Saline solution is a saltwater mixture that can easily be made at home. The saline solution can be used to irrigate the nasal passages and sinuses to help wash away mucus, bacteria, and viruses. Like handwashing, nasal “washing” helps reduce the amount of the virus, bacteria, allergens, etc that the
immune system has to fight. It also helps keep the nose moisturized and reduces common symptoms of colds, sinus infections, and allergies, such as postnasal drip, runny nose, and nasal congestion.
- 1 cup (240 mL) distilled water or sterilized tap water
- 0.5 tsp (2.5 g) salt (recommend Himalayan salt)
- 0.5 tsp (2.5 g) baking soda
- 0.5 tsp (2.5 g) Manuka honey (optional)
- Add distilled water or sterilized tap water to a clean container. To sterilize tap water, boil the water on high for at least 5 minutes and then let it cool
- Add salt to the water (can add slightly less or slightly more as tolerated)
- Add baking soda
- Add honey (optional)
- Mix all ingredients together
- Use solution or store in a closed container. Your homemade saline solution can be stored in the refrigerator or at room temperature for three days.
How to Use the Saline Solution for a Nasal Irrigation/Sinus Rinse:
- Fill a squeeze bottle or nasal cleansing pot (such as Neti Pot) with the saline solution.
- Keeping your head over a sink or bath, insert the tip of the squeeze bottle or Neti Pot into your nostril and gently squeeze or pour the solution into the right nostril. The saline wash ideally will go in one nostril and out the other nostril. Repeat on the left.
- Repeat several times per day or as desired.
- To avoid contamination, each time you use the squeeze bottle or Neti Pot, pour only the amount you are going to use.
- Sterilize the squeeze bottle or Neti Pot between each use. Wash with dish soap followed by vinegar and water to sterilize the bottle, and then wipe the tip with alcohol swab.