February 01, 2021

Nasal irrigation

Rinse the right way

Colds, sinus problems and allergies can make you miserable with sinus congestion.

If you're looking for relief, talk to your health care provider about using a device to rinse debris, allergens or mucus from your nasal cavity, which can potentially help relieve congestion.

Prepare the solution

There are a number of available sinus rinsing devices, including squeeze bottles, which squirt saline out the top, and neti pots, which look like small teapots. Learn how to use these devices properly.

1. Prepare the solution

First, wash your hands. Use distilled or sterile water — or boil tap water for three to five minutes and let it cool to lukewarm temperature before using. Don't use tap water that has not been boiled, as it could include germs that can be dangerous when used for nasal rinsing.

Mix 1 cup of room-temperature water with one premixed nasal rinse saline packet or 1/2 teaspoon non-iodized salt (such as canning or pickling salt) and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda.

Use the device

2. Use the device

Remove the bottle from your nose before you stop squeezing it. Otherwise, you could suck some solution out of your nose and back into the bottle. Repeat on the other side.

Squeeze bottle — Lean over the sink. You may want to keep your face upright — as though...