How to Get Sand Out Of Ear

What you shall do and what to avoid when trying to get sand out of your ear

Written by Meredith Hayes. Updated on sand in the ear

Summer is the season of vacations and seaside relaxation. However, the second you get sand in your ear, everything stops existing except for the annoying feeling or irritation and pain!

Naturally, being aware of how to get sand out of an ear is a very handy skill, especially if for some reason you are not able to see the doctor instantly. This is why today we will share a bunch of useful tips with you about how to extract sand from your ear safely, and what to do if you happen to have what we call a swimmer’s ear.

How to Get Sand Out Of Your Ear

If you realize that some sand got stuck in the ear, they are different from how to get rid of sand in hair tips, the very first thing you need to do is to do your best to get it out of there.

However, remember not to make any attempts to extract that sand with the Q-tip!

If you do so, you can push the particles of sand only deeper into the ear which will lead to infection development.

Instead, use an old-fashioned yet very practical and well-working method.

Tilt your head to the side and shake it while pulling the ear up and back. It will allow your ear canal to straighten out and thus the sand will come out easier.

However, please, remember that if you feel pain and a burning feeling inside of your ear when the sand is still in there, this might be the so-called swimmer’s ear. In this case, you must go and see the doctor immediately, otherwise, the sand deep in your ear will lead to infection development. And that will have quite a nasty backwash!

How to get water and sand out of your ear to prevent the swimmer’s ear
Photo by Glen Jackson on Unsplash

Swimmer’s Ear. What Is That And How to Treat It?

If you like surfing or you are an active swimmer, you might have heard of what we call swimmer’s ear. This nasty thing can have rather unpleasant effects, so better learn what it is and how to cope with it!

Swimmer’s ear is an infection or inflammation of the outer ear and ear canal. It can be quite painful and it is often accompanied by irritation. This state develops when water gets in the ear canal and stays trapped there. If it happens, bacteria and fungi that are usually found there start growing and multiplying leading to pain and unpleasant feeling of your ear being blocked.

swimmers ear
2014 WebMD

What can cause a swimmer’s ear?

See, a swimmer’s ear can develop when we swim in the sea or a pool, or even when we take a shower or a bath! Also, this infection can develop and get transmitted from cotton swabs that we use to clean our ears. When our ears get in contact with dirty and\or polluted water, with excessive bacteria in hot tubs, or with various chemicals, such as hair sprays or dyes, it can also lead to the swimmer’s ear development.

Swimmer's ear
Carol DerSarkissian, MD
Carol DerSarkissian, MD, is a board-certified emergency physician
Swimmer's ear, which has the medical name of otitis externa, is an infection in your ear canal. That's the tube that runs from the hole on the outside of your ear to your eardrum.

Swimmer's ear is different from the common ear infection that your young child often gets after a cold. Those are middle ear infections, or "otitis media" in doctor speak, and they happen deeper in the ear, behind the eardrum. (Credits :

The common symptoms are the following:

  1. mild or moderate pain
  2. itching that gets worse if you tug on the outer ear
  3. the feeling of the ear being full or blocked
  4. swollen lymph nodes around the affected ear
  5. impaired hearing
  6. fever
  7. drainage
  8. severe pain that may spread to the side of the head, face, or neck

Of course, not all of these symptoms will be present, but even if you notice some of them, go and see the doctor instantly! In case you are not able to do that for some reason (for instance, if you are too far from the hospital or you are on the road traveling), you can try to help yourself.

How to get water and sand out of your ear to prevent the swimmer’s ear?

The easiest way is to prepare an acidic solution. For that, mix together some rubbing alcohol and white acetum using equal proportions. Once it is ready, introduce the mixture into the ear clogged with sand using a medicine dropper.

Such a solution will remove water (if there is any) from your ear canal and restore the balanced pH of the tissue. And remember that if you have really bad symptoms, such as fever or drainage, visiting a hospital is a must. You will need topical antibiotic preparation. Also, your doctor will check whether or not you have your eardrum damaged or perforated.

Beach Sand in ear, micro-suction removalBeach Sand in ear, micro-suction removal

Things to Never Do When Trying to Extract Sand Out Of Your Ear

Like with any disease, when you get sand in your ear, it is important to follow certain preventive and precautionary measures to keep your ear safe and to save your hearing.

  • Never try to clean that sand out using a Q-tip! It will only make sand get deeper into the ear canal which will lead to infection development later.
  • Also, using your index finger is not the best idea since you can have the same effect as described above.
  • Some people try to wash the sand out by getting water in their damaged ear, but we would not call it a good idea! You see, getting water into the ear canal that is already irritated by sand will only give you more chances to get the ear infected.

Using a saline solution might be a good idea. However, this remedy must be applied carefully and never left inside of an ear for too long. Otherwise, there is a high risk of getting it infected.

Whenever you notice you have sand in your ear, the best solution will be to go to the hospital and see the doctor even if you don’t have nasty symptoms like bad pain or drainage! The specialist will examine the damaged ear and advise you on the optimal treatment method. And of course, in the hospital your ear will be freed from that sand clog fast and safely!

Now that you learned how to get sand out of your ear safely, and also got informed about the swimmer’s ear and its symptoms, we hope you will be more careful and cautious when going to swim next time!

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐What can be the aftermath of a swimmer's ear?

You can get an ear infection, or your hearing can get worse.

⭐How to get sand or dirt out of a puppy's ear?

The best way is to take a pup to the vet. To do it yourself, squeeze some ear-cleaning liquid into the dog’s ear canal and massage gently at the base of the ear for 30 sec. Then let the dog shake its head and use a cotton ball to wipe the ear canal out.

⭐How to get sand clogged out of my ear?

The best way is to use white vinegar and a rubbing alcohol solution.

⭐How to get sand out of your ear with hydrogen peroxide?

Fill the dropper with 3% stabilized hydrogen peroxide, and squeeze it into your ear while laying on the side. After a while, sit up and clean the ear with a paper towel.

Written by
Meredith will assist you with your health and family problems. She is a professional therapist who has huge experience in the field of family health care.
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