Unexpected Natural Home Remedies For Swimmer’s Ear – 13 Things to Try


Swimmer's ear happens in our outer ear canal. It often occurs after swimming when the water remains in your ear and creates a humid environment for the bacteria to develop. It is also called otitis externa, a kind of disease that brings many negative effects to our mental health.[1] Therefore, it is necessary to treat swimmer's ear in time to reduce its symptoms. Our today’s article on Effective Remedies will show you some of the top-rated unexpected natural home remedies for swimmer's ear that you should really pay attention to.

Top-Rated Natural Home Remedies For Swimmer's Ear: 13 Ways To Try

I. What Causes Swimmer's Ear?

  • When the water is stored in your ear, it can cause infection and then lead to the swimmer's ear disease. The infection can be developed due to the following reasons:
  • Too much water in your ear also contributes to swimmer’s ear disease. This condition can be a result of humid weather, heavy perspiration or water reserved in your ear after swimming. This humidity creates a suitable environment for bacteria to develop and harm your ear. [2]
  • The effect of fingers, clothes which you use to clean your ear or other aiding equipment such as headphones. This equipment can break the skin and bring the bacterial a suitable place to reduplicate.
  • Allergies caused by hair products
  • Natural protective features of your ear: downward ear canal, and the waxy substance from your ear.

II. What Are Common Symptoms Of Swimmer's Ear?

Swimmer's ear patients may suffer from these following symptoms. Please pay more attention to them to realize this disease as soon as possible because we all know that the sooner you realize it, the sooner and easier you treat it.

  • Itchiness in the outer ear
  • Fluid drainage
  • Redness in the ear [3]
  • The feeling of pain or blockage inside the ear at the moderate progression
  • Difficulty in hearing
  • Swelling or fever at the advanced progression
  • Severe pain which is sometimes related to your face and neck

III. Unexpected Natural Home Remedies For Swimmer's Ear

1. Home Remedies For Swimmer's Ear With White Vinegar
home remedies for swimmer's ear - white vinegar

White vinegar has slight acidic property which is effective in fighting the infection as it is one of the most powerful ingredients for cleansing ears and eliminating traces of bacteria. The development of bacteria will be prevented thanks to the appearance of acidity in white vinegar. Therefore, it is useful to use white vinegar for swimmer's ear treatment. [4] When white vinegar is combined with alcohol, it can help to remove all moisture and keep your ear dry. You can follow our directions below to have the best recipes for swimmer's ear with white vinegar.

Recipe 1: White Vinegar


  • Lie down and put the ear with swimmer’s ear disease face up
  • Put 2 – 3 drops of white vinegar to your ear
  • Repeat this activity every 2 hours

Recipe 2: White Vinegar And Water

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  • Mix white vinegar with warm water with the rate of 50/50 and add it to a dropper
  • Put four drops of the above water to your ear
  • Apply this remedy 3 times per day for at least 3 days and you will see the result soon.

Recipe 3: White Vinegar And Rubbing Alcohol


  • Mix an amount of white vinegar with the equal amount of rubbing alcohol and add it to a dropper
  • Lie down by your side to face up the ear with infection
  • Put 2 or 3 drops of the above mixture to the infected ear and wait for about 5 minutes
  • Tilt your head to remove the above mixture from your ear
  • Repeat this 2 or 3 times per day to get the best result.

See more: 95 beauty & health benefits of apple cider vinegar – uses & warnings

2. Home Remedies For Swimmer's Ear With Garlic

Garlic is famous for its anti-microbial, antibacterial and antiviral properties so it is useful in treating ear infections including swimmer's ear. Moreover, garlic is also well-known for the ability to relieve pain and kill the bacteria – the root cause of swimmer's ear. You can also use garlic to prevent colds and even increase the heart function. Here are the directions for you to study more:


  • Prepare 2 – 3 garlic cloves and mash it into small pieces
  • Prepare 2 tablespoons of olive oil and use a pan to heat it
  • Add the mashed garlic to the olive oil
  • Continue to heat until the garlic turns into brown
  • When the garlic is brown enough, take it out of the stove and use a sieve to strain it
  • Let it cool
  • Place 2 – 4 drops of the above mixture to your ear
  • Repeat this once or twice per day
  • You should also combine with eating 2 – 3 raw garlic clove to quickly treat the swimmer's ear.

Read more: 17 useful ways on how to use garlic for sinus infection

3. Home Remedies For Swimmer's Ear With Onion

Onion is not only an effective disinfectant but a pain relief substance as well. It can significantly reduce the pain after a short time of using. Onion contains a high amount of flavonoid quercetin, which has natural anti-inflammatory properties to reduce the swelling and pain made by swimmer’s ear. In addition, onion is an anti-fungal and antibiotic ingredient like garlic. However, it is significantly better than garlic in terms of anti-inflammatory property. That is the reason why in some cases, people tend to choose onion rather than garlic. For the above reason, onion is considered as one of the best natural home remedies for swimmer's ear. Here are step by step instructions:


  • Prepare a small onion and extract the juice
  • Put the above-taken juice in a microwave and heat it for some seconds
  • Take it out and transfer it into a dropper
  • Lie down by your side to face up the infected ear
  • Place 2 – 3 drops to the ear which is infected
  • Wait for 5 minutes and then tilt your head to remove the above juice out of your ear.
  • Repeat this recipe 2 or 3 times per day.
4. Home Remedies For Swimmer's Ear With Holy Basil

home remedies for swimmer's ear - holy basil

The infection can also be treated by using holy basil, which is also known as tulsi thanks to the appearance of the antibiotic properties of this powerful substance. [5] [6] Its leaves and seeds are all used for medicine. The antibiotic properties found in holy basil will help to fight the infection and comfort the pain. Moreover, holy basil has the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, which are also helpful in treating the bacteria, which cause earache and even some common diseases such as cold and fever. Therefore, holy basil is considered as one of the most effective home remedies for swimmer’s ear. Apply directions below and you will be surprised by the result.


  • Prepare 4 – 5 basil leaves and crush them
  • Strain to take the basil juice
  • Slightly heat the juice to make it warm and then put it into a dropper
  • Put 2 or 3 drops of this basil juice into your ear
  • Wait for 5 minutes
  • Tilt your head to remove the juice
  • Apply this twice per day to quickly get rid of swimmer's ear.
5. Home Remedies For Swimmer's Ear With Breast Milk

Using breast milk is a quite common remedy for treating swimmer's ear. It contains natural antibodies, which are proved to have the ability to speed up the process of healing swimmer's ear. [7] Even for swelling and pain symptoms of this disease, breast milk is still helpful. Especially for infant, who gets swimmer’s ear after having a bath, using breast milk should be highly appreciated. Let look at our directions below to know how to use breast milk for swimmer’s ear.


  • Take some breast milk and put it into a dropper
  • Lie down and remember to put the infected ear face up
  • Put some drops of breast milk into your ear
  • Wait for about 2 minutes
  • Tilt your head to remove all of the left breast milk
  • You are advised to apply this remedy every few hours to completely keep away from swimmer's ear.
6. Home Remedies For Swimmer's Ear With Hydrogen Peroxide

It is worthy of using hydrogen peroxide for releasing the pain caused by swimmer's ear. This ingredient is known as a natural antibacterial substance, so it can help you to quickly dry out the fluid in the infected ear and even eliminate the bacteria, which cause infection. Moreover, using hydrogen peroxide will help you to keep away from fungi and bacteria thanks to the appearance of anti-fungal properties. If you strictly follow our directions, the result can be better than you can imagine.


  • Firstly, you have to buy 3 percent hydrogen peroxide
  • Lie down and face up the infected ear
  • Put the hydrogen peroxide into a dropper
  • The put 3 – 4 drops into your ear
  • Wait for about 2 minutes
  • Tilt your head to remove the left fluid
  • You should apply this remedy twice per day to have the best result.
7. Home Remedies For Swimmer's Ear With Compresses

If there is any pus formed in your ear or fluid discharges, you must have serious swimmer’s ear. In this stage, the more effort should be made to treat the swimmer’s ear. Warm compresses are not only always safe, for both children and adults but also effective in removing pus and fluid from your ear to make it drier and cleaner. You should try this method according to our directions below to quickly remove the mucus and completely get rid of swimmer’s ear.

Remedy 1:


  • Prepare some hot water and a clean washcloth
  • Soak the washcloth into the water and then remove the excess water
  • Put the above washcloth into your ear which is affected in 2 minutes and then take the washcloth out
  • As you cover your ear with the warm washcloth, the pus in your ear will drain out so it is necessary to tilt your head for the pus to escape.
  • Put off in 10 minutes
  • Repeat the above steps if necessary.

Remedy 2:


  • Heat a pad and then wrap it in a towel
  • Put the wrapped pad on your bed
  • Lie down but remember to put your infected ear into this pad
  • Wait for the pus to remove
8. Home Remedies For Swimmer's Ear – Salt Pillow

This traditional remedy is helpful in relieving the swimmer's ear symptoms and even many ear diseases. The anti-bacterial properties of salt can absorb the fluid from your infected ear, reduce the number of bacteria – the original cause of swimmer’s ear, and relieve swimmer's ear symptoms. Here are the directions for you to apply at home:


  • Prepare 1 cup of salt and pillow material
  • Mix the above things together
  • Stuff the above mixture into a pillow cover
  • Sew the cover carefully
  • Put the completed pillow in the microwave and heat it for a few minutes
  • Remove the pillow from the microwave and cool it a little bit
  • When it is at the temperature that you can bear, put it on your bed, lie down to put the infected ear above the pillow.
9. Home Remedies For Swimmer's Ear – Eucalyptus Essential Oil

home remedies for swimmer's ear - eucalyptus essential oil

Using eucalyptus essential oil can quickly release the pain so you can use it when your swimmer's ear gets worse and worse. The National Institutes of Health pointed out that it has antimicrobial, antibiotic and even antiviral properties, which can assist you in treating swimmer’s ear.[8] Because it can take effect from the outside, you do not need to put the essential oil directly inside your ear. Follow our directions below to know how to use eucalyptus essential oil for swimmer’s ear treatment.


  • Prepare 2 – 3 drops of eucalyptus essential oil and then add it to 10 drops of olive oil
  • Mix them well
  • Use this mixture to massage your ear's back and neck.

Note: Eucalyptus essential oil should not be used for children as some side effects had been reported. You should not even use eucalyptus near their face and nose.

10. Home Remedies For Swimmer's Ear – Use Earplugs When Swimming

If your ears are easy to get water, you should use earplugs. The silicone or wax ones are suggested because they can fit your ears and prevent the entry of water. If you have trouble with swimmer's ear, you should also wear this when you have a shower.

IV. Foods To Eat

  • People with swimmer's ear should consume Omega-3 rich foods such as fish, because it is high in anti-inflammatory properties, so it will help to stop ear infection effectively.
  • In order to increase the immune function, and reduce the inflammation, you are advised to eat more zinc. People, who are more than 2 years old, should consume zinc twice per day, and 10 milligrams each time.
  • Vitamin D3 can also boost the immune system and prevent swimmer’s ear symptoms.
  • Add more garlic, turmeric, ginger and other spices to your daily meals to increase the anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial capacity of your body
  • Drink more water to remove the mucus from the ear.
  • Eat more vegetables and fruits, especially the ones which have a high level of vitamin C and antioxidants to strengthen the immune system.

V. Foods To Avoid

  • Packaged food is considered to have many chemicals and synthetic ingredients, which are harmful to people's health. Therefore, avoid processed food to protect your health and prevent the ear infection.
  • Potential allergic food such as shrimp, peanuts, and gluten should also be avoided. They can increase the inflammation and cause infection – the original cause of swimmer's ear.
  • You should keep away from the products from cow such as dairy because they can produce more mucus and if you have swimmer's ear.
  • Different from garlic and ginger, food with a high level of sugar will reduce the immune system's functions. Therefore, it is necessary to avoid sugar food to prevent the raising of inflammation as well as swimmer's ear risk factors.
VI. What Are The Risk Factors For Swimmer's Ear

If you have the following activities, you must have the higher risk of swimmer's ear:

  • Swimming, especially in the water with various bacteria
  • Cleaning the ear canal in an aggressive way by cotton swabs
  • Using headphones and other aiding equipment
  • Be born with a small ear canal
  • Allergy caused by hair products
VII. Tips & Precautions

You can easily prevent swimmer's ear with the following tips:

  • Swim in a wise way
  • Always keep your ears clean and dry, especially after swimming or having a shower. You should wash your outer ear with a soft cloth. Let all water drain out of your ears by tipping your head to the left and then to the right.
  • Prevent irritants, especially hair products and dangerous objects.
  • Apply preventive home remedies. You can mix 1 part of white vinegar with the equal amount of rubbing alcohol and put 1 teaspoon of the above mixture to each ear and then let it dry in your ear to prevent swimmer's ear.
  • Refrain swimming during the treating process if you are a patient of swimmer's ear.

Above are some simple but effective home remedies for swimmer's ear that you can try. If you have any question, you can leave your comment under this article. For other useful tips, our Home Remedies is a good suggestion for you.

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