Nose Unblocked stuffy nose

How to Use a Neti Pot

Girl showing how to use Neti Pot

Here are some step-by-step instructions for safe and effective use of a Neti Pot.

  1. Choose a Neti Pot that you feel comfortable using. The Neti Pot should fit easily into the nostril, so be sure to buy one that will fit your nose properly.
  2. The solution will be flowing out of the other side of the nose, so perform this procedure over a sink or in a bathtub and have plenty of towels on hand. Things are gonna get messy!
  3. Prepare the saline solution. Most people typically find a mixture of ¼ - ½ tsp of salt per 8oz of water to be most effective. Be sure to heat the solution to a lukewarm temperature. A solution that is too hot or too cold will irritate the nasal cavity. Some people compare this to how you would test a bottle for a baby. Remember that the inside of your nose is more sensitive than the skin on your hand, so test the solution on a more sensitive part of your body, such as your stomach, or your elbow, or your ____.
  4. Tilt your head to the left at approximately a 45-degree angle.
  5. Insert the tip of the Neti Pot into the right nostril and breathe slowly through your mouth. Tilt your forehead forward slightly if the solution begins to come out of your mouth. DO NOT force any part of this process. If the tip of the pot is too large to insert or too small to be sufficient, do not continue.
  6. Tilt the Neti Pot to make the solution flow steadily through the nose.
  7. After the solution flows through the nose, remove the Neti Pot and lightly blow the nose to clear the passage.
  8. Repeat the entire process with the other nostril.

Notes on Neti Pot use

Some key things to remember while using the Neti Pot:

  • RELAX! The first time you use the Neti Pot you may be nervous or feel strange, but the procedure works best if you are relaxed. If you are tense, the muscles in your face will contract and you will not receive the full benefits of the procedure
  • Most people use the Neti Pot once a day, but it is safe to use 3-4 times a day if you have severe congestion or if you live or work in a place with a high level of pollution or allergens.
  • If you feel any sort of pain or discomfort during use of the Neti Pot, STOP! You may be doing something wrong, or you may be too tense. Come back and read the instructions, make sure your saline solution is lukewarm and that your Neti Pot is the correct size for your nose, and try again later.