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.

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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:

{Please note there are affiliate links in this post. If you click on them and make a purchase, I might make a commission. Your support is much appreciated and helps keep this free resource up and running.}

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.

Water Temperature –  I prefer my water a little warmer than just lukewarm as it seems to help the salt dissolve better, but please take care to not overheat the water.

– 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 be helpful against candida and since a number of sinus infections are thought to be viral, this might be a help as well, as xylitol apparently has some anti-viral properties.  (Source)
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?

Of course, none of this is to be taken as medical advice and is for entertainment purposes only.  Please consult with your physician before trying any of the remedies here or making any changes to your supplements or diet.


    Speak Your Mind


  1. What an amazing photo at the top of your post!

  2. Your additions are a real eye opener for me, thanks. Any tips on getting little ones to use it, by chance??? I used to buy the kids version in the can with the nozzle that “power” shoots. We used to make a game out if it. Both thought it was really funny until they were about 2 or so, then no more.

    • Hmmm… My allergist had a funny little saline thing that was a fishy attached to a syringe. I can’t find it on the internet so I don’t know where to get it.

      Any readers have any ideas? My youngest was asking to use it this time b/c he saw me and my oldest needing it. Funny, huh? A kid begging for a saline wash? I know I have had to be really careful to be gentle so I don’t hurt their ears w/ too much pressure – and also to be excited when the “junk” comes out :-).

  3. I’ve been making my own rinse for years, too. I always add the baking soda for proper pH balance–otherwise I find it really stings. And I’ve only used up to 1/2 tsp per cup of water, but otherwise exactly the same. I’ve taken to boiling my water (even if filtered) since reading about those amoebas, though!!

  4. One of my friends recently told me her 6 year old is still antibiotic free. I think that’s awesome, especially when so many doctors shove them at you.

  5. Wonderful photos. Found you from Frugal Friday! Thanks for sharing. I try to get my kids to use nose drops and it varies by season. I just bought new bottles (which do not spray up, so not happy.) I should have kept the old ones and refilled them. I think I’m going to wash and sanitize the old ones that work and then try your recipe. Thanks again for sharing some insight on staying healthy this winter!

  6. After suffering terrible allergies growing up, I’ve made and used my own saline wash for years. The one I make does not include baking soda (although I may try that!), but does include a few drops of essentials oils, such as eucalyptus, menthol, tea tree oil and lavender. And boy – does it work! I haven’t had a sinus infection or cold in about 3 years and although I can still “feel” the allergies, they just don’t seem as bad. Thanks for sharing –

    • Thanks! I am still fighting this so I am going to try the tea tree. :)

    • What is your exact mix of essential oils and what kind do you use if you don’t mind me asking? Do you use just regular tea tree oil or should it be a fancy essential oil? Thanks! I have had horrible sinus problems for 11 years now.

      • Hi there. Sorry – I’ve been swamped with an icky personal issue and now my son got really sick. I used 2-4 drops eucalyptus and 2 drops rosemary and 1 frankincense. But occasionally I used tea tree as well. I don’t know what you mean about “fancy essential oil” but I am careful to buy quality. Now that I have done my research. There’s a lot of monkey business going on in the industry.

  7. Hey sista…I am right there with you! Suffering from a killer cold and sinus infection on this end for the last 3 days. A little better today. Oh boy, I was a hot mess yesterday.

    So just a few comments/thoughts

    So I used to get sinus infections 7 or 8 times a year (usually brought on by terrible allergies that I suffered from years long). It all started when I turned 20 and moved a few hours away here in California (a few hours south I should say) to the Central Valley. Now, if any of your readers are from Northern California, they KNOW the horrific allergies that can come with this region. It was the combination of agriculture, smog, other pollutants, and pollen that put my body into a tail spin (until 6 years later after I was diagnosed with Crohns). Anyway, I was put on antiobiotics each time I got a sinus infection. I didn’t know any better. I think back and cringe.

    After my Crohns diagnoses I stopped eating dairy and gluten (and soy, cane-sugar, etc). And my allergies vastly improved!

    I still get allergies but only twice a year: during the spring and for some reason during this time (the fall) – probably Candida related. I now let these things run their course and do just about everything you mentioned above (I used to take colloidal silver and I still do a little of the oregano oil..but that stuff is so nasty it’s hard to ingest as an oil, they have caps, but they all contain soy, so I started making my own caps of oregano oil and cinnamon oil). :-)

    I like my Neti pot, but only use it 1x per day when I have an infection. Once I overused it and it made things worse. I’ve been thinking about putting some GSE in my Neti, so your post was a good reminder to try!

    I actually drink 15 drops of grapefruit seed extract with 5 ounces of water 3x each day with an infection and it helps zap it (it killed my strep throat last month within 4 days)!

    I also do ACV and eucalyptus is a must at night. As you know I heal my kiddos at home when they are ill, and never take them in for a cold or flu. They will just leave with some useless antibiotic. Many of these simple techniques can really ease the discomfort of a cold/sinus infection. Many teas are so helpful such as chamomile! And I have to say, eucalyptus works wonders at night opening the nasal passages!

    Other things I do for me when ill with cold/sinus infections:

    1. Sleep in a sitting position. I know this sounds crazy, but I sleep on the couch literally sitting up. This helps move the phlegm away from my head/face.
    2. Drink a lot of water
    3. Stop ingesting most forms of sugar (all sweeteners, and most high fructose fruits), some grains are okay, but the point it so keep the sugar away from the bacteria!
    4. I take double vitamin C (I use a buffered variety that is gentle on my stomach).
    5. No caffeine – even in teas! I drink 1 or 2 cups of gentle teas such as Red Raspberry Leaf and Rooibos.
    6. I also take probiotics
    7. Rest, rest, and rest the first few days, then gentle walking and increased movement to get the blood moving and phlegm out!
    8. Thyme oil caps are FANTASTIC! Just be sure to read warnings- herbs are powerful. :-)

    Okay, wow, this was a long comment. Just had to chime in as I’m also feeling under the weather.

    Have a great rest of your weekend, Adrienne…and I hope that YOU are feeling well (better).


    • Thank you, Amber! The GSE comment is very interesting. I used to use that for candida, but then I heard about some processing issues. Not sure what to think. I have been almost allergy free but it seems this was a bad infection or something brewing. Very disconcerting, honestly. I feel so weak to have succumbed like this.

      Can I ask where you are buying your capsules? I was told to get bovine ones to avoid processing issues there as well.

      Thanks!! I am off to check out your hot cocoa post now :-).

  8. Hi Adrienne,

    I will have to look into the GSE – did not know about the processing issues. Here is what I use:

    I’m so sorry to hear you’re not well. It sounds like you’re pretty sick lady!! Sending healing vibes your way.

    And as far as the capsules…I purchased mine so long ago (at my local Natural Foods Coop), so I don’t even remember the brand. They came in a plastic bag with a white label (I do remember that). I transferred them into a glass jar after purchasing. They have lasted forever. If I come across the brand I will let you know…but like the GSE, I did not know there was an issues with processing. Something else for me to research.

    Get better!


    • This is what someone told me about capsules: “100% Kosher Bovine capsules — you don’t want the veggies because of the toxins.” So maybe we could both try to find these at a good price :-).

  9. Thanks for the tips and recipes Adrienne. I use the store bought ones often. I have a lot of health problems I have allergies and have sinus infections often.

    I found you on Sundae Scoop. I plan on coming back to read more of your articles.

  10. Good to know about the distilled water. I’ve read this recipe before and I got a free neti pot but now I’ll be using distilled water lol!

  11. I used to keep chronic sinus infections which would turn almost immediately into bronchitis. I was always on anti-biotics. A neti pot changed my life! I preach its wonders all the time.

    I was curious about something, though. In your picture it looks as though you made a quantity of it to store. If that is the case, could you post the recipe to make in quantity? I love the idea of not having to break out the salt and baking soda every time, but having it already made up. Thanks for a great post!!

    • Sorry this took so long to respond to. I’ve been going back through my comments and found this. I don’t store it. I just make it as I go.

    • I keep a supply on hand all the time and I mix it 8 parts Himalayan salt to 1 part baking soda. Use about 1/8th tsp per 8 oz. purified water, in my Neil Med bottle. Mix straqnger if you don’t mind the strong salt taste.
      Works great for us.

  12. Sheila Simmons says:

    I boil my water and put in a gallon jug. After hearing about the brain eating amoebas, I started boiling my water. I also spray my nasal injector with lysol once a month.

    • Christine says:

      I have a friend who used to boil her water also, so I had to comment. Boiling allows the pure water to escape into the air as steam; catching it and letting it condense back into water would give you distilled water. The water left in the pot contains the toxins, chemicals, parasites, anything you want to get rid of. It’s the crud left in my counter-top distiller that I have to descale every week. You are way (way) better off buying a gallon of distilled water from the store if you don’t have access to distilled or reverse osmosis water at your home.

  13. This is a very interesting post! My family and I are really blessed not to suffer from colds or flu very often, so I’ve never used a saline nose wash, but should I ever need one I will definitely bear your advice – and this helpful recipe – in mind.

    • Hi April! I haven’t been sick in so long – but this one has really been a doozy. Take care!

      • For colds and phlegm, I have a great solution that works for me: Imix up my neti-pot blend, then take a tall glass, add about 1.5 “ of ACV, organic, raw of course, salt himalayan pink AND Celtic, put about 2” of boiling water in it, and fill with cold filtered water. I usually add three drops of colloidal silver and/or goldenseal extract. Then I gargle with this several times before using the neti-pot, and then alternate between gargling and neti-pot. It works for me! I find that many times the “gunk–phlegm”– is lodged not in my nose or sinus, but the back of my throat, and this gargle helps release it.

  14. hello! adrienne – next time you get sick get your hands on some monolaurin. or better yet, get it before so you can nip it in the bud when you feel like you are coming down with something. it’s an extract of the lauric acid component in coconut oil. it penetrates the lipid coating of bacteria and viruses and croaks them dead. google it; you’ll find good stuff.

    my husband and i tsp of salt? that sounds like a LOT. there’s not nearly that much in each packet. ??? sometimes my husband will use two packets (maybe 1/4 tsp total between the two) and that’s almost too much for him. i cannot imagine using a whole teaspoon…. hth! anja

    • Thanks – I’ll check it out. I don’t know abt the salt – I’ve used even more than that and it really helps get the ick out :).

      • just for haha’s, i measured the packet this morning. between the salt and baking soda, it’s 1/4 tsp total. since it’s something my husband does every day, maybe it’s best to leave it at 1/4 tsp unless he has an issue?

        i did read the article you linked re: perhaps not doing it every day due to increased incidence of sinus infections. that has not been the case here. my husband used to get 2 to 3 every year until i convinced him to try sinus flushing. that was over 4 years ago and he has not had a sinus infection since. in fact, he gets into trouble right away with stuffiness if he does NOT flush every day. i hope you are feeling better! anja

        • Thanks – yes the article was interesting, huh? I don’t know what to think. Maybe every other day? :). I’d leave it lower if I were you if he’s doing it everyday. When I had really bad sinus issues I would use a TON and it really helped. Stung, but it helped.

  15. Thank you so much for this very useful info. My daughter suffered through a terrible cold and 2 rounds of antibiotics and still had awful sticky green goop coming out of her nose, until someone told be to try a saline spray. Her infection cleared in less than 3 days! I was amazed. I just had one question. Once you make the solution, how long does it keep?
    Thanks again. Hope you’re feeling better.

    • I use it immediately. If you need less, just make less. I am. I am really curious about what happened to me but I am suspicious about heavy metals and their possible implication in all of this. Thanks!

  16. Andor Zensko says:

    The first time I did this I was very skeptical about it working, but I was also desperate. Since I didn’t think it would work I wanted to go cheap. I went to the drug store and bought one of those baby medicine droppers, the bigger kind and mixed up my own solution with sea salt and water. It worked so well it turned me into a believer. Now I do not do this all the time, call me crazy but shooting salted water into my sinus passages is just not something I look forward to doing, but when I need it I know what to do. So my cost in this “neti pot” this is $1.99, because I already had the sea salt in my kitchen.

  17. Thanks so much for this! I did personally find the full teaspoon a bit intense for my sinuses, so I may go for the half next time, but this was super helpful since paying $20 for saline refills just isn’t going to cut it for me anymore. Cheers!!

  18. I discovered sinus rinsing about the time when I was dealing with off and on sinusitis. After sitting up all night not being able to sleep from intense pain, I discovered posts about cayenne pepper on EarthClinic. Desperate, I used a pinch of cayenne in with my rinse…gotta admit for a minute the pain was actually worse but within MINUTES the sinusitis pain subsided and I was able to sleep.
    Normal rinsing really helps during allergy season but if feel sinuses might be getting bad I use the tiniest pinch of cayenne in with rinse and have not had sinusitis in two years.

  19. Wonderful article. I had just been using tap water, but will now use boiled since I read about the ameobas (spelling?). I use 1/2 tsp sea salt & pinch of baking soda :)
    Thank you so much!

  20. So wish I had read the entire post before making some and using it on myself and son. I used hot tap water and now I’m freaking out about the brain eating amoeba. I can’t even bring myself to watch the documentary. Boiling water now to make a new batch.

  21. old paestinian says:

    I used to hear from my old people that they use clear lemon juice directly sniffed in the nose to help fighting cold and sinus infections.
    I tried it my self ,well it will burn your brain like hell, though I applied it once more for how relieving it was.

    wishing all people healthy and happy life

  22. This is great! I wish I could do a saline nose wash but I am very funny about water in my nose, I just don’t think I could do it. My husband can though, so I printed this out. Do you have any tips on using this for toddlers? I guess drops would be the best…

  23. Thanks so much! I love that you responded to all 3 of my questions today! I know bloggers are super busy (which is why I can never seem to get one up and running even though I am a writer!) but I hate when my comment goes into comment abyss and I never heard back. So its refreshing that you actually wrote back! And thanks for the link, you deserve whatever small affiliate kickback you may get with all of this *wonderful* info you put together for us! :)

    • You are too kind! I am swamped but believe me, there are comments in the abyss. I need to work my way through them. Some are odd, some contentious and others have lots of links in them and I am trying to sort out what to do w/ them. Thanks!

  24. Do you have to have baking soda if not , hat would be a good mixture to clear me up, i can’t breathe out of my nose

  25. Im miserable at the moment and have been using afrin but it no longer works for me
    Im not a believer in this but i need something, im desperate to try anything

  26. Wellll I did what you said, but I had to go cold turkey on the Afrin nasal spray before anything can help, I started using saline twice a day, and I guess it helped repair what the afrin messed up, I had horrible nose bleeds, but the saline thing actually worked , and I am not reliant on Afrin or saline, I still use it every other day to clean me out and make sure this doesnt happen agian …. I have a very helpful hint to add to this IF YOU BECOME DEPENDED ON NASAL DECONGESTANTS , GO COLD TURKEY , HE’S YOU WILL BE MISERABLE FOR THE FIRST COUPLE DAYS, BUT THEN USE A MOISTURIZING SALINE MIXTURE SUCH AS THE ONE ABOVE , IT REPAIRS THE DAMAGE FROM THE NASAL SPRAYS LIKE AFRIN…… I used this exact mixture and went to my doctor because it did burn and he sent me home with a nasal moisturizing drop to add to my bottle of saline

    My case was very severe, i hope you all never end up with this issue

  27. I have had the same sinus infection for over six years, and have been using saline washes every day, and sometimes twice a day. I tried manuka honey added to the wash with little or no results. I had the infection cultured and found that I have a very drug resistant bacterium. I had been prescribed many different antibiotics none of which worked, but one of which did give me a horrible case of C. difficile. So when I realized that no antibiotic would work, I went back to the drawing board. I began to use Xlear (xylitol) in a saline wash, and have been slowly starving the infection. The problem is that Xlear nasal wash is very expensive, and I just could not afford to buy enough of it to use it as often as needed. I purchased the xylitol as a powder and have heard that adding it to the saline nasal wash is a good approach and affordable. I also heard that adding eucalyptus oil is beneficial. My problem is that I don’t know how much of what to use. I have been using 1/4 tsp of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of soda to 8 ounces of water. How much eucalyptus oil and xylitol powder should I add? (Xlear refuses to tell anyone how much to use as they wish to sell their nasal spray.)

    • There are a lot of recipes on the internet, but here is one: 1 cup of water (8 ounces)
      1/4 tsp salt
      1/2 tsp of xylitol crystals
      1/4 tsp baking soda
      4 drops of grapefruit seed extract

      I would think the euc could be subbed for the GSE, but I can’t medically advise.

      • Thanks, Adrienne. Most of the other “recipes” that I received used a full tablespoon of Xylitol per 8 ounces of water with the saline. I will try yours with the 1/2 tsp xylitol.

  28. Hello! I use a Berkey water filter and after hearing about those amoebas I was too afraid to try the nasal sprayer someone brought to me here in Guatemala (even though my nose has been plugged for probably 30 years). Do you think that Berkey water would be okay (at least if we got new filters, ours are 2 years old) or is it better to buy distilled water (and hope some company doesn’t just fill it up with tap water… stuff like that happens here). Thoughts? And is plain sea salt fine? My daughter is coming for a visit (WOO HOO!) and can bring me some!

    • I’ve heard that Berkey is good enough to filter out pond water, so I would think so. Plain sea salt is fine. You live in a gorgeous place I am sure. :)

  29. Just an FYI, I type reports for an ENT surgeon and she is always telling people to use a saline rinse- salt and baking soda are not going to hurt you longterm. It’s definitely the trend in the medical community because it has so much benefit. Doing it often will keep the inflammation down and keep the bugs and colds away as well. In the winter months, we get a nasal sprayer and spray colloidal silver once a week and neither of us have had a cold in many years.

  30. I have made my own saline for years – recommended by my Dr. when pregnant with my first and had a sinus infection. Works great. I actually use a baby nose syringe to squirt it up there. I like the kind that has a plug in the base so I can sterilize it afterwards and really drain it dry so it’s ready for the next infection.

  31. SuperMario says:

    I know this post is almost a year old, but I was curious about the suggestion of using ‘Real Salt’. That’s what we have been using as ‘salt’ when need for things, but it does have tiny bits of other minerals in it. Do those pose any issues with using the salt for a sinus rinse? Thanks.

  32. I’m curious about pre-making the solution. Is there any harm to making a gallon of this stuff and using it until it’s gone?

    • I think the issue would be the water not getting contaminated. I wouldn’t do it personally.

    • Here’s my recipe:

      32 oz. distilled water
      12 drops grapefruit seed extract
      1/2 tsp sea salt
      3/4 tsp baking soda

      I keep this for use until used up. The grapefruit seed extract keeps it safe!

  33. Can you use it as a spray, like literally. I have an awesome gag reflex that kicks in with the wash, and surely using a spray 2-3 times a day would help by keeping it moist?

  34. I’ve used manuka honey, and recommend it. You need to get it from a reputable supplier though, there is a lot of counterfeit, and the real thing isn’t cheap. I use a wee knob of Comvita woundcare honey – not the one with wax in it. It seem to nuke infections, is a bit soothing, and even tastes ok as a bonus.

  35. Great info! Can’t express enough how much we LOVE collodial silver in our house! We use it for everything-from keeping milk to last longer, fights acne, yeast infections amd sinus infections. Last winter as soon as any of us started to feel stuffy we would sniff up a few drops of silver and a dropper under our tongue. Even worked for stomach flu. Great stuff

  36. I swear by the neti pot and it has gotten me off anti-biotics, too, after yrs of chronic sinus infections. I’ve made my own saline rinse and also bought the pre-made packs at Costco b/c I like the convenience and the cost isn’t that high when you buy in bulk. HOWEVER, and I just learned this last year – you MUST always use distilled water or boil your water and cool it. There were deaths last year that officials believe were linked to neti’ing with unboiled tap water. They are rare, but there have been a handful, so why take chances! Also, be sure the water is cooled sufficiently once boiled b/c if it’s too hot and you’re using a plastic pot, as shown here, microscopic particles of the plastic will get in the water. There are non-plastic neti pots on the market. I used to use the one shown here and then started noticing small patches of mold around the screw top from it not drying thoroughly and you don’t want to be pouring that into your sinuses either!!

  37. I LOVE nasal saline rinses; they have helped me tremendously and I use them a lot. And I like your website. But as a pediatrician (and someone who did research for a nutritional supplement company before I went to medical school), I feel that people who are recommending GSE should know the facts about it. Yes, it has been shown to kill many viruses and well as bacteria. However, it is well known in the scientific literature that GSE is contaminated with many chemicals such as benzethonium chloride, benzalkonium chloride, methylparabens, 4-hydroxybenzoic acid esters, benzoic acid, and salicylic acid. In fact 18 different preservatives have been found in GSE. A vast majority of commercial preparations have significant amounts of synthetic chemicals. These synthetic and toxic chemicals are more than likely responsible for the bactericidal and viricidal properties attributed to GSE. But don’t take my word for this- anyone can look up these scientific abstracts on pubmed ( and search “grapefruit seed extract”. A couple of good articles are “Survey of synthetic disinfectants in grapefruit seed extract and its compounded products” by researchers in Japan, and one of the best “The effectiveness of processed grapefruit-seed extract as an antibacterial agent: II. Mechanism of action and in vitro toxicity” (in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine) which showed that the tissue concentrations at which GSE was bactericidal were also toxic.

    It is too bad that the alternative health community is still touting GSE as a cure all when there is much reputable research in peer-reviewed journals from many countries that have come to the same conclusion about GSE.

    • I did read some info about GSE and didn’t know what to think about it. Is it all of the GSE or just some? And why is it happening? I am curious b/c I have seen it touted by many in the health industry whom I respect. Thanks.

  38. Rhoda Edwards says:

    Dear Adrienne, I just love your site it is choke full of so much good stuff. I don’t always get the chance to thank you (so much going on) but I do have some time now so I want you to know that your work is highly appreciated. God bless you ma’am, and thank you. I will be doing the Citrus Body Wash this weekend and oh the free e-books are sooo coool. What more can I want?

  39. I have a question about the saline solution… do you wash the spray bottle or neti pot in regular tap water and let air dry? Would that be ok, or do you need to wash it in distilled or purified water as well?

  40. Have you ever tried Nasopure? It encourages natural sinus drainage while avoiding that choking/drowning, my head is full of water sensation. Just wondering. Happy to share the book I wrote on the subject.

    When the correct salt mixture is used, scientific studies support washing can remove 80% of the allergens!
    that means 80% less meds for our children and our parents!

  41. Thanks for this. Hubby and are having a rough time at the moment and those boxes of nasal rinse powder are expensive.

    Just a quick comment: I’m guessing you grew up when antibiotics were the “miracle drug.” Either that or your doctor was an idiot. Antibiotics do NOTHING for viruses. I’m no doctor but even I know that.

  42. Hi all, just stumbled across this website. I have been suffering from severe sinusitis and allergic rhinitis for ages now. Nothing has helped!! :( I have started drinking a lot more rooibos tea and even read about snorting cold rooibos tea which I have done for 2 days now so will wait and see what happens. All I know is that sinusitis has started to take over my life and has caused lots of pain, tears and anger :(

  43. Thanks so much for this! Very helpful! I live overseas and cannot link to the brand of bottle you use–can you pls send me that info?
    Also, can you more explain how to “hold ” the solution in the cavities? I am not finding that easy.

    • Hi there. So you mean you can’t click on the link?

      I inhale the solution and you can feel it fill the “farther back” part of your sinuses. I hold it there (don’t exhale) for about 10 seconds and then blow it out. Hope that helps!

  44. Hi Adrienne! Thanks for this! my family has been using this for the past years. A combination of boiled water + baking soda + Himalayan sea salt really works for us :) I also keep an extra container with colloidal silver for severe condition. Thanks so much!

    • You are so welcome! Do you think there is a significant benefit to the Him salt? I have been thinking about it but it’s so much more expensive!

      • Himalayan salt is the only one we ever use. My wife keeps a small bottle in her purse for when we go to the restaurants for meals. We buy it on line in bulk. With it you get almost 80 minerals that you don’t get in table salt. The table salt manufacturers take out all these minerals a sell them separately in over priced supplements. Pay the extra for the Him. salt, IT WORTH IT.

  45. Very good story but you need to know that all of us in the US are being inundated with antibiotics on a daily basis unless you are a vegan that doesn’t eat cheese.

    The #1 cause for antibiotic resistance is because our animals are being fed them daily. It is not because people are using more antibiotics than before. In fact, generally speaking our population is using less.

    If we want to reduce antibiotic resistance, we need to press our political leaders into forcing farmer to stop feeding animal antibiotics. They do it because the animals get bigger and are less likely to be sick. We on the other hand suffer the consequences.

    • I am very careful not to eat conventional meats and right now I eat no dairy. When I did it was almost exclusively organic / pastured. Do you have data on how much antibiotics we get from foods like this? I have done some activism on this front but would like to do more. I do not believe that people are using them less, however, especially since there are so many free programs out there, but you might be right. When I was a young girl it might have been somewhat more prevalent.

      Thanks – I think we need to look at all angles but if you do have data I would be interested in it.

  46. 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

  47. 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!

  48. 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!

  49. carol hawley says:

    Thankyou so much for the directions for the sinus rinse,now I can make my own each time without ever running out of it.

  50. carol hawley says:

    Do I use 8 oz’s of solution for each nostril? Thanking you for your reply.

  51. Can u use those infant Nadal syringes if you don’t have a bottle

  52. Is it OK to warm the DIY saline solution in a microwave?

  53. woke up this morning out of those saline packets and found u online. thanks so much!!! just made your saline solution and am so happy I didn’t have to leave the house! will use this from now on! with allergy season coming for me and I get a lot of migraines {have one this morning} I need to use the rinse a lot. thanks again!!!

  54. You picture shows what i would assume a batch of your Saline mix, what ratios do you use and how much for the pot?
    Husby suffers from Allergies, and i have a Cold right now… :(

    • In the photo is a neti pot that I don’t use much at all. I typically use the spray bottle pictured and I fill that w/ 1 cup of water w/ the measurements in the post – thanks and hope you feel better!

  55. I’m sorry, but some of this is not good info. Do not make the solution as warm as you can tolerate. It should be luke warm. Any warmer than that and you are going to be agitating or damaging your sinus membrane which is very sensitive to start out, and now even more sensitive since your having trouble with your sinuses, which is why you are reading this page. Next, avoid putting vinegar, honey, and other foods up your nose. Your begging for an infection, like this author here got. The idea is to move along thick mucus and help clear it out bkz if it sits too long, it may grow bacteria, causing a sinus infection. Don’t think of it as sterilizing your sinuses, or killing bacteria. You just want to assist your body in getting rid of the build up of mucous.

    • Hi and thanks for the note – I adjusted the post to reflect what I meant. Of course really warm / hot water is a problem. As for the vinegar and honey, that advice is in many places on the internet but I do appreciate your concern. I had the infection in the first place which is why I was trying to treat my sinuses. When I just have normal sinus issues I only use the salt. Thanks.

      You have an interesting name – is that your real name? I find it interesting that folks who challenge what I write often don’t use their real names. Odd, don’t you think?

  56. I wouldn’t use what is called “sea salt.” All salt is sea salt–mined salt comes from salt deposited when the seas covering the earth receded millions of years ago. What people refer to as “sea salt” these days comes from evaporating coastal ocean waters that might or might not be filled with various man-made chemicals, sewage and other pollutants. “Sea salt” is more likely to be polluted than mined salt.

    • Interesting. Do you have any data on that? I would love to read more – thanks!

      • Hi, there’s lots of info online about it. Just search sea salt pollution or something similar. Many coastal waters are highly polluted. Some sea salt is OK, some isn’t. Unfortunately it is very difficult to tell where a particular container of sea salt comes from. Because of this, it is more likely that a random container of “sea” salt will be contaminated in some way than will be a random container of mined salt. Of course, both “sea” salt and regular mined salt have many opportunities for additional pollution in the extraction, shipping, and packaging processes. But mined salt was laid down millions of years before modern pollutants that now infest many of our coastal areas even existed.

  57. Thanks for the great info. Is that spray bottle refillable ?

  58. Vanessa says:

    Very useful!
    Have had sinus issues the past few days, so painful my top teeth ache so bad that I couldn’t sleep. I tried out your recipe in the shower, green chunks came a-flyin out! I used boiled water, no bottled water handy….. except I was in so much pain I couldn’t wait for the water to cool… and added some cold tap water. Hopefully I won’t get amoebas… hah.

    The pain got worse though, and I buckled and went to urgent care… and got antibiotics. I’ve never had a sinus infection that hurts THIS bad, my sinuses are on fire, feel like I want to rip my own teeth out. At least I know what to do NEXT time I feel any sort of cold/sinus issue coming on! Very helpful =) Thank you!

  59. Maybe the price for NeilMed rinse varies by area because I just paid $7 for 50 packets. To me, that’s a good price.

    • Hi there, I am sure that it does vary by area. But I guess I still would rather make it my own – do you have the amt of weight in those 50 packets? I can’t find it. Thanks!

  60. I have difficulty using a pot it syringe and turning my head over a drink and getting the solution to go in one nostril and out the other. I tried something different this morning…. I got on my inversion machine and rotated head down and sprayed solution in my nostrils. I stayed in that position for a minute or so then returned upright. It seemed to work great. What do you think of this?

    • I can’t comment about it medically – but I love the spray bottle b/c you can get the water solution in better. I can’t imagine what you did is a problem since the spray bottle indicates you can inhale the solution into your cavities to help drain them, but I can’t be sure. Thanks!

  61. I spoke to a pharmacist who said that one cup of warm saline rinse is not enough. So, I use about 3 cups to 1 quart each time I rinse. When I have a sinus infection, I use it about 4 times per day. I notice that if I do not rinse every 4 hours,I will reduce the infection and then it will build back up again in between rinses. I have been able to clear away 4 or 5 sinus infections using this method.

  62. Nasal rinsing. If you get the balance of salt to water just right you can not feel it sting and it does not feel choking. A little bit too much or a little bit short stings. So approximately a flat teaspoon (5ml) per 240 ml water. Bicarbonate of Soda, optional extra, don’t know quite what it does. The squeeze bottle you show is good and the little sachets are good to get you started as the mix is just right.

    An american called Phil showed me how to use salt solution from an eye=dropper in Istanbul! He used to hold his head back and completely fill his nostrils and keep it there for a minute or so. I since developed that a little further.

    You know how to gargle in your throat? Well you can also gargle in your Pharynx… or is it phargal?
    If you do it right, you can hold your head back and still breathe while you do it…. sounds weird but you know you are cleared out when you can do this and it’s easier than you think. Take your time and only half-fill your nose with your head back, too much and it spills all over your face, too little and you can’t get the effect… experiment and good luck. (I mix with boiled and filtered water through a BRITA Maxta filter).
    As you say its a life saver.
    All my best, Merlin.

  63. VERY important to use Distilled Water.

  64. country grams says:

    FYI, your information states “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.” Perhaps I am mis-reading, but the implication is that candida is a virus. Candida is a fungus, that likes to live in dark, moist places. Too many antibiotics can cause candida in any part of the body that has that environment. I have had a fungal infection in my sinuses and I was very, very sick. Cleansing the nasal passages might be helpful to prevent airborne viruses.

    • Hi there. Sorry for the delay in responding. What I meant is that it might help either w/ candida or a virus. I fixed the post to better reflect that. Thanks for pointing that out!

  65. You said something about the weight in prepared packets. I calculated box of 50 Niel-Med packs. Comes out to Approx. (.13 oz per pack). Not exact b/c I weighed whole box then just divided by 50.

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