Nasal Wash Instructions


Flushing or washing out the nose restores the normal flow of mucus and clears away crusts from inside the nose. Routine nasal washes will help to clear infections, keep infections from starting, control nasal odors, decrease nasal stuffiness or promote healing after nasal or sinus surgery. You may need special tools to do this well. It may seem like a weird think to be doing at first, but soon it will feel as normal as brushing your teeth or combing your hair! Think of it as a shower for your nose!!

Salt Water (Saline)

  1. The Salt - Pickling ("canning") salt or Kosher salt are best because they are free of iodine and other preservatives. Regular table salt is OK if you cannot get pickling salt.

  2. The Water - Use sterile, bottled, or purified water if possible. Tap water or well water that is drinkable is also acceptable for people who are not immune suppressed.

  3. The Temperature - Use the saline at body temperature (98.60F or 370C) or slightly warmer, but NOT HOT. Short microwave heating may be an easy way to warm it.

Home Recipe

Hypertonic Buffered Saline (for stuffy noses, sinusitis).
Mix 2-3 heaping tsp. Salt, 1 tsp. baking soda, and 6-7 tablespoons Karo Syrup (white / clear, not brown) with 1 qt. (1 liter) water.

[If you mix large amounts for multiple uses, store in a new or clean airtight bottle in refrigerator. Make up a new batch every 7 days. (Daily after surgery)]

Commercial Solutions

  1. Saline drops, spray or mist, from the local drug store (Breathe Free, Salinex, or Pretz are good brands. Avoid ones with alcohol or thimerisol in them.)

  2. Pretz Irrigation - Lubricating Solution in an 8oz. bottle with irrigating spout and large refills.

Directions for Preparation and Use of the Solution


  1. Clean a 1-quart glass jar carefully, then fill it with bottled water.
    You need not boil the water.

  2. See Home Recipes above for solution ingredients.

  3. Store at room temperature and shake or stir before each use.

  4. Mix a new batch weekly.


  1. Pour some of the mixture into a clean bowl. Warming it to body temperature may help, but make sure that it is NOT HOT.

  2. Fill the syringe or bulb irrigator. To avoid contamination, DO NOT place bulb or syringe into jar.

  3. Stand over the sink or in shower and squirt the mixture into each side of the nose several times.

  4. Rinse the nose two to three times daily.

Bulb Syringe Method

Buy a small rubber bulb syringe (these are packaged as 2, 3 or 4oz. Ear syringes, $5) from your local drug store. Fill it with the solution and place it into your nose while leaning over a sink or standing in the shower. Squeeze the bulb to flush your nose. The saline will flow back out from the nose and mouth. If the force of the fluid seems too weak, you can use scissors to trim back the syringe tip and widen its opening. This will make the flushing more forceful when you squeeze the bulb. Trim off just a little piece of the syringe tip at a time until you find the right amount.