Neti Pot Know-How: Are You Rinsing the Wrong Way?

by | Updated: December 3rd, 2016 | Read time: 2 minutes

Have you ever used a neti pot? If you’re suffering from sinus congestion or a drippy nose from allergies or a lingering cold, this little tool can offer big relief. Used for thousands of years in the Hatha yoga tradition in India, neti pots help rinse the sinus cavity of debris including bacteria, dust, mold and other allergens. They can also help to loosen thick mucus and hydrate dry sinus cavities.

Step-by-Step Guide to Using a Neti Pot

How to use a neti pot

To use a new neti pot, first wash the pot according to the manufacturer’s directions. Then follow these easy steps for a cleansing rinse.

What you’ll need:

Ceramic neti pot
Distilled or sterile water, at body temperature
¼ tsp. neti pot salt or non-iodized sea salt
¼ tsp. baking soda

What to do:

  1. Fill neti pot with distilled or sterile water.
  2. Pour in sea salt and baking soda and let dissolve. This saline solution will help draw fluid across the sinus membranes, creating an osmotic effect.
  3. To use the neti pot, lean over a sink. While breathing through your mouth, insert the pot’s spout into your nostril and tilt your head to the side. Start to gently pour the saline solution from the spout into your nose. The fluid will flow out of your opposite nostril. You can also allow the fluid to flow into your mouth and then spit out the solution.
  4. Use one half of the liquid solution for one side of your nose, then turn your head to the other side and repeat.
  5. Be sure to let all the water run through your nose and gently blow your nose after using to pull any excess fluid out of your sinuses. The procedure should be completely painless and comfortable if done correctly and the correct amounts of salt and baking soda have been added to the sterile water.
  6. Use the neti-pot once or twice a day or as needed for dealing with congestion and/or thick mucus.

Tips for neti pot newbies

  • Do not use the neti pot if you have a nose bleed, a high fever or a severe sinus infection.
  • If using the neti pot gives you a headache or makes sinus pressure worse, discontinue use.
  • Make sure the pot is clean and dry and free of debris before beginning, and only use sterile or distilled water. You can boil water to sterilize it.
  • If you’re having trouble using a traditional neti pot, or if you’re trying to help a child perform a rinse, you might try using a squeeze bottle. The Xlear Sinus Care Rinse System is easy to use and includes a unique sinus care solution containing Celtic sea salt, sodium bicarbonate and all-natural xylitol to help moisturize and soothe nasal passages.