Homemade Swimmer’s Ear Drops (Costs 98% Less than Store-Bought!)

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Save when you use these Homemade Swimmers Ear Drops!

Homemade Swimmers Ear Drops next to a swimmer

Swim your heart out with these DIY drops! 🏊

We’re sharing how to make easy and cheap homemade Swimmer’s Ear Drops so you can have all the fun this summer without the risk of pain, infection, and spending a fortune on over the counter drops! Read on for the best home remedy.

hand holding a brown dropper bottle of diy swimmers ear drops

What is Swimmer’s Ear?

If you or your kiddos are regular swimmers, then you may already be familiar with Swimmer’s Ear – an infection in the outer ear canal often brought on by water that remains in your ear after swimming which creates a moist environment where bacteria can grow and cause an infection.

So why use Swimmer’s Ear Drops? 🤔

dropper squirting liquid into child ear

Swimmer’s ear drops help dry out your ear canal which prevents bacterial growth. However, buying Swimmer’s Ear Drops at your local store can be expensive – I’m talking around $10 for a one-ounce bottle!

Since our team goes through a lot of bottles during the summer, we wanted to share a more affordable solution – in fact, with our DIY version you can make it for just 15 centsthat’s 98% less than buying the solution from Amazon!

Important Tip:

If your child has ear tubes, please consult with your Ear Nose and Throat Doctor before placing these homemade swimmers ear drops in their ears.

Here’s how to make your own homemade Swimmer’s Ear Drops:

bottles of vinegar rubbing alcohol and dropper bottle on countertop

You’ll need just 2 ingredients that you likely already have on hand – distilled white vinegar and isopropyl rubbing alcohol. You can scoop up a reusable dropper bottle online or you could even opt to use a clean dropper bottle from an old bottle of ear drops.

hand pouring rubbing alcohol into brown dropper bottle

DIY homemade Swimmers Ear Drops

Making them is incredibly easy – all you do is pour 1 part rubbing alcohol and 1 part distilled white vinegar and voila! Now you have super inexpensive ear drops for you and your kiddos to swim until your heart’s desire! This is such an effective home remedy.

Watch Collin make homemade swimmers ear drops with her daughter way back in 2014! 😍

Swimmer's Ear Drops




Fill your dropper bottle halfway with your distilled white vinegar.


Then, fill the other half of your bottle with rubbing alcohol.


Put the lid on the dropper bottle and shake lightly.


Drop about 2 drops into each ear and rub lightly after swimming. That’s it!

hand holding a dropper bottle labeled swimmers ear drops

Check out our picks for the best sunscreen brands next!

About the writer:

Sara is a self-taught blogger & photographer and brings 9+ years of experience to her craft. Her work has been featured in numerous esteemed publications, spanning building, travel, and fashion. Beyond her creative pursuits, Sara’s primary mission is to empower others to embrace a toxic-free & sustainable lifestyle.

Join The Discussion

Comments 26

  1. Sarah

    I grew up doing swimming most days and used this mixture for years without any issues. Swimmers ear can be really painful, and it’s so easy to prevent. Thanks for sharing!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re so welcome, Sarah! SO glad to hear how helpful this mixture has been for you!

  2. mama1

    I always thought you put the drops in after swimming to dry out the ears, but your instructions say before swimming?

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Oh yes! Thanks for pointing that out! This has been updated!

  3. Crystal

    After a few rounds of swimmers ear, the pediatrician told me about this. We do it after every swim and my family of 5 hasn’t had swimmers ear since. It’s been about 10 years!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      That’s amazing, Crystal! Thanks a ton for sharing your experience!

  4. JD827

    A Star Hip2Saver is a recognized member of our Hip2Save community hand selected by our team for demonstrating a long history of engagement with helpful & friendly comments across Hip2Save.com and our social channels. Our Star Hip2Saver badge acts as a verification for readers who know the ins and outs of all Hip2Save sets out to accomplish — assisting our community to live extraordinary lives on ordinary budgets. Readers cannot pay or provide any sort of exchange in order to earn this badge. Rather, they are invited to participate by a member of the Hip2Save team and opt to have the Star Hip2Saver badge added to their profile & comments.

    Here’s a tip for after a shower. Place a tissue lightly in the ear. Tilt your head downward and lightly press the tissue for 30 seconds. Repeat for other ear. It is far better than a towel. Use a different tissue for each ear.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for taking a moment to share the helpful tip!

  5. Christine

    Great tips! Thanks

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      You’re welcome, Christine!

  6. vickieauman

    I’ve made them for 35 years. Once I found out about them my kids never had to go to the doctors for ear aches again also I get the wintergreen alcohol then you can’t smell the vinegar

  7. Gloria

    Born and raised a Florida girl (we swam practically year round), this is EXACTLY what my doctor prescribed for me when I was little…35 years ago! Thanks for sharing.

  8. Carrie

    I have used this with my kids for years! Works so well!!

  9. Brittany

    When I was younger my doctor just told my parents to put two drops of Everclear in each ear after swimming. I never thought anything of it until I was off at college and saw people drinking the foul smelling stuff until I realized that it was actually a liquor that you got from the liquor store that had been put in my ears all those years. haha.

    • Sandra

      This is HILARIOUS! LOL

  10. Christina

    Thanks for sharing, can you also share where they have alcohol in stock????
    I have not seen that in sooo long.

  11. Mamalllama

    This really does work. When I was growing up my mom always had this on hand for us to use after swimming and we never had swimmers ear.

  12. daisy-0

    So just to be clear, use this AFTER swimming? Do you guys use it right away, later that evening and do you use it everyday if swiming everyday? We just bought a pool so all 4 of mine will be in it everyday guaranteed! Thanks for the amazing tip. Obviously I have no idea what I’m doing here lol

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re so welcome! Yes! You can use it each time after swimming.

  13. Jen

    We’ve used this for years. Sound heard when taping gently near the temple can indicate if water is still in the ear canal. A thud sound means empty, a boing sound means water still present.

  14. Ariana

    I have v shaped tubes so am probe to ear infections and swimmers ear even after a shower. I only wash my hair once a week but use this mixture on hair wash days!

  15. Amy

    That high percentage alcohol still seems impossible to find but I’m definitely going to try this when I do!

  16. Paige

    Can these drops expire? I put drops in my daughters ear that weee made last summer. Thank you for your input.

  17. Kristina

    Does this help if your kid’s ear is already hurting from swimming?

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