Make Your Own Saline Nasal Spray (plus loads of tips)

Homemade Saline Wash - a great natural remedy for colds, allergies and all sinus problems.

From essential oils to natural ear infection remedies to Chinese herbs, I will try almost anything to avoid antibiotics and other medications when dealing with ear infections or other conditions.  I had way too antibiotics of them as a child and they wreaked havoc on my gut, leading to candida, adrenal fatigue, and other issues that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

So for things like sinus problems, I’ve opted for things like this saline nasal spray to keep my family healthy.

I’m sure most of you have seen or heard of neti-pots, saline nose sprays, or those spray bottles that spray saline wash into your nostrils.

In my opinion, saline wash is a life-saver.  Really.

Today I am going to show you how you can easily make these sprays yourself to save a ton of money and hopefully save yourself from needing antibiotics.

I’ve been making saline wash for years.


I remember in my 20’s (yikes! – That was a long time ago.), my grandmother buying me some premade nasal spray in a bottle and telling me how helpful it was.

I thought it seemed ridiculous, but then I was brought up in a home where I was given antibiotics for just about any little sniffle or bug.

Hence a lot of the health problems that I deal with today.

You can read more about how much I avoid anti-biotics now in my post “Escape from the Pink Stuff – How We Avoided Antibiotics”.

I will go to great lengths to avoid that stuff.  Even though they’re free at our local pharmacy – that “free” comes with a heavy health price tag.

Anyway, as the years went on, I started using different forms of saline washes — and found that they work great!

In fact, am now a self-declared expert in making saline nose wash :-).

However, one of the things that bugs me is that you go into your local drug, grocery, or health food store, and buy one of those little neti-pots or saline spray containers, and the give you some little packets of pre-made saline mix to get you started.

Only to have you feel the need to come back and buy more of their little packets.

Well, if you’ve looked at those packets, really the only thing that is in them is….

you guessed it–salt and maybe baking soda.

Pretty simple, eh?

So I decided to figure out how much of each I needed to use in order to avoid the highway-robbery of buying those little packets (not to mention all the extra garbage they generate.  Sigh.)

Why Make Your Own Saline Nose Wash

1.  It saves a TON of money.

2.  Reduce waste from those little packets of saline mix.

3.  You can control how much of everything you add easily.

Here’s how to do it:

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Saline Wash

Tips for Saline Wash

– Use only purified water.  Here is really icky documentation of folks who got brain eating amoebas from using tap water.  Yuck!

– Use only pure salt like sea salt or my favorite, Real Salt.  Table salt has lots of other things like anti-caking agents, silicon dioxide and even sugar sometimes.  I don’t want those in my nose, thank you.

– For added sinus-cleansing action, after putting the saline solution into your nose, inhale a bit and hold some of it in your nose for about 10 seconds, and then blow out.  I found this technique on my saline bottle’s insert and it supposedly helps the saline solution get into all the nasal cavities.

What type of bottle or neti-pot to use?  I like this brand, but I think they are all good.  Personally, I don’t think that the neti-pots work as well since the spraying action seems to get the saline rinse in my sinuses better than the force of gravity.

– Some advise against continual use of saline washes.  I found this article interesting.  If you use yours year-round, it might not be a good idea.

– I am not a doctor – so don’t use this instead of medical opinion, KO?

If you find yourself in a real pinch and don’t have a saline rinse container, you can mix this up in your hand (of course, make sure it’s clean!)  I actually did that for awhile.  I had a boss from Russia who said that they would do this all the time with a bunch of warm water and salt.  It works but it’s harder to control than the neti pot or spray bottle.

A personal note – and optional additions

Over the past few weeks I have been fighting an illness and I ended up making tons of my own saline nose drops (the stuff you put in neti-pots or saline spray containers, like the one pictured above) with all kinds of variations.

I thought it was allergies, but it turned out to be a doozy of a sinus infection.

Since I was pretty desperate, I added a bunch of different things to my saline bottle to aid in my healing.  Here are the possible additives for the nasal rinse that I read about and tried (I tried all except the honey)

apple cider vinegar (just a drop or two. Don’t make the mistake I did by adding about 1 Tbsp.  Ouch!)
colloidal silver (from a drop to more.)
grapefruit seed extract (GSE) – this is supposed to be a great anti-viral agent.  Just add a few drops.
essential oils (I tried eucalyptus, frankincense, and rosemary.  I am thinking melaleuca or peppermint would be great too.  Just a tip – even one little drop of oregano oil is waaaay too strong.  To read more about the Essential Oils I recommend, check out my Essential Oils series.  It gets pretty dicey :).)
xylitol – some say it aids in making the solution non-stinging.  It is also supposed to kill candida and since a number of sinus infections are thought to be viral, this might be a help as well.
Manuka honey – I didn’t try this but I have read it’s a natural antibiotic that has helped many.  In fact, check out this post on A Natural Remedy that Beat Antibiotics.

More DIY Personal Care Products:

Jojoba Face Wash
Homemade Foaming Soap
Best Eye Makeup Remover
DIY Decongestant (like Vicks Vapo-Rub)
Homemade Sugar Scrub

How about you?  Have you used saline sprays?

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  1. My wife and I use saline nasal flush anytime we have or are coming down with a cold. We make our own solution and use a Neil Med squeeze bottle to irrigate the sinus passages. my favorite way is to hold the head over the sink as I force solution up one nostril at a time while holding the other one closed. This forces the solution all through the nasal passages until it exit the open mouth. I hold it in for 20 seconds then blow it out.
    After a few days @ 3 times per day the post nasal drip is greatly reduced.

    Thanx Ken

  2. I’ve read where adding a probotic to your nasal spray was great for a sinus infection. I tried it and it seemed to work.

    • Yes, I’ve heard that too. Tried it once. I had a bad one and needed more – I think that was when I needed antibacterial essential oils – or maybe Chinese herbs too knocked it out of me. Thanks!

  3. Hadalinda says:

    I had read on another site that you are only supposed to keep this around for two days then make a new batch. Any truth to this? I normally use the pre-made saline nasal spray and I’ve had the same bottle for more than a year since I don’t use it frequently, never dumping it. It didn’t make sense why I’d have to dump it because I make it myself. However, I don’t want to get some kind of nasty infection from keeping it around longer than 2 days if I do this myself….anybody know the score here?

    • As far as the saline mixed w/ water? I would think it could start growing things if you keep it longer. I can’t make claims but I would think you could make a little extra and store in the fridge for a bit but not too long. Is that what you are asking?

      • Hadalinda says:

        Yes, I was asking about making the saline spray and keeping it for more than a couple of days in a bottle that had held commercial saline spray in it. The question comes b/c the bottle from the store that I have has a very long shelf life. I’ve had it for about a year and it doesn’t expire until 10/15.

        • Hmmm..I’m guessing the other saline has something in it to preserve it and/or the expiration is shorter once you use it and/or the ability for contaminants to get in it is lower? What do you think?

          • Hadalinda says:

            There is no indication about expiring more rapidly after opening or using. Perhaps it’s the bottle itself, or something in the ingredients that extends the shelf life. These are the ingredients:
            Purified water, Sodium Choloride 0,65%, Disodium Phosphate, Phenylcarbinol, Monosodium Phosphate, Benzalkonium Chloride. Jeez! I’m glad I wrote that out b/c now I’m sure I want to make my own!

            • Yes, that’s it. The Phenylcarbinol is a bacteriostatic compound and Benzalkonium Chloride is a germ killer too and not, in my opinion, a very safe one. I’m glad you will be making your own too!