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Readers Respond: Best Ways to Use Your Neti Pot

Responses: 23


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?

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

simple is best..no more sore throats

I am amazed at the effectiveness of nasal irrigation. 1pc 5ml bulb syringe. 1 plastic cup. Fill it up 3/4 full warm water. add about half teaspoon of salt (i use natural sea salt, keep a whole shaker in the bathroom). Mix and i'm ready to squeeze. Tilt my face left, do the left nostril. Tilt right, do the right nostril. Repeat. Garge. Repeat whole process. When i squeeze the syringe, i use a bit of force, which helps to clear out any mucus or saliva or bits and pieces stuck here and there. I do it twice a day. And my sore throats are almost...GONE.. Beats antibiotics every two weeks and lets me lead my normal life with coffee and dairy products every now and then. IT WORKS AND ITS CHEAP!
—Guest Nasal Irrigation works!

How fresh should the solution be? Help!

Hi, I have been making my own saline solution (the baking soda, kosher salt mixture). I can only time wise afford make a batch for a week (stored in a glass jar). I use that up over a week. Does anyone know if the solution loses its effectiveness; how often should I make a new batch of solution? Please help!!! thank you.
—Guest Naz

it's gross initially, but I'm addicted n

I use the Neilmed squeeze bottle along with their premixed packets added to preboiled water. I had sinus surgery 3 years ago, have severe allergies too, and have been rinsing since the surgery. I find such relief from this method of clearing allergens from the sinuses and do it daily now, sometimes twice/day if I feel a cold or sinus infection coming on. It can't be beat for excellent sinus cleaning.
—Guest GUEST

Squeeze bottle works best

I also find the Neil-Meds squeeze bottle to be simple and effective. They include many useful tips, including an easy way to expel the extra water from the sinuses (bend down, turn head to one side, blow the upper nostril, repeat on other side) The premixed packets are handy for travel, but at home I mix equal amounts pure sea salt (sold for this purpose) and baking soda, and use 1/2 tsp per cup. It is part of my daily shower routine. I began doing a daily rinse a year ago, and have not had a single cold, sinus infection, ear infection, or sore throat!
—Guest Jacqui

So easy, so effective

I read so many posts about Neti Pot effectivity that I thought I'd give it a shot to help with sinus congestion. My sinuses close up while I'm sleeping and invariably I wake up with a completely dry mouth and the inability to to breath thru my nose. This treatment works. Using a Neti pot is VERY simple. I read so many posts that went into such great detail, I figured there was a steep learning curve. It's actually very intuitive. You will feel the water flow through your sinuses, if you head isn't in the proper position, a little water might flow into your mouth (just spit it out). I know a lot of people on this site are promoting a squeeze bottle. That's fine, but the neti pot is so easy to control that I gotta believe it's the best way to go. I am little confused by the recipe posted here. 1tsp/cup seems way to salinic. Most advice recommends 1/4 tsp/cup. Adding a pinch of baking soda is a great way to make the solution more comfortable and tolerable.
—Guest Mark

Sinus Infections

I had sinus surgery about 8 years ago...the worse experience I've ever been through. The surgeon had to scrape out the diseased lining. He told me to buy a bulb in the drug store. I got at Walgreens. It's blue and I think it's actually a large ear syringe. I was told to use my own mix every night and every morning. Many times it has stopped infection in it's tracks. Sinus disease is a just something you have to live with and treat like any other chronic ailment. This works and I can usually do it faster than the time it takes to brush my teeth.

Try a Water-pik

water-pic makes a nasal adapter it is great for this. you can adjust the pressure to suit.
—Guest Neil


Post nasal drip all my life and susceptable to colds and chronic broncitis . Irrigated sinus and since that negative problems with colds , Pneumonia etc . Do it , it works . Mike
—Guest Mike

Neti tricks

After disolving the salt (I think pickleing salt is best perhaps with some baking soda as well) the liquid in the spout of the Neti pot does not participate in the mixing. Before beginning the irrigation, pour out a small amount to clear the spout and get the mixture into it. It will eliminate the initial sting that tap water alone produces.
—Guest Karl

Just Do It

Proper water flow is best achieved with a Neti Pot rather than "home made" dispensers; I've tried this other ways but the Neti Pot is specifically designed for this use. Used with the kosher for Passover, 99.99% USP grade, non-iodized Neti Salt, it clears out the pollen and other built-up nasty stuff from your sinuses and helps ameliorate symptoms of allergies and sinus infections. Do not use sea salt or table salt; they are not this pure. I'm not a shill for the Himalayan Institute but I do use their Neti Pot and Neti Salt with great results: http://www.himalayaninstitute.org/Netipot/NetiPotGateway.aspx When you buy a jar of Neti Salt, you get a little measuring spoon and in the future you'll only need the little bags of salt, less than $3, to refill the jar. There are similar pots and salt out there that also work. Point is, these pots (and salt) may cost a few more dollars than home made versions in the beginning, but you'll get years of proper and consistent use from them.
—Guest kaylee dee

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