Blocked Ear Cures

Last Modified on Jul 31, 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.

Posted 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.

Posted by Mama To Many
705 Posts
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~

Posted by Samantha
New Zealand
2 Posts
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.

Posted by Mama To Many
705 Posts
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. :)

Posted 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.

Posted by Mama To Many
705 Posts
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~

Posted 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

Posted by Timh
1294 Posts
@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.


Posted by Mama To Many
Tennessee, Usa
705 Posts
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~

Posted by Jillery
North America
48 Posts
[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!

Posted 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.

Remedies Needed   1  0   

Posted by Rachel (Uk) on 01/11/2014

Hi for years had bad sinus' watery eye and feeling that my ear is full and everything is muffled. Tried antibiotics and numerous nose sprays from doctors they work for a while but then it comes back. The doctors check my ears every time and say all is clear. Any ideas on things I could try? Many thanks

Posted by Mmsg
Somewhere, Europe
Rachel, have you tried going dairy-free for a week?
Posted by Mama To Many
Tennessee, Usa
705 Posts
Hi Rachel,

I agree with Mmsg that trying to avoid dairy for a week might help and would be a possible solution.

We have recently had success with Dave's advice on colloidal silver in the ears and nose for ear and sinus issues. I am using 10ppm colloidal sliver 3-4 times a day in a dropper bottle. (I have done this on myself and on children.) For me, I put a dropperful in each ear 3 times a day and several drops into each nostril 3 times a day. I felt like I was coming down with something and did this with homemade Elderberry Syrup and I went from flu-like to fine in 24 hours.

My toddler seems to be teething and had a clear runny nose. I did the above into his nose and ears--when I went to do his ear, I realized that the ear canal was actually swollen (but he seemed to have no pain.) After one dose of the silver in the ears, the swelling was down. (I continued for several more treatments anyway.)

My daughter had a stuffy nose and was bothered by not being able to breathe. She was willing to try anything, so we tried cayenne. NOT for the faint at heart! 1/8th teaspoon of cayenne pepper into 1 ounce of water. Drop a couple of drops into each nostril. It did sting for a short time but she said it felt better and was able to breathe all night.

Mullein Leaf tea is very good for clearing out congestion. You could drink up to 3 cups a day.

I would try Raw Apple Cider Vinegar also. Start with 1 teaspoon in a glass of water once or twice a day and build up to 1 Tablespoon.

All of these things could be done together, though if you do the cayenne and silver in the nose, don't do them within an hour of each other.

Do let us know how it goes! If none of these things work, there are other things to try!

~Mama to Many~

Posted by Miranda (Melbourne, Vic, Australia) on 09/11/2009

Mother with Blocked Ears - Help

Hi, i have been reading this site for a few months now, and have tried many of the remedies which have been fantastic! i am OPing most days, i eat more tumeric, i have made a cayenne tincture which helps my allergies - i put 20gm of organic cayenne pepper into a glass jar with about 150ml of high proof alcohol and i left it for 2 weeks, shaking it 4 times a day.i use a few drops in my mouth to stop a reaction, it is amazing stuff.

however my mother has had blocked ears for the last 8 weeks and nothing we do seems to help. she takes ACV as i do, plus a multitude of other things, and nothing seems to change it. there is no wax in her ears and the blockage is in the inner ear, her head is numb, and she feels very dry and light headed. i have been reading about bed incline therapy and am considering that, but does anyone else have another suggestion?

Posted by Tricia
93 Posts
I would be wary of incline bed therapy for this as if there is a blockage of air or dead skin or infection in the eustacian canal it could move it to another site or spread within the same passage and create a worse problem. If it is only air, as in the same pressure that air travellers get, maybe holding mouth and nose shut then trying to blow may help.
Posted by Mike
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Just in answer to Miranda, from Melbourne re problem with blocked ears. Im a 51 year old male and have had blocked ears on and off for around 5 years, went to the doctor sevral times and recieved different antibiotics, drops, ear candles, ears flushed at the clinic, only to have the problem return...until i tried this home mix which has worked with out any side effects, and my ears have been clear now for at least 3 months.....

The mix is 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, 1 tablespoon peroxide, 1 tablespoon baby oil....all can be got from the local supermarket... mix into an eye dropper bottle and place 4 or 5 drops into each ear, massage in on each side for a few minutes to make sure it gets in behind the ear drum ..( you will hear it working, sound like popping corn going off inside you ear and thats it.. you may have to do this 2or 3 times, but it seems to kill all the bugs in there and all the wax thats built up... give it a go you will be suprised....Mike..

Posted by Nan
Twin Falls, Idaho
The most important thing that I can do to help my plugged ears is avoid all dairy products. Non dairy creamer has cassin and I have to limit non dairy items for they add some part of the milk for flavor. It is a hard sacrifice I could live on cheese. Every once in awhile I forget to check and I get hard of hearing but the even worse I get a "dairy hangover" after sleeping horizontally. It took me 40 years to learn this about myself and wish I had figured it out as a kid.

I have learned from my chiropractor when my balance is affected from plugged ears to sit on the side of the bed and lay down on one side flat and then sit up again repeat to the other side. It can make you dizzy and woozy and you may want to stop. Repeat 3x's on both sides. This will disslodge and move the contents of your sinuses. Then take you hands and pull down from your ears where your draining tubes are and help move it out. I have felt it go into my stomach. Repeat this a few times during the day until it is gone. The sooner you get to it the better. Very effective.

Another tip is to cup your hands over your ears and create suction to start moving things. I find doing it in the shower helps makes a good seal. I really don't like doing this but it helps.

Posted by Kelly
La, Ca
I was sitting at home and suddenly my right ear felt like someone put an earplug in it. It was odd, then 20 mins later my left ear did it too. Needless to say I was freaking out. It all happened so suddenly. I read the post about cupping your hands over your ears so I figured it was simple enough to try and it worked! My right ear returned to normal! The left one is a little stuffy still, but I'm typing this instead of trying it!
Posted by Angelina
Seattle, Washington
2 Posts
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.

Posted by Carmel
Clacton On Sea, Essex, Uk
18 Posts
Am having problems with blocked ear (MOSTLY ONE) and sinus, nose, also headaches and face hurting. It is not ear wax. I have had lots of anti biotics, steroids etc and none work. Also had an operation on my nose last year and since then have had the blocked ear problems all the time. Really driving me nuts and find it hard to work. It seems to affect my memory, short term is bad, concentration bad, but this might just be because I am so down with it. I have tried the cayenne pepper idea just now, so far no improvement. And I am sitting here with a clove of garlic in each ear making sure it cannot go right in. Will keep in touch but would love to hear from others in meantime.
Posted by Sue
Adelaide, South Australia
to Mike from Gold Coast, Queensland

I just used your remedy (1 tablespoon of white vinegar, 1 tablespoon peroxide, 1 tablespoon baby oil) for blocked ears, I substituted baby oil with olive oil, I also held a warm wheat bag over the area & WOW in about a minute the ear has almost unblocked, I'll keep trying! THANK YOU!

to Carmel from Clacton On Sea, Essex, Uk

I truly understand what you're going through, 3 years ago I had to have surgically inserted grommets both ears were so bad I was going deaf. Blocked, painful & infected ears has continued on since childhood (I'm in my 50's), I still have the occasional problem but maybe you can try Mike's remedy above as I have tonight. Also do you meditate? GOOD LUCK!

Posted by Gavin
Manganui, Northland, New Zealand
340 Posts
[YEA]   I had a blocked and deaf ear for at least fifteen years after an ear infection. Last xmas I started to add lemon juice to my daily hit of apple cider vinegar. It started to clear within a week and over a period of three months is as good as the other ear which has also improved. So I urge you to try it out.
Posted by Sun
Pune, India
home remedy for blocked ear and pain: hard candy and also chewing gum also help.
Posted by Diana
First, I must say.... I enjoy this site as a nurse and Physiology instructor at a local university. I am always looking to learn from people around me; and am excited when I see through a new perspective, thanks to anothers beautiful mind and personal experience.

I feel, we must always be open to learn, teach, share, respect others, and be sensitive to all people. Everyone that provides advice is based on their experience and is not a one shoe fits all. We speak from personal expierence, whether right or wrong. This is a support site not FB, rude messaging is disrespectful an unnecessary. Words can never be taken back. Please keep in mind, no one knows the person on the other side of the keyboard, nor how words can hurt them. Is it so difficult to be conscious and mindful?

Anyway, for ear aches, I've read many post here and wanted to make a comment about the rubbing behind the ear to move congestion.

This procedure is called "lymphatic drainage. " Go on youtube and watch videos on "how to perform cervical lymphatic drainage " if you want to learn the technique:) I teach this method to many and practice it myself during flu season. As well, you may find a licensed specialist in your area.

I thank everyone for their contribution to this site.

Posted by Bess
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Hi Diana from Tallahassee - What a lovely and thoughtful post! Your words are very true - a little respect goes a long way.

Thanks for the information about the lymphatic drainage. I'll have to try that - I used to just put a very warm washcloth against my ear but that only gave me temporary relief. Good health to you and yours! Cheers, Bess

Posted by Lloyd
Charlotte, Nc
472 Posts
I get an ear infection every year or so: Most infections are viral. And most stopping up of the ears are simply a virus in the ear canals... Which may get to the throat via the eustacian tubes. Every ear infection/ or stopped up ear I've EVER gotten is knocked out instantly by Colloidal Silver. You have to use a high PPM... Mine is over 100 ppm. Two applications within an hour of each other is normal for me.

Mike's post above in this thread should work because part of his formula is hydrogen peroxide which also is a virucide. But I think CS is better. Sore throat? Gargle with CS. Sinus infection? Do a sinus irrigation. Ear infection? Same.

Posted by Tana
Santa Fe, NM
About the colloidal silver- you said it was the same as for the sinus- to irrigate? Or do you just put drops of the silver in your ear?
Posted by Lloyd
Charlotte, Nc
472 Posts
To Tana, Re Colloidal Silver, You irrigate with the silver; sinus and ears.


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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