A Beginner’s Guide To Neti Pots

42 Responses

  1. Excellent Rob! thanks for following up with that!

  2. alicia says:

    Do you ever find using the neti pot irritates the interior lining of the nostrils creating crust-like sores?

    • Rob Portinga says:

      Hmm.. no.. I have not run in to that. Actually, it’s when my nasal passage is feeling dry and such that I step up in using mine to help fix that.

      I wonder if it could be the saline you’re using? If it persists, you should have it checked out…

    • Sue says:

      The company that makes neti pots has a nasal moisturizer.

  3. Megan Whipple says:

    Yea, I need to know how to clean it after use.

    • Rob Portinga says:

      For regular use, wiping down the nozzle with some hand sanitizer is what I do. Then once in awhile I would think using a regular dishwasher would get it clean enough. If you don’t have one, try boiling water. Though I haven’t felt a real need to clean out the inside beyond a regular hand washing here and there.

  4. Rachael says:

    I have made sure that it is room temperature but I still find it burns my nose I’ve read the directions and I don’t think I am doing anything wrong but I am not sure

    • Rob Portinga says:

      too much salt can cause a burning sensation, try using half a packet…?

      • Paula Rhyder says:

        I had, very unfortunately, one day forgotten to empty the saline pack into the pot and began flushing… OMG!!!! The pain was so instantaneous and so horrendous. I immediately realized what had happened and once the saline added it fine. My concern is, have I done something to affect anything in my head in a negative way??

  5. Madeline Vann says:

    Hi there! I am working on an article for Everydayhealth.com (29 million readers monthly!) about managing sinus congestion. I was hoping you or someone you know might want to share with our readers about whether the Neti pot or any other strategy you have tried has been particularly good at helping reduce your congestion? Or if you could circulate this so others who have had some success could get in touch, I’d appreciate it.

    • Rob Portinga says:

      I haven’t used it for just regular “every day” congestion, because it’s not something I tend to have. I mainly try to use it when I feel the first signs of a cold, etc. I can’t say for sure it makes a difference, but I do believe it does. When living in MN I would also use it on a regular basis in the winter to combat being in the dry indoor air all the time. This last winter being in the PNW, I did not seem to have nearly as much of a problem with that.

      I’d be happy to share more of my personal experience, but I’m not sure if that’s on track with what you are looking for or not.

  6. Sue says:

    The instructions with my neti pot says you should keep the boiled water in the fridge for a week. Does distilled water need to be refrigerated after opening to prevent growth of mold or bacteria? Is it subject to the “use within one week” rule?

    • Rob Portinga says:

      I guess I’ve never heard anything in that regard. I know if you use boiled water you want to let it get back to room temp before using it. And I wouldn’t try to cool it in the fridge as that can raise the temp in the fridge and cause issues for the rest of your food. I suppose.. there’s a slight risk of any open container of water being exposed to things in the air that could eventually cause issues…? I’ll have to see if I can find any more info on that.

      • Rita Giordano-Lombardi says:

        today I used my neti pot…..I washed it with very hot water and soap….I boiled the distilled water for about 5 minutes and just ran that through my neti pot…Let the distilled water cool and then I rinsed…….Is this sanitary enough?? I did use the correct water to rinse??? Im assuming there is no harm in heating distilled water?? I am so nervous after reading about the deaths from using the neti pot….

        • Rob Portinga says:

          There should be instructions that come with it that will help you. Also, if you’re nervous about it, there is a sort of squeeze bottle version that recommends you replace at regular intervals, that might be an alternative.

  7. revathy says:

    Is it ok if we swallow that water? I have started trying it from yesterday since am new I guess swallowing few water when breathing through mouth

  8. Kristen says:

    I’m wondering the same about swallowing water I’ve tried it a couple times and I seem to be swallowing some because I’m not positioned correctly is it ok? Also does any one else’s ears pop or go funny when doing this?

  9. Nico says:

    Hello. The only distilled water I can purchase is in a 4L jug. If I open the jug, use 2 cups for the Neti ritual, then store the closed jug until the next time, will any bacteria grow in the jug in the meantime? Thank you for any advice that you can give.

    • Rob Portinga says:

      All I can really say is I’ve never had a problem. Store it somewhere “clean”, don’t touch the mouth of the jug if you can help it… and likely will be ok.

  10. Lucas says:

    Hello, I used it for the first time last night and it seemed to work. Only thing is I know have salty taste in my mouth. Maybe I used to much salt or swallowed some water? Anyone ever experienced this?

  11. Marie says:

    My husband has recently started using a neti pot for his sinuses. He was in a accident that gave him a sinus fracture. On one it seem to flush just fine but on the side it didnt flow as well. And he noticed that it slow2dripped out of his nose as the evening went on. is this harmful to him

  12. Jessica says:

    I tried the neti pot for the first time tonight. I feel worried I may accidently breath through my nose. So I held my breath as the water entered my nose. Is there a danger of breathing water into my lungs? I don’t feel sure I can coordinate breathing through my mouth instead of my nose while irrigating at the same time.

    • Marie says:

      I use the squeeze bottle type. It helps me if I say my ABCs while I squeeze it so I’m always breathing out and no saline gets inhaled.

      • Rob Portinga says:

        I will have to try and keep that trick in mind. I’ve gotten to where I don’t really use mine unless I feel a cold or sinus issue coming on, but maybe need to just sort of be sure to do it every few weeks anyways. Bit of preventative measure.

  13. Jim says:

    I pulled in one nostril but it doesn’t come out the other is this common I’ve tried it both ways thank you

    • Debbie says:

      Try tilting your head slowly forward and backward with the pot until you find the perfect angle – this used to happen to me and still does unless I get the angle exactly right

  14. Tori says:

    Do I need to boil distilled water?

    • Rob Portinga says:

      as long as it doesn’t become “contaminated” in some way, you shouldn’t have to…

      • Clare says:

        Hi. I just used a neti pot first time. I hadn’t read your helpful article beforehand so I blew my nose after with tissue. I think I may have pinched my nose and gotten water into the nasal cavity and maybe ears (as you described). Will this eventually disperse and cause no issues?
        Also – I used deionised water. I read this was even purer than distilled?? So I trust this is ok? I’d really appreciate your feedback.
        Other than a bit of post neti use paranoia! I found the experience surprisingly simple and pleasant 🙂

  15. Verbena says:

    Short but sweet would have been best. SO if I don’t use the pre made packages of salt and soda, how much do I use??? I’m not sure it might have been in there but there was way too much to read.

  16. mansi says:

    hi, I just began using the neti pot a few days ago to help me clear my nasal passages. I was not able to sleep due to my allergies, even after medication. I have been following the instructions that came with the neti pot and water does flow out from one nostril when I use the pot in the other.
    However, no mucus or gunk has come out with the water. Am I doing something wrong? Is that supposed to happen? Does it take a while for it to come out if it is stuck inside my nasal passages?
    not sure what else to do.


    • Rob Portinga says:

      hmm.. honestly, I don’t know that I’ve ever noticed anything other than water really… I guess I just figured it was all diluted. Sorry I can’t provide more info.. maybe someone else will have some feedback.

    • Robin says:

      I just used it for the first time and I had this same question…just water ran out of my nose and even when I blew with no pinching whatsoever, I did not get the discharge that everyone always talks about…. did you ever get anything different?

  17. Stan says:

    I just want to confirm that you have been using a one gallon bottle of distilled water that you keep at room temperature and it lasts about a week? How long have you done this? Thanks for the info.

    • Rob Portinga says:

      Yes, I use store-bought distilled water and just keep it near the bathroom (I have a really small bathroom), at room temp. As far as how long it lasts, I don’t use it daily… so it lasts quite awhile.

  18. Joan Thompson says:

    A coworker told me not to lay dow for at least an hour or the saline can pool in the sinus cavities. Any truth in her Statement?

  19. I really would suggest using a porcelain Neti pot because plastic can cause complications such as nasal infections or irritation. Originally Indians used copper or glass because they are safer and natural. Porcelain is a little more expensive but is more safe.

  1. October 22, 2016

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