How to Make Your Own Dog Ear Cleaner


My vet told me that I would save a LOT of trips to his office if I cleaned my dog’s ears about twice a week with Swimmer’s Ear.  Then he told me to save some money, I could make my own dog ear cleaner with a mixture of white distilled vinegar and rubbing alcohol.   This will keep floppy earred dogs from getting so many ear infections.

How to Make Your Own Dog Ear Cleaner

Mix one part white distilled vinegar with one part rubbing alcohol. Pour a little in your dog’s ear and rub it around (and try to keep it in their ear for a minute) My dog usually is shaking it out before a minute is up but its working so far !

I like to make up a bunch and put it into a large squirt “sports” bottle which seems to be the easiest way to get the mixture into their ears (I don’t allow the stream to be too forceful as to not hurt their ears in any way).


  1. HI Amy, is your Dr. a thrifty person?, I mean is he a cheap Dr.?, I’m looking for one good and not expensive, could you give me his/her name?, thank you

    • he has been our family vet since we got my dog when I was in kindergarten (well his dad was the vet back then and now the son runs the place)…. the place is Mc Abees off Goldenrod near Aloma. I don’t know what to compare his prices to since this was the first time I have taken a dog but I paid $91 for heartworm test (which he is positive but I knew it already and just wanted another test to be sure the rescue was correct), a fecal test (which came back negative) and a 6 month supply of heartguard (which I will get online from now on but I was’t sure what he recommended at first so I just got it from him).

      He also recommended the slow kill for my dog’s heartworms which he could have tried to push the faster one to make money but instead said for my dogs situation, the slow kill would be totally fine which saved me almost $1000 according to online info I read.

      • Heartworm

        Hi Amy I was wondering how you can tell if you’re dog has heartworm? I’m now living in Lombok, Indonesia. Here only vets is agricultural. He’s not really into domestic dogs but does basics. He says pig & dogs are treatment..theres no difference..except ones dog the otha pig!
        He’s good..but I worry about things like heartworm! ! I’d appreciate any advise if you have any. I have 2 small dogs and recently lost old age and she had bad heart. Many thanks

        • They have to do a blood test… one of my dogs does have heartworms (he had them when I recued him from a shelter) They can use an arsenic to kill them but my vet said that he was so young and probably didn’t have many so we just make sure to give him monthly meds so he doesn’t get any more.

          • Kimberly says

            You have to treat heartworm or your dog can die. Just giving them the preventive med school can and probably kill them.

  2. How many parts water vs vinegar? This would definitely save me with my Cocker Spaniel

  3. I have heard about doing this for my dog who gets frequent yeast infections because the vinegar helps change the Ph level. My problem is that I don’t know how many drops to put in? What does your vet suggest for that?

    • he said to just pour some in and hold it for a minute or so (my dog starts shaking it out before a minute is up though)

  4. I have be a professional groomer for 25 years. I use white distilled vinegar and alcohol for cleaning ears all of the time. Just fill a bottle 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 alcohol. I usually put a squirt or two in each ear. Once you put it in the ear, hold the ear and massage it at the base of the ear. Do this for about a minute before moving on to the other ear. I thank that once a month should be enough. If you need this more than once or twice a month, your dog may have other issues with the ears and may need to see a vet. Don’t mistake dirty ears for an ear infection. If your dog has an ear infection and you continue to put the vinegar/alcohol in the ear, you will only make the infection worse. When in doubt, check with your vet.

    • Hi Terry
      Do you know anything about Fungus.on dogs? I live in Lombok..Indonesia. Humidity high..around about 30/32 degrees. Been living here 3 years when both my Bichons got funny sores..blackish. our vet had no idea he thought maybe food allergy. Long story short..our dogs being treated for allergies changes medicine of umpteenth times then we found out it some type of fungus after 9 months. I have been treating them myself. Scrapping method and apple cider vinegar. Oh and both also had secondary infection. Something to do with all antibiotic injections they’d had. I got online and that’s where I found stuff antibiotics. For 9 months my dogs were subjected to all this crap that I’m now doing myself. I was just wondering if perhaps you may know of other methods, or why dogs even get Fungus.
      Many thanks…Cheers

      • I c this post is from a while ago BUT I HOPE YOU END UP SEEING THIS cause I currently own two small dogs myself..have owned dogs my entire life and formerly owned a bichon so I know my advice will be helpful and cones from great experience…FIRST you NEED TO get your dogs on a dog food that is ORGANIC Preferably holistic and GRAIN..WHEAT..CORN..AND BY-PRODUCT FREE…IF YOU HAVE TO ORDER IT ONLINE AND PAY MORETHAN YOUR USED TO FOR FOOD…DO IT!! and if your dogs prefer a wet food over dry than buy the dry and soak it in water a couple hours before feeding will soften right up and you can even squish it with a fork to mush if they prefer…THIS DIET WILL CLEAR UP MOST ALL conditions..etc that you find pparticularly in small dogs..and I know bichons can really be sensitive to what they eat and over time that becomes a laundry list of issues…and just getting and keeping them on this kind of food will do them soooo much good…if they are not on something organic..grain product free etc. They probably wont like that change as they can be picky so if they refuse to eat the new option at first don’t worry…they will eat before they starve 😉 obviously use good judgement and try mixing one part old food two parts new for few days..than mix more and more new in over next week or so until they ate completly switched to new food….anddon’t give in..they will eventually

      • Alexandra Campos says

        Hi. I used for my dogs coconut oil organic. I put 2 tbsp on the food or directly in the skin.

    • My vet and friend Had a standard poodle with chronic at infections. He used 1/2 peroxide, 1/2 alcohol. I’ve told mt grooming customers about it . They say it really helps…. I have used it to clean ears as well.
      I m going to try this other mixture. How long does the vineger smell?

  5. Courtney says

    I was just wondering, the alcohol won’t burn my dog’s ear will it? I know it will just being alcohol alone, which I would never do. But mixed with the vinegar, it won’t burn or will it. He has been scratching and we couldn’t get him in vet today, and it’s breaking my heart seeing him uncomfortable.

    • I use it all the time, dogs don’t seem to mind other than not liking liquid in their ears. My vet told me to do it so I trust that he wouldn’t want my dogs in pain

  6. I I made a batch up today and did my dogs ears. She has horrible ear problems and it gets really expensive. I hope it helps her thank you for sharing

  7. the easiest way to get the mixture into a dogs ears is to soak cotton balls then just squeeze the mixture into their ears. works amazing.

  8. C. England says

    Thanks for the home made ear drops. I sure need them. So many challenge you on your hints. I suppose they’re only careful but I wonder if ….careful is their only reason. My think to the vet for stepping up to the rescue. Thanks again for the tip.

  9. hi! I have a nearly 3 months old shih tzu and he has smelly ears and scratches them most of the time. I want to try this Eardrops you posted but i don’t have distilled white vinegar ate the moment and i want to try it now. Can i use apple cider vinegar instead?

  10. I was just wondering if this solution would work on cats too?

  11. Would i be able to use hydrogen peroxide to replace the alcohol

  12. Does this work to help get the wax out or just to get rid of slight ear infection??

    • It is to prevent ear infections

    • It actually will loosen the wax a bit. My vet recommended adding 1 part distilled water to the 1 part vinegar and 1 part rubbing alcohol, just to dial down the intensity a little. Once it has soaked in a bit, use a cotton ball to wipe out the ear wax.

    • Kimberly says

      You can you hydrogen peroxide for the wax. Put a couple of drops in daily for a couple of weeks this will help get the was lose and it should start to come out.


  14. How long after I begin the treatment should I start seeing an improvement ?

  15. Elizabeth Kendall says

    Please don’t put alcohol in your dog’s ears. If the eardrum compromised in any way, it’s toxic to the brain. A very weak vinegar solution is enough one part vinegar4 parts water

  16. Crissy ghant says

    I want to try the DV&Alcohol mixtures. Is this something I put in the ear canal or just in the flap of the ear and wipe? Thanks for the help!

    • pour a little down into the ear and hold the ear flap down to keep it in for a short bit and then they will probably shake it out before you can do it for long lol

  17. Teresa Logsdon says

    I have since this method in ear cleaning alcohol and vinegar since the nineteen eighties. Had a old school vet prescribed this for my Irish Setter who’s always getting ear infections. He said then that’s what the Olympic Swim Team uses to keep away swimmer’s ear, he was right it works!

  18. Never put Hydrogen Peroxide in dogs ears! The 50/50 White distilled Vinegar & Alcohol is perfect to use!!

  19. My niece dog has had an ear infection for a couple of weeks now. What can I make the try and cure it? Hilow would I know if the ear drum has errupted ?

  20. Would you know what can be done to reduce cherry eye inflammation? My dog has one but the vet said it doesn’t make sense to operate because it will just come back.

  21. Hey, I have a dog that has had ear infection really bad all his life and love the water. He is a lab. Can this help prevent an ear infection if you use it before and after contact with the water ?

  22. Before putting the solution of equal parts of white vinegar & alcohol I think it is important to have the ears checked by a vet to make sure the ear drums are not ruptured , & also there are not open lesions , or scratching, or irritation in the ears ,otherwise the vinegar & alcohol is going to cause SIGNIFICANT PAIN. Hey

  23. I have been using that recipe for at least 3 years, for cleaning up the ears
    of my Yellow Lab. It is very effective. My old girl had ears infections prior
    to trying that home made medication, I clean her ears once a month, since the beginning go the treatment 3 years ago she did not had another infection of the ears.

  24. I’ve read almost all the posts and not sure if I missed something, so have to ask to be clear. I have 4 goldens and hate going to the vet, just because they always look in the ears!! Please !!! Not the ears!!!! Lol. I don’t smell anything yucky in the ears but get a lot of brown wax on the cotton balls. So I’m wondering if…….. This is for treating an ear infection, a preventative to ward off ear infections or is this an ear cleaner? Went to vet yesterday and 2 ears out of 4 have a slight yeast infection. So I buy the pricey ointment and start the process…….again. If this is a preventative, is there a home remedy for cleaning ears that doesn’t have water in it that actually works? Right now I use a 2 step cleanser/dryer and the 2 bottles run about $40, plus the ointment. Thanks for any info.

  25. My Dog Has Been Scratching Her Ears So Much Lately & I Don’t Have The Money To Take Her To The Vet . So , I Just Tried The 50% White Vinegar & 50% Alcohol For The First Time Tonight . But , I’m Wondering How Often ? & How Can You Tell It’s Getting Better ?..

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