24 Effective Home Remedies to Treat Clogged Ears

popping ear

Do you feel a sudden sensation in your ear? Or, does it seem like someone has stuffed your ears with a lot of cotton balls? A clogged ear is a very common health problem. It also affects hearing abilities. There can be various reasons that your ears get plugged, like a sinus infection, respiratory problems, ear wax, cold or any other allergy or change in the atmospheric pressure. A blocked or clogged ear is a situation in which the Eustachian tubes don’t work properly and are not able to equalize the pressure inside the ear and the atmospheric pressure outside the ear. It can happen to anyone at any age. You can try some of the given home remedies to get rid of clogged ears. Although, it would be better to consult an ENT specialist if the problem persists.

Natural Remedies for Clogged Ears


1. Alcohol and Vinegar Drops

Sometimes, the reason behind clogged ear could be a bacterial infection. Alcohol and vinegar can help combat bacteria. Mix vinegar and alcohol in equal quantity. Lie down properly and pour a few drops in your ears using a dropper. Put a cotton ball in your ear and do not move your head for a few minutes. Let the solution work for sometime. It will give you an instant relief by unplugging your ear canal.


  • 1) Patients with ear surgery history should not use it without medical prescription.
  • 2) This remedy is strictly prohibited for those who have a perforation in the eardrum.

2. Salt Water Gargle

Gargling is very helpful in unclogging ears as well as decongesting the nose. Mix a tsp of salt in a glass of water to make a solution. Gargle with it for 15-30 secs. Spit out the solution. Repeat it until you get relief. It reduces the pain as it gives warmth to your respiratory system.

3. Olive Oil Drops

A significant reason for a clogged ear is Earwax. Olive oil can help soften the earwax and eliminates it easily. Heat some olive oil in a pan. Put the drops in your ear with the aid of a dropper. Let it settle for ten minutes to soften the earwax. Remove the oil by keeping your head sideways. Use ear buds gently to remove the softened earwax.


  • 1) Patients with ear surgery history should not use it without medical prescription.
  • 2) This remedy is strictly prohibited for those who have a perforation in the eardrum.

4. Garlic Paste

Garlic is packed with anti-bacterial properties that heal the ear infection. You can use the garlic paste in many forms:

  • Take 3-4 garlic cloves and crush them after peeling off the skin. Add olive oil or mustard oil to it and heat the mixture for a few minutes. Let it cool down. Pour it into your clogged ear while lying on your side. Hold the oil in your ear using a cotton swab. Let the fluid drain out of your ear after a couple of minutes. Repeat it regularly to get faster relief.
  • Alternatively, add 5 -7 peeled garlic cloves to a glass of water. Remove the cloves after heating them for 15 minutes. Now, crush these cloves to make a paste and add half a tsp of salt to it. Stir well to mix it. Apply this paste on a thin cloth and wrap it. Put this cloth on the affected ear and compress for a few minutes. Do it twice or thrice a day.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar Drops

Take equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and rubbing alcohol. Mix them properly. Pour this mixture into the infected clogged ear using an ear dropper. Let it rest and work for ten mins. Use earbuds gently to remove the earwax. Repeat it for a few days to unclog your ears completely.

6. Glycerin and Baby Oil

It is an effective clogged ear remedy. Mix a few drops of glycerin and baby oil in hot water. Add an equal amount of hydrogen peroxide to it. Pour some drops of this softening solution in the affected ear. You will hear the sound of bubbles in the treated ear. When this sound stops, drain out the solution. Use it almost three times a day.

7. Sunflower Oil

This oil acts as a lubricant and gives relief to a scratchy throat or ear. Mix one or two teaspoons of sunflower oil with warm water. Gargle with this solution and spit it out. You will feel a lot of relief in a couple of days.

8. Warm Compress

Heat can cure blocked ear as it helps loosen the ear wax.

  • Soak a washcloth in warm water and press it against your clogged ear. Hold it for ten mins. It will ease out the pain and help promote fluid drainage.
  • Alternatively, wrap a hot water bottle in a towel and compress it on your ear. Keep it for ten mins. It will relieve the air pressure and unblock the ear.
  • Or, you can use an iron to heat a clean cloth. Put this cloth on your affected ear. It will release the congestion. Repeat it regularly.

9. Saline Spray

You can suffer from clogged ear because of an allergic inflammation too. A saline nasal spray not only unclogs your ear but decongests your nose as well. Boil a cup of water in a pan to sterilize it. Let it cool down to room temperature. Pour it into a sterilized container. Add half tsp of both baking soda and non-iodized salt. Mix all the ingredients well. Pour it into a bulb syringe. Lean your head to 45 degrees and pour drops into your nostril. Let the solution drain the nose and mouth. Spit the solution that remained in your mouth. Blow the nose before repeating it on the other nostril. Do it twice or thrice daily.
Note: Don’t store the solution for more than two days.

10. Clove Oil

Clove is a natural pain reliever that fights several infections. Heat a quarter cup of olive oil in a pan. Add crushed cloves to it. Let it cool down and sit for 15-30 mins. Lay on the side so that your affected ear is facing up. Pour a few drops of oil in the ear. Wait for 10 mins to let it work. Do it twice or thrice a day.

11. Jalapeno Slices

Jalapeno is considered to be one of the most efficient natural remedies for clogged ears. It gives immediate relief from the ear congestion. The only thing you need to do is to eat jalapeno slices. You can hear your ear popping after it. It will be the sound of releasing pressure inside your ear.

12. Mineral Oil Drops

Mineral oil can also help unblock congested ears, especially, due to earwax. All you need to do is to pour a few drops of mineral oil in your ear using a dropper. It will soften the earwax which can now be removed easily. Do it for 3-4 days regularly for effective results.

13. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide itself is an excellent remedy for unclogging the ears. You can use 3 percent hydrogen peroxide for it. Put 2 drops of it in your blocked ear. You will experience hiss in your ear for some time. Wait for ten mins before draining out the solution by tilting your head to a side.


  • 1) Using raw hydrogen peroxide in your ear might cause an infection and dizziness to some.
  • 2)Do not use this remedy if you have an ear infection. You can clean up the outer parts of your ear with it.
  • 3)Don’t overuse hydrogen peroxide as it may harm your eardrums.

14. Water Flush

Water flush is one of the most useful exercises to get rid of plugged ears. Fill an ear syringe with lukewarm water. Keep your affected ear up by tilting the head to a side. Open the ear canal by pulling the earlobe gently. Direct the syringe towards the back of your head to avoid a straight flush of water on the ear drum. Squirt the water into ear canal by squeezing the syringe slightly. Let the water soften the earwax for 5-10 mins. Afterwards, tilt your head to another side to drain out the water and earwax.
Note: Make sure that the water is not too hot to be tolerated by your ear.

Exercises for Treating Clogged Ears

15. Chewing Gum

It is a good method to unclog the ear if it is due to a sudden change in air pressure. It will help to open up the Eustachian tube and relieve the excess of pressure in your ear.

16. Valsalva Maneuver

This exercise will relieve the pain and stuffiness in the ear. Pinch your nose and close your mouth. Exhale out the air from your nose, but not with too much of pressure as it may hurt your eardrum. You will hear a popping sound in your ear while blowing air out of your closed nose. This sound means that your Eustachian tubes are open.
Note: If it causes dizziness, stop immediately.

17. Jaw Wriggle

It is also an exercise to regulate air pressure in your ear. Widely open your mouth. Jiggle your jaw side to side quickly in a regular motion. Keep doing it until your ears pop which means the excessive pressure is released.

18. Hop on One Foot

This method is mostly used when the ear is plugged after swimming. Stand on one foot and tilt your head to the side of the blocked ear. After that, hop on foot while your head is tilted downwards. Hold the position until you feel the water draining out of your ear.
Note: Make sure that you don’t lose the balance, or you might get hurt.

19. Toynbee Maneuver

You need a glass of water to complete this exercise. Sip the water. Close your mouth and pinch your nose. Try to swallow the water. It equalizes the pressure inside your ear and unclog them. Repeat it as per your requirements.

20. Yawning

It decreases air pressure which helps activate the muscles responsible for opening the Eustachian tubes. Slightly open your mouth and fill up the air in it. Keep trying until you hear a pop in the ear. Repeat this procedure until you get relief and start listening better.

Herbal Remedies For Clogged Ears

21. Mint Leaves

Mint is beneficial for the respiratory system. Heat up the water in a pot. Add a few mint leaves and one tbsp of salt to it. Cover the pot to let them steep . Cover yourself with a towel and inhale the steam of mint leaves and salt. Do it for 15 mins. Wash your face after it as the rough texture of salt may irritate your skin.

  • 1) Don’t shove your face directly into the pot as it may burn your face.
  • 2) It works best if you perform it just before going to sleep.
  • 3) You can skip it once or twice if your skin becomes tender due to the salt.

22. Witch Hazel

Take 1/4 cup each of witch hazel leaves and dried comfrey leaves and boil them in two cups of water for 5 minutes. Let it cool for some time, and strain the mixture into a glass. Fill a syringe bulb with it. Stand near a sink while the sore ear is down. Pour the solution in the affected ear. Do it four times daily for better results.

23. Echinacea

Add 1/4 cup each of echinacea root, dried mullein leaves and dried comfrey leaves to some water and simmer for five minutes. Let it cool down and strain. Pour it into your ear and drain it out. Repeat it 3-4 times a day.

24. Lavender Oil and Tea Tree Oil

Essential oils can be used as steam to unclog ears due to cold. It will help loosen the mucus and earwax.

  • Take a large bowl and pour hot water into it. Ooze few drops of lavender oil or tea tree oil in it. Inhale the steam until your ears pop the air while covering your head with a towel.
  • Alternatively, you can dilute tea tree oil with olive oil. Stir well and pour the solution into your ear with the help of a dropper. It contributes to decongest the mucus and will unplug your ear.


  • Clean your ears on a regular basis.
  • Take a bath with lukewarm water.
  • Dry your ears using a soft cloth or a paper towel after having a bath.
  • Use clean water to unclog your ears.
  • Drink plenty of liquids.
  • Include radish, garlic, onions, pepper, chilies, etc. They will help decongest your ears.
  • Take hot soups, broths, tea, etc. These hot liquids will unclog your ears.
  • Chew gums while flying. They relieve the excessive pressure and help unclog the ears.
  • Sleep in a semi-upright position.


  • Don’t go for swimming or diving if you have a cold or respiratory infection.
  • Don’t let extreme temperatures hover your ears.
  • Avoid scratching your ear with nails or any other sharp object.
  • Don’t pour boiling liquids into your ears.


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