A neti pot, nasal can or nasal douche is used to rinse the nasal cavity with a saline solution. This is a home remedy that is relatively little known in Western countries, but is widely used in parts of India and South Asia. You can use a neti pot daily to flush snot, bacteria and allergens from your nasal cavity. It is important to properly clean the neti pot and only use water that has been sterilized, distilled, or boiled and cooled.
Part 1 of 3: Cleaning your neti pot
Step 1. Read the directions on the package to learn how to clean your neti pot
Before using the neti pot, read the directions on the package or the instructions that came with it to see which cleaning method is recommended. Most nasal cans can be cleaned with warm water and soap, but see if this is also recommended for the neti pot you bought.
WarningsNote: Most nasal cans are not dishwasher safe, so don't put your neti pot in it unless it's clearly stated in the instructions that it's okay to do so.
Step 2. Before using it for the first time, wash your neti pot with hot water and dish soap
Put a few drops of dish soap in the neti pot and then fill it with hot water. Run the soapy water through the neti pot to clean all surfaces. Then pour the suds out of the neti pot and rinse it thoroughly.
Rinse the neti pot 6 or 7 times to make sure you remove all soap residue
Step 3. Allow the neti pot to air dry or wipe the inside with a clean paper towel
The neti pot must be completely dry before using it for the first time. Turn the neti pot upside down on a clean paper towel or use a clean paper towel to dry the inside of the neti pot.
Do not wipe the inside of the neti pot dry with a used dishcloth. Also, don't put it right side up to dry. The neti pot can get dirty and dust can fall into it if you let it air dry in this way
Part 2 of 3: Making a saline solution
Step 1. Wash and dry your hands to avoid contaminating the neti pot
Run your hands under the warm tap to wet them. Then add 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of liquid hand soap or rub your hands over a bar of soap for a few seconds to rub your hands. Spread the soap between your hands, on your fingertips and around your fingernails. Then run your hands under the warm tap again to rinse off the soap. Dry your hands completely with a clean cloth or paper towel.
It takes about 20 seconds to wash your hands thoroughly. To keep an eye on the time, hum the song "Congratulations" twice
Step 2. Measure out 1 liter of sterilized, distilled or boiled water
To make sure the water is safe to pour into your nasal cavity, only use water that has been distilled, sterilized, or boiled, and then cooled. Pour the water into a clean glass container like a jar or bowl.
You can buy sterilized and distilled water at the supermarket or drugstore. You can also bring tap water to a boil and let it boil for about 5 minutes. Then turn off the stove and let the water cool to room temperature
Warning: Do not use untreated tap water, as it can contain bacteria and amoebae that can make you very sick if they get into your nasal cavity.
Step 3. Mix 2 teaspoons (10 grams) of fine, non-iodized salt with the water
Choose sea salt or coarse salt with no added iodine. Measure the salt and pour it into the container with the water.
- Do not use normal table salt. The added substances in table salt can irritate your nose.
- You can also buy ready-made saline if you'd rather not make your own saline. Check at the drugstore or pharmacy to see if they sell a saline solution that you can use in a neti pot.
Step 4. Stir until the salt is dissolved and wait for the solution to cool
Use a clean metal spoon to stir the salt into the water. Keep stirring until the salt is completely dissolved. When the solution is clear and cooled to room temperature, it is ready to use.
Put a lid on the container if you don't plan to use the solution right away. However, make sure to use the solution within 24 hours. Discard the unused saline solution, as bacteria can grow in it
Part 3 of 3: Rinsing your nasal cavity
Step 1. Fill the neti pot with the saline
The first step is to pour the saline from the tray into the neti pot. Pour gently to avoid spilling and make sure the water isn't so hot that it's uncomfortable and burns your nose.
Step 2. Bend over a sink while keeping your neck straight and tilt your head to one side
Bend over the sink so that your upper body is at a 45-degree angle to your lower body. Then turn your head to one side so that your ear points toward the sink. Keep your forehead as high as your chin, or slightly higher.
- Don't turn your head so far that your chin is past your shoulder.
- Don't bend forward so far that your chin is below your forehead.
Step 3. Breathe through your mouth while rinsing your nasal cavity
You won't be able to breathe through your nose while flushing your nasal cavity with the neti pot, so start breathing through your mouth. Take a few breaths to get used to it.
Do not talk or laugh so that your throat is closed and no water can enter
Step 4. Pour half of the water into your upper nostril
Push the spout against the inside of your nostril to close it properly. This prevents the water from flowing back out of the same nostril. Lift the jar so that the saline flows into the upper nostril and flows out the lower nostril again. This can feel a bit strange, like you are swimming and get water in your nose. Pour half the contents of the jar into your first nostril.
- The solution should flow out of your lower nostril and into the sink. If the water splashes on your body, bend deeper over the sink.
- When the solution flows from your mouth, lower your forehead slightly, but keep it higher than your chin.
Step 5. Repeat the process on the other side to rinse your other nostril
Remove the neti pot from your nostril when you have finished rinsing the first side. Then turn your head in the opposite direction and repeat the process. Use the other half of the saline solution to rinse your other nostril.
Tip: rinse both nostrils, even if it feels like only one nostril is blocked. This helps to get the most benefit from using the neti pot.
Step 6. Blow air through your nose to remove excess water
When the neti pot is completely empty, hover your head over the sink and gently blow air out of your nose without using your fingers to pinch your nose. This will help get rid of the excess water and some snot.
Do this until almost no more water drips from your nose and you can breathe relatively easily again
Step 7. Blow your nose gently into a tissue paper
When no more fluid drips from your nose into the sink, remove the rest of the water and clear your nose completely by blowing your nose into a tissue paper as usual. Apply gentle pressure to one side of your nostril while blowing your nose, then repeat the process on the other side. Be careful not to close your nostrils while blowing.
Don't blow your nose too hard. Blow your nose gently as you normally do
Step 8. Clean your neti pot when you're done
To prevent bacteria from growing in and on the neti pot, wash it one last time before storing it. Use warm soapy water and let the jar air dry just like you did before.