Homemade Neti Pot Options

If you're looking to create or forage for a homemade neti pot, you're in luck, because you can create a neti pot from almost anything that can be used to squirt or pour water up your nose.

Materials range from unbreakable plastic to popular ceramic, and even expensive china for those special nasal irrigation occasions. (For added elegance, feel free to extend your pinkie finger when pouring.) Here are a few of the most popular choices for neti pot do-it-yourselfers.

Homemade neti pots can mean just about anything that can hold, and pour water. But will the real neti pot please stand up?
Photo Credit: www.neti-netti-pot.com.
Ok to use with attribution.

Plastic Bottles. Common "emergency" neti pots include basic plastic drinking or storage containers. When it comes to water bottles, the handy-dandy sport caps make a nice feature because they insert nicely into the nostril and can even turbo-up the water-flow if that's your preference. Other less popular choices include dish-detergent bottles that have been cleaned out carefully to allow for use as a neti pot.

Gravy Boats, Creamer Servers and Other Pieces of Good China. Legend has it that Oprah will use a gravy boat in a pinch, and you could too. But here's the question. Once you've used your fine gravy boat for nasal irrigation, would you really use it for gravy again? If so, it might be wise to avoid mentioning this fact to your dinner guests. And here's something else to consider: If you can use a gravy boat as a neti pot, does this mean you can use a neti pot to serve gravy?

Turkey Basters - Not Just for Thanksgiving Anymore. Many people have reported success in using their turkey baster for nasal irrigation. Turkey basters are fairly affordable, even cheaper than your average neti pot, nicely shaped for nostril-insertion, and easy to store in your suitcase, bathroom vanity, or silver-wear drawer. But again, this begs the question, would you keep one baster dedicated for nasal irrigation and a second one for your turkey? Let's hope so, because once you've used the baster for your turkey broth, it might not be the best thing for nasal irrigation, and vice versa.

Do It Yourselfer Neti Pot Checklist

If you're planning to use or create your own homemade neti pot from basic household goods, you still need to be safe. Here are some warnings, and other things to consider.

Cleanliness Beforehand. If you're foraging for a homemade neti pot, consider what was in that container beforehand. Even something as "clean" as dish-washing detergent can leave behind traces of soapy smells or residue. Clean your new neti pot thoroughly before using it for nasal irrigation. Palmolive might be great for washing dishes, but not necessarily great for washing your sinuses.

Cleanliness Afterward. If you adopt something for use as a homemade new neti pot, consider marking it "for neti only" with a permanent marker after the fact. After all, would you really want to accidentally drink out of a water bottle that you've used for nasal irrigation? And let's not even consider the whole turkey baster factor.

Neti pots are pretty darn affordable, even if they won't baste your Thanksgiving turkey.
Photo Credit: www.neti-netti-pot.com.
Ok to use with attribution.

Cost/Benefit Factor. Consider that in your zeal to save money, everything is relative. Don't risk putting something unsafe in your nasal passages simply to save a few bucks. These days, you can buy a fairly decent neti pot for well under $20, and probably even less if you're willing to go the plastic route. For example, this top-selling neti pot costs about the same as your average turkey baster. True, you can't baste a turkey with this thing, but it can do wonders for that ol' sinus problem.

Warning: Consider the Neti Pot's Origin

For safety's sake, avoid adopting a homemade neti pot from any container that's been used to store liquid that's toxic or just plain harsh. Plastic is particularly notorious for hanging onto scents and residue, especially if the liquid is strong and potent.

Remember, if that convenient container was storing something you wouldn't put in your nasal cavities, you shouldn't use that leftover container as your homemade neti pot.

Saving money is nice. Convenience is nice. But putting traces of motor oil up your nose? Now, that's just nasty.

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Netti Pot: The Neti Pot Newbie's Guide to Nasal Irrigation

Neti Pot Size, Does It Matter? A typical sinus irrigation ranges takes about 8 to 16 ounces (240 - 480 mL) of water.

If your pot is small, like in the 8-ounce range, you may want to do one nostril with one potful, and then repeat on the other nostril. This means you'll have to mix your mix your saline solution twice (Yes, yes, I know, as opposed to re-using the same solution...)

Some people prefer smaller pots, because they're easier to handle, and don't mind mixing the solution twice if needed. Personally, I'm one of these people, but then again, I'm kind of short myself.

It's Cheap, It's Easy, and Unlike My Former Bimbo Roommate, This Thing Won't Get You Evicted. If you're a neti newbie, and you're looking for a good "starter" neti pot, this is what I used for my first time, and I thought it was an excellent choice. It's comfy plastic, has a specially designed tip, is super affordable, and has a lid so you don't need to worry about sloppage. Plus, it comes with 50 pre-mixed packets, so you won't need to worry about scouring the grocery store for the right kind of neti pot salt.

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