Instructions for Nasal Saline Rinses

Buffered normal saline irrigation
The benefits
1. Saline (saltwater) washes mucus and irritants from your nose.
2. The sinus passages are moisturized.
3. Studies have also shown that a nasal irrigation improves cell function (the cells that move the mucus work better).1


Courtesy of Neil Med

  • Nasal saline irrigation bottle and rinse packets (ie. NeilMed Sinus Rinse, Ayr, Simply Saline, Ocean spray)

    • Nasal saline irrigation bottles can be found at any pharmacy- Walgreens, CVS, Osco, etc.

  • Alternatively, you can make your own with some Kosher (non-iodinated) salt and some baking soda

  • In some patients, we may be ask you to add medications like steroid or antibiotics to your rinse


The instructions

Step 1.- Fill the bottle

Fill bottle with lukewarm distilled or previously boiled water

Step 2.- Mix the solution

Put saline/salt mixture into the bottle, tighten the top of the bottle and shake gently to dissolve mixture.

If making your own, use ¼ – ½  tsp of baking soda and 1/8 tsp of Kosher salt

Step 3.- Positioning

Standing in front of the sink bend forward and tilt head down (about 45 degrees) so that you are looking down into the sink. Use this position unless instructed otherwise.

Gently place the spout of the saline bottle against one nostril

Step 4.- Rinse

Breathe through your mouth and gently squeeze the bottle. The solution will start to drain from OPPOSITE nasal passage (or some, it may also drain into the mouth)

Use 2oz/60ml/half the solution in the bottle on each side

You may need to blow your nose afterwards to help drain any residual solution.

Step 5. –Repeat – Repeat step 3 and four with the other nostril!

Videos demonstrating saline irrigation techniques

1 Diseases of the Sinuses: Diagnosis and Management. Kennedy DW, Bolger WE, Zinreich SJ (Eds), BC Decker, Hamilton, Ontario 2001. Copyright © Kennedy DW, Zinreich SJ.