Blocked Ear Cures

| Modified on Jan 24, 2024

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!

ACV, Oil Pulling, Eliminating Dairy

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Michael (New Zealand) on 06/25/2016

I have suffered from Ear, Nose and Throat issues ever since having a cricket injury to my nose at primary school. Until I was in my twenties I couldn't breathe through my nose at all!!

I have had various operations to cure congestion, swellings and headaches years ago and whilst the last two were fixed up pretty well, I have had debilitating congestion for many years, especially with the change in seasons or during DAMP weather. I have been an avid Apple Cider Vinegar and honey imbiber for years but I recently upped my dosage to twice a day.

I started "pulling" with Coconut oil and then started actually eating the stuff too. I finally gave up DAIRY completely a few months ago and boy what a difference to my congestion all these actions have provoked!

To anybody being driven crazy with blocked ears especially (mine felt as if they were filled with concrete but there was seldom (but occasionally) an excess of wax in them strangely enough), give some, or preferably all, of the above a trial and monitor your reaction.

ALSO, I have not seen on this excellent site any reference to an Ayurvedic trick, whereby you alternate the closing of the nostrils and do the various breathing exercises they recommend. Takes about a week to gain relief but worked a treat for me even before I embarked on my "Earth Care Journey".

I occasionally use the Neti Pot Remedy too. Go well!

Replied by Ishu


How long have you used Apple cider vinegar? I have really bad clogged ears for months now, apparently due to a fluid concentration difference in my inner ear and my doctors have not helped at all. I did try ACV + rubbing alcohol and it did work but the my ears were clogged again a week later. Is it safe to use ACV + rubbing alcohol often without doing damage to your ears?

Apple Cider Vinegar

3 User Reviews
5 star (3) 

Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee) on 02/02/2016

Rubbing alcohol is usually what is used in the ears with vinegar - equal parts of both.

~Mama to Many~

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

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)

Wow.. Really clears it up fast. Thank you!!

Replied by Neil23


Not sure where to post this and new here so please excuse.... I am getting so stressed about this... and it is so debilitating along with headaches that go with it...

My first questions is - how can adding anything into the outer ear - get past the ear drum into the middle ear? ie Cider Vinegar?

I am unable to use the peroxide due to personal reasons of not being able to buy it...

I currently have tinnitus and also a 'blocked feeling' in my ears (mainly right ear). I have had hearing tests and they report that my hearing is okay. I do also have headaches that may or may not be tinnitus related. I do not have wax in my ears.

I first had tinnitus nearly 3 months ago - which at first sounded like an engine running in my head. That went after a week. Which left a on/off high pitch noise.
Subsequently (It may have been there at the time but I didn't notice it) and more so in the past couple of weeks I have noticed a blocked tension type feeling in my head and seems to be behind my ears. It is very debilitating.

I saw my GP 2 weeks ago when the tension aspect wasn't there so much and all he did was take my blood pressure which he said was okay.

I don't have evidence of an ear infection.

I have been having garlic cloves - 2 a day for the past couple of weeks.

Also drinking herbal tea (am vegan so no dairy products - or smoking)

Also gargling with salt water and having some Cider vinegar diluted in water.

Any advice as to what the problem could be and what to do about it?

It feels like blocked or not working correctly eustacian tubes or blocked mucus etc in middle ear... any mucus type I have is clear in throat or nose is clear....

Thanks in advance....

Replied by Sandy

I read Apple Cider vinegar is great for fading sun spots, after trying this for a few days, I realized that my ears became unblocked and I could actually could hear the television at a much lower volume . I went from volume 85 now 25 . I'm going to try putting the Apple Cider vinegar on the q tip. I'm assuming that's why my ears became unblocked after 10 years of blocked ears. By the way it's great for fading sun sports and age spots as well.

Replied by Michael
(New Zealand)

Hello Sandy, Could you please give all of us the details of how you unblocked your ears using ACV. Did you inhale the steam or rub it around your ear lobes? Did you dilute it and, if so, by how much? And also, how long did it take to see the benefits? Were you working on the outside or the inside of the ear drum? Is a "Q tip" a cotton bud?

Cheers, Michael

Apple Cider Vinegar + Rubbing Alcohol

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Jill (Orlando) on 06/02/2015

Apple Cider Vinegar For Clogged Ears

I just read on this site, mix equal parts Apple Cider Vinegar with alcohol. Drip a few drops into clogged ear, while laying on opposite ear. Allow to remain a few seconds then turn over to drain a little then lay back on unaffected ear so the liquid can keep working. My ear had been clogged from traveling on plane 24 hours prior! It was so frustrating! This totally cleared it-finally after taking a decongestant with no results, per the pharmacist!

Jill in Sunshine State

Replied by Sita

When you say alcohol, is that rubbing alcohol or vodka-type alcohol?

Crackling in Ear Cures

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~

Dietary Changes

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Craig (Albany, Or) on 10/30/2015

I write this in the hope that someone else might benefit from my experience.

Nine years ago, I started having severe pain in both ears. They were also clogged and ringing. Whenever I lay down, I would get vertigo.

I was unable to sleep in a bed, and could manage a few hours of sleep only by propping myself up on a couch. I was unable to work, and took one sick day after another (hoping that I wouldn't be fired). After seeing a number of doctors, each of whom looked into my ears and found nothing, I took a friend's advice and went to the Mayo Clinic.

After two days of testing, the ENT doctor walked into the room, looked at my chart results on the computer, and said, "All I can think is that it's a food allergy".

What?? No other doctor had ever suggested that. Anyway, that's how I discovered that I'm allergic to legumes, which I had been eating in earnest as a protein replacement for meat (no good deed goes unpunished).

All by way of saying that what we eat can have a devastating effect on our health in ways that are virtually unimaginable.

Even healthy food.

Replied by Sharon
(Seattle, Wa)

That's amazing that a doctor actually considered a food allergy.

Way to go doc!! I out of the blue got tinnitus and vertigo. The vertigo was so bad I quit driving. After 2 YEARS of suffereing, one day I was eating frozen yogurt. All of sudden I could feel MORE pressure and ringing in my ears!!!! Somehow I made and BELIEVD it was Dairy that was affecting me. ALL DAIRY. Evenjust thr tiniest amount would start my ears ringing. If I kept it up, after a few days the vertigo would start up again. So I went off ALL dairy. It worked. I avoid it like the plague. I find a lot of substitutes to use in place of dairy foods.

Dairy is in everything!

20 yrs ago, I looked up tinnitus and dairy. There was nothing written about it at all. Recently I looked it up again. Now they have made the connection of dairy and tinnitus. But not vertigo.

Dairy creates mucus. I would get my kids off all dairy before I ever put tubes in their ears.

Doesn't cost anything and there's no side effects from just getting off dairy.

But that means milk butter cheese yogurt ice cream things that have nonfat dried milk in them way which is more protein in case and he also milk protein and propionate which is milk salt.

That means pizza with no cheese -- it's actually delicious in fact has more flavor. Cheese kind of blands out the flavor of the pizza try it and only takes a few days before you start feeling results. If you're trying to lose weight just getting off dairy, just doing that u will lose about 20 pounds!!!! Make sure you read labels though and really give this a solid weeks worth of diligents. zero dairy. once you get your ears back to where they need to be, you can start reintroducing food just one thing at a time that has dairy in it so then you can really tell

Replied by Christy
(Salt Lake City, Utah)


I was wondering if the doctor tested you for food allergies and it came back as legumes or did you figure it out yourself by trial and error? I'm asking because I'm having the exact same symptoms you described and am now wondering if I should ask for a food allergy test.



After several years of vertigo, I was diagnosed with SSCD. If not dairy, research on meta sscd group for doctor recommendation to check.


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

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

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

Replied by Steph

Do you take it internally or put in blocked ear? Tincture?

Flax Seed Oil

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Sunny (La, Ca) on 05/20/2015

Sometimes you think that your ear is clogged with wax, but it is not the case. Sometimes it is swollen inside, and it feels like it's clogged with wax. What unclogged mine was taking 3 flax seed oil softgels a day for 3 days, and drinking Apple Cider Vinegar. You see both of these are great anti inflammatories!

They also help with sinus inflammation!

PS Fish oil should also work, but I took flax oil, and ACV.


Try it!, it won't hurt

Love and light, Sunny

Replied by Leah

Hi Sunny - how much ACV should be taken?

Hot Wash Cloth Method

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

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

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

4 User Reviews
5 star (3) 
1 star (1) 

Posted by Hoppimike (Kent, England) on 06/06/2015 26 posts

I believe that H2O2 not only can unblock ears but can also kill infections in them.

I actually bought the Otex ear drops at the pharmacy which contain H2O2 diluted in water and urea I think.

Worked great, wax all came out and my ear feels much better (got lazy and stopped but it's so much better I haven't been bothered to do much more lol).

I think that 3% hydrogen peroxide should work fine too but don't take my word for that. I see no reason why not and I think I successfully used that before too (it was years ago so I can't fully remember if it was that or the pharmacy product that I used).

Best of luck and good health! :)

Hydrogen Peroxide
Posted by Sunny (Ca ) on 05/14/2015


Self administered/ you can do it by yourself/ no help needed. :)

What you need: ( you can improvise).

Hydrogen Peroxide low percent, the one you see in all stores, clean drinking warmed water, 3 containers, 1 syringe, 1 cotton, 1 towel

ERE IS WHAT I DID: I warmed up a bit of filtered drinking water, placed it in a mug, placed some hydrogen in another mug.

Got syringe and sucked some warm water with it, then put it in the empty mug, then sucked some hydrogen Peroxide with syringe, ( sucked all syringe space for both), then I added that to the mug w the warm water, then mixed it w the syringe itself, then I got my towel and put in around my ear for the spillage, then I syringed the whole syringe mixture into my right ear laying on that side, I layed there as I heard it bubble for 1 min, then I emptied my ear, I repeated with my other side ear, Then when finished I put a little piece of cotton on both ears, to dry them and to protect them for air. And I can hear clear! Yeiiiiiii!

PS make sure it's warm enough but not hot! Because your ears will hurt if it's cold! . Also do not over do it, just 1s Per day, also make sure you do not have a ruptured ear drum! /aka whole in ear!! You are responsible for your decision. This is just for clogged ear, not ear pain!

Because the hydrogen Peroxide can make the pain worse! Trust me. For pain go w onion juice or warm olive oil. For ear infection go w ingested wild oil of oregano, or colloidal silver. EC Rocks! LUV N LIGHT- SUNNY (LA, CA)

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

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
2063 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).

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

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.

Replied by Amita

Hello Lokismum...just read your post and I was wondering if you have still got tinnitus? I have pressure in my left ear, no wax after a trip to the ent doctor....and mild tinnitus add to it I have an awful cold...any suggestions? I know your post is from ages ago..

Jaw Out Of Alignment

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Grateful (Pascagoula, MS) on 01/26/2022

My ear was blocked for months until I opened up to my Chiropractor about my problem, who uses a pulse type computer for adjustment. He checked and found my jaw was out of Alignment in each of the three tests he had me perform. Then had a 10 minute laser treatment on my right ear. Now, three days later, my ear is unblocked and on the mend.

Liquid in Ear Canal Remedies

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

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)
88 posts

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~

Replied by Trish
(Nears, Mi)

The alcohol method worked when nothing else did! Relief at last.

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