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(159) comments about this tip

Rubbing alcohol for ear ache

I am living proof that putting 1 to 2 drops of rubbing alcohol with a cottonball inside the ear will cure an earache almost instantly.

The following was sent in by Mountainman

When you put rubbing alcohol in your ear, no matter what the strength, it should not burn, but it should only be in there around 10 seconds or so. I've done it for years. It has been a good way to remove excess wax or water. Now if it hurts or burns, you probably have an ear infection which is more serious. It's possible alcohol could kill the infection, but i personally think at that point you should have a doctor to better access the problem.

Visitors comments

Burning a little Comments By: ANON on 2004-07-16
I put rubbing alcohol in my ear for my ear ache and it dislogged it but it has a lasting burning sensation. It still feels like the alcohol is in my ear but that could be because it is still draining or something. Not sure.. How long is instant?
I seems like it may not be working for you Comments By: TipKing on 2004-07-16
I am not sure what you are trying to dislodge? I have not personally tried this tip so I am unable to comment on how long it takes to work or whether or not it will work.
Use isoproply alcohol/vinegar to avoid earaches Comments By: Anon on 2004-08-18
My ENT told me to use a 50:50 mixture of isopropyl alcohol and clear distilled vinegar to kill fungus and avoid earaches. Store it in a brown eyedropper bottle (avail at drugstores). He said NOT to use rubbing alcohol. The alcohol binds with water in the ear and the acidic vinegar kills any spores. After showering/swimming an eyedropper squeezeful of the mixture in your ear; use a kleenex and let it drain immediately. It only needs a few seconds to work!
Alcohol???? NO Comments By: nook on 2004-09-12
I tried this 3 times and it does not work. I can't even tell that I have tried it, so my advise don't waste your time.
OUCH Comments By: Karl Verhaeghe on 2004-10-30
OUCH. OUCH. OUCH, OUCH. BAD IDEA. DID I MENTION THAT THIS IS A PAINFUL BAD IDEA? Kind of in line with the logic of banging your foot with a hammer to cure a headache.
alcohol and water ? Comments By: leanne on 2004-11-15
the cure part seems to have worked.but it hurts. not a pain relieving remedy. straight alcohol was just too painful. but i believe it works. I still prefer peroxide.
PLEASE SPARE YOURSELF!! No Alcohol in Ear!!!! Comments By: Anon on 2005-01-17
DO NOT, i repeat DO NOT put rubbing alcohol in your ear. I did this about a week ago, and still have no feeling (other than burning from my ear). I now am going to have to go back to the doctor and make sure i have no internal damage inside my ear (not to mention once again this is very very painful)
Thank you!!!! Comments By: elley on 2005-05-05
My husband said it would work and after reading your comments I said, "NO WAY!"
No Way Comments By: Nollid on 2005-05-21
No way i am trying to put alchohol in my ear,you would have to be crazy to try it after all those bad comments
wtf?! Comments By: soflachick on 2005-06-05
This doesn't work. Putting Vicks Vaporub on a cotton ball and putting that in your ears was the only thing that worked for me after I tried everything else
it works Comments By: anon on 2005-06-20
I put alcohol in my ear and about an hour later the pain was gone. It works.
It works for me Comments By: anon on 2006-04-08
I always put alcohol on a cotton ball then put it on the ear, I don't put the alcohol inside the ear directly.
It's numb Comments By: Olivia on 2006-04-26
well Its 12:58 a.m. and I've tried olive oil wich did nothing but sooth it for a minute or so... than I tried garlic wich burned so bad I was almost in tears and than I just tried isopropyle rubbing alcohol and it seems to have numbed it so out of all of them I would have to say this one is the best one...
Why didn't I look this up first!!! Comments By: Desirea on 2006-07-16
I put rubbing alcohol in my ear last night, since then I can barely hear out of it, I'm going to the doctor today to see if I have done any serious damage. When I put the alcohol in, it was very VERY painful and now I feel as if I am deaf in one ear, this is NOT a good thing to try. I would deeply advise against it.
Alcohol isn't causing the pain. Comments By: B on 2006-10-17
If you put any liquid in your ear and you feel pain, you may have a perforated eardrum. Rubbing alcohol alone will not cause pain. If you put alcohol in your ear and it hurts, you need to go to the doctor and make sure your eardrum is intact.
it works Comments By: Candi on 2006-11-07
to keep it from burning, place it in the freezer for a couple of minutes. then pour in the ear. it really works, i use it everytime and the ear that hurts feels better than the other ear.
One drop of rubbing alcohol Comments By: Sunshine on 2007-02-21
I had an earache last night at 8pm. I laid down and tried to sleep, but it was impossible. I actually started crying because I didn't know how to make it stop. I wouldn't go to the doctor until the morning. By nine o'clock I couldn't bare it any longer. I took a Q-tip and dipped it into a bottle of rubbing alcohol. I tilted my head and let one drop into my ear. I kept my head tilted for maybe 20 seconds and tipped it back the other way to let it drip back out. I used the dry end of the Q-tip to soak any that came back out. Within the hour my earache was gone and I was asleep. My ear then started draining out excess water that was probabaly causing the pain.
I tried this and the pain went away. Comments By: Anon on 2007-02-28
I tried this and it helped relieve the pain and did not burn.
Not working... Comments By: Cortney on 2007-03-31
I have had the earache (with a throbbing feeling and I can't hear) for over an hour now and its 3:58 am. I have tried peroxide, alcohol, vineger, everything just about. Nothing really works. It works for like not even a minute! Thanks. God Bless
It does work.. Comments By: Michael Epps on 2007-07-07
I've used it for years.. You have to use just a little. Dip a q-tip in Alcohol just enough were a little will go into the ear.. Just a drop do not make the q-tip super wet. Only do it once a day, twice at the most. When you feel the ear starting to itch a little don't mess with it again with a q-tip. The ear is starting to heal and if you put a q-tip back in you will inflame the area and the pain will come back. When applying don't move the q-tip around to much you will inflame the infected tissue and may make it worst.
I do it all the time Comments By: Danielle on 2007-07-31
I have safely, pain free and effectively used rubbing alcohol after swimming. My sisters also use it and we use it on our kids as well- maybe it is specific to a certain "ear type"?!
I tried this and it hurt...a lot. Comments By: Manuel on 2007-07-31
I tried this after swimming, because my ear was plugged up. It BURNED...and hurt. Never again.
Try it! Comments By: LaFAwnda on 2007-08-14
I felt no pain whatsoever. Don't use plain alchol use it with vinegar and it relieves pain and has a lasting effect! Just smells bad
Best Used to Prevent Swimmer's Ear Comments By: Kat on 2007-08-19
When I was little and used to practically live in the pool during the summer, my mom always put vinegar and rubbing alcohol (half and half) into my ears, made me lay on my side for a minute or so, then let it drain out. It dries out the ear canal so that no irritation developes (swimmer's ear is not an infection of the inner ear, but an inflammation/irritation of the outer ear). It shouldn't burn though, just feel funny, so if it really hurts you should see a doctor to make sure nothing is wrong with your ears.
I'm a believer Comments By: Ms. Dejohnette on 2007-10-13
I raed everyones comments and i was skeptical but I couldnt deal with this pain so I gave it a try and I swear my earache went away instantly!!!!!!!
What if there's no pain...Just clogged up? Comments By: ManwithaProblem on 2007-10-23
I only feel pain if I push in on my ear but other then that it feels good. I haven't tried the alcohol method yet because I don't know if it goes for me too since I have no pain. Can anyone help or do I just have to try it and find out?
A little research... Comments By: Ear Pain Sucks on 2007-10-29
I came across this tip because, thinking to myself, if I have an ear canal infection peroxide should definately help, and alchohol kils most bugs, so why not irrigate with both? Oh dear god the pain. Here is a little gem from a pediatric journal, under the heading "Common Mistakes.

"Rubbing alcohol is helpful for preventing swimmer's ear but not for treating it because it stings an infected ear too much."

Thanks doc.

I have tried lots of these rememdies Comments By: E Patrick Zwahlen on 2007-10-31
I have tried the olive oil and alcohol and nothing but I did sleep after I tried these, and although it isn't healed, it has lightened up. I keep poping it just to make sure it stays poped.
try it it does work it is not bad Comments By: Bec on 2007-12-02
i put proxide first for s few seconds then drain it some then do the alcohol do it for a few seconds maybe a tad bit longer cause that dryes out the peroxide then go t bed when u wake up in the morning your fne
it relieves the pain and does not hurt when putting it in Comments By: anon on 2007-12-13
i have been putting straight rubbing alcohol in my ear for two days after snorkeling/13 hor flight resulted in pain that is intermittent but bad. it relieves the pain instantly for 8 hours or more and doesn't hurt going in (feels like cold water). i think my ear is just irritated and/or the eustacian tubes have some liquid in them. if it was infected i could see where it would burn.
Diaharrea Comments By: Chaz on 2007-12-18
I put a drop of rubbing alcohol in my left ear and instantly got diaharrea, so I proceeded to put a drop in my right ear after that poop attack and all of a sudden felt better and did not get diaharrea from the right ear drop, just the left one, thought that was kind of odd.
IT WORKS!!! Comments By: Ally on 2008-01-19
Try the vapor rub thing. Take VICKS vapor rub and put it on anything cotton, a pad, ball, or anything like that. Take the vapor rub and put it on the cotton and then simply just put inside your ear. Just let it sit there and lay on the side that hurts with the VR inside your ear still. Just sit there and you'll feel it working. Also for congestion try getting a VICKS vaporizer and filling it up with water. Then put a blanket over your head and over the vaporizer after you turn it on...it feels GREAT! :)
Tea Tree Oil! Comments By: Aradia on 2008-01-31
Try Tea Tree oil! It is not painful like alcohol, but will kill off the bacteria!
WELL IT STINGS A LITTLE... Comments By: ADAM on 2008-02-02
well i dont know Comments By: skaterbro on 2008-02-12
i tried it and it doesnt hurt to put it in but it doesnt work really fast
alchohol in ear Comments By: Tasha Miller on 2008-03-13
BIG MISTAKE!!!!! I put alchohol in my ear for pain and i think i did some damage, because i can't hear, so don't do it.
Problem Solved Comments By: Jack Merridew on 2008-04-18
Tried it, besides the slight tingling/hot sensation from the rubbing alcohol, I am cured!


Right tool for the right job. Comments By: Rembrant on 2008-06-17
Ultimately it depends entirely on the root cause of the ear pain. Growing up on the coast means constantly swimming means constant "ear ache" symptoms. Family and friends all used rubbing alcohol, peroxide, and combinations of the two. Never had any burning but only a mild warming sensation. If it burns something else is wrong and you should NOT do it again. Patient - "Doctor it hurts when I do this." Doctor - "Then don't do that!"
i dont know if its helping Comments By: mattie D on 2008-06-21
i went swimming and when i got home my ear hurt so i put alchol in it and it burned so later because my ear was throbbbing and burning and painful so i tried it again but it hurt worse and burned can any one help me ? i dont know if i have swimmerss ear or not
Nope Comments By: S.R.Criswell on 2008-06-22
It didn't really do well ANYTHING.
All it did was made my ear burn for a day, and made ringing in my ear.
Even I know a doctor who said it would
help, but it doesn't.

too funny Comments By: daniel cl-ear on 2008-07-04
i put the rubbing alcohol in my ear while reading your comments. too funny! lol we are risking our ear health and despite all the negative comments we are trying this crazy thing. i think the hydrogen peroxide actually made my ears feel cleared out. it felt like i was listening from deep within my ears for the first time in a long time. the alcohol rub just gave it a burning sensation. but i'm guessing both are killing bacteria.
Earache Comments By: Vera Dawn on 2008-07-11
Rubbing alcohol makes it worse. You should try Oreganol (Extract of Oregano) and apple cider vinegar to reduce infection. Put it around the ear also. To get rid of pain get salt (preferably sea salt) and put in a cloth container like a cloth tea bag. The salt should be warmed in the microwave. If you touch it to your ear the pain goes away. It's a temporary solution but it works. I am also using damp washcloth heated up in the microwave as a heating pad.
Salt! Comments By: izzy on 2008-07-18
I've been having trouble for a few days now over my swimmer's ear. Someone told me to put salt in a sock and heat it up in the microwave. Well... I got to thinking... Salt extracts moisture from the ear. Hence the reason of swimmers ear. So I licked the end of a q-tip and dabbed a bit of salt on the end and sprinkled a bit of salt in my ear then rubbed the qtip around in my ear. It helps alot. It started itching, which means its fighting the infection. Also.. Salt is used at an infection fighter. When you have a sore throat, your told to gargle salt water, Because, as I said, Salt fights infections.
Reply to me and tell me what you think.
[email protected]

dont do it Comments By: anon on 2008-07-21
i tried it, and the pain was so bad that i had to look it up, and thats where i read yalls input. dont listen to the people that are saying its ok because its not, all it did was intensify the pain times 10.
CAUTION! Both sides are right... Comments By: Cetkat on 2008-07-26
Alcohol outside of your eardrum is fine - it may burn or not depending on how infected or raw your ear is (think skin vs cut on skin). If water is the cause of the discomfort, it will instantly dry it out and you'll feel better. If it's an infection, it will kill the bacteria and help, but you will still be in pain unless the resulting heat makes you feel better for the moment.

However, if you have a hole in your ear drum and the alcohol gets into the inner ear - that's VERY bad. That's why people are having severe pain & losing their hearing.

If you're at all uncertain as to which applies to you - DON'T USE IT! Otherwise, it's safe.

it goes work Comments By: Anon on 2008-08-04
all you have to do is just poor a little on a q-tip and then lay on your side for about a minutes and the water just drips right out
does not work!! Comments By: in pain on 2008-08-02
i put rubbing alcohol in my ear an hour ago and its killing me! i think my ear hurts even worst after doing that! it does not work!
Hanna says Comments By: jayrome on 2008-08-28
I asked Hanna if she wasn't going to make a comment, she replied, "mi ahgo mek ah comment inna my bed"...seriously...Cetkat (fourth up from mine) it totally correct. Infection..pain...water..no pain
are you nuts? Comments By: Lenard on 2008-09-05
Its like putting alcohol in your penises opening. This part of the ear is ultra sensitive. I asked Lenard why he still did it. He just said he wanted to feel the pain either way. Doesn't matter if it does not add logically. Well Lenard thinks his comment is waaaay better than Hanna though.
Alcohol needs to be with Vinegar to change PH Comments By: Susan on 2008-10-27
Please only do alcohol with Vinegar. I know alcohol burns alone because you ear canal is infected and irritated causing the pain. Would you expect you open wound or scrape on your arm not to burn with a little alcohol. Please next time dilute 50/50 alcohol with vinegar. Thanks
OWWWWWWWWWW Comments By: DAVE on 2008-11-30
ok Comments By: dj on 2008-12-08
just did it and no burning but idk if its going to work but if you don't have a hole in you ear drum its worth a shot
usually fine Comments By: Al on 2008-12-12
Most products sold to use after swimming are rubbing alcohol based and help to dry the ear. Naturally if the ear is already infected it will be painful. Almost all people like myself that Scuba dive use alcohol in their ears all the time after a dive.
Joyous Occasin Comments By: Jackie on 2008-12-15
It works! i thought my bf was crazy! but it feels better!
Ear Flush Comments By: shell on 2008-12-28
My ear was stopped up so bad I could not hear so I went to the doctor and she flushed it out. She told me instead of buying those ear drops at the store for $7.00 just get some peroxide and mineral water. She used a syringe and flushed 30 cc of that in my ear and I was amazed what came out. But I could hear very clear after that. So use half and half but 30 cc in a syringe without a needle one more like a baster type.
Worked for me Comments By: Teek on 2009-01-31
I tried this by first putting peroxide in my ear which really tickled and itched my ear. Then I added a few drops of alcohol after I drained the peroxide which had a slight burning sensation. After I did this I had absolutely no more ear pain.
Rubbing Alcohol works "WELL" !!!! Comments By: Karen on 2009-01-04
I am 35 years old and just recently started getting ear infections. I have to agree that rubbing alcohol is a very quick fix to take ear pain away. I've used it each and every time I get an ear infection and it has worked. Sure it may burn a tad at first, but it kills the bacteria and dries out the infection. I would recommend a try to anyone. It's worth trying instead of dealing with the pain. ~ Good Health~ to everyone!!
some science... Comments By: Anon on 2009-01-06
If you simply have water in your ear, rubbing alcohol will help since it destroys the surface tension in the water (making it stuck in your ear) the result is the water draining out of your ear...therefore making it feel better. If you have an actual infection theres a good chance it might help but won't feel immediately better. If you have any cuts inside your ear that you are unaware of itll make your ear burn like hell. yayy science to the rescue...
my opinion on rubbing alchohol Comments By: ginny on 2009-02-15
I have used this, to cure colds, I breath isopropyl in my nose, hold my breath a minute, breath out, some mucus will come out, keeping doing this several times, then I put some isopropyl in my ear and it clears out the whole virus
I've Done It Before... Comments By: Holly on 2009-03-01
I get some alcohol on my finger and put it in my ear when it itches, and it stings a lot, but it cleans it, so I think it helps the itching.
Hydrogen Peroxide Comments By: mike on 2009-02-27
I dilluted a little bit of Hydrogen Peroxide & water, then I used an eye dropper thing to put some in my ear. I basically layed there until the popping peroxide effect died down. I did this twice & it worked, but now my ear has been ringing for 12 hrs. Will the ringing go away?

TipKing says: You should see your doctor. Ringing in the ears could be tinnitus

Swim Ear is 95% Alcohol Comments By: Kerry on 2009-04-23
So there is A LOT of info to back this up. I get A LOT of ear aches and this tip only works as a preventative measure not a measure of curing it after it occurs, only ANTIBIOTICS cures my bad ear aches.. thanks.
THIS WORKS Comments By: Stephanie on 2009-06-04
I had ear infections all my life, tubes at least 3 times and i can tell you that as soon as my little guy started to get them i warmed up the alcohol till it was bearable and poured it right into his ear waited 20sec and had him drain it out, hes never had to go to the dr for an ear infection or had tubes!! His dr was also my dr and his fathers dr when we were children and she approves 100%. Now I will tell you that if your ear drum has a hole in it then this will be very PAINFUL and you can damage the inner ear. Too find out if you have a hole: plug your nose and blow softly to see if you can hear air go through the ear drum, you SHOULD just hear the ear drum expand and later contract... hope this helps!!
IT DOES WORK - HERE ARE THE TRUTHS Comments By: mOOmAN on 2009-06-11
Here are the FACTS. If you put rubbing alcohol in your ear and it hurts/burns, you have a perforated ear drum! I use Isopropyl alcohol all the time to help fight colds and earaches. The alcohol instantly kills bacteria and helps your body fight infections because most of your infections start out in mucus membranes such as the ear/mouth. I've heard of people who put rubbing alcohol in their ears every single morning after showering and letting it drain out and they are never ever sick from colds (you can still get viruses). When I feel myself starting to come over with a cold, I put rubbing alcohol in my ears, and the cold either goes away or is not anywhere as intensified as the people who told me they had it first.


Swim Ear Comments By: Mel on 2009-06-14
There is a bottle of stuff called "Swim Ear" that you use after you go swimming to help kill bacteria in your ears to prevent ear infection. It works great and does not hurt.
Do NOT, I repeat do NOT put rubbing alchohol in your ear!!! Comments By: Nyxs on 2009-06-19
My 16 year old sister put rubbing alchohol in her ear to treat her swimmers ear and she SCREAMED for like an hour and she was crying. I don't think I would ever try rubbing alchohol for any eat treatment. XD she's giving me a head ache...
ear infection Comments By: anon on 2009-06-27
for years i have been using the whole cotton ball and alcohol remedy for ear infection. It has always worked for me and now that im sick with this cold, seems like i have to do it again.. ugh i hate being sick
I don't think it is harmful Comments By: aaron on 2009-06-28
Well i was reading this medical book on how to clean the inside of my ear and it says 50% white vinegar and 50% alcohol.so i don't think it is harmful
Stop playing doctor! Comments By: CuredQuickly on 2009-06-30
Isopropryl alcohol IS rubbing alcohol, people! And it is poisonous to take internally. It is only for EXTERNAL use. Dripping it into your ear only counts as "external use" if it stays in your outer ear canal and does not enter the inner ear. Do not use it! The right remedy depends on what is wrong with your ear. If it's a fungal infection, your doctor can give you an inexpensive prescription for a solution of acetic acid (a component of vinegar) and a small amount of cortico-steroid. The acetic acid kills the fungus, and the corico-steroid eases itching. If the problem is bacterial, other remedies are needed. Don't play doctor with your ears! Your hearing is too precious to risk.
rather shocked and impressed Comments By: meow :3 on 2009-07-10
I think I was at the beginning stages last night of possibly getting an ear infection, a little pain in one ear, kinda stuffed up. I happened to be going out, got a little buzzed n sweaty and then my bf saw that I was being kinda wierd with my ear. he said his sister gets ear infections all the time and to put rubbing alcohol in it. I told him he was effin crazy but googled it and came up with this site and tried a 50/50 mix of 70% rubbing alcohol and malt vinegar. put it on a qtip and kinda let it flow just a little into my ear, then turned the ear over and let it come out, swear that my pained feeling in my ear was gone, still didn't come back in the am! now I won't have an ear infection on my bday! definitely test a little bit if ur trying this and don't force qtips deep into ur ear to avoid hurting urself or that crazy burning pain everyones talking about on here, good chance its all about how far ur ears problem has progressed when u try it but im no doctor. best of luck!
Wimps Comments By: Anon on 2009-07-26
There is a reason that it is a 50/50 mixture!! I put it in my kids and my ears every time we swim and if I do not it is an automatic ear infection for my son. Works every time!
Urine (pee) in the ear Comments By: Joseph on 2009-08-17
Urine is very therapeutic for many infections. I put urine in my ear and it helped right away. After a few times, no problems at all. It's a natural disinfectant. They say early morning urine is the best. You need to use an eye drop or something, because it would be difficult otherwise.
I know that it works Comments By: Christie on 2009-08-20
I know for a fact it works, you can either use a clean eye dropper and use a lil alcohol and/or peroxide and put a few drops in ur ear. of course its gonna hurt a lil bit because its infected. if you have an infected cut on ur arm and ur wiping that with alcohol it hurts then doesnt it? duh. but another way is dipping a cotton swab in alcohol and gently going around the ear canal and slightly in. do not go all the way in that can cause damage. tip your head for a few seconds so it can do its job then tip ur head the other way let it drain out and us a hair dryer on low to dry it out. then lay on that ear and wait for drainage. if it hurts it may be worse than you thought and see ur doctor. take 3 ibuprofen and 3 tylenol at once. it helps numb the pain for the time being if its at night when ur doin this.

i put alcohol in my ear every once in a while even when its not infected to keep infection from happening and it feels a lot cleaner that way.

It works and doesn't hurt...just a little burning. Comments By: Jim on 2009-09-05
I tried it, and it works. I had an earache coming on for a couple weeks and it started to really hurt. I didn't want to pay a docotor, so I researched and tried half isopropal and white vinegar. I was totally healed up after about 3x/day for 3 or 4 days. I still use it now every couple of day. It keeps my ears clean. I used to have quite a bit of ear wax, but now I have just the smallest bit, like when I was a kid. I never use qtips anymore (shouldn't have used them to begin with!). It does burn some if you have an earache, but not that bad. Once the problem is fixed, there is no burning at all. If you have really bad buring that doesn't go away after a half hour or so, you've got bigger problems, I'd suppose, and you need to see the doctor (and shell out that money!).

UGH DONT DO IT Comments By: Anthony on 2009-09-14
I tried it with some GSE [as recommended] and all I smell wintergreen [the scent of the rubbing alcohol]! I tried to rinse back with water but that didnt work. Whatever.
Swimmer's Ear Cure (Alcohol + Hydrogen Peroxide) Comments By: katiekat on 2009-09-19
My swim coach had me treat swimmer's ear (usually water trapped in the eustachian tube of the middle ear region) with hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol.
Hydrogen peroxide was thought to kill the infection as soon as the peroxide stopped bubbling or "tickling" in the ear. Rubbing alcohol was thought to dry up any excess liquid in the ear. I was cured immediately or by the next morning. Recently, I had an infection in my ear canal and tympanum membrane caused from overusing ear plugs. I did my coach's swimmer's ear treatment and when it didn't work after 24 hours, I went to the doctor. She prescribed me painkillers, Amoxicillan tablets, and Ofloxacin ear drops. A month later, I had a similar infection from using Q-tips. I used alcohol in my ears, which reduced the infection,
until I got in to see a doctor. This doctor prescribed me Azithromycin tablets and Cipro ear drops. In conclusion, use hydrogen peroxide and alcohol for an at-home treatment for an ear infection. Do not be afraid of alcohol (even if it "burns" the infected area) because ALCOHOL KILLS ANY INFECTION (60% alcohol is how hand sanitizers kill 99.9% of germs). If the condition persists more than 24 hours, see a doctor. To prevent ear infections, AVOID: pointing your ears at the shower, cleaning your ears with Q-tips, and overusing ear plugs. A warning sign of an infection is "itchiness" in the ear before the swelling and pain. I suggest the swimmer's ear treatment whenever your ears feel "itchy" to kill the infection early.

I was scared at first Comments By: John on 2009-10-04
I was a bit scared to try it after everyone said it burned. My did not burn at all. It was quite a relief when the drops of alcohol where in my ear. I left them in there for about a minute and let them drain out. The pain has subsided. I will probably put another drop in when I go to bed. Overall it worked pretty well.
IM NOT SURE Comments By: VERONICA on 2009-10-09

Ispropryl Alcohol & Hydrogen Peroxide Comments By: Anon on 2009-10-26
I tried mixing these 2 together like someone said and put them in my ear that bothers me and it bubbled up and didn't really hurt. I can't use those stupid ear drops from the doctor cause they make my ears burn and itch like crazy. Hope the alcohol dries up the fluid in my ears so they don't ache and itch much anymore! I don't think using the q-tips are that good and my ears itch less now that I stopped using them again. I think mixing the peroxide or alcohol with water or vinegar would be ok too. My ear hurts cause 2 summers ago I put a q-tip to far in the ear but they said the drum was still fine.
Vinegar and alcohol wash Comments By: Rosy on 2009-11-25
My ENT also gave me this recipe for horrible ear ache. Another doctor had given me antibiotics that did nothing, and my ENT told me stop the antibiotics IMMEDIATELY as it could cause a severe yeast infection in my ear. Vinegar & Alcohol really works!
Really People? Comments By: Annoyed on 2009-12-17
Hardly worked, but I am wondering about all of you who said it was incredibly painful and it still burns a week later...did you actually pour alcohol in your ear canal? Did you no process that you should apply with q-tip on cotton ball? Jesus, natural selection wins again.
no Comments By: Cynthia on 2009-12-18
I tried a couple drops and it burned like crazy! then it wouldn't drain! so not only did my ears hurt from before, they burned, and I now have alcohol stuck in my ears. Just go to a doctor.
Worked like a dream Comments By: Lou on 2009-12-21
This worked so well, i ws so pleased, cured the ear infection in 24 hours flat. went to the doctor adn she asked me if it has been treated, she prescribed ear infection drops which the main ingredient was 99% Alcohol. LOL!, well, I didnt need them anyway.
It DOES work!!!! Comments By: Beth on 2009-12-22
I don't know what all these people are talking about. Rubbing alcohol TOTALLY works to cure ear aches + ear infections, and I have never experienced pain from it. It tingles kind of. My family has been using this remedy for generations, and I have used it on many roommates + now my husband-- and none of them have ever had a problem from it!

Hydrogen peroxide probably also works, but I am paranoid about it leaving too much moisture, and too much moisture is what causes my ear aches in the first place. I hear apple cider vinegar works, but it would leave a smell that might bother some people.

IT WORKS!! Comments By: carla78 on 2009-12-27
yeah it stinks for about 1 min(+/- 10 seconds).

I have an autoimmune disease so i get sick easily. This is the best thing i can do for my constant ear aches.

I usually dilute it 50/50 water and alchohol.

If your scare to try it......then start off with a q-tip dipped in water first then in alchohol and stick it in there! lol

Ear Ache solution Comments By: Sharon on 2010-01-13
you need to mix 2/3 isopropyl rubbing alcohol with 1/3 white vinegar, I put it in a bottle so I have it on hand when there is a childs ear ache. I put a few drops with a dropper in each ear and then apply a cotton ball. Do this 3 times a day. This has been a miracle cure for my children for the last 10 years.
Used it for years Comments By: Bobby Hollis on 2010-01-27
I tear a cotton ball in half, pour it full of Isopropyl, shove in the ear thats hurting. Now here is the secret..Dont let the alcohol squeeze out.Keep your ear tilted down..Go lay down on that ear, let the alcohol vapors rise into the canal, not the alcohol....The vapors are concentrated enough to kill the bacteria and stop the pain..It actually feel good if you do it this way....
Q-Tip Comments By: Mark on 2010-01-30
If you just a dip a Q-Tip (cotton swab) in the rubbing alcohol and then rub that around in your ear it only has a very minor stinging sensation for about 3-4 minutes, and feels better afterward. Another solution is 50:50 rubbing alcohol and peroxide. I recommend 70% rubbing alcohol, not 91%
The Perfect Solution Comments By: Jorge Castro on 2010-02-03
Ok, I remember my mom would take a table spoon and put some oil and one piece of garlic, in Mexico we call it a tooth of garlic, (smashed), then boil it few moments over a flame, then with a piece of cotton get some of that warm, (no hot of course) oil, put a drop or two into the ear all the way in, at contact the pain will disappear, time after time that was the most efective solution for my agonizing ear infection, I am 50 almost now and I share this with people, they say but I still need to take my kid to the doctor right?, nope, that's it, holy remedy.
All Former Comenters Comments By: Informer on 2010-02-07
To all the people who are against this you are dumb. If you have ever used Swimmer's Ear drops to get rid of excess water in your ears, you have put rubbing alcohol in your ears. Alcohol does not burn or hurt, it has a slight warming sensation and can feel very good to cure the problem you have. However, if you have a perforation in your eardrums or other wound in your ears you should not put any liquid in them. Consult a doctor for information on a cure for your problem.
check out Xylitol also Comments By: Brian on 2010-02-18
I have used 50/50 alcohol/clear apple cider vinegar with good results. A little burn if the ear is irritated but not a problem. If you have a full blown ear infection with swelling and pain I'd see a doc as you may need antibiotics. For longer term ear heath check out using Xylitol gum -- some interesting studies mostly in Finland. Also good for dental and sinus problems (nasal irrigation with 1 tsp ea of Xylitol, clean sea salt, and baking soda -- I use an ear syringe but could use a Neti pot -- see Neti pot on Youtube and Google sinus xylitol)
forgot.... Comments By: Brian on 2010-02-18
should have said for the sinus rinse that the ingredients get well mixed into 16 oz of pleasantly warm water. I find this is helping my allergies -- I do it every couple days. Nasal congestion often complicates ear problems so good to address both areas. The Xylitol thing is interesting -- it is a natural sugar that bateria are attacted to but are unable to digest so it messes them up. Also low glycemic index and it's yummy! No I don't sell it LOL!
Worked several times for me Comments By: Kay on 2010-02-26
I developed a terrible ear infection several years ago and actually lost my hearing for a time. Somebody told me about the rubbing alcohol trick a year or so after. I've had several starts to ear infections. I dip a q-tip in rubbing alcohol and very gently swab inside my ear (I know, I know, nothing smaller than an elbow in there) but this has taken care of my ear infections very quickly.
Not safe, may cause seizures. Comments By: [email protected] on 2010-03-09
My mom was very healthy but one day she put alcohol in her ear because she was too cheap to buy eardrops and now she gets seizures. Her brain gets stuck on one thing every few months. I don't suggest it. Go spend the money for actual eardrops, it's better to be safe than sorry. God Bless
hahaha Comments By: Divine on 2010-04-02
hahaha i have not tried it and im kinda scared to after reading all of this... i have a REALY BAD ear ache and i dont know how to get rid of it because i dont have peroxide and ear drops but i DO have rubbing alchohl but i dont know if i want to use it. hahaha all of this is too funny though!
Worked in Dr's office for 13 years Comments By: Debby on 2010-04-03
After we wash out a patients ear we use alcohol (a drop or 2) to get the remaining water out. Been doing it for 13 years.
If you have a Middle Ear infection this will not work, but works great for Swimmers ear or Ear Canal Infections.
I just cured my Ear Canal Infection with alcohol/vinegar solution, 3x a day. It was almost swollen shut. Small burn for a few minutes. Plus I left the solution in my ear for 5 minutes each time.
Again if you have a tear in your ear drum this will hurt and I would suggest not to do it.
To tell the difference: an ear canal infection can be felt on the outside of the ear, pull lightly if it hurts more than likely it is a Canal Infection.
You should not use Peroxide, it actually turns to water once it is done 'bubbling' and defeats the purpose.

Haha, no thanks... Comments By: Emily on 2010-04-05
I personally love the pee in the ear suggestion by Joseph. Honestly, who is going to try that?!?!? Haha, dumb...
Does not hurt if you don't have a busted eardrum Comments By: Derek on 2010-04-07
It will help with the pain but take a dose of motrin(ibuprofen) with this remedy. One drop in ear, let it sit for about 3 minutes then let it drain out. I had serve pain and now it is gone thanks to this and ibuprofen.
Listed as a valid home cure for swimmer's ear Comments By: Anon on 2010-04-25
On the Medline plus page, which is a service of the US National Library of Health and NIH, rubbing alcohol is a home cure for swimmer's ear. As long as the eardrum is not perforated! The alcohol dries up the water and kills off any bacteria or fungus that may decide that the ear's a good habitat. For infections, see a doctor. Depending on what causes the earache, it's a valid cure.
Here's the link: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003042.htm

Alcohol & Hydrogen Peroxide can burn!! Alcohol & Vinegar is fine. Comments By: SKS on 2010-05-03
Generally safe to combine pharmacy store rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide. My wife uses it to clean enema buckets and tubing. A warning tho, is that occasionally for some reason the mix reacts with something as it drains thru the hose. If you get some on your skin, it burns and leaves a white burn mark. We have yet to figure why this happens.

I have seen on some info sites people suggest putting the above mixture in your ears to loosen ear wax. I'll never do it, knowing what could happen.

If your a swimmer, alcohol and white vinegar mixed 50/50 and dripped into each ear after swimming will prevent swimmers ear and infections after swimming in lakes, streams etc.
Commonly used by scuba divers. You can make it for pennies, it's the same ingredients that you will find in store bought products made for swimmers. The alcohol dries the ears and the vinegar restores the ears acidity. One day, I didn't bring my squirts, the day after swimming in Tampa Bay, had two ear infections. So I never go swimming with out it.

You can use straight Hydrogen peroxide for loosen ear wax from what I read but, it does produce some heat. The heat probably softens the wax for removal for flushing with warm water.

sloshing in ear Comments By: Big D on 2010-05-04
when i cup my hand over my ear and gently move it back and forth it sounded like water was in my ear. I mixed white vinegar and rubbing alcohol { isopropyl alcohol ] in a 50/50 mix and had my son put a few drops in. It instantly made a whooshing noise, after a few seconds tipped my ear down so it could drain. lay down on that side for a few minutes.
I had no discomfort and 10 minutes later there is no more sloshing in the ear.

SWEET OIL Comments By: Missy on 2010-05-13
all you have to do is buy a bottle of sweet oil at the drugstore and put a few drops in your ear and then put a cotton ball in your ear.
Ouch!!! And tears!!! Comments By: Jackie on 2010-05-16
I have tubes in my ears and I went swimming this weekend and when i dived in the pool my ear had so much pressure in it i wanted to cry..So i went in and put peroxide in it and it bubbled and felt weird..SO I left and came back home two days later and I decided to put alcohol in my ear OUCH!!!!!!! It hurt so bad i was in tears so I guess my ear is infected from the water sittin in it too long or my ear drum and tube are infected I know im making a trip to my SInus doctor ASAP!!!!
IT WILL ONLY WORK SOMETIMES Comments By: anon on 2010-05-17
It depends what type of earache you have. alcohol doesnt automatically work for every single earache, it only works for the ones that arent really deep inside the ear cannal. if you have an earache that is in the middle or deeper chances are it will not work, but if your earache is fairly shallow (not the pain but the source of the infection) then it is likely to work because it dries the ear out and kills the bacteria. everyone's body is different that's why it isnt a total cure so if you are hesitant to try it i dont recommend it
that was stupid!!! Comments By: alison on 2010-05-18
Hurt like hell. Satan is in my ear poking me in the head!!
Depends on type. Comments By: Raven on 2010-05-26
There are two different kinds of ear infections (which is what causes an earache). One is on the inside (middle ear), so not accessible by touching. The other is the kind that is in parts of the ear you can reach. The latter can be caused by, or get worse when, the inside of the ear is wet (this time I mean the "inside" of what you can reach - the canal). Therefore, if you have the second kind, alcohol or anything else that causes instant drying will be very helpful. If touching and moving your ear makes it hurt more, then you have the second kind. If your eachache was caused by using Q-tips (and lasted more then a few minutes, i.e. not due to a scratch or a slip), then you also have the second kind (if it WAS due to a scratch or slip, then you don't actually have an ear infection, just a bruise or whatever, unless it lases say longer then an hour in which case it probably got infected). So if you have the kind that's in your outer ear canal then alcohol or any other drying agent should help - since it kills all bacteria, it may also offer instant relief as the poster said. If not, then you can just use it to keep dry so they cannot breed or survive long. The reason the EMT said not to use rubbing alcolhol is probablay just because it will stiong. If you do still have alcohol or vinegar in your ear after using, it doesn't matter - alcohol will dry instantly in air, so it's nothing to worry about except the stinging, and vinegar, again, is killing the bacteria so the worse it will do is feel like there's liquid in it. Any time there is liquid in your ear you can get it out by turning your head sideways and putting your ear in a tub of water, which will "coax the water on the inside to join the water on the outside". However, this may be a bad idea if you have an ear infection, since water is part of what caused it in the first place (and since what's already in there in this case ISN'T water).
I dont think so,,, Comments By: Tyler on 2010-05-30
I havent tried it but dont want to.. my doctor told me to put ear drops of neotic but it doesnt seem to get rid of the pain.. nothing really does.. i even take pain killers and ive only been able to get like 4 hrs of sleep every night,, kind of off topic but what should i do to kill the pain?
Sorry my spelling is bad Comments By: chris on 2010-06-04
Well I've been sick 3 days flu, post nasal drip and one ear ache that turned in to two. i just didnt see my body making me better when I was sooo messed up. But i did try the alchol thing and its like a mirical i dont even know how to tell you so you'll believe me! But 5 minutes ago i put roughly 5 drops in each ear they were hurting a little bad yea know. It does burn but not bad its actually a relieving burn i can feel things movin in there like liqued so im gonna go lay down with a heating pad under my ear be careful may work but if you fall asleep on it you could burn your self stay safe everyone thanks to your site i can say my ears really dont hurt THANKS EVERYONE!!!!
just tried it Comments By: Martinez on 2010-06-07
I just tried it and it hurt for an instant but then the water was out of my ear and now after reading this I'm a little worried, but I read it on web md so who knows I guess I'll know when I get an ear infection. The pain is gone though.
hurts in a good way... Comments By: Morgan on 2010-06-10
It does hurt like a beach but although the burning is almost unbearable is does feel like its cleaning it out and it must be working because you can feel it bubbling wich means its fighting the infections.. it does hurt really bad though. Not for the faint of heart!
Per Nurse use Isopropyl Alcohol Comments By: Lisa on 2010-06-10
I had a nurse at my doctors tell me to use Isopropyl Alcohol for water in my inner ear. I mentioned this to my daughter and she said it opened her ear immediately. I had water in my ear an hour ago and it worked for me also. Yes it burned for about five minutes, but I'm as good as new now.
pharmacy Comments By: angela on 2010-06-14
my 11 year old daughter has swimmers ear, i just returned from the walgreens where i bought ear drops made to treat this. the only active ingredients in the drops were 95% isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol in a 5% glycerin base the pharmacist said the glycerin just had a slightly soothing effect so alcohol is absolutely safe. and if it doesnt burn my 11 year old too much it cant hurt that much unless you have a more serious condition btw the drops were 4.99 rubbing alcohool less than a dollar
Yippeee Pain Free (for now) Comments By: LaGirl on 2010-06-21
I originally got this tip from my sister n law that I don't trust so of course I had to research it before I tried it. I'm happy to say that after skimming through these comments and careful consideration, my earache is GONE!! I used a little alcohol on a cotton ball and let it run in my ear a bit. It didn't burn at all. As a matter of fact, my pain just slowly faded. I'm so glad I tried this.
RELIEF!!! Comments By: NATE on 2010-06-25
i had swimmers ear, i slept on the affected ear & nothing, so i came about this page & tried alcohol with a Q-tip, i didnt burn real bad nor stung, just felt warm & tingly, im still trying it cause water is in my ear still, just dampen the Q-tip a little, put your head upright & tilt it back & you WILL feel the water come out, gotta say this worked for me, & I HAVE A PERFORATED DRUM SO I RUBBED IT IN, NOT DROPS!!!!
TO Relieve Your Pain From Your Ear Comments By: Pegster on 2010-07-01
I Had A Earache For 9 Days Striaght Couldnt Eat Or SLeep On The 8th day i Decided 2 use a heating pad on my ear it relieves all your pain and will let you sleep better
No problem Comments By: dre on 2010-07-04
Had an earful of sea water that would not drain. Put a few drops from a cotton swab in my ear and the water dried up. Now I can't hear my mother-in-law so it worked!! Just kidding, I can hear fine.
>.> Comments By: Sayerofsayings on 2010-07-11
It only works on white people and im not white -.-
Alchol only burns on open wound/sore/perf eardrum Comments By: Beesy on 2010-07-13
If you don't want the burn, don't use if you have an open wound/sore or a perferated eardrum. If you have any of these, you should see an Otolaryngologist - aka ENT aka Ear,Nose and Throat physician. Alcohol is used in almost all swimmer's ear remedies TO REMOVE WATER ONLY. Check out the labels. Buy youself some 91% isopropyl and save a bunch of money. If you're having other ear pains, you should really see a doc. If you have have an infection and you don't get it treated, it can permanently affect your hearing.
Undecided Comments By: Jan on 2010-07-17
I've had a blocked ear for 5 days, been to my doc who prescribed oral antibiotics and recommended warm baby oil in ear nightly. He says I have a wax build up plus water from a swim lesson. Nothing changed over four days, so tried the rubbing alcohol just now (swap soaked dripped in affected ear - twice) and nothing has happened. I did not let it drain out and wonder if I have a bunch of alcohol in my ear, or if it never made its way in. I did have the warm sensation, so now I think I will get to a clinic. I had a serious ear infection twenty-five years ago (my only one) and I am afraid to do anything. Very little sound heard in the affected ear.
Im layin on my side with it in there now! Comments By: Expert ;) on 2010-07-23
It feels greatt. I woke up last night in the middle of the night about to cry I was in pain so bad. And I don't have money for ear drops so I'm trying this. The PAIN IS GGONE!! (:
Hope this helps Comments By: Happy that thats over on 2010-07-24
I wanted to post this because I was looking for help but I kinda ran accross it on accident. So maybe I can help people save their ears. I went to the emergency room. AND WAITED ALMOST 4hrs nobody saw me I told them to cancel me. The pain had seemed like it subsided a little so I said it may not be that serious after fighting it for 2 1/2 weeks..lol.. I intially thought it was a tooth ache. I went to walmart and GOT SOME VINEGAR(I learned of this from the physician after I made a seen not being at least seen with in the last 5hrs after my first sit down). He said keep it dry and try vinegar after I told him I wasn't going to wait and they deleted me from the hospital base respectively. WHY PAY THAT MUCH FOR ANTIBODICS COME ON.. DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN AN HOUR... MAN!!! Well guys I bought some auro-dri from walmart(it has a glycerin base and 95% alcohol this seemed to dry it out(didn't hurt at all I think it was because of the glycerin) and the vinegar seem to fight what seem to be a infection. It started doing a minor itching and bubbling inside.. put everything in that order. The audri-dri first then the vinegar. And it felt SO Good. This works!! Get some halls for a sore throat/salt and water (gargle)also Listerin(mouth wash) and also some anbesol for the teeth if its messing with your teeth(yes I was having real pain). Don't try to much Tylenol PM with the sleep aid it can make matters worst if you use to much. Yes I went through alot. But guys you should know that I tried the rubbing alcohol first before everything(yes this did hurt when I put it in but I used a cotton swab... don't stick it in the ear It may cause more irritation and mess up something just let 2 drops fall in from the swab enough to go down..thats it until you can get to the auro-dri and vinegar. I notice that the next to days before I went to the doctor and sat down for that long wait my ear stopped aching as much after the rubbing alcohol (it was about 91%), which is what made me look for something at walmart with alcohol for ears in the first place the physician didn't tell me this. I noticed that the anbesol goes through the blood line and takes some of the pain off the ear. And what.. could have been $500 dollars without insurance turned in to about a $10.00 fix. WOW! I'm going to try a warm pad later. I heard that this helps build heat which will cause your white blood cells to speed up which will produce wax in order to fight infection as well. YOU NEED EAR WAX. DON'T FORGET WHILE YOUR BURNING YOUR EARS. LOL.
BE PREPARED TO BE IN AGONY! Comments By: anon on 2010-08-02
About a week ago, I had a painful lump in my outer ear, and behind my ear. That night, I rubbed the lump before going to bed, hoping it would make the infection drain if that was what was causing it. When I woke up, the lump behind my ear was gone, but it was still kind of sore inside. I went swimming for the next 2 days, then woke up one morning with my head hurting so bad I couldnt stand it. My ear wasnt reeally hurting, but it felt clogged up, like I needed to pop my ears or something. I held my nose, and blew out trying to get my ears to open. When I did this, a gush of water ran out and it made a screeching noise so loud, that the person beside of me could hear it. IT WAS BAD!!! that went on for a full day, I slept on that side hoping it would all run lout, but the next day, it was exactly the same, so I put peroxide in my wear. It didnt really help much so a couple hours later, I tried rubbing alcohol... BIG MISTAKE!!! It burned so bad I literally screamed. I ran back to the bathroom tilted my head hioping it would all run out and grabbed a q-tip to dry out what didnt. I advise you to try other remedys before doing this!!!
Clean out the wax first! Comments By: Jason McCann on 2010-08-04
You need to clear out any wax if any home remedy you put in your ear is going to work, in my humble opinion. I typically use ear wax softening drops and then use a water pic (the kind used for teeth) to unplug any wax. Keep in mind this can take a while. (as in 20 minutes sometimes, and maybe two attempts) If water is still trapped in the ear then the wax is not gone. For those of you with severe infections: WHEN YOU GET THROUGH THAT WAX IT'S GONNA HURT, but at least now the infection isn't trapped and incubating. Now when you put a drop of rubbing alcohol or a few drops of peroxide in it will NOT GET STUCK BACK THERE and sting for days! If you go to the doctor this is exactly what they do to remove ear wax. First the water rushes in and eventually dislodges (the some times HUGE) piece of ear wax. Then as you continue to spray its the water draining out of your ear than will actually push the main piece of wax out. Eventually, if you have a huge piece of wax in your ear it will slowly work its way up the canal and finally come out and you will be thinking "THAT WAS IN THERE?"

My point is, I think putting drops of peroxide and alcohol in an ear filled with ear wax is insane! I would never do it. With a clear ear if it hurts too much you can wash out the alcohol etc IMMEDIATELY with no wax blockage. But please, make your own decisions, I am not a doctor people! If you have severe infections I think the ER or a clinic is best if you don't have insurance. And inner ear infection can KILL YOU.

HydrogenPeroxideNotRubbingAlcohol Comments By: Shane on 2010-08-05
Okay, you don't use rubbing alcohol. You use hydrogen peroxide. Rubbing alcohol comes in clear bottle hydrogen peroxide comes in blakc bottle. Straight alcohol is painful, thats why you use a cap full of Hy. Perox pour it in your ear and stick a cotton ball in your ear. Whenever it stops making the bubbling sound you tilt your head over and let it drain. The cotton ball will soak up the hy. perox.
It burns!! Comments By: Anon on 2010-08-07
I dipped a q-tip in rubbing alcohol and cleaned my ear in it (thinking it would melt the wax and relieve my pain) I wish I hadn't!! My ear burns and sorta aches, I rushed to the sink and rinsed it would but it still hurts!
no alcohol Comments By: superb on 2010-08-13
the alcohol may kill the bacteria (initially) as well as burn, but it will also dry out the skin of the inner ear so that it will crack (like dry skin). This, in turn makes the skin that much more susceptible to new bacterial growth - you are just opening up the skin for more to get in. Some ear prescriptions will contain 5% acetic acid with an oil or buffer agent. This is similar to vinegar, but may not be what you need. May need antibiotics and in some cases steroids to relieve inflammation.
Try some Aleve Comments By: Ree on 2010-08-13
I was skeptic about the alcohol, peroxide, and vinegar......however, I DID take 3 Aleve, and while reading this page - hallelujah - the Aleve kicked in. Pain free. So I guess I will try next time. When in doubt, bring the Aleve out.

Definitley NOT trying the urine though. I'll take your word for it Joey boy.

from birth Comments By: Janet on 2010-08-14
never put a q tip or a bobby pin, or anything else in your ear. Leave them alone. I had one earache and my great aunt put warm oil on a cotton ball and I was fine. Never have had any other earache. Pushing things in your ears causes problems. They drain naturally, and if they dont, see a doctor.
concentration Comments By: lalalalala on 2010-08-25
for those of you with BURNING sensation in your ear look at your bottle of rubbing alcohol... does it say 90% ? BAD THAT IS WHY YOUR EARS ARE BURING!!!!! i suggest using 70% or even 50%. The rubbing alcohol and vinegar solution is great for curing swimmers ear and yeast related ear infections, but if you are trying to just get the water our of your ears use a q-tip soaked in rubbing alcohol will do the trick. again, it's important to look at the isopropyl alcohol percentage.
sweet oil Comments By: jmc on 2010-08-30
its all about the sweet oil, heat it up so its warm but not burning hot. like luke warm. then put it in your ear with a cotton ball.
NO HEATING PADS WHILE YOU SLEEP Comments By: Patrick Whittemore on 2010-09-01
I ran across a comment someone posted about using a heating pad to releave the pain. Do not sleep with a heating pad on your ear.. The wax in your ear will melt and destroy your ear. I repeat, leaving a heating pad on your head when you go to bed can perminatly destroy your hearing. I have a friend who lost there hearing this way. If you want to use it for a little while that is fine.. just don't sleep with it.
alcohol in ear Comments By: ce ce on 2010-10-10
I got alcohol in my ear by mistake. it burns so bad I was in tears. the next morning I lost all hearing in my ear.
it worked for me Comments By: casey on 2010-11-06
had a ear ache on the lefthand side of my ear i did 3 parts white vinager one part alcohol and put three drops in and inmediatly let it drain and it worked wonders for me. i do recommend, and my mother went to the doctor last year when hers was really bad and the doctor told her to sleep with that ear up and have warm water on a wash cloth and a heating pad on it the infection is attracted to the heat and leaves the ear. also a good tip. thanks casey
Remedy has been effective since childhood Comments By: Jenny on 2010-11-12
When I was a kid and had an earache, my mom would dip a cotton ball into some alcohol and form a ball. She'd place it into our ears and we could feel relief instantly. Everyone is different however, and you need to make sure that you don't have a more serious infection before putting anything into your ears. For me, this method has always been effective, and non-painful, and as a mother I use this particular method on my own children which works every time. But, as with any infection involving the ears, nose, throat and eyes, you would need to get medical attention anyway. Good Luck!
Doctors say Comments By: Sam on 2010-11-13
My doctor said that for your ears you can use a half alcohol and half peroxide mixture. I'm too afraid to use alcohol however. I use peroxide but I read that mixing warm water with white vinegar works well also.
great earwax solvent Comments By: Sky on 2010-11-29
using your own urine is the safest, gentlest way of melting earwax. Put some in blocking the ear with a cotton ball or toilet paper over night then rinse your ears out with warm water the next day. It works great!!!
Truth Truth About It Comments By: Dicktard on 2010-12-19
Rubbing alcohol works, but not on an ear infection. It cleans the ear and dries it, but if your ear is infected it will burn severely. When it is applied, it should only be applied in the amount of a drop from an eye dropper.
DO NO DO THIS Comments By: Anon on 2011-01-25
DO NOT TRY THIS. The burning happens because the alchohol is in your eardrum and it is reacting with the liquid in it. THis will PERMANENTLY damage your ear and you will not be able to hear. So once again, DO NOT DO THIS.
Ear remedies and colds Comments By: Mystee on 2011-02-01
I too have my first stuffed up ear in a while but while thinking about it remembered I've recently been needing to blow my nose more and hearing that squealing sound in my ear, I always have head noise but recently has been much louder, I made the mistake of trying the drops and lo and behold believe I now have swimmers ear, not sure what I will do, but I can tell you I agree with the person who talked of inhaling isopropyl alcohol, I have found that when using hand sanitizer which is mostly alcohol if I inhale the left over vapors I seem to ward off any up and coming cold which is why i'd have started using the sanitizer more in the first place, have never used it in my ears. but reading all the comments has helped me decide what not to do.
It's doesn't BURN or STING Comments By: Leah P on 2011-02-13
I tried it and two minutes later my ears seem to be draining out. The ear that hurt I don't really feel the pain anymore. I think it depends on the person right? if someone has a bad infection of course it's going to cause burning and irritation. It worked for me. I just used a Q Tip- dropped a drop or so in let sit for a min then let the ear drain.

Good luck!!!

please read Comments By: bookrey on 2011-03-01
dont do that.

whatch this

DOESNT WORK Comments By: heather on 2011-03-11
Mixed 50/50 alcohol and vinegar. Doesnt work... still in pain dammit
Vicks Vapor Rub Comments By: MaryB on 2011-03-11
For ear aches I dab some Vicks Vapor rub on a cotton ball and place it in my ear. Let it sit in the ear for a while and your will start to feel your ear "pop" an it will soothe your ear.
13 Year Older Approves Comments By: Rachel on 2011-03-21
i do this during the summer after i swim and i have done it 4x's a day for 2days know and it is helping
always works for me and my family Comments By: shanna on 2011-03-19
Do not pour alcohol directly in the ear, just put some on a cotton ball and place it over the ear. Lie down . It always works for my kids and I, though not instantaneous.
Consider the logic, not the emotion Comments By: Scott on 2011-03-27
Rubbing alchohol is one of the primary ingredients for swimmer's ear remedies sold in drugstores. The most expensive being 95% alchohol and 5% glycerin. I've used a mixture of 50% alchohol and 50% white vinegar with great success on myself and kids. If you have an OUTER ear infection, you will feel some discomfort during the cleansing process. This can be remedied by draining the ear and putting warm olive oil into your ear (better to have a mixture of olive and garlic). This should stop the pain rather quickly. ALWAYS make certain you do not have a perforation between the outer and inner ear before putting any liquid into your ear. A simple otoscope can aid in this exercise which can be purchased at any large drug store or WalMart.
Works Comments By: Leah on 2011-04-14
Totally worked. Took a few tries, but it finally softened up my ear drum enough so I could hold my nose and pop my ear without blowing out my eardrum and having sever pain. The pain is gone in my ear and down my throat :) Glad I looked this up
alcohol v peroxide Comments By: jessiep on 2011-04-19
okay here is the deal

peroxide is for general cleansing. sometimes you have to clean your ears. just us either 50/50 peroxide to water or just peroxide. put some on a cottonball. let it sit and bubble for a bit (30 secs or so) then let it run out onto tp. this cleans your ears. its called doing an "ear lavage"

this is used if there is water in the ear. It dries the water up. Basically, if you have an earache due to excess fluid/water from swimming or dampnss, then you can just put a drop or two of alcohol (91%) in your ear. this will dry the dampness and relieve the pain from the earache.

however, if you get an earache and haven't been swimming or anything then you probably have an ear infection. DO NOT USE ALCOHOL in this case. It will be EXTREMELY painful. You may try the peroxide treatment. You can also try taking a hot compress and placing it over the ear. But if your ear doesn't get better in 1/2 a day then you need to go to the Dr. because you may need antibiotics at that point.

hope that helps.

yep, it works Comments By: spanky on 2011-05-02
made me a little dizzy, but it totally eliminated the pain and pressure within minutes. definitely worth it!
It doesnt work Comments By: Ashley on 2011-06-14
I tried it and it does not work. My ear still wont work and it burned.
Alcohol with vinegar Comments By: John on 2011-06-17
I've suffered with ear infections my whole life. Normally, one course of antibiotics is enough to clear up the infection. About six months ago i got an infection that lasted for three months. During that time I visited four different hospitals and took 14 courses of antibiotics, and the infection still wasn't destroyed. That's when I tried alcohol and vinegar. I mixed a few drops of alcohol with an equal amount of vinegar and then added some warm water. i used a syringe to put a couple of drops into the ear three times a day. The infection cleared up in 2 days. As a result of the infection i lost about 10% of my hearing. my advice is, yes the alcohol and vinegar does work but may cause damage to your ears. Use with caution.
Alcohol in ear isn't so bad Comments By: Liam on 2011-07-07
I grew near a small river and many creeks and did a lot of swimming in my youth. My dad always kept a dropper of rubbing alcohol. He learned in the coastguard to always put a little in your ears after swimming to pull out the water and prevent infections.

I've been doing this now for 30 years without any of the problems people have mentioned here.

If your ears burn when alcohol goes in, you probably have an infection. This is how I detect infections. If I have an earache, add a few drops of alcohol and if it burns, get to doctor. It's its a viral infection you can't do much. Just drink fluids and take it easy.

I do think rubbing alcohol is a bit rough, so just stick with Vodka. It's easier on your ears than rubbing alcohol. And make sure to dilute it. If you use rubbing alcohol, don't use the 91% nearly pure grain. Somewhere in the 40% would be better for the ear. Hence Vodka.

I'm not a doctor, so take what I say with a grain of salt. My only point is that I've been putting rubbing alcohol in my ears for 30 years and my Dad for at least 60, and my mother for at least 50, and my brother and everyone else I've passed this tip onto without issues. It only burns when there's an infection or some other type of lesion.

After swimming, when you let the alcohol drain out, you should feel a warming sensation in the ear. But only after swimming, this is the water that was lodged in your ear coming out. It won't do it if you haven't been under water.

Just Not Getting The Job Done, Clearly Comments By: SPEAK UP!!! on 2011-07-08
Thinking back over these responses, I can recall: Alcohol in two concentrations, hydrogen peroxide, olive oil, tea tree oil, vinegar (white, apple cider, AND malt flavor), salt, Vicks, xylitol, and piss. You people are just aiming a bit low. Here's the end-all, be all cure for all minor ear conditions, be they trapped fluid, earwax, or infections. This will even remove the occasional bug that sometimes crawls into people's ears and gets trapped. (Gross, but true.)
All you need is one eyedropper full of unleaded gasoline. You must make sure that you use the lowest octane you can get. (The cheap stuff) I'll explain why in a bit. Three drops in the affected ear is all it takes. This will kill any and all microorganisms, loosen earwax buildup, displace water, and numb any nerves causing discomfort. Now I know sometimes the wax buildup can get to be more than will come out with just a bit of loosening, that three drops of oil-based liquid may not displace all the water, and what about those pesky insects? Well, that's why I had you buy low-octane. You may think that high-octane gas burns better or something. Not true. The higher the octane, the less prone it is to spontaneously detonating if the cylinder compresses it, even if the plug doesn't fire. In a high-compression sports engine, these compression-induced explosions after the car's shut off are called "knocking", and are a bad thing. But we want the most sensitive, knock-prone gasoline out there. If nothing else works, wait for the gasoline to thoroughly vaporize and mix with the air in your inner ear. Now, if you're strong enough, do this yourself, but if not, go get your strongest friend. One or the other of you should now form one hand into a kind of "cupped palm" shape, rear back, and slap the affected ear as hard as humanly possible. If you can get a good seal, and some good compression, the cheap gasoline vapor will then compression-detonate inside your ear. This will sound somewhat louder than a "knock". Briefly. I absolutely guarantee that all foreign material-including the most stubborn earwax buildup, germs, water, or even insects- will be removed instantly. There may be one or two lasting side effects, as well as some discomfort from any pain nerves that are not cauterized by the blast. When performing this procedure, please do not point the ear to be slapped toward any mirrors, glass shower stalls, small children, or pets.

And if you can't tell I'm kidding, please kindly remove yourself from the breeding pool by whatever means you find most convenient. :-) Thank you.

OUCH! Comments By: Freya on 2011-07-16
It burns! Don't do it! I am going crazy with the pain of it!
IT WORKS FOR SWIMMERS EAR. Comments By: Jodi on 2011-07-23
I just put 50/50 of vinegar & alcohol on cotton ball had her til head for 20 sec then let it drain. She said it didnt hurt and felt better almost instantly. Glad that we tried it cause she feels so much better.
Maybe, Maybe Not Comments By: Brian on 2011-08-11
Ok i put alcohol in my ear because at first instinct i thought it was a ear infection i felt a little sharp burn and some numbness i thought this was because maybe the alcohol was killing the infection like it normally would on a cut. I have yet to see results and will check back in the morning.
massive ear infection and rubbing alcohol Comments By: annoyed amanda on 2011-08-22
i have a massive ear infection i was diagnosed last week with swimmers ear the had progressed the week before well i accidentally knocked the ear drops over and it was 5 days before i could get a new script and for my insurance to cover it 250.00 doesn't come around very often to replace stuff i was hoping that oral antibiotics would work cause i was also being treated for a sinus infection and a mrsa infection on my ears and now also in them. every now and then i would pull out chuncks of white stuff and my mom thought it was dead skin well i went to smell it and omg what a horrible smell i was gagging cause my sense of smell has been gone. i had read stuff on the alcohol in my ears my mom said not to do it cause they are so raw and i would just be asking for more unneeded pain so after about the third chuck of puss i said gross and said ill try it. my ear thats real bad burns a bit but i scolled down more where it says don't put alcohol in advanced ear infections. is this going to make it worse? im not screaming in pain just annoyed at the amount of oral meds and onitments im taking and none of them clear this infection up what do they do when people cant afford the drops? this infection is going down my kneck and on to my chin im sure the mrsa doesn't help but i think this is the worst case of both
Peroxide all the way!!!!!!! Comments By: Anon on 2011-08-31
I've had swimmers war for about a week and decided to use peroxide( and it worked)!!! But a nurse I know said not to use alcohol because it will dry out ur eardrum and make it scab up! So u would say no to alcohol!

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