Nasal Rinses are Your Secret Weapon for Colds and Allergies

neti pot options

Last Updated on February 14, 2024

Everyone hates the feeling that comes with all-day sinus trouble. Constant itching, headaches, endless sneezing, and sniffling: It’s a never-ending nightmare. Whether you’re fighting cold and flu season or allergies, your sinuses won’t stay clear no matter how much you blow your nose.

Fortunately, there is an answer. Unfortunately, it’s much stranger than you think. If you’ve never seen someone use a Neti Pot, it’s strange and surprisingly effective. This recent self-care craze boils down to nasal rinsing: Your new secret weapon against your sinuses.

What is Nasal Rinsing?

Nasal rinsing is when you run a gentle saline solution through your nostrils. More specifically, in one nostril and out the other. You can do it with all sorts of devices and products, from saline squeeze bottles found at the drug store to more expensive and fancy little teapots you can special order.

Nasal rinsing effectively washes out your nasal passage. Warm saline solution has a lot of benefits. It can:

  • Break up thick mucus so you can breathe again
  • Moisturize dry nasal passages
  • Clear out debris and dust
  • Reduce inflammation if your nose is welling
  • Remove allergens so you can stop sneezing
  • Help with post-nasal drip down the back of your throat

It’s not hard to see why so many people are trying nasal rinsing. No matter how strange the practice may seem, it’s also pretty miraculous compared to spending the day drowning in your sinuses or sneezing without end.

Protect Yourself During Cold and Flu Season

One of the most important benefits of nasal rinsing is that it can help you stay safe and resist sinus infection as cold and flu season rages on. Early to mid-spring is often when most people get sick, just when they think they are in the clear.

Suppose you feel a cold coming on, or you’ve already caught another round of the flu. In that case, nasal rinsing can help you fight a sinus infection by keeping your nasal passages clean. At the same time, your immune system does the rest so that your recovery is more comfortable with free and easy nasal breathing.

The Many Types of Nasal Rinsing Products

If you’re considering trying nasal irrigation for yourself, there are several different products you can use to make this easier. Most people cannot perform nasal irrigation without spouts for the saline at just the right angle. Fortunately, there’s a wide range to choose from in both design and price.

Squeeze Bulbs

If you’re feeling DIY, a simple squeeze bulb of saline might do the trick. This is by far the most affordable option, but not the tidiest. Squeeze bulbs like MediChoice can be had for less than $10.

Saline Nasal Sprays

The most common type of nasal rinsing comes in the form of nasal sprays. NielMed makes a popular version. These are saline squeeze bottles with a cap that fits in one nostril. People have many techniques for using saline nose sprays, but the nasal rinsing technique we will outline below also works well.

Neti Pots

Neti pots are special long-spout little plastic or ceramic teapots designed to pour saline up one nostril. Neti pots have become trendy and are a cute addition to your bathroom counter gear. However, it is imperative to clean, rinse, and dry your Neti pot thoroughly, as some have found a mold issue that is not good for your sinuses.

The SinuCleanse Neti pot has over 25k reviews averaging over 4.5 stars.

Sinus Rinse Bottle

The Neti Pot Sinus Rinse Bottle is a marriage between the nasal spray and the Neti pot. It is a reusable squeeze bottle with a long angled spout tip. You hold it upside down and squeeze to administer saline solution to your nostrils. This design is much easier to clean and less likely to develop mold.

Navage Nasal Irrigation System

The top-of-the-line and most expensive version of nasal irrigation is the Navage Nasal Irrigation System. This fancy device jets saline from the top tank up one nostril and uses suction to pull it out the other nostril into the bottom tank. It’s like a steam cleaner for your nose, and you don’t have to tip your head sideways to use it.

How to Use Nasal Irrigation – Step by Step

Nasal irrigation, as we’ve said, is an unusual process. It’s not something most people will come up with on their own, so we’ve put together a helpful step-by-step guide for that heavenly relief of congestion and sinus itching using a saline wash.

  1. Prepare Your Saline Solution
  • Start with your saline solution. You can either boil 1/2 tsp salt into 2 cups of water or buy saline solution from the store.
  • Fill your chosen nasal irrigation device with warm (not cold or boiling hot) saline solution. Room temperature is OK.
  1. Tip Your Head Sideways
  • Tilt your head sideways over the sink. You want your nose and chin at about the same level, parallel to the floor. This is important. It feels silly, but do not skip this step.
  1. Breathe Through Your Mouth
  • Open your mouth, and remember to breathe through your mouth, not your nose. Your nose is about to be full of saline.
  1. Pour / Squirt Saline Into Your Upper Nostril
  • Administer the saline to the nostril facing the ceiling. Pour with your Neti Pot or squeeze your bottle until saline fills one nostril.
  1. Let the Saline Run Out Your Lower Nostril
  • Breathe through your mouth as the saline runs up one nostril and out the other.
  • Some saline may go down your throat and into your mouth. That is not fun, but perfectly safe.
  1. Blow, Spit, and Rinse
  • Blow your nose and spit out any saline that gets in your mouth. Rinse and gargle until you feel better.

Breathe Free and Clear

Once this process is done, you will probably notice that your breathing and sinus comfort have greatly improved. It’s an unusual sensation at first, but many people are quickly hooked on nasal irrigation for the relief that it brings.

The Benefits of Sinus Irrigation

Now that you have mastered sinus irrigation, there are a number of ways that it can help you stay healthy during the end of the cold and flu season and beyond.

Prevent Sinus Infections

Clean sinuses are less likely to become infected. This is because you are washing away infectious particles that might otherwise invade your tender nasal membranes to cause inflammation and worse.

Keep You From Continually Getting Sick

Some people are susceptible to catching the same virus over and over. Sinus irrigation will wash the virus out of your nose so you don’t re-catch the illness right after getting better.

Treat Allergies

Sinus irrigation can remove pollen and other little allergen particles from your nose so you can stop sneezing for good.

Rehydrate Dry Sinuses

A dry nose can be just as painful as a runny one. Silus irrigation carries moisture to your nasal membranes even if the air where you spend your days is arid.

Embrace the Neti Pot Craze for Yourself

Whether you choose a Neti Pot or one of the many other (easier to clean) designs, nasal irrigation is a miracle worker. It can help out your immune system and keep your breathing clear no matter what challenges your nose faces today. 

Like it? Share with your friends!