How to Make an Ear Cleaning Solution With Vinegar for a Dog

Whether they stick straight up or hang to the ground, all dogs' ears need regular cleanings.

Whether they stick straight up or hang to the ground, all dogs' ears need regular cleanings.

All dogs need regular grooming that includes cleaning the visible part inside the ears to prevent infections. If your dog is scratching his ears a lot, or if the ears seem sore, inflamed or emit a foul odor, see a vet immediately to check for ear infection or injury.

Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar with isopropyl alcohol in a clean glass bowl.

Clean out an appropriately sized container with a small mouth or dropper spout. Be sure to rinse the container well and dry it. A bottle for dispensing drops, like an empty saline solution or contact lens cleaner bottle is perfect.

Pour the apple cider vinegar and isopropyl-alcohol ear cleaning solution into the container – using a funnel if necessary.

Apply the ear cleaning solution to a cotton ball or soft cloth to gently wipe the inside of the ear flap and visible areas of the inside near, but not deeply into the ear canal.

Add one or two drops of the ear cleaning solution to your dog's ears, one ear at a time, and gently massage the base of the ear to get at any wax or debris lower down. Allow her to shake her head to remove excess liquid.

Items you will need

  • Clean glass bowl, at least 4 ounces liquid capacity
  • Apple Cider Vinegar, 2 to 2.5 percent solution
  • Isopropyl alcohol, 70 percent solution
  • Clean, empty bottle with spout or dropper cap
  • Small funnel, optional
  • Cotton balls or clean, soft cloths


  • Though there are a number of homemade solutions available, avoid using those containing water for any cleaning other than for the outer ear flap. Because of the peculiar L-shape of a dog's ear canal, water does not drain easily. Putting water-based solutions into the ear may lead to ear infections or vertigo if the water does not drain back out. Alcohol dries the ear canal, helping to prevent that problem.


  • Never use a cotton swab or insert any instrument into the ear canal. Doing so may rupture your dog's eardrum or push debris into the ear canal, leading to possible infections.

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