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October 13, 2005

cold remedy -> salt water up your nose

Tags: Everyday Life — 4:11 pm Comments (109)

I wish I had heard this on NPR or looked online for this solution 3 or 4 weeks ago. I had a bad cold that turned into a sinus infection that lasted for three weeks and all I needed to do was snort saltwater. I’ll have to remember this for next time.

More info…
“Rinse with saline sprays. Saltwater rinses — or saline sprays — thin your mucus and get rid of irritants. Use an over-the-counter nasal saline spray, or flush your nostrils with warm salt water. The ratio of salt to water is approximately 1/8 teaspoon salt to 1 cup of water. Use a suction bulb or put some of the warm salt water in the cup of your hand to sniff it up one nostril at a time.”


  1. I love this remedy. I use it all the time for sinus infections. I use a bendy straw! Make the salt water mixture, and place the straw in a bout 1 inch. Put your finger on the other end and remove the straw from the water with the inch of salt water. Bend the straw so that the water sits in the “elbow”. Then sniff away. Yup it hurts, but it sure kills bacteria.

    Comment by jo schmo — October 23, 2005 @ 10:54 pm

  2. To all of you, my mother in law instructed me in this remedy, but she told me to hold a glass of warm salt water in my hand, bend over and place my nose in the upright glass of water until my nostrils were submerged, close my mouthand inhale. This places the water in the upper nasal cavities, where they need to be. It is hard to do, but believe me it works.
    I have since used this method, altho standing upright, to clear out my nose when it starts dripping.

    Comment by Jill Cool — November 27, 2005 @ 2:49 pm

  3. I took an old spent Afrin bottle with the mist sprayer and filled it with 1/2 teaspoon of salt with hot water to create a very high concentrate salt solution. I then used this over the course of two days and my sinus, or whatever, infection went away (essentially, it is nearly gone). I’d never tried this before and have always had these stinkers linger for weeks at a time without antibiotics. I figured that if a salt water gargle can solve sore throats most of the time this might help my nasal area as well!

    I’m very happy to have found a more natural solution such as this as Affrin always seems to cause bronchial infections for me as drainage goes down into my lungs at night.

    Comment by ylon — June 3, 2006 @ 11:10 am

  4. Glad to have found your irrigation solutions. I have the worst cold in my life (the last “worst cold” was 20 tears ago, I quit smoking then). I’ve been fighting a terrible head cold when doing research on the net I came across snorting water with sea salt in it. My sinuses cleared up immediatly. Thanks

    Comment by Michael Hays — March 30, 2007 @ 9:03 pm

  5. This remedy will absolutely clear you up….but be prepared for it to hurt like H***. My goodness, what a burn!

    Comment by tiffany — September 17, 2007 @ 2:01 pm

  6. My mom bought a thing called a nose buddy from a yoga store its a small plastic container with a spout, bit like a teapot…..its for the saltwater and makes the whole process a little easier. you just tilt your head and pour it up your nose

    Comment by Ellen — September 21, 2007 @ 12:54 am

  7. this remedy (salty water) is better than any medicine u think of , it burns and yeah it burns , u will immediately shed some tears, eyes show reaction immediatly , but beleive me all the heavyness and infectious irritation will disappear in a matter of 5 min , u ll feel much lighter and healtier ,
    just lay down , squirt it gently into yr nose and keep yr nose up so the water gets every where is needed and will wash up every thing is not suppose to be there.

    Comment by rossy — September 29, 2007 @ 7:40 pm

  8. I have been suffering with a dry stuffed nose, blowing did not help, nothing much came out. I just read about sniffing salt water, put 1/4 tsp. in a cup warm water and put it in a shallow bowl. I sniffed the solution several times and after finally being able to blow my nose, I can now breath better than for the last week. I will finally be able to sleep.

    Comment by Lisa — October 16, 2007 @ 12:00 am

  9. How often do you do this perday?
    I have been suffering with a sinus infection for 3 weeks and I started antibiotics 4 days ago. I still have so much pressure and honestly nothing has come out of my nose in 3 weeks. I am desperate!!!
    I tried this once this morning and it burnt and a bit of stuff came out of my nose, but not much…

    Comment by Lindsay — December 30, 2007 @ 12:02 pm

  10. According to my doctor, this is a very effective method of treating a sinus infection. Here is the procedure: fill a glass with 2 cups of warm water, and mix in 1/4 tbsp of salt. Submerge a wash cloth, press wash cloth against the nostrils, and snort while bringing the head back. Repeat 2-3 times a day while infected. From my own experience, it helps to do this while taking a shower or right after a shower. Of course, this should not be done in place of seeing a doctor (you’ll probably be prescribed antibiotics).

    Comment by Tyler — January 11, 2008 @ 6:55 pm

  11. antibiotics lower your ammune system… this is the safe way to live life without side affects..

    thankx for the info everyone this really works

    Comment by Natt — May 21, 2008 @ 3:37 pm

  12. i had this method told to me by my pt instructor. he told me to take an old nasal spray bottle and rinse it out real well and the take a cup of warm water ans a teaspoon of salt mix it up . then pour it into the nasal spray bottle. then lay on the couch and snort it up till you feel it burn right under your eye your there . and repeat this step on the other side, and tilt your head back for about a min and a half. then let it sit up there for about 15 min and then blow.

    and you’ll be surprised what will come out he said. Boy was he right, i had been fighting this off and on for about a month and when i did this. snot that was like rubber came out on both sides of my nose and it cleared right up. this works better than any meds out there right now and it’s better than nasal sprays because they cause more problems in the long run because most use steroids to fix it

    Comment by ryan — June 8, 2008 @ 5:21 pm

  13. I came down with a viral sinus infection several days ago… and have a big college meeting tomorrow. I need to feel well for it, so I went to the doc yesterday and he told me to do this and take guiafin (snot thinner drug). I just did this using a turkey baster… 1tbsp salt to 1 cup water, it was incredibly painful but I’m feeling better and hoping it works for good…

    Comment by Rob — August 3, 2008 @ 9:55 am

  14. I did this, but with more salt than necessary I think.
    And it back fired. There was lots of burn in the nose along with the tears. It took 30 minutes to come back to normalcy. Now, this happened a month ago. Since then, every day after I get up, I sneeze incessantly and have a running-nose for an hour. May be its time to consult a physician. Did this happen to anyone here.. ?

    Comment by Kiran Kumar — August 7, 2008 @ 11:55 pm

  15. i’ve had a 2 month stuffy nose with only a few days of relief. 2 boxes of claritin later i’m about ready to try this method. we’ll see…

    but yes, i wake up with sneezing and a stuffy nose just about everyday :(

    Comment by dustin — September 1, 2008 @ 6:52 am

  16. Mixing an equal proportion of baking soda with salt will reduce the harsh, raw feeling. An even better solution that I stumbled upon is a mix called Alkalol. It’s saline based, but adds menthol, camphor and some other related herbs…the whole thing is not only antiseptic, but very soothing, which I think helps tamp down your histamines when your allergies or sinuses are acting up. It helped me get over a month-long bacterial infection that the antibiotics couldn’t.

    The ultimate solution – which I now own – is to get a WaterPik-type device and an add-on nasal tip (chk out retailer called National Allergy) and use that to gently power-irrigate your sinuses with salt water or Alkalol.

    Comment by Eric — September 2, 2008 @ 9:57 am

  17. My aunt used to do this to my sis and I when we were sick growing up… I dont think I have tried it since but now I might!

    Comment by Kara — September 2, 2008 @ 7:21 pm

  18. I learned of this method back when I was in college. I had a book of natural remedies and I may have learned it there. Thanks to majic I am reminded of it today, the day my sinuses have gone wild. So, as soon as work allows, its off to the condiments cabinet.

    Comment by John McNulty — September 5, 2008 @ 1:28 pm

  19. i just looked at this website and tried this. i prolly went overboard with the salt due to desperate measures. not that i care. it wasn’t that bad. i did like 2 tsp per cup and just shoved my nose in the cup and breathed in as hard as i could.. 2 minutes of pain cured a day long sinus headache.. woohoo!

    Comment by tk — October 3, 2008 @ 10:14 pm

  20. Yahoo! I’ve had clogged ears for more than a month. Taking Flonase and Mucinex D and anything else my doctor thinks “might” work. I’ve used more “medicine” in the last five weeks than ever in my life. I am not a doctor person, but… I couldn’t hear! Thank you so much for this suggestion. I used my baster and warm salt/baking soda water, blew my ears and hallelujah!

    Comment by Andrea — November 8, 2008 @ 6:57 pm

  21. I just tried this method ive had a sinus infection for about 3-4 days and I am going to aruba tomorrow. this really helped, hopefully with this method and the warm weather my infection will be wiped out. thanks so much

    Comment by Mike — December 25, 2008 @ 10:32 pm


    Comment by JOSH — January 6, 2009 @ 5:04 pm

  23. YES IT DOES! My E.N.T. DR. gave me this 10 years ago and I live by it. My wife thought I was crazy. She said it burns too bad but it DOES do the trick, and FAST.

    Comment by racefanfoster — January 15, 2009 @ 9:00 pm

  24. This remedy works for me. I am tired to taking medication. Salt water UP YOUR NOSE. No side effects and does the trick. My mother showed me this. I have chronic sinus infection. Antibotics only help temporatily. Try it

    Comment by Yolanda — February 6, 2009 @ 3:38 am

  25. this does work, i actually do this in my bath, filling the bath water with much salt and going under many times, lots of fun hey. I also take garlic supplement, one tablet every 2-3 days, helps heaps, perhaps try it out.thanx.

    Comment by nick — February 9, 2009 @ 9:42 am

  26. Tryed it today , kinda of gross to do but it worked for me , i can breath again , keep in mind tho it does not cure a cold but takes away that cloghed up stuff head withing minutes , warm water in a cup 1/4 teaspoon of salt , straw in the nose & snort away you will clear out within minutes , Thanks everyone !

    Comment by RALPH — February 25, 2009 @ 8:18 am

  27. I tried this with great success, cleared sinuses, probably fended off infection. I have to say I’m not sure what people are saying about the pain, I did not experience any at all. I wonder if they are using iodized salt rather than uniodized sea salt?? Would that cause the pain? sort of like putting iodine on an open wound?

    I put this solution into an old Dristan spray bottle and it works great, the one thing I noticed is that if there is any excess that makes it to the back of your throat, it is just salty water, not that horrible taste that you get from over the counter nose sprays. I did find that I had to repeat several times over the day, and it helped considerably doing it before bed.

    Comment by ratsquith — May 18, 2009 @ 7:36 pm

  28. does the salt/water nasal wash help with the chronic bad breath also?

    Comment by anneth — May 22, 2009 @ 4:49 am

  29. for bad breath try therabreath, both the toothpaste and the rinse

    Comment by rebron — May 22, 2009 @ 8:24 am

  30. Had a cold for about a week and just starting to get over it. Problem is now my something in my nose smells like a$$ so i’m thinking I’m getting a sinus infection. Just tried putting some saltwater in my nose with a syringe. Didn’t feel to bad but I blew some nasty stuff out!! Feel like a million bucks… will keep doing it for a couple days and see if the smell disappears! Thanks people!

    Comment by Erik — June 15, 2009 @ 10:14 pm

  31. You have to be some kind of baby, if you think this hurts. The pain is the same as when you dive into a pool. Getting water up your nose can be irritating, wether your a child, or an adult. The thing is, that mild rush goes away in seconds. My question to everyone would be, is common household salt a bad thing to use ?

    Comment by TheForceQ — June 25, 2009 @ 12:22 pm

  32. This is a very old remedy and it works
    please don’t use ordinary table salt it will burn it has added chemicals (free flowing agents etc)
    best is Celtic sea salt or a cheaper natural unbleached rock sea salt
    If your uncomfortable sniffing the water use a Netti pot which is like a tea pot smaller spout or an old tea pot will do.
    No more than 1|4 tea spoon to 3/4 cup warm water and just pour it up 1 nostril and it will flow through other one.

    Comment by linda — July 4, 2009 @ 12:08 pm

  33. After over a year of nasal and sinus trouble, incl. bilateral sinus surgery, I may have become an expert on washing sinuses.

    I advise most firmly against the usage of ordinary kitchen salt. Road works salt is an option, though (it is absolutely untreated and does not contain any iodine) but it has to be carefully measured, viz 2.5 grammes to a cup of lukewarm water, with a view to obtaining the right osmosis. This quantity will ensure a tearlike rinse.

    In my case, the above did improve the symptoms but did not really cure them. I have been using pre-packaged Neti-pot salt for five weeks now: my nasal passages and sinuses have felt normal for the fifth week only. So if you ask me, opt for certainty and go to the chemist. I am so happy I did. After all, “about 1/2 tablespoon to 3/4 cup” can hardly be called a very precise medicinal recipe.

    As for those terrible pains so many of you complain about: I have had numerous washes a day for over a year but never experienced any kind of pain. On the contrary, a nose rinse with lukewarm water is an extremely pleasant experience to me. Could it be that some people ought to learn how to swim before trying out any nose rinses? ;-))

    Comment by lies — August 22, 2009 @ 2:12 am

  34. i just did this saltwater remedy and my nose is still stopped up. is there any suggestions please?

    Comment by cedies — September 2, 2009 @ 4:07 pm

  35. Hi everyone im a 24 year old female. ive been sick for over 2 months now with my nose being stopped up i keep getting hot flashes and i fell stuffed. i tried the salt and water remedy and i still feel the same,im also taking antibiotic and its not working and i have one pill left and still feel the same.i also tried the nasal spray but it say only use it for 3 days. should i try this saltwater remedy again or what should i do? somebody please help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by cedies — September 2, 2009 @ 4:21 pm

  36. Hi Cedies
    What your are describing reminds me of what I had in March this year. I did the same thing and even continued using the forbidden nasap spray after three days. Don’t do it! Go to your ENT at once and stop using the spray, which only makes matters worse and is addictive on top of that. Your sinuses are probably blocked and filled with tough mucus, which has to be removed asap; a painless but absolutely necessary procedure. After removal of the mucus, you will be helped with the salt water rinses. Godd luck!

    Comment by lies — September 6, 2009 @ 3:38 am

  37. I tired Walgreens brand Saline Nasal Spray as well as Simply Saline. Simply Saline was a nice experience but the Walgreens brand burned like satan’s toenails were stuck up your nose!!!! PAINFUL!! But in about 3-5 mins I could smell into next year! WOW! and it was cheap! When I used it, I heard the infection scream in my head. Never use this in a crowded room or you’ll scare the hell out of them.

    Comment by Kirkendhall — September 18, 2009 @ 12:22 pm

  38. Hi, salt is for sissies, try a mixture of equal parts ground pepper and balsamic vinaigrette. studies have shown this is 72% more effective than mere saline.

    Comment by Smokey — September 22, 2009 @ 12:18 pm

  39. I tried this… used a tbsp of salt per cup of warm water. WOAH!!! What a result! My sinuses are clearing up a lot now!
    S’not funny,… but it’s EFFECTIVE!
    Ah, Than-kew!

    Comment by Yukadoo — October 5, 2009 @ 3:39 pm

  40. I had flu for almost three months I tried some medicines but nthng worked.but salt thing its great.thanks alot

    Comment by mike — October 14, 2009 @ 9:35 am

  41. Just tried this and it wasn’t painful at all! I wonder if maybe I’m doing it wrong? It sounds funny to say but I’m worried that if it’s not painful then I’m not doing it right!

    Comment by jesse — October 16, 2009 @ 2:45 am

  42. Using the Neti pot will not be painful if you position your head correctly. Too much of an angle will cause a burning sensation. If you have the correct angle, the water will flow into one nostral and out the other with no ill effect. It’s pretty amazing.

    Comment by Karen Ferrero — October 17, 2009 @ 3:06 am

  43. I’m using this now as i’m reading, i’ve boiled some water and put in quite a lot of salt. I have had a blocked up nose since yesterday and I REALLY HOPE THIS WORKS – it’s my birthday in a week and i don’t want to show up to my party with snot coming from my nose! How many times should i snort this and do i have to do it daily? thankyouuu!!!

    Comment by Lauren — October 22, 2009 @ 4:08 am

  44. I tried the salt treatment with a pharmacy saline solution and I have been suffering ever since. Am I allergic to the salt? It has acted as an irritant and for 24 hours I have been blowing my nose nonstop and also have a sore throat from the irritation.

    What can I do NOW to get rid of the salt’s effect? It is making me feel like I have a terrible cold. I was NOT sick when I did the ‘sinus rinse’ but I now I can’t stop the ‘symptoms.’ Any suggestions are appreciated.

    Comment by Cathy — November 23, 2009 @ 8:59 pm

  45. A doctor told me about this method over a decade ago when I was Snowboard bumming in Telluride. Yep it works great, I try to tell people about it but most just look at me like I’m crazy. Too bad for them, when I get sick I run salt water down my nozzle, clears ya right up and I think it helps me get better a little faster.

    Comment by Sam — December 14, 2009 @ 9:24 pm

  46. April of 2010 will mark 15 years that I have been snorting hot salt water on a daily basis. I used to get sinus infections regularly. It seemed like I was always taking antibiotics. I tried this home remedy. Three days after doing this in the morning and at night, my congestion and discolored phlem was clear. I use about 3/4 teaspoon of Mortons iodized table salt with 16 oz. of tap water that is hot. I lean over the sink, pour the water in my left hand and snort it up the left nostril. Then pour in into my right hand and snort it up my right nostril. I repeat this 5 or 6 times every day. I HAVE NOT TAKEN AN ANTIBIOTIC IN 15 YEARS!!! Remember, the iodized salt means the salt contains iodide not iodine. Read up on iodide you will be surprised.

    Comment by Don Messinese — December 19, 2009 @ 12:26 pm

  47. I heard about this last year and my luck i just got this junk yesterday. What sux is new years eve is tomorrow, so im taking everyone’s advice and snorting salt water from a neti! hope it works happy new years!

    Comment by Heather — December 31, 2009 @ 12:16 am

  48. I used sea salt in my neti pot. One day, then the next. It worked really well, but after the second day, I have stinging in my sinus cavity from my gums up to my eye. After 3 or 4 days, I now have what looks like a burn on my skin from my lips up to my eye. It’s in patches. It hurts to touch it and it’s stinging “inside”. Anybody have any ideas? Solutions? It’s the weekend and Monday is a holiday, so no Doctor help is available. Thank you.

    Comment by Esther — February 13, 2010 @ 9:18 pm

  49. Well I have had severe sinus congestion for years and even went so far as to have sinus surgery to reduce my turbinates and that didn’t help at all. Have tried antibiotics, nasal sprays and pretty much anything else you can think of. Tested for allergies and I am allergic to absolutely nothing. I tried this today but a little different since my stuffiness is in the top of my nose. I mixed up regular table salt and hot water, got a straw, closed one nostril and sniffed it up the other one. Then I pinched my nose closed and bent all the way forward putting my head toward the floor and stayed there for a minute then straightened up slowly and let it run back out into the sink. I did this 4 times alternating nostrils and for the 1st time in almost forever I can breathe. I’m going to try it 3 times a day to see if it will keep me clear. Maybe even fix my terrible snoring problem.

    Comment by Sandy Stepp — March 17, 2010 @ 8:15 am

  50. I’ve been sick for over a week. I heard about this years ago.
    I just tired it and OMG what a miracle. You can taste the salt n its a little bit raw like but the results r amazing.

    Comment by Lydia Cruz — March 17, 2010 @ 10:28 am

  51. My Grandmother was a doctor and swore by this method. She prescribed it for colds, congestion and also bad breath, and had 100% positive results from her patients. She used to try to convince me, but the idea was so horrible I never went there. However I’m currently living in Italy where it’s ridiculously difficult (and expensive) for a foreigner to see a doctor, I’ve had a cold for 13 days now and I’m sure I have a sinus infection. I decided it was time to gove this method a go. I mixed up my salt water, took half a teaspoon and snorted it up each nostril, then spat it out my mouth (as my Grandmother suggested). All this rubbery yellow stuff came out, and the pressure in my head released immediately!
    I strongly recommend everyone to try this before going for antibiotics or over the counter nasal sprays.

    Comment by Melissa Bates — March 23, 2010 @ 4:45 am

  52. Hi,

    I have this runny nose since have come to Bangalore in 2005. It runs all the time as a result of which I have cuts around my nose. My aunty wanted me to do tjis salt water thingy but whenever i did it, I wasn’t able to drain the water out through my mouth. My head also feels heavy after that and so I’m scared to follow this. I am tired of medicines ans nasal sprays. Please help!!!

    Comment by Dyu — May 22, 2010 @ 2:46 am

  53. to add to this ad, you can also add about a teaspoon of baking soda to your water and salt, it helps clear out any bacteria, i have been doing this for years and i used to suffer from sinus infections and i started to do the baking soda, read that its an old remedy and it WORKS amazingly well:) hope this helps

    Comment by clayton — August 3, 2010 @ 5:59 pm

  54. Hello,

    Couple of key points to make this a less irritating experience:

    1) use distilled or previously boiled water, lukewarm. (boiling removes chlorine)
    2) use non-iodized salt, i.e.: kosher. (table salt contains anti-caking chemicals and iodine)
    3) add baking soda – half as much as salt (adjusts ph level to something more suitable)

    Doing these things will greatly reduce the ‘sting’ of the experience.

    Comment by Pete — September 14, 2010 @ 6:47 pm

  55. I use a tablespoon of sea salt and a pinch of baking soda

    that realy works

    Comment by peter — October 6, 2010 @ 12:23 am

  56. This absolutly works! I did’nt read all the posts but the method to administer the salt solution (told to me by my doctor 10 years ago)works great. Just place the salt/water solution in a sports water bottle. Place the tip of the sports bottle into a nostril, lean over the sink and give it a good squeeze. Any overflow will be caught in the sink and your on your way. Again this method WORKS GREAT!

    Comment by Jamey — November 11, 2010 @ 11:34 am

  57. Thanks for this great tip. This certainly seemed to feel good. I didn’t use any fancy straws or teaspoons or anything like that, I just put a huge chunk of sea salt into warm water, jammed my nose into the cup and snorted as hard as i could.. a huge gush of water came caning up my nose and into my mouth. It was like I was drinking water through my nose. It made an extremely loud sound because my nose was sort of blocked, and my girlfriend screamed out “what the hell is that noise?” and I had a mouth full of snotty salt water and screamed out “i jlust snorded sald waderrr” and all the salt water came flying out of my mouth as i was speaking.

    I’m not sure if it helped the cold but I like doing it so I’ve done it about 3 times since then, my girlfriend said I should take it easy.

    Comment by GavinSpaceFace — November 16, 2010 @ 2:07 am

  58. Forget all of the above – the stuff that hurts, the stuff that is messy, the stuff that is gross –
    I tried it – get the Sinus Rinse – yes it costs money ($12 for 100 times) – it is safe (Apothecary quality salt) it is easy to use, it does not hurt, it goes fast and it actually works. Neti pot takes forever; too much / too little salt hurts; wrong bottle ruins your nose…; nose in glass is disgusting, straw up your nose is for 8 year old boys…

    With self-made saline solutions you risk hurting your nose and more; with self-made blow-in methods (Sports bottle) you can seriously hurt your nose and what’s above it –

    I hated all this Neti-Pot stuff – yet the Sinus Rinse works – I’m just a customer – not affiliated with them and I normally don’t promote products – but having read through five (5) years of suffering on this discussion – it’s time to stop and clean your nose.

    Comment by Flo — December 27, 2010 @ 12:12 am

  59. Hey I just saw this and I tried it! It did work but idk if I’m doing it right because I felt no burn? Is that bad? Oh plus my ears hurt now

    Comment by bee — January 6, 2011 @ 2:47 pm

  60. I have used this method for over 70 years. My mother was a nurse and this was used in hospitals over 100 years ago.

    A pinch of salt (not great strong quantities as in No57 who used a “Huge Chunk of Sea Salt”) in a cup of warm water (use an old cup and keep for this purpose).

    Standing with your head over a sink, depress one nostril and dip your nose into the saline mixture sniffing it up the other nostril and letting it run out of your mouth. Tilt the head to each side whilst doing this and then repeat for the other nostril. You can do both nostrils at the same time to finish. Once completed, blow your nose and you will find that this mixture clears the sinuses and gets rid of any infection naturally. Repeat 3-4 time daily as necessary.

    It certainly does not hurt and it is not unpleasant.

    Another old fashioned remedy which can be used at the same time is a steam inhalation. I don’t put any products into this – just boil the water, put it in a jug and hold my head over the jug for 10 minutes with a towel over my head.

    Comment by Audrey Mottishaw — March 24, 2011 @ 2:33 am

  61. Well, I have had a cold, I got the flew shot, after being treated for the flew shot i got a very bad smell in my nose, smell of the cold and other type of very ugly smell, than seeing and talking to the people that lives no more than 5 blocks away if they had the same thing, well the did, but they do not know what it is. some persons has had this for 5 years, and some for 4 months and some for two years. going to the doctor, i have found out that this was caused from the flew shots, these people did have there shots, there were two persons who did not get the shot and did not get this problem, we were all taking medication, nothing is working, we are trying the salt and water, now its been 5 weeks and nothing is changing. every one is the same,and using this salt water, gives us a very bad smell and gives us all a very bad tast, of something that we can not explain. who els has this type of infection from flew shots?

    Comment by bill — March 30, 2011 @ 5:55 pm

  62. oh wow, this is a great method. i have been taking allergy medicine for about one month now, just trying to stop the water drip. but recently started get getting a sinus infection due to not clearing my nose in the night. so now did this method.its amazing how much rubber your head can keep in. first time clearing is just the start of it. there is more coming from places you thought you finished.but it feels so great to breath again.thank you for reminding me of this in my time of going crazy from this problem.
    p.s. too scared to use the vinegar solution.

    Comment by Bridget — April 17, 2011 @ 8:01 am

  63. Ladies & Gents! Thank you so much for this tips! I am 36 years old and I have NEVER had a sinus infection. I moved from the south to the north and was confident that I could withstand any climate…ha ha wishful thinking…I wasn’t to clear what a sinus infection was-I suffered about 5 days and ended up in the emergency room in the most miserable state you could imagine. My face was swollen everywhere, so swollen my eyes were almost shut. I used the Mortons Sea Salt, baking soda, and warm distilled water. I then used a 1/4 teaspoon, I put three scoops of the salt in the water, and then I put two scoops of baking soda in it also. I was a little nervous about the stinging and crying I read in some of the post, so I just used a large coffee mug for beginners. So I put the water in my hand and snuffed away. Immediately all that gross infection started to drain out my nose, ewww! a nasty greenish color (sorry about being so vivid-but I am a detailed person) and it started to come up out of my mouth too. My husband came in and said, “Wow! It’s really working” it did sting just a little bit-but for the relief I am experiencing right now, it was the best sting ever!! lol. And OH! did I mention-the swelling in my face started to go down too!! I did get a little light-headed because everything was happening so fast-but I was like “Hallelujah, Thank you Jesus!” ;-) As I am typing I am yet spitting up that nasty stuff. I will probably do this a couple more times today…it’s ashame I didn’t find this before spending money on that visit to the doctor and the perscription they gave me. Oh well, now I know, and I am one happy woman. Thanks to everyone again! Hugz & Kisses!

    Comment by A New Woman — April 27, 2011 @ 4:43 am

  64. Look at the advice on comment # 60. It helped me a lot! Thank you Ms. Mottishaw.

    Comment by Angie — May 23, 2011 @ 9:00 am

  65. I have had chronic sinusitis and rhinitis for nearly five years with very little time clear, its made life difficult and difficult for people to understand why I wasn’t able to be as active as usual and know some people felt I was making it up.

    I had another sinus infected session recently, with the usual burning nasal passageways so couldn’t bring myself to try my sister’s suggested swimming in the sea/saline nasal treatments which had worked immediately for her years earlier. Having finished another course of antibiotics, which reduced the burning feeling, and reading these posts today I immediately tried doing it, in the shower for the suggested steam assistance, with sea salt and baking powder, in a water bottle with drinking spout (the smaller sized ones would be better for this for me). I did find it painful and unpleasant, so would perhaps advice people to consider this if they are still at the ‘burning’ nasal passageways stage!

    I can’t believe how much gunk came out of my nose and mouth, and how ‘solid’ it still was, but for the first time in five months I can breathe properly through my nose and don’t have that horrible tingly, stuffed/heavy head feeling. I am going to do it twice a day until I think its properly sorted.

    Thanks everyone so much, I feel so excited at the thought of not having daily sinus issues!
    Hope you have the same success.

    Comment by MacRed — May 25, 2011 @ 2:12 am

  66. p.s. excuse the rambling style of my post above, I’m still constantly clearing my nose and throat, so wrote this in short blasts!

    Comment by MacRed — May 25, 2011 @ 2:14 am

  67. I have had what I think is a sinus infection for over a week. I have not went to the doctor.. but start using nose spray a few days ago which gave me some immediate relife on my very dry nasal cavity. I decided to go swimming yesterday, even though I was still pretty sick, but said oh well.. Im going to the doc on Monday what else could it possibly do!!!! Well I went swimmin in a salt water pool and ended up getting water up my nose on MORE than one occasion which made me have to blow my nose a lot! I could not believe it… I started feeling better!!! it is a salt water pool… I even told my husband while I was swimming “I think swimming was the prescription I needed”…. I am not going to the doc tommorrow.. Im going swimming and snorting more pool water.. :)

    Comment by Jaime Ross — May 31, 2011 @ 12:53 am

  68. Hi everyone I’m a 13 year old who has seen all of you alls comments and I really don’t understand why every time I try one of these remedies my eyes begin to burn can someone please help me do something to get this runny, stuffy, clogged up nostrils outta my life .! PLEASE!!! :)

    Comment by Sheyla Mariee' — June 2, 2011 @ 5:10 pm

  69. Hi Sheyla Mariee, perhaps you are using too strong a solution. I wrote comment No 60. Try that. Your eyes should not burn!

    Comment by Audrey Mottishaw — June 4, 2011 @ 11:03 am

  70. I’ve used the squirt bottle method for a couple years now but only when I feel a cold coming on or if I’ve breathed in a lot of dust or allergens. Those time that I’ve used it to simply clean out the dust or allergens (not when I feel a cold coming on), it seems to have caused me to get a full-on cold for a week or so. For example, the other day I was working around my house feeling fine and doing some gardening in the dry soil. I also cleaned out my chicken coop then cut some pressure-treated wood boards with my circular saw. It occurred to me that I probably got a lot of unfriendly stuff up my nose, so that evening I did the squirt-bottle saline rinse (leaning forward over the sink to let it drain, as usual) and felt pretty good. But the next day I felt aches and pains and the on-set of chills and, of course, a stuffy nose. Had to sleep on the couch for 3 nights so my wife could sleep. This is the third time this has happened to me ove the past year or so. I thought I was doing some good, but not sure now. In a nutshell I’m feeling as if the nasal lavage caused the cold and have become wary. I wonder if anyone has had similar experience…

    Comment by Alec — August 11, 2011 @ 9:39 am

  71. This works a treat but the delivery method can be painful or at least discomforting. I’ve found the best workaround is to go surfing. You’ll have a great time riding the waves and, on the arduous battle to get to the bigger waves further out, you’ll find the sea itself is very good at hydraullically ramming salt water through your nasal cavities! One wave hit me so hard that the pressure made my ears pop! Cleared me right out and it’s a good workout at the same time.

    Comment by Phoenix — August 27, 2011 @ 8:29 am

  72. What a great idea! So many comments to read though. I can’t believe this article started in October 2005 and is still active to this day.

    Comment by River — September 28, 2011 @ 6:00 pm

  73. This will work for you…. However you may need to see a doctor if you have an infection. If you can smell an oder that is in your sinus you have an infection. And although this flush will help you it may be too late to heal you alone. Also if you are experiencing severely stuffed noses/sinus for weeks, give this a try 2-3 times a day for a few days and again if still no relief see a doctor. This is best used upon first signs of congestion or nasal symptoms, or daily or weekly as a preventative. Lastly, Zink with is found in iodized salt may make your smell sense go away for a few minutes but should return shortly after. Use a generic store brand sea salt, and avoid this all together. I personally have severe allergies and use this method regularly. I do not feel that burning is nessesary, and infact you can burn the sinus passage. Burning can be caused by too much salt, zinc, iodine in salt, or heavily clorinated water from your city/county. Per 8 ounces of water I use one slightly heaping 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt and luke warm water. You can also add in equal parts of baking soda, which is said to soothe your dry passages, I have never noticed a difference. Lastly, to aid in confort and ease of use do not snort water, this may cause you to inhaile water to places it shouldn’t naturally be and may even cause an ear infection. Rather use mouth breathing, closing your nose off like you are going to swim. Then gently pour, or squeeze water into the nose. Hope it helps! Stop and smell the roses!

    Comment by Mama Dani — October 6, 2011 @ 6:13 am

  74. I had really plugged ears and a sore throat. I’m sure it is allergies. I used the saline solution and it stung like h— in my nose and into both ears. Brought tears to my eyes but now my ear is unplugged and my sore throat is gone.

    Comment by Trish — October 8, 2011 @ 6:42 pm

  75. Hello, i tryed some salt water solution up my nose to clear my sninus, i sniffed the water up my left and right nose,

    it cleared the green stuff which i coughed out, but 5 minutes later and my right side nose is blocked again and it feels like there is water stuck there,

    but i tryed to blow it out but it hurts alot, also i had blood from my nose a few times Before doing this, (not brown was red)so was fresh?

    maybe i have a cut or some other kind of infection up my nose? my main problem is right side sinus, i have been taking some Amoxicillin to clear up infection but it doesn’t do anything ( i had some left over from another thing )

    any ideas?

    Comment by b.blas — October 24, 2011 @ 5:10 am

  76. I just tried it. I used 1/6 of a teaspoons of ordinary table salt dissolved in very hot water and let it cool until it was just very warm water. I didn’t snort the water, but inhaled gently. I only did about a quarter of the cup of salt water because the method was awkward. I wanted to see if it worked before doing more. It worked. Immediately. My nose was so clogged that I was having anxiety attacks because just breathing through my mouth was causing me to cough uncontrollably. I finally feel calm and clear enough to try and get some sleep. I’m going to invest in a Neti Pot. I’m hoping that will make this whole business easier. On another note, I didn’t find this painful in the least. That might be due to the amount of salt I used or the fact that I didn’t snort it. I thought it felt kind of cool trickling down my throat. I think I’m just weird though.

    Comment by Rylee — October 25, 2011 @ 10:12 pm

  77. Thank you so much for this advice. Had hot flashes for a few weeks then this was followed by a cold and aches and pains then this has been followed by blocked ears and nose for about a month. This is the only treatment that has given any kind of relief and I have tried all the over the counter meds. Thank you all so very, very much x

    Comment by Debra — October 27, 2011 @ 6:40 am

  78. um i just did this and it cleared it up for a few mins. are yall using table salt with this?

    Comment by MEE — November 11, 2011 @ 6:37 pm

  79. thanks for sharing ayurvedic recipe to treat Cold/Sinus.

    Comment by Munish Chandel — November 30, 2011 @ 1:26 am

  80. I have had a sinus infection in the right side now for about 5 weeks. Loads of antibiotics not really helping. Have just staRTED USING THE saline wash. However, nasal passage feels blocked after use. Is this ok

    Comment by sue — December 17, 2011 @ 8:42 am

  81. Just tried will let you know. Does burn really bad.

    Comment by Cheryl — January 1, 2012 @ 12:23 am

  82. I have had 40+ years of cronic sinus infections that lead to sore throat and congested chest. I have found the sinus flush a LIFE SAVER! Be advised! You body will require as much as a month to rid its self of the infection. 1) You must support your immune system, 2) use a decongestant and 3) do a serious sinus flush at least twice a day until feel like you have the condition on the run. If your immune system is not running at full speed you will just prolong the infection.
    FYI, I sent thousands of dollars every year by going to my Doctor and getting the same costly medications until I became pro-active some 10 years ago.

    Good Luck To Everyone!

    Clyde Simons

    Comment by Clyde Simons — January 1, 2012 @ 7:59 am

  83. It’s awesome to breath clear I haven’t been able to breath like this for years;) I just tried it with salt warm water and backing soda put it in a plastic cup squeesed the top of the cup tilted my head and poured it in my nose and it came out the other side!!!it burnt and made my nose run and eyrs water for about a minute but I can actually breath!!!!I’m wondering his long it’s going to last. I hole all night ;)

    Comment by Kim — January 1, 2012 @ 5:51 pm

  84. I am having severe bad breath for the past 15 yrs….i had been trying nasal rinse for the past 5 days…the bad breath has reduced little…will it completely go away through the frequent use of nasal rinse?…i need to know.. plz help

    Comment by thenin — January 1, 2012 @ 11:04 pm

  85. My M.D. recommended the neti pot and to make my own saline solution. 1 C. water 1 tsp table salt 1/2 tsp baking soda. The soda balances the Ph and eliminates the stinging of the salt water. Flush out both nasal cavities and gently blow your nose to dislodge any water left. Discard remaining saline solution, rinse pot and clean spout.

    Comment by RoseAnn — January 23, 2012 @ 3:35 pm

  86. Since last one year I am suffering from blocked and running nose. Will start using today and will post results.

    Comment by Humayun — January 24, 2012 @ 5:35 am

  87. I mentioned using too much salt in my above comment. It’s actually 1/2 tsp. uniodized table salt and 1/2 tsp baking soda. It’s also a good idea to use distilled water or boil water first; allow it to cool to body temperature before using or that might cause a lot worse problem than sinusitus :)I’ve read that sea salt is too potent for nasal use; good for cooking but…
    Here us a good link with more information:

    Comment by RoseAnn — January 25, 2012 @ 4:02 pm

  88. Ok… have sinusitus and have been suffering with severely blocked nose for the past 3 weeks. Just finished antibiotics and they have had no effect, had three different types of nasal spray, again with no effect. Just about ready to give up all hope until I read this (very long) post. Decided to have a go with the salt solution. Just prepared the solution in a small cup and inhaled into my nostrils and then let the water drip into the sink. Immediately felt some kind of relief but now, minutes later I have the same stuffy nose again. Will try again before bed tonight – maybe need to inhale a little deeper!

    Comment by Lori — February 2, 2012 @ 12:38 pm

  89. You need to sniff the solution up one nostril whilst closing the other by pressing it. Repeat for the other nostril. You can then do both together. Sniff the solution really high and tilt your head from side to side to get into the little passages. The solution will then run from your nostrils and mouth.

    If really bad I would do it 3 times a day. You find that you do it less as the situation improves.

    Another great help is to pour boiling water into a jug and with a towel over your head, take deep breaths into your lungs and through your nose.

    I probably should say VERY VERY HOT water, but I boil it first as it soon gets cold. Keep far enough away not to burn yourself on the steam.

    Good Luck

    Comment by Audrey Mottishaw — February 3, 2012 @ 1:15 am

  90. Here is how I do it with great success. It is a pain in the butt, but well worth the result. I use the NeilMed Sinus Rinse. It is a reusable plastic bottle. I use the premixed packets and mix my own solution with sea salt and baking soda. Make sure the water is boiled and used warm.
    Here is the best way to get sinus relief. Lay on the side of your bed with your head hanging over. Shoot it in one side at a time and let it penetrate deep for several minutes. Lean your head straight back and then try another flush with your head turned to the side you are flushing. You can open and close your mouth and actually hears the fluid reach those closed areas. It will flush into the back of your throat. Use a towel to get back to the sink and blow out the excess. Just keep repeating this process one or more times a day. This has saved my life and pocket book.
    FYI, I have tried the easy way of standing up to the sink and it just doesn’t work for me.

    Comment by Clyde Simons — February 3, 2012 @ 11:20 am

  91. Definitely works wonders. When my sinuses are very bad, and a few rinses dont work i make a whole cup full and snarf it ALL through my nose, I just go an kneel infront of the sink and go for it, if it did not change the situation i just go and make another cup and start again. Keep rinsing till its all out!! Definitely prevents infections from spreading and “growing/increasing”.

    Comment by Morlov — March 6, 2012 @ 2:13 am

  92. I literally just tried this for my random, and VERY stuffy nose, and i feel better already! I just mixed about 1/2 teaspoon sea salt with 1/2 cup of water and put in a bowl in the microwave for 45 seconds…i made my boyfriend spoon it into my nose while i was laying down. i laughed a lot and it mostly got all over my face, however.

    Comment by chrissy — May 19, 2012 @ 9:24 pm

  93. This remedy worked amazing! i mixed half a teaspoon of salt and a little water and sprayed it up my nose with an empty nasal spray bottle. Worked within minutes. i can breathe now !! I have a head cold. but at least i can breathe and removed all the pressure!! it didnt burn really. just a tiny bit. but its really not that bad honestly. and the mucus goes behind ur throat but its not that bad either. its really it!!! i recommend you try it

    Comment by amanda — May 31, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

  94. I will be using comment 60 tonight. hope it works for me!

    Comment by cath — June 27, 2012 @ 4:31 pm

  95. its amazing remedy past five days i have severe infection just i try sea salt water within minutes i feel good thanks everybody

    Comment by arsina fathima — June 29, 2012 @ 10:31 am

  96. alhamthullah now i feel good breathing

    Comment by arsina fathima — June 29, 2012 @ 10:32 am

  97. Omg stings like a motherfucker…. Hoping to get some sleep.. But owe -.-

    Comment by Brsk — September 8, 2012 @ 11:04 pm

  98. This remedy shouldn’t hurt. Just put 1/4 tsp or so of baking soda in the solution to balance the pH and it works just as well without the pain.

    Comment by ropegro — October 9, 2012 @ 10:02 am

  99. this really works wonders, I used iodized salt and warm water. and BOOM, a lot of stuff out of my nose, it does sting a little but It’s good that you feel it working.
    Without the sting I wouldn’t know if it’s working or not.
    thats why I didn’t bother with the baking soda.
    Most likely the “safe PH” makes it also “safe” for the infection therefore making it less effective.

    Comment by bibby — December 23, 2012 @ 4:51 am

  100. Hi all, just started using this method as after 25 years of using nasal sprays they’ve stopped working and I had acute sinusitis so sought a more natural way. Did research before starting and the main thing is use pre-boiled water as tap water can carry a bug that can cause death is rare occasions. The most popular ratio is 8 fluid ounces of warm water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon bi-carb to balance PH. (Salt should be around 1% of fluid as per the bodies natural balance) It’s best not to sniff the water as it could shoot into places you don’t want it, like the ear canal and cause ear infection. There is something called a neti-pot (like a watering can) where you place the spout up one nostril and gravity makes the water flush your sinuses and shoot out the other one. (I’ve just ordered one). In the mean time I am using an old sports bottle. Works nearly as well. Sinuses are flushed enough not to have to worry about trying to find another nasal spray.

    Comment by scooby — December 25, 2012 @ 7:12 am

  101. Use a syringe it feels much better

    Comment by sadotre — December 28, 2012 @ 8:03 am

  102. I have had a nasty cold and sinus infection for the past 10 days. Getting frustrated by still not being able to smell or taste, I heated up distiller water with a tablespoon of sea salt. I put it in a squirt bottle and put my face over the sink and went up one nostril first. I felt it come out the other side and i let it continue to drain for 5-10 seconds. I blew out the water and was in shock by what came out. Chunks of mucus and slimy substances. I continued this every 30’minutes alternating nostrils and am feeling my senses come back. The “fullness” feeling in my nose area is disappearing as well. I will continue this daily until my nose is clear. The first time it stung like a small twinge but was bearable. Highly recommended. I wish I had tried this years ago!

    Comment by Maf07 — January 27, 2013 @ 9:53 am

  103. I had a severe cold yesterday and since I am on Homeopathy medicine for sinus, it has prevented the sinus from getting aggravated. How ever in order to open my blocked nose, i used salt water remedy. since the nostril was completely blocked, i prefered to lay on my back on floor and chin raised up. then i asked my wife to put the mixture of salt water in my blocked nostruil by means of spoon. slowly i could feel the mucus getting melted and and i rinsed the melted mucus out and again pour water in my nostril. further i also asked her put put the water in another nostril which was clear. the water formother nostril directly entered my throat. Since it was a problem of getting the other nostril cleared (which was conjested, i tried the activity many times. further i leaned my head on the side so that water reaches everywher. after some time i could experience the blockage getting open and being transferred to next nostril. thereafter i stopped it and went to sleep. morning when i woke up, i could feel the water filled in that side of my head where the nostril was clear. and when i try to blow air in my ear by pinching my nose, i could feel pain in my ear.
    Please suggest what could be the problem?

    Comment by Amardeep — February 12, 2013 @ 9:06 pm

  104. I can vouch for the efficacy of salt water rinses, but the straight-up “snorting” that many are mentioning here sounds a little dangerous. Like a poster above, I also use the Neil Med Sinus Rinse, which is a bottle with a spray nozzle that gently rinses out your nose, but has a little more power behind it than a plain Neti pot. I use plain table salt without any ill effects, about 3/4 tsp to 1.5 cups. Make sure to use lukewarm water (not cold or super hot), or it WILL burn. And more salt is not good either, as that can be irritating and painful.

    Tilt your head forward over the sink and spray the sinus rinse into one nostril. The excess drains out the other nostril, and you can feel the slightly warm water going all through your sinuses. Let the water drain then hold closed the nostril you were not spraying into and blow your nose with tissue. Repeat on the other side, then repeat on both nostrils until rinse is gone.

    When done, give your nose a few good blows, but do *not* squeeze your nostrils shut as you blow. This causes the remaining water in the sinuses to be forced into the ears, which can cause ear pain and pressure, like Amardeep above me experienced. I’ve read that backed up water in the ears can then lead to ear infections.

    I get nearly instant relief from sinus headaches and painful pressure from this salt rinse. I’ve also been having thick mucus drainage lately in my throat, and the rinse helped to thin out the secretions quickly, too.

    Comment by Natalie — March 26, 2013 @ 10:28 pm

  105. I tied the water up my nose,snorting it, when I thought I was having allergies and my nose was running like mad. I wanted to rinse the pollen or whatever was causing it out of my nose.The water, I used purified, went way up into the top of my head and hurt real bad.Then my eyes and head started hurting. I went to the eye Dr., she couldn’t find anything wrong, then to my regular Dr. who thought I had caused a sinus infection from bacteria going into my sinuses from doing that. Two different antibiotics later I am still having pressure and aching in my head. Any ideals what happened when I did that to cause this pressure feeling in my head.Thanks

    Comment by Priscilla Deatrick — June 6, 2013 @ 10:44 am

  106. I do this all the time. Some people think it’s weird sniffing salt like it’s drugs or something but I’ve found it really helps with blocked nose, throat ect. I now do it 3 times a week but sniffing too much does cause you to feel nauseous and throw up. It helps a lot though so I recommend it but only if you can put up with the burning.

    Comment by chloe — December 29, 2014 @ 7:01 pm

  107. Use fresh solution each time you are going to snuff up salted water. If the water is no more salty than your tears, it won’t burn at all. It has the same result. It ends your cold within a day, well, it does that for me.

    Comment by Laureen — February 22, 2015 @ 8:40 pm

  108. I tried this method and it did wonders for me I was astonished by the stuff I blew out of my nose there was a tiny bit of blood and my ears sting a bit after I did it but it felt great and I am definitely doing it again later today!!

    Comment by Mubassar — April 8, 2015 @ 7:51 am

  109. PEOPLE !!! Be easy on yourself…be gentle..some of the methods described here are torturous! MODERATION in everything…. don’t force that salt water up you nose so violently ! Best yet.. get the bottle from your store, I got mine free from my ENT doc. Use as directed.. Start EASY and GENTLE. You can gradually increase pressure as you learn how much pressure you need or can tolerate….Neti-Pot is ok, better than the above methods.. But I like this bottle much better! It’s by the Neti-Pots in Walmart, just as the pharmacist for help. And I will be now making my own salt mixture , as those packets of salt are too expensive. Keep a gallon of distilled water under the bathroom sink for this And easy on the salt ! Gonna add baking soda to mine too. Don’t make it ahead of time, it will spoil. EASY does it…

    Comment by DebbieKivela — April 19, 2015 @ 12:13 pm

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