How to Use a Neti Pot

A neti pot is used for nasal irrigation, which entails flushing out your nasal cavity with a saline solution. This is a home remedy that is relatively less known in Western countries, but is common in parts of India and South Asia. The benefits include improved sinus symptoms and decreased sinus medication use[1] but first, you'll need to learn how to use a neti pot correctly.


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    Clean your neti pot. As a result of sitting in disuse for a bit, your neti pot likely has become the home of some local bacteria. Prevent these germs from entering your system by thoroughly cleaning it with soap and hot water. Allow the pot to air dry completely before use.
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    Make a solution of saline and sanitized water. Mix a heaping 1/4 teaspoon of finely ground non-iodized salt or a slightly rounded 1/2 teaspoon of coarsely ground salt (kosher salt) in the neti pot with 8 ounces of warm distilled, boiled, or filtered water until the salt is completely dissolved.
    • Do not use untreated tap water as it can contain amoebas which will make you sick. It is crucial to use filtered or distilled water.[2]
    • Do not use normal table salt. The additives in it can irritate your nose.There are commercial salts available specifically for neti pot use instead.[3]
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    Get into position. Bend over the sink and turn your head to the side so that your ear is facing the sink. Keep your forehead at the same height as the chin, or slightly higher. You will eventually turn your head slightly so that the saline solution flows out of your opposite nostril.
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    Breathe through your mouth. In order to close off your throat and mouth from the water rinse, breathe through your mouth. Avoid talking or laughing so that the seal in your throat is not broken, allowing water in.
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    Insert the spout in the upper nostril. Hold it in such a way as to form a seal, preventing water from coming back out the entrance. Raise the pot so the saline solution flows into the upper nostril and out of the lower nostril. If it drains out of your mouth, lower your forehead in relation to your chin. Empty ½ of the pot per nostril.
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    Repeat the process on the other side. Turn your head in the opposite direction and repeat the aforementioned instructions. Use the other half of the saline solution to clear out your opposite nostril.
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    Remove excess water. When you’ve drained the entire neti pot, rest your head over the sink and blow your nose gently (without using your fingers to pinch it) to remove the excess water. Do this until most of the dripping has subsided and you can breathe relatively easily again.
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    Blow your nose gently into a tissue. Remove the rest of the water and completely clear out your nose by blowing into a tissue. Be sure not to close off either nostril while blowing.
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    Clean your neti pot. To prevent high levels of bacteria growth in and on your neti pot, give it a final wash before putting it away for storage. Use warm soap and water and allow the pot to air dry.[4]


  • The ideal amount of salt is .9% in the full neti pot. A single teaspoon of salt with 500ml of water provides about this equivalent.
  • Exercises you may want to do afterwards:

    • Exhalations. Exhale vigorously through both nostrils while holding your head over the sink. Quickly drawing the abdomen toward the spine with each exhalation will make your exhalations more forceful. If you exhale into a tissue, be careful not to pinch the nostrils closed while exhaling.
    • Forward Bending. Bend forward from the waist far enough so that the top of the head is pointing toward the floor. Hold this position for a few seconds, then return to standing. Follow this movement with a few vigorous exhalations.
    • Alternate Toe Touching. Place your feet two to three feet apart. Raise the arms out to the side at shoulder height. Slowly bend from the waist and bring the left hand to the right knee, shin, or foot (whichever you can reach without straining). Reach up toward the ceiling with the right hand; turn the head gently and look toward the raised hand. Hold this position for a few seconds. Come back to standing and repeat the movement to the left. Exhale vigorously through the nose.
  • Nasal irrigation with a neti pot may be done as often as brushing one's teeth.[5]
  • Make sure the water is a comfortable temperature, body temperature or slightly warmer.


  • The Louisiana Health Department issued a warning to only use distilled or filtered water in neti pots after 2 people died in 2011 from rare brain attacking amoebas introduced from untreated tap water in neti pots. Always use distilled or filtered water. In addition, keep your neti pot clean. [6]

Things You'll Need

  • Neti-pot
  • Non-iodized salt which is free of anti-caking and free-flowing agents, or commercially available neti pot salt
  • Comfortably warm pure water

You may want to consider getting a [netipot kit] that includes all the items you need for a successful experience.

Article Info

Categories: Home Remedies