The Joy of Nasal Rinsing
June 8, 2009 11:20 AM   Subscribe

What do you put in your Neti Pot?

I'm tired of paying >$9 for 50 small packets of salt. I'd like to make my own but I'm wondering about recipes. If you use a Neti Pot, do you make your own rinse? If so, what do you add? Does it ever change— during cold or allergy season, for example? Anything beyond salt and baking soda? What ratios do you use? Bonus points for bulk recipes.
posted by Toekneesan to Health & Fitness (30 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
1 part Non-Iodized Salt
1 part Baking soda

Pretty simple stuff for me.
posted by wrok at 11:24 AM on June 8, 2009

Response by poster: To how much water?
posted by Toekneesan at 11:27 AM on June 8, 2009

Check the wiki entry, pretty good info.
posted by Mach5 at 11:31 AM on June 8, 2009

I use a Neti Pot when the pollen is especially bad. I just use tap water and kosher salt (not iodized), between 1/4 and 1/2 teaspoon per pot. You might want to use filtered water, depending on the mineral content of the water where you live. I had never heard of using baking soda, so I'm interested to see what other recipes are out there. The designer salts and premixed solutions are a waste of money, IMHO.
posted by Ladybug Parade at 11:31 AM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

Just sea salt for me.
About 1/2 to 1 tsp. per pot depending on whether I am rinsing for allergies or rinsing for illness.
posted by Seamus at 11:32 AM on June 8, 2009

That's a tough one...

1/2tsp of mixture to 8oz of water or so. That's pretty guesstimate, but probably close... I just eyeball it :)
posted by wrok at 11:32 AM on June 8, 2009

Warm water and sea salt, maybe a half a teaspoon. Done!
I've never used baking soda either. Interested to hear others experience with it.
posted by willmize at 11:34 AM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

I have a regular ol' plastic neti pot, and I usually fill it halfway with warm water. I add a 1/4 tsp of kosher salt and it's all good.
posted by katillathehun at 11:39 AM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

Usually just sea salt (1/2 t. to a pot of warm water). However, this spring I had a really stubborn head cold that got kind of sinus-infectiony for awhile. On a whim, I added a few drops of grapefruit seed extract to the mix. Not sure if it made a difference or not, but the infection subsided after about three days of rinsing with GSE added.
posted by Knicke at 11:41 AM on June 8, 2009

Warm water and kosher salt. Mine came with a measuring spoon, but I sorta eyeball it.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 11:45 AM on June 8, 2009

For your consideration, Salt water, Coffee and then...?
posted by unixrat at 11:47 AM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

Sometime in college, I had a friend that added fennel seeds and salt to her Neti pot.
posted by wg at 11:53 AM on June 8, 2009

Non-iodized sea salt from the grocery store, in the cooking aisle. It's like $3 for a box, and I use that one box for all my cooking, exfoliating, and neti pot needs.... it's lasted about 2 years so far.

I keep the sea salt in a jam jar in the medicine cabinet. I tip out a little shake- probably about a teaspoon, or a big pinch (2 fingers + thumb), but I never measure. Then I put in warm water (regular chlorinated tap water) and swish the pot around to dissolve the salt. I'll maybe stir it with my finger to check that the salt crystals are dissolved in the bottom, as they sting a little if you pour them up your nose. If I feel like I added too much salt, I just dump out a little salt water from the pot and add more from the tap. I do not measure.

If you make your solution too salty or not salty enough, the only bad outcome is that it stings a little. Adjust the salt to water ratio by tipping out some salt water & adding more fresh tap water... or by adding a pinch more salt, and the next rinse will make the stinging go away.

Your sinuses aren't so delicate that a little extra salt will harm them- don't overthink it, just go for it! (Feels so gooood)
posted by pseudostrabismus at 11:53 AM on June 8, 2009

Oh, and for amount of water, I use aboit 1 tsp sea salt and then fill the whole pot with water, which is about 250mL of water (1 cup). Then I use half the pot for each nostril, because I am too impatient to mix the solution twice to do a full pot for each nostril.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 11:58 AM on June 8, 2009

1/2 tsp. kosher salt to 8 oz. water. It should taste like tears.
posted by palliser at 11:59 AM on June 8, 2009

I tip out a little shake- probably about a teaspoon, or a big pinch (2 fingers + thumb), but I never measure. Then I put in warm water (regular chlorinated tap water) and swish the pot around to dissolve the salt.

A big pinch is about 1/4 teaspoon; a usual pinch is about 1/8 teaspoon. (Just didn't want the OP dumping a whole teaspoon into one neti pot, which would be way way salty -- at least twice as much as necessary.)
posted by palliser at 12:02 PM on June 8, 2009

How about 100 packets for $10? Still ridiculously expensive for salt and baking soda, but 50% less so.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:03 PM on June 8, 2009

I use any salt without anti-clumping agents. Mostly coarse sea salt, these days, since finer grain salt and some kosher salt seem to have the extra additives. About a teaspoon per pot, although it varies.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:21 PM on June 8, 2009

I fill it up about a 3rd of the way up with water and put in sea salt slowly, swirling it around, until it starts to look cloudy. It's really just trial and error until you find an amount that feels alright. You'll know if you didn't put enough in, you'll know if you put too much in. A few times and you'll get a sense for how much. But yeah, worst that happens is that it stings a bit.
posted by devilsbrigade at 12:34 PM on June 8, 2009

I know people who add things such as glycerin and Tea Tree Oil (when infected).
posted by answergrape at 1:21 PM on June 8, 2009

I also use a WaterPik, not a neti pot.

I am with you on this, and it has changed my life. I use 1/2 tsp salt to 1/4 tsp baking soda, because my ENT told me a hypertonic solution worked better than an isotonic solution.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:50 PM on June 8, 2009 [2 favorites]

Just sea salt. First time I hear about baking soda. Will try..
posted by rainy at 2:05 PM on June 8, 2009

I prefer distilled water (much less than $1 per gallon at the grocery store) because our tap water has an unpleasant nose-taste. And in the winter, when it's cold in my house, I usually nuke it for 10sec to take the chill off.

I use four pinches of kosher salt per pot. If it stings, a little more usually takes care of it.
posted by booth at 2:18 PM on June 8, 2009

I used to mix my own but I started using the packets. The convenience is worth it to me.

When I mixed it myself I believe it was 1/2 tsp kosher salt per 8 oz water , and a 1/8 tsp (approx) of baking soda. I would be careful about putting anything else in there. You can screw up your sense of smell if you aren't careful.
posted by jockc at 2:44 PM on June 8, 2009

1/4 tsp salt to 6 oz. water. Add a pinch of baking soda to buffer.

I don't bother anymore. I'm willing to pay for packets for the convenience factor.
posted by chairface at 4:08 PM on June 8, 2009

Sea salt (cheap @ bulk foods section of the (earthy-type) supermarket).
I've thought of an alternative to packets that would make dosing the salt easier on a day-to-day basis: a SMTWTFS pill sorter that you can go ahead and put the right amount of salt in once a week and that way you don't have to dig for the ziplock bag of salt, the dosing spoon, etc.
posted by ijoyner at 7:10 PM on June 8, 2009

posted by rxrfrx at 7:24 PM on June 8, 2009

I did not enjoy using spice-aisle sea salt, as it was too coarse. I found a bag like this of fine salt and dump a 1/4 teaspoon of it into my NP then fill most of the way with water, never measuring the water. The bag came from either a local natural foods store or my supermarket with a superbig natural section.
posted by knile at 12:58 PM on June 9, 2009

I don't use a neti pot, but rather a NeilMed bottle, which is the same idea, just kind of a squeeze bottle. I mix up a 50-50 batch of non-iodized table salt and baking soda, then put that and a quarter-teaspon in a small tupperware-type container in the bathroom. So it's super-easy. Before I shower, I just scoop out a rounded quarter-teaspoon, stick in in the bottle, and reseal the tupperware. - AJ
posted by Alaska Jack at 10:14 PM on June 9, 2009

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