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Readers Respond: Best Ways to Use Your Neti Pot

Responses: 33


Updated May 12, 2009

From the article: Nasal Saline Irrigation
Confused on how to best use a Neti pot? Most people find it difficult to use their Neti pot for the first time. After all, it takes some getting used to the idea of pouring salt water up your nose. But practice makes perfect -- go slow and gently at first, then work your way up to the point of doing a full nasal washing. If you're a skilled Neti pot user, what tips have you found useful to use? Share Your Tips

pre mix gallon of distilled water

It is such a hassle to do all this mixing everyday. I want to pre mix a gallon of distilled water with the salt & baking powder for daily use can I do that? and how much salt and should I put into a gallon container?
—Guest my kid

tilting head down after rinsing

In the shower and turning your head left and right helps to drain the excess saline from the sinuses. Do one side till the water drains and then turn and do the other. I boil water once a week and make my saline with sea salt and natural baking soda so as not to use anything that has been overly processed.
—Guest Glenn

Nasal Rinse

I bought a nasal rinse kit from NeilMed & just after 1 rinse I can breath! I have been in & out of the doctor's office with chronic sinus infections that recently started 3 years ago. I always assumed I just somehow throughout the years had acquired a weakened immune system. I never got sick before I became a mother & the stresses of motherhood, full-time job, full-time college student, & just general life was what I assumed caused it. I am so happy that a friend told me to start doing nasal rinses. I could actually breath after the first time & I slept very well last night. I also purchased an air purifier for my bedroom & I am purchasing 2 more for my house. I am getting one for my children's room & one for the living room! I believe the nasal rinses helped me. My son also suffers from chronic sinus infections but he's 6 years old & special needs so it may take a lot of reassuring & coaxing to convince him to rinse his nose. Any suggestions or hints would be appreciated! Good luck!

In addition to nasal rinses

Hi, I'm just learning to do the nasal rinses as this was the worst year for nasal allergies I've ever had. Most of my life I have had serious and chronic sinus infections and the chronic bronchitus that seems to go with it. Six years ago I began drinking green tea for weight loss and general health benifits and was amazed by the results! I lost 94 pounds and have kept 90 of those pounds off for 5 years. What I didn't expect was the fact that I have not had a sinus infection or bronchitus in 6 years!! No antibiotics or other medicines for the same issues have been needed either. My husband, who has a damaged kidney and had 4-6 kidney infections a year decided he would give green tea a try. You guessed it, NO kidney infections in over 5 years. I'm going to give the nasal rinse a try for the allergies. BTW, I have 2 doctors and 3 nurses who now dring green tea because, well, my husband's and my medical records speak for themselves! Give green tea a try!
—Guest Pam B.

Simple and effective

I have been doing this for 12 years and have not had a cold or the flu for the same time. My family gets sick, but I don't, that makes me the caregiver designate. All you need is a 3 ounce ear seringe (gives you lots of solution in one blast!), 2cup measuring cup ( preferably plastic as I won't break if dropped), sea salt and water. I like to do this in the morning after I shower, as I gently breath in water droplets through my nose, this softens and assists with the expulsion of the mucus when flushing. Put 1 teaspoon of sea salt in cup, fill to top with warm water, depress seringe, suck up water, gently put seringe in nostril, keep mouth open, head tilted over sink with running water, and blast away! Do several times until nose feels clear and solution clear. You will have filled up you nasal cavaties by doing this process, they will drain if you stay bent over for 30 seconds or so. The thing is some people like it, some don't and stop doing it, well they keep getting sick!
—Guest Robert

how long does solution last

To Guest Naz, check out the labels on the premised saline sprays you can find in the drugstore. They usually give an "expiration" date of a couple of years. I wouldn't think you'd have to worry about leaving your solution in the fridge for a week, or even way longer.


i have trouble with my sinus and just started useing salt water washes but find my nose runs a lot any idears
—Guest anne

what about the water you use?

The NeilMed instructions say you must use filtered, bottled or previously boiled and cooled tap water. I had been using my own mix of salt and baking soda with plain tap water, and after doing it for a few days began to experience severe burning. So bad that I had to stop using the nasal rinse at all. Please share your thoughts on the proper mix of salt/soda, or should it be salt only, and the type of water. Also, do you wash the thing out with soap every night? Yikes, what a pain. Thanks for sharing!

nasal saline irrigation

Waterpik makes a nasal rinse appliance called Sinusense. You fill it with your nasal solution, turn it on, and it pumps the solution through your sinuses without too much pressure. Cost about $20 at Wal-Mart. Runs quite a while on 2 AA batteries. Only down side is that you have to use a screwdriver to take off the battery cover to change batteries. It works very well.

A Better Rinse

Don't waste time and money with those premixed salt packets...i used for three years and had no good outcome. Then i tried kosher salt with baking soda...put a little more salt than was called for and found this to be a much better method in the netipot. I can't believe i used those packets...and thought that was the best i could get...i was getting worse using the premixed...not clearing nothing mucus out.
—Guest Mimi

Use a cup, that's all

The normal method involves pouring the solution into one nostril and letting it flow out the other. This can work but I have invented a much more effective, quicker method (see below), which you follow at your own risk. Over a basin, hold one nostril closed while sniffing the solution up directly from a filled cup. Instead of letting it drain down the throat and hawking/spitting it out the mouth, blow it forcefully from the nostril once it can be felt right at the back of the nose. It goes like this: sniff, blow. Sniff, blow. The blowing comes immediately after the deep sniff of salt water. Do it several times for each nostril, holding the opposite nostril closed with a finger. During forceful expulsion of the solution, some of it will be forced into the infected sinus. You know this is happening when you hear a tiny wheezing or clicking sound from the sinuses right after you expel the solution. If possible, lie down afterwards on your back with the nostrils pointing at the ceiling.
—Guest Mark

Nasal saline Irrigation -Correct method.

It is very easy. Follow the instructions strictly. After couple of days you will enjoy it as I am. Please visit the website sinusrinse.com or www.neilmed.com
—Guest Rajaram Pagadala

Another tool

You can also use a plastic baster - it works very well and is cheap at the dollar store.
—Guest Useful object

What salt?

Since years now I have used just normal salt and baking soda 50/50 and never had any bad results. Even straight after I had my sinus op. It works just as good as "Sinus Rinse" but it's a lot cheaper.
—Guest Christel

First time jitters

I just got my first neti pot, they are not common in the UK and only just even heard of it. Quick trip to ebay and a few days wait and this morning I received it. I was very worried about doing it as I have a slight fear of drowning but any one who is here thinking about using it for the first time just go for it. I used it with no issues at all, the first nostril felt odd and even burned a slight amount (the kind of sensation you get if pool water or sea water gets in your nose) but after a second it stopped and the second nostril just felt pleasant with no even slight discomfort! Straight after I feel allot better and can finally breath! I guess it may take a little time and a few uses to get the full effect so I cannot wait until I can do it again! Its not a s bad as it looks and as long as you keep breathing out your mouth it won't get into your throat. I used a cheap plastic neti pot and organic certified fine grade Neti salt. Hope my experience helps!
—Guest Mark Searle

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Best Ways to Use Your Neti Pot

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