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.

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 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?

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.

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    Speak Your Mind


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

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

  3. 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!!!

  4. 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!

  5. 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?

  6. 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.

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

  8. 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!

  9. 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!