You can clean your sinuses really effectively just using sterilized warm water, salt, and something called a Neti Pot. I have done it a few times now and I have to say that it really works and feels good.

Many people suffer from some kind of nasal irritation, be it mucus, allergies, an infection, sinus pain or even snoring. While a doctor may prescribe a steroid spray that costs a ton of money and never seems to work, there is a simpler and much more effective way to help your nose and nasal cavity. It's the ancient practice of nasal irrigation - The Neti Pot!

This is not an ad, it just happens to sound like one because I am excited about pouring salt water through my nose.

Step 1: Bennefits and Supplies

Using a Neti Pot to clean your nose seems to have all different kinds of effects on people. I felt clean, open and free of mucus after I did it, but since I didn't really have any sever allergies or irritations to begin with I can't report on the validity of those kinds of results.

(I used it because who doesn't want to pour water through their nose and see what comes out???)

The Neti Pot is reported to have many benefits:

  • Removes mucus and pollution of the nasal passages and sinuses
  • Helps to prevent respiratory tract diseases
  • Daily use relieves allergies, colds and sinusitis
  • Cooling and soothing to the mind
  • Beneficial in the treatment of headaches and migraines
  • Alleviates anxiety, anger and depression
  • Removes drowsiness, making the head and sense organs feel light.

To use a Neti Pot all you need is:

  • The Neti Pot itself (You can get one for about 10 dollars at a drug or natural foods store. If you don't want to buy one look around the house because chances are, you already have something lying around that is perfect for sticking up your nose. Try a children's sippy cup or even a watering can with a narrow spout. Do you make gravy on Thanksgiving? The Neti Pot sure looks a lot like a fat drippings separator!)
  • Warm sterilized water
  • Non-iodized salt
<p>I know this is going to sound gross. I use my water pic (for my teeth/gums) with the pressure wand taken off so there is a nice low pressure flow, through my nose and sinuses. I also wear ear plugs at night and sometimes get plugged ears. I use the water pic on the low setting with a warm, salt solution to gently flush out the ear canal. A fair bit of debris sometimes comes out (i only do the rinse every couple of months or so). A handy little machine.</p>
<p>I don't understand why Iodized salt is bad. please explain!</p>
<p>I hate to rain on your parade, but there was a big flap a year or two ago that reported a number of people suffering severe infections from using a Neti Pot.</p>
I think the neti pot looks gross and messy, and my neck would probably never straighten again... I was pretty skeptical about sinus rinsing, but after using the NeilMed sinus rinse bottle for a couple of years I don't feel clean otherwise any more! More importantly, I haven't had a bronchial infection for years either, which I used to several times a year and which my doctor attributed to post nasal drip. I use freshly boiled water with a half tsp of equal amounts mixed baking soda and sea salt. (Iodized salt stings like crazy...)<br>See: https://webstore.neilmed.com/orders/product_details.php?id=75
<p>I've been using Neti Pot for years, and I love it. It clears up sinus congestion, and clean the nostrils from allergens and mucous.</p>
I used to get terrible sinus headaches, 3-4 percweek I always had a pack or two of ibuprofen in my pocket. I tried this a few years ago, after a couple of days all this brown crap came out one day, in the 5 years since I started using a neti pot I've had maybe 20 headaches and they weren't bad enough to need pills.
<p>This might be the most bizarre featured Instructables I have seen so far... I do not say it does not work, but still...</p>
<p>What could be considered &quot;<em>Bizarre</em>&quot; is keeping your affected sinuses full with all kind of bacteria, pollen, dust and old, congested secretions. I suggest you to find a properly trained doctor that knows how to properly do the procedure, undergo it and find if it helps you or not, and THEN you could follow all the proper recommendations in order to do it <strong>properly</strong> at home, then decide if it is still &quot;Bizarre&quot; or a helpful and tried method. Best Regards.</p>
<p>What I meant is that this is a method I have never heard of, and as such it was strange to see this picture in my Instructables newsletter. I never questioned it's usefullness, nor wanted I hurt anyone. I would argue about if anything that the majority of people do every day (i.e. not cleaning the inside of their noses with water) could be considered bizzarre, but this is not the place for it... But I thing a method can be &quot;Bizzarre&quot; AND a helpful and tried method.</p>
<p>Firstly, a useful article. Thanks. </p><p>I haven't seen 400+ comments on an instruct-able in a while. </p><p>Anyway, speaking of the water to be used, as others have mentioned it has to be boiled and cooled water. </p><p>Water straight from the tap or packaged drinking water wont do. For this method of sinus treatment at least. To be absolutely safe.</p><p><strong>Reasons:</strong></p><p>- All water sources contain virus, bacteria and protozoa. </p><p>- If your municipal supply combines chlorination with sand filtration, the protozoans would be eliminated. </p><p>- Since I haven't been to my town's water works to see what they do, boiling is the best known method of 100% protozoa elimination. </p><p>- The 2nd best way to get rid of the protozoa is UV light filtration.</p><p>- Virus and bacteria in our water supply are <strong>never</strong> eliminated completely. The best of treatment would bring them to <strong>&quot;acceptable&quot; human limits</strong>. Never zero.</p><p>- I don't remember the safe limit values right now. It should be easy enough to find elsewhere. </p><p>- You could be living in Howard Hughes' mansion or on a Moon mission, and the V and B in the water would always be within &quot;acceptable&quot; limits.</p><p>That's all folks!</p><p>Or no, not yet. </p><p>The nasal sprays are probably easier to use. You'll notice it can be highly addictive.</p><p>You'll be paying big pharma money for those sprays. And for what? Its not going to make you smarter or good looking. So why spend money? </p><p>This method isn't addictive at all. Its free. </p>
<p>Very sensible and useful comment, My method is to use a Reverse Osmosis small plant, installed under the fawcet in my kitchen. I perform the recommended filter and other replacement parts maintenance SOONER than specified, and FULLY BOIL the ultrafiltered water from the RO unit before ading Salt, NaHCO3 (Sodium Bicarbonate) for pH buffering and Colloidal silver drops (sold to disinfect vegetables for salads), warm the solution and use with a properly sterilized pot. Best Regards, Amclaussen.</p>
<p>As a Registered Nurse for the past 35 years, I can't recommend this. These have been shown to be very dangerous They are an excellent way to introduce many forms of infection quickly into the body. And, believe it or not, people have actually DROWNED from using these! Neti pots have been around for many years, so they are nothing new. I would certainly consult a physician before using one!</p>
<p>Judy: Thanks for the warnings. They apply for Not-Careful-Enough people.</p><p>But, for sensible, intelligent and CAREFUL people, like MOST of the Instructables readers, this practice can be straightforward. Maybe some people, like older ones, or people that are &quot;clumsy&quot;, certainly can have problems, indeed.</p><p>But, as I said, Instructable's readers tend to be avobe average skilled people, like most &quot;DIY&quot; (Do-It-Yourself type of people). Maybe the best approachcould be to spend a reasonable amount of money going to a trained doctor, in order to actually see and undergo a proper cleaning procedure, AND THEN do it at home by carefully adhering to the strict measures already written here, like distilled or Reverse Osmosis-plus fully boiled water, a proper didinfectant, and properly salted saline solution that is ISOTONIC.</p><p>Maybe you could approve the recommended practice when ALL PRECAUTIONS ARE FOLLOWED TO THE LETTER.</p><p>Best Regards.</p><p>P.D.: I learned the proper way from an Oto-Laryngologist doctor, but keeping visitiing him resulted to be VERY expensive, (even reducing the frequency of the visits to a monthly visit, that was insufficient for my sinuses condition).</p><p> Another Strong Recommendation is in order: This cleaning should NOT be repeated Too Frequently. My own sinuses (altered by receiving a strong bump when playing Football at college) caused a deviation that makes me susceptible from frequent minor but almost permanent infections. Therefore, for me, the sinuses cleaning is the proper way to go. (And undergoing surgery is both risky and too Expensive for me). Respectfully, Amclaussen.</p>
<p>I saw the top picture and thought &quot;That guy is filtering his tea wrong.&quot;</p>
<p>I've updated the instructions. They now read that this process should be done with sterilized and distilled water. Thanks everyone for the feedback!</p>
<p>Awesome post and prefect timing as it's still cold and flu season!<br>I'm currently suffering a sinus infection/flu and use my Neti pot 3 times a day. It helps SO MUCH! I can breath!!! I also feel a whole lot better than back when I wasn't using it. <br><br>Get over the &quot;Neti-phobia&quot; people! It may look awkward or just plain weird but don't let that stop you from trying it. You'll be glad you did, this really works! =D <br>It also helps to reduce the duration of the infection too, as it alters the environment in the sinuses that allow it to thrive and heals the sore tissue as it moisturizes the sinus membrane.<br><br>I remember reading that there was a parasite in the SE USA states that posed some health risk and water from that region is best boiled, but its the only thing I found back when I was first researching as to why we might need to boil the water or use other than tap water. It's rather rare that someone is affected, but better safe than sorry if you live in a warmer climate. </p><p><a href="http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/naegleria/index.html">http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/naegleria/index.html</a></p><p>This is an amoeba that occurs in warmer waters in the southeastern US and elsewhere. We don't have it here in the cold waters of the Pacific NW, so tap water is what I always use along with the sodium mix in packets. Actually Bull Run water, which is the next best thing to right out of a mountain spring. </p>
<p>There have indeed been deaths in the US from neti pot use and the amoeba: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/tap-water-in-neti-pots-behind-two-brain-eating-amoeba-deaths-in-2011-investigation-finds/</p>
<p>I have used various devices over the last 25 years to cure sinus infections. I've used the converted water pic unit and found it expensive and a pain to clean. I'm also not a fan of the pressure it develops. I now use a Neilmed low pressure/high volume bottle with a product called ALKALOL.I fill the bottle with DISTILLED water up to the fill line and then top it off with the Alkalol. I use 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. With cold DISTILLED water I microwave it for 13 seconds, shake it and mic it for another 13 seconds. Of course mic wattage etc, will change your results.When I see yellowish mucous after nose blowing I put 6-10 drops of Betadine (povidone iodine) in the mix. It kills the infection where it lives. Repeat 1-3 times a day until infection is gone. I suffered for many years and have taken every antibiotic known to man. I have not had a sinus infection (when the infection is not treated it gets into the lungs and that's really hard to treat) in many years. I had sinus surgery which removed the turbinates and cillia so I rinse 2 times a day all year long. I agree sterility is key. I wash the bottle after use every time with a few drops of dish liquid. Get the temperature of the water as close to body temp as you can to eliminate pain and balance the salt/baking soda to water ratio until it feels comfortable. With the bottle you do not have to turn your head like with a neti pot- just get your head horizontal to the floor looking down and use GENTLE pressure to get the solution to flow. After bottle is empty get the top of your head below your nose (like standing on your head) to allow the bottom sinus cavities to drain. I fold at the waist with a couple of paper towels to catch the liquid coming out of the nose. Blow Gently to encourage drainage. This is called 'The elephant blow'. You may have to to this again in a short while for complete drainage-which is important. My two cents.</p>
<p>BEFORE you try this or if you're using this simplified, unsterile method of irrigation, please see this link:</p><p><a href="http://www.webmd.com/allergies/news/20120912/sinus-infections-nasal-washing" rel="nofollow">http://www.webmd.com/allergies/news/20120912/sinus...</a></p><p>I have also taken to irrigating regularly(4 years now) using a nasal irrigation adapter that is commercially available for a water pik. It works very well BUT I have always used sterile technique to make up physiological saline (0.9% NON-iodized sea-salt) in reverse-osmosis, boiled water (about 2 tablespoons/gallon depending on whether it is flaked or granular). I use this at room temperature and discard it weekly. I also run hydrogen peroxide solution through the water pik unit and irrigator before each use. I realize many have irrigated for years and have had no issues. However, in agreement with other similar posts, adherence to keeping everything as clean and sterile as possible takes extra time BUT, better safe than sorry! </p>
<p>Robert, I was just going to reply the same way. I would not use a sippy cup or tap water for this. I would like to see this information added to the original post so that the people who only read the original post know how to be careful.</p>
<p>Have been cleaning my sinuses in a similar way for years &amp; highly recommend it. I use it before brushing my teeth morning &amp; evening.<br>I haven't drowned yet :-)</p>
<p>Definitely this practice helped a lot towards ameliorating my sinusitis propblems but I have to comment that at the end of it you must do more as it is shown in this youtube video I found: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eedrZUApbhw</p>
<p>Funciona muito bem usando uma seringa de inje&ccedil;&atilde;o (sem a agulha) e soro fisiol&oacute;gico.</p>
<p>Hi noah, i think this will work and i hope i will try this neti pot method in my house today...any way i have a doubt in this , whether to suck the water through the nostrils i mean to take in the water or just pour it into the nostrils? how is it?............</p>
just pour it, water will find a way out through the other nostril. may burn a little the first time.
thank you jayeshshinai<br>
<p>This is not new, it is the oldest and only way to take care of your sinusses. The salt solution has to be </p><p> 0,9 % NaCl (sodium chloride) if you put to much salt it can be painful. Water has to be on body temperature. It is called physiological water.</p>
<p>Hi, For years ( I'm 73yr now) I had suffered with &quot;<strong>Catarrh&quot; </strong></p><p><a href="http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Catarrh/Pages/Introduction.aspx" rel="nofollow">http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Catarrh/Pages/Introdu...</a></p><p> When I was 16yr (1958) and apprentice Panelbeater , One of the old tradesmen told me to stop drinking cows milk ... Because I was forever &quot;Snorting&quot; all day to remove the Mucus from my Nose and Sinuses. I didn't take his advice (thinking&quot; he is only a panelbeater, what would he know&quot;)</p><p>1979 ( 21yrs later ) I went to a Specialist about my Catarrh, He sent me for a CT Scan on my Sinuses,.... showed my<strong> Left side was blocked, </strong>When I went back to him He inspected the CT and saw the <strong>Left was blocked.</strong></p><p> He then got a Cotton Bud and made 2 Wisps of cotton and placed 1 under each of my nostrils and told me to take a deep breath through my nose... He then told me that my <strong>Left Side</strong> was <strong>now clea</strong>r ,... But my <strong>Right Side</strong> was blocked.</p><p> <strong>This indicated that it was an &quot;Allergy&quot; </strong>because it changes from Left to Right etc.</p><p> He said he would get in touch with my GP and recommend some <strong>Antihistamines</strong></p><p><strong> </strong>as I walked out the door I told him of being told about drinking Milk,... He &quot;Yes, you could try giving up Dairy foods and see how that goes&quot;, .. I didn't go back to the GP's.</p><p>I went straight onto the Soy Milk .... and haven't had the Nasal problem since ( 37 yrs later). For a change, because I don't like Soy milk in Coffee... I have been using <strong>&quot;Lactose Free Milk&quot; </strong>with No side effects.... I can drink it by the Litre</p><p> Regarding the Sinus Flush,... my sister has uses <strong>&quot;Sinus Cleanse&quot; </strong>... a 200ml Squeeze bottle with a pointed Cap, with sachets of <strong>&quot;Salt + BiCarb Soda&quot;</strong> 1 sachet per bottle of warm water <strong>&quot;From the Tap&quot;</strong> and place one nostril at a time and squeeze.</p><p> Everybody knows how after a swim in the Ocean's saltwater... how you clear your Nose is.</p><p><strong> I wouldn't be worried about the Tap Water.</strong>.. after most people Drink it without boiling it.</p><p> So if you drink a lot of cows Milk .... you could try Lactose free.... And don't wait </p><p>37 yrs like I did ☺</p><p>Cheers</p><p><br> </p><p></p><p><br></p><p></p>
<p>Why is it called a Neti pot not a snot pot?</p>
<p>Re: Using tap water in a Neti pot is not sterile. Could cause infection. Boil water first.</p>
<p>Best thing for my sinuses I haven't had to antibiotics for 6 years. It helps keep the effects seasonal allergies to a minimum.</p>
<p>This is too much work. I find that going for a long 1hr walk, I can farmer blow all around the neighborhood. </p>
<p>A cheaper version:</p><p>The same thing can be done using salted water and a large spoon (I use a ceramic, Chinese soup spoon because the resevoir is deeper).</p><p>Pour the salted water in the spoon, lean over the sink, SNORT the water up one nostril while pressing the other one closed. BLOW the water and residual gunk out of the nostril you just snorted the water up into.....*Switch sides*.......Repeat as many times as needed or as long as junk is being blown out your nostrils.</p>
<p>use PURIFIED. or better get you own micro filter water system and still use the purified water.</p>
<p>Looks cool, but I'm kind of doubtful of this. How do you keep the water from going inside your lungs?</p>
Wife uses the Neti pot at least three times a week. This method really works.
<p>to much of a anything is not good for you. use when necessary.</p>
<p>i use the battery powered version- sinugator. i had the ceramic netti pot and it dropped. went to store to get another and only had the NEW battery version.</p><p>And I was so impressed. It is much superior that just the nettie pot.</p><p>i boil my purified water and mixed the two waters until its WARM.</p><p>and dont forget the saline packets.</p><p>This thing has decreased my downtime dramitically when I get a cold.</p><p>From 5-7 days down to 2-3 days.</p>
<p>Don't forget your ears! For removing ear wax I stand over a sink of warm water with a home brew beer type hose, I stick the hose in the water like an elephant, one end in my mouth and the other end in my ear and blow into the hose, IT WORKS PERFECTLY! LOL </p>
<p>I was told to use &quot;distilled water only,&quot; using plain tap water may cause some side effects, infections and things like that, just a thought.</p>
<p>Thank you for posting this. Rinsing my nose has kept me off antibiotics for a decade now! Before I had chronic sinus infections. It's a great tool.</p>
<p>Not tried it yet but, what you think about water from a Brita picture, suppose to be filtered water. And I have well water no chemicals. YEA !</p>
The Niel Med sinus rinse packs in the Drug stores work better than salt. They are pH balanced. I was recommended to use it by my ENT doctor... By the way. But table salt is painful since the pH shift is really hard on delicate mucus membranes. Also table salt is not pure enough. Neil Med has lots of good instructions about how not to get it up you eustachian tubes... Very important to follow them.... Purified water and all!!!
<p>NielMed is table salt &amp; baking soda with a preservative added.</p>
Yes, but there is no preservative in Nielmed. The ingredients are sodium chloride (NaCl) and sodium bicarbonate... In other words salt and baking soda. The baking soda buffers according to Nielmed -- I expect they mean it in the chemistry definition -- meaning shifting the pH back to a certain range when it is shifted away by the nasal fluids?. It seems to work for me better than plain salt at any concentration I've found. But I do know others who swear by salt. Maybe I just have more sensative membranes?<br><br>Actually, this is much more complicated because (1) the nasal membranes have more than salt and water, (2) when you wash nasal membranes with fluid then the membranes secrete stuff to change the membrane properties in respnse (see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10767563).
If u use to much or to little salt the ph is different then your nose's. That the only thing that's important. The temperature makes it comfi too
<p>Can at least one of the multitude of doom criers please provide a juried citation for any of the negative comments they have posted. I have been using a Neti method for over 10 years now and am currently 11 days away from my 79th birthday. As an aside I am a retired chiropractic physician well versed in natural remedies.<a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Cean-Your-Sinuses/?ALLSTEPS" rel="nofollow" title="View All Steps">View All Steps</a></p>
The trails of water do not go into your lungs because you're inhaling lup into your sinuses and then expelling it, but not into your lungs. No need to worry about that.
It really does work. Do away with the nasal medications!
<p>You folks talking about bottled water don't you realize that over 1/4 of it is nothing more than bottled tap water. The standards for the other bottled waters, i.e., spring water, artesian water, etc, are set by the FDA while the standards for your tap water is set by the EPA and the EPA standards are more stringent.</p><p>This method may clean out the nostrils but it isn't likely to do much for the sinuses. The openings into the sinuses are small and the flowing water will just flow right over the top of the opening with little or none (mostly none) going into the sinuses and therefore not cleansing them. </p><p>Besides the sinuses don't need cleansing. As the mucous is produced it flows out and thus they cleanse themselves!</p>

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