Ever wonder why cold and flu outbreaks are so common during the winter? One reason is that colder temperatures mean drier air, and in addition to drying out your skin, dry winter air can dry out your nasal passages too!
Without their usual amount of moisture, your nasal passages can’t trap and flush out bacteria as effectively. This leaves you vulnerable to the types of bacteria and viruses that can make you sick!
Luckily for us, a simple saline solution can both flush germs out of your nose, and restore moisture to help reduce stuffiness and congestion. And we’ll be exploring how to make and use saline solutions in today’s blog post! :-)
Where Can I Get Saline Solution?
The most convenient option for many people is to use a store-bought can of saline spray, which you can typically find at any grocery store or pharmacy. This Arm & Hammer saline spray works well and only contains water, salt, and baking soda. The only drawback is that one can will set you back about $5-10!
Making your own saline solution is a much cheaper option (see below), and there are a couple of ways you can use it. If you like the spray method, you can buy nasal pump spray bottles online that you’ll be able to reuse again and again!
The other option for using a homemade saline solution is to use it in a neti pot. Rather than simply rinsing your nasal passages with a spray, you use a neti pot to fully flush your sinuses by pouring the solution in one nostril and letting it flow out the other. (More on that shortly!)
How To Make A Homemade Saline Solution
*Note: It’s very important to use distilled water here, and to wash your spray bottle or neti pot thoroughly before and after using it. While infections from nasal rinsing are rare, they can be deadly, so using clean water and tools is imperative!
Add all ingredients to a clean jar or bowl and stir to combine.
Pour the finished solution into a clean nasal pump spray bottle or neti pot to use.
How To Use It
Method #1: Nasal Spray
Spray 2-3 times into each nostril to rinse and rehydrate your nasal passages. Hold your head over the sink and allow any excess solution to drip out, and you’re done!
Method #2: Neti Pot
Lean over your sink and tilt your head sideways so that your forehead and chin are roughly level. (This will help prevent the solution from flowing into your mouth.)
Breathing through your mouth, insert the spot of the neti pot into your upper nostril. Gently pour about half of the solution into your nostril, allowing it to drain out the other one into the sink.
Blow your nose a bit to clear it out, then repeat the process with your head tilted to the other side and pouring the solution into the other nostril.
Clear your nostrils again, and you’re done!
Do you use saline sprays or a neti pot during the winter?