to do to treat your blocked ear is tip your ear to one side and use a dropper to drip vinegar down the side of your ear canal. Fill your ear with the vinegar and let it soak for 5 minutes, then gently pull on your ear lobe, and tip your head the opposite direction to remove all of the vinegar.

2. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a standing remedy for treating ear infection, soothing pain, and relieving ear blockages. This remedy helps remove ear wax, treat infection, prevent colds and flu, and heal infectious issues. To employ this remedy, tilt your head to one side and then drop two to three drops of the peroxide into your ear. Wait until the bubbling stops and tilt your head to the other side to remove the hydrogen peroxide. Gently cleanse your ear with water and dry it with a soft towel.

3. Mineral Oil

Mineral oil is another effective remedy for blocked ears primarily due to ear wax. This treatment helps soften the wax in your ears, making removal much easier. To use this treatment option, use an eyedropper to gently squirt a few drops of mineral oil into your ear. Apply the oil for 3 to 4 days, and the wax should be softened enough to make removal easy with a cotton swab or q-tip. Be sure to avoid pushing the earwax in deeper and never dig out hardened wax with a sharp or pointed object.

In addition to these remedies, try using a vaporizer to relieve congestion, eating hot foods to relieve inflammation associated with your sinuses, or adding one of your own remedies to our list to help others. Continue reading below for many more recommendations from our readers to help blocked ears!

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User Reviews

Apple Cider Vinegar   2  0   

Posted by Angelina (Seattle, Washington) on 09/09/2011

[YEA]  I have suffered with blocked, congested ears and ear aches most of my childhood and until recently in my 30s. I found my healing solution which has changed my life completely.

Daily: I apply apple cider vinegar to a q-tip and hold in each ear for a few seconds.

I am able to work on the telephone without blocked ear drums. The pain has stopped. I have also regained inner ear balance. I feel like a new person.

Try it, it will work within 1 to 3 days. I have felt a little iritation come back once I stopped for a day, so I am continuing treatment daily and it is keeping my ears clear and healthy.

Replied by Stefan
Lincoln University, Pa

[YEA]   Wow.. Really clears it up fast. Thank you!!

Crackling in Ear Cures   0  0   

Posted by Samantha (New Zealand) on 07/09/2014

Dear Earthclinic,

For the past week or so I have had a crackling sound in my ear, first noticed when I eat. Outer location is mid to lower ear. Ear is not sore inflamed or infected. Please could you advise on a treatment as I would like to aid my body's ability in resolving this so it doesn't infect. Kind Regards, Sam.

Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Sam,

The easiest and least expensive thing to try first would be hydrogen peroxide in the ears a couple of times a day for a week (longer is fine, some do this daily! ). If you get a lot of bubbling, it is dissolving wax, which I believe can be a cause of this. It is also helpful if there is any infection present.

Let us know how it goes!

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Samantha
New Zealand

Many, many thanks to Mama of Many! Will try. How does one administer the Hydrogen Peroxide? and the amount you use re: application?

Appreciate your response, Sam.

Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Sam,

I keep some hydrogen peroxide in a glass dropper bottle and just put a dropperful into each ear that needs treating. Easiest to be on your side and let it sit in there at least 5 minutes. Have a tissue or cotton ball ready to catch the extra when you roll over to treat the other side.

Alternately, I just pour some peroxide right into the cap and pour into each ear. This is just more likely to spill if I am doing it to myself instead of a family member. :)

Let us know how it works for you!

~Mama to Many~

Echinacea   1  0   

Posted by Guinea Pig (Midwest) on 02/01/2014

[YEA]  I have found that over the years of herbal trials and experiments that Echinacea is the most effective means to clear the ears. It takes a couple days for the wax to soften, but the ears will become itchy and feel like they want to run. Don't be timid as to how much to use. A teaspoon is not necessarily an overdose taken for a few days. :)

Replied by Cindy

Could you please be more specific as to how you are using the Echinacea for blocked ears? Internally or directly in the ears etc. Thanks

Hot Wash Cloth Method   1  0   

Posted by Del (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) on 11/01/2009

[YEA]  for blocked ears run a wash cloth under very hot running water and hold it behind your ear, do this for about 5 minutes making sure it stays hot and then rub downward on your head right behind your ear to milk out the blockage.

Hydrogen Peroxide   1  1   

Posted by Gertie (Al) on 07/30/2014

[NAY]  I've been hearing a clicking noise in my ears. Did the peroxide but no help. Happened to be a dr office, had him look in my ears. Said good, clean, etc. No infection or wax. told me my eustachian tube is blocked, take sudafed. I did but it didn't help. Now, in addition to the clickin, I have a crackling and, when I bend down, it sounds like ocean waves--so I've got fluid in there. I have put a dab of vicks in my outer ear, but nothing. Any suggestions? Thanks.

Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Gertie,

Mullein leaf, in capsules or tea can help thin fluids so they can drain. If you do the tea, I would take 3-4 cups per day. You can add peppermint to make it taste better, but it isn't bad plain. Garlic oil in the ears a couple of times a day for a week may kill infection that is lingering. The vicks is a good idea. You may need to do that a few times a day for a week or two.

To make Garlic oil, I crush a couple of cloves of garlic and put it into some coconut or olive oil. Heat very lightly for about an hour. You don't want it even to get quite to a simmer. You can even add a bit of mullein leaf to this. Strain and put into a dropper bottle. You will get a stronger oil if you put the crushed garlic in oil and let it sit for 10 days and then strain. You could always start some now. It stores in the fridge if you don't need it right away. Garlic oil is also great for cough.

I would also consider Dave's sinus and ear irrigation method with colloidal silver.

Let us know how it goes!

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Om
Hope Bc Canada

Hi Gertie from Al ---- you may want to try this ayurvedic remedy:

Turmeric dust with alum 1: 20. Make a slim funnel from paper or try a straw, whatever works best. Let a friend do it or if no one, place a finger to stop the end of the funnel and then direct it down the ear canal. This is for otorrhea. It dries up the moisture.

Let us know how you are doing.

Namaste, Om

Replied by Timh

@Gertie: I occasionally have that "clicking" noise also but not the watery slushing sound. I think this is a condition of some kind of infection and the examinations are worthless in detecting. I also sometimes have eye infection, so this is further connection to the clicking in the ears.

Anyway, I regularly use Magnet Therapy all over my head as well as eyes. A few days ago my vision got blurry in one eye so I used my mini Don Croft Zapper over my whole head (which I also do occasionally) and especially close to the infected eye, and my vision is today back to normal.

Colloidal Silver taken orally plus applied topically in the ear should help. An Ozonator manufactured for purifying food & water should help as a method of "ear insufflation" (can buy on Amazon for about $60).

Posted by Lokismum (Shotteswell, England) on 12/09/2013

[YEA]  I suffer with horrible pressure and tinnitus in both ears but worse in my left ear. I don't remember the last time I could hold my nose and blow my ear clear. The only times my ears would clear was outside in the fresh air. I have just had a horrible cold, and my ears are even worse now. I have been reading the posts here and thought I would try Hydrogen Peroxide. I used it in my left ear this morning with no joy, and have just done it again this evening, and I blew and my ear popped!! The tinnitus is still there and my ear feels a bit full, but the pressure is much reduced. I am so impressed. I see no signs of ear wax, but maybe that will come later. Thanks to everyone for taking the trouble to review blocked ears and the remedies they successfully use.

Liquid in Ear Canal Remedies   1  0   

Posted by Tom (Fort Worth, Texas) on 01/16/2014

Question to Anyone:

Does anyone have a suggestion for "liquid in ear canal"? I've had that asked a few times and have experienced the same. Not always, just occasionally the problem is present. I've assumed this is either fungus produced or wax induced. I first try drying out with a Q-tip or Kleenex tightly rolled and carefully inserted into ear canal to dry it out. Often this does not work and the canal still has liquid within an hour.

I've treated with a tiny bit of clay mixed with a bit of purified water and that is saturated until "creamy" and then gently with a Q-tip a bit is placed into ear canal and I try to line the canal with the wet clay. The clay dries and cleans out the canal eventually falling out over the next day. That has been a good solution, but am looking for any other suggestions, both as to cause and treatment.


Replied by Mama To Many
Tennessee, Usa

Dear Tom,

Thanks for sharing your solution with clay. That is fascinating!

I think some other things I might try would be one of the following:

hydrogen peroxide (capful) in the ear once or twice a day for a couple of weeks. If wax is the issue, you could just do this a couple of times a week as a preventative.


colloidal silver in the ear a couple of times a day for a couple of weeks (dropperful of 10ppm)

or charcoal water in the ear a couple of times a day for a couple of weeks. (1 teaspoon activated charcoal powder in 4 ounces of water, then strain out the charcoal with a coffee filter. The water left will have very fine charcoal particles in it. We have found it effective for eye and ear issues.) You could use a dropperful of this.

Mullein tea is also a great option for getting things to drain out. Several cups of the tea a day could be taken internally (strain it through a coffee filter if using bulk tea as the hairs can be irritating.)

Let us know what you find out!

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Jillery
North America

[YEA]   Hi Tom,

When I would get swimmers ear I would put a few drops of alcohol (rubbing not drinking. lol) and that would force the water out in some way. Not sure if this is applicable to your issue but I thought I would put in my two cents. Good luck!

Replied by Tom
Fort Worth, Texas

Mama to Many,

Thanks for the recommendations. I'll for sure try the charcoal water remedy. And the colloidal silver will try. Maybe it is infection.

Replied by Kacky58
Easley, S.C.

What can I use on outside of ear for fluid to hopefully draw it out? Due to much scarring from lancing and perforated ear (always right ear) drums as a child, added substance creates worse problems. I usually have to have ears "vacuumed" out by an ENT. There is a period of time when fluid collects, I can lean over to side of right ear and fluid will drain out. But not this time. Just wondering if something can be used.
Replied by Om
Hope, Bc, Canada

Kacky58 -- here is an Ayurvedic remedy, very inexpensive and it works.

Buy a small amount of alum powder and turmeric powder not out of caps. Take alum and turmeric five to twenty and mix the powders. Have someone pour it into your ear or make a funnel or use a straw and keep in the ear for a while. A few days later use a small quantity of garlic olive oil warmed, and introduce into the ear. I have used it and it dries wet places. You could repeat this just once more in a week. Let us know how it works for you.

Namaste, Om

Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Kacky58,

A warm rice sock held over the ear may be helpful. We just put rice in a sock and tie it off and microwave it. (Heating up rice socks is the reason I keep a microwave in my house.) If you did this before bed and could position yourself to have the rice sock over the ear for a good while for a few nights that may help.

A clove of garlic, peeled of its thin papery skin, but not pricked or broken, put at the ear opening and held on with a bandana may help to draw out the fluid.

Peppermint essential oil, 1 drop, massaged around the outside of the ear (avoid contact with eyes or mouth) may help fluid to move.

Mullein tea or tincture, taken internally, may also help things to drain.

~Mama to Many~


DISCLAIMER: Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.

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