I have been doing this for months now and have not had a recurring problem since. Previously I had constant ear infections just from getting water in my ear from the shower. I would try to dry with q-tips but was always worried that I was going to permanently damage myself. Yes, there is a bit of vinegar smell but to not have that pain anymore is worth it!
My daughter has a tendency to get swimmer's ear. Her pediatrician gave us a very simple remedy that his grandmother used. Every time your child (or you) swim, put drops of a solution made from 50/50 white vinegar/rubbing alcohol immediately after you get out of water. We have never had another bout of swimmer's ear since following this routine. (go to drug store and buy an ear drying solution for swimmer's ears, empty and clean, and replace with the vinegar/rubbing alcohol solution - advise from our ped. so you don't confuse what is in the container).