Neti Pot Solution - How to Mix Your Recipe for Nasal Irrigation

With the right ingredients, mixing a neti pot solution is easy. Happily, these ingredients are easy to find and not too complicated – just water and salt (or salt blend). With a little practice, you'll soon be able to whip up a batch of neti pot solution in no time flat.

Before covering the actual neti pot recipe, let's briefly mention our key ingredient and why it's so important. Yes, we're talking about neti pot salt. (Even if you use sinus rinse packets instead of traditional salt, never fear. These packets also contain salt, so you're covered.)

Why Is Neti Pot Salt Crucial? Think of the phrase "salt in my tears." By adding the salt to the mixture, we more closely mimic our natural body makeup, which makes nasal irrigation more pleasant and natural. Tempted to skip the salt? Well, don't. Without salt, nasal irrigation can be pretty darn unpleasant. (Trust me. I've tried. It's baaaaaad.)

Option #1: Neti Pot Household Recipe

Mix a slightly heaping 1/4 teaspoon of fine, non-iodized salt in to 8 ounces of lukewarm water. (More about the water below.)

A WARNING ABOUT THE SALT: Remember, not all salt is sinus-friendly. For help on picking the right salt for your neti pot -- and avoiding the WRONG salt for sinus irrigation, please see the neti pot salt overview page. But to make a long story short, when purchasing salt for your neti pot, check your local grocery store for pickling or kosher salt. Or, as an alternative, you can purchase special sea salt. Regardless of which type you buy, make sure your salt is non-iodized and pure -- no anti-caking agents, special colors, or flavor enhancers allowed.

The water (more details below) should be pre-boiled, distilled, or filtered/bottled. Mix your neti pot solution until the salt dissolved completely. This is especially true if you're using coarse salt.

Prepackaged neti pot mixture.
Photo Credit: Ok to use with credit & link back.

Option #2: Neti Pot Prepackaged Recipe

Some neti pots come with convenient prepackaged sinus-rinse or salt packets. You also can buy these packets separately when you run out of your original stash. In general, these packets contain a mixture of sodium chloride and sodium bicarbonate, otherwise known as salt and baking soda. These are the little neti packets I personally use when I want quick & easy neti pot mixing, especially on the go.

You can also buy larger containers of special neti pot "salt". These are similar to the little packets, except you usually use a scoop to get the right quantity rather than tearing open a little packet.

Neti Pot Solution - About the Water

Water Type. For neti pot water, you have three options – (1) boiled tap water, (2) filtered/bottled water, or (3) distilled water. Personally, I've tried all three with success. I've also combined these, such as using water that's been filtered at home with my Brita pitcher, and then boiled. However, one thing I've tried, but I'd NEVER recommend is using neti pot water straight from the tap. Here's why: When health officials proclaim water safe, they generally mean safe for drinking and bathing, not necessarily for nasal irrigation. You don't want to take any chances.

Neti pot solution ingredients are easy to find. Basically water and some form of salt mixture.
Photo Credit:
Ok to use with credit and link back.)

Water Temperature. It should be lukewarm (but not hot). Never, ever use water that feels uncomfortable to the touch, whether too hot or too cold.

Remember, if you use boiled tap water, definitely make sure it's cooled (but not cold) before mixing up your neti pot solution.

If you warm your water in the microwave, make sure you warm it in small increments (like five or ten seconds) to make sure it's not too hot, keeping in mind that microwaves vary. After you've created your neti pot solution a couple of times, you'll have a pretty good idea of how long your microwave takes to warm the water just right, so make a note of it when you've got the timing down perfectly.

Salt & Water: More About These 2 Key Nasal Irrigation Ingredients

Salt - How to Find the Right Kind for Your Neti Pot Solution. Neti pot salt should be pure and non-iodized. It sounds simple, and it is -- as long as you check the labels and know what you're looking for. This article reviews options and choices, along with some warnings of what you WON'T want to use for irrigating your sinuses.

Water - What Type Is Best for Your Neti Pot Solution? Prospective neti pot users face a ton of conflicting information on neti pot water. This explores three widely recommended options, along with advantages and disadvantages of each.

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

For help in getting your neti pot solution recipe just right, check out these popular articles.

How to Buy Neti Pot Salt. If money's an issue, you can find neti pot salt in your baking aisle for just pennies a "serving." Here's what to look for and what to avoid at all costs.

What Kind of Water Should You Use In Your Neti Pot? Choices abound! Tap water? Boiled? Filtered? Distilled? Opinions vary on what's best, so this article covers the basics of each.

Step-by-Step, How to Neti. To help you take the netti pot plunge,here are step-by-step neti pot instructions.

Neti Pot "How To" Video. This home video shows the basics of sinus irrigation, with the added "bonus" of useless subtitles.

Neti Pot Comfort Tip: Breathe!
Remember, when you're nostril-deep in the nasal irrigation process, remember to breathe through your mouth, even as the water's flowing in and out of your nose. This will increase your comfort, reduce your anxiety, and help keep the neti water flowing.