How to get rid of mucus in the throat & nasal passage

Updated February 21, 2017

The body produces mucus as a natural defence against irritants and bacteria that are in the air or your body. Mucus naturally forms in the sinuses, nose, throat and lungs. Excess mucus that is associated with colds or allergies and mucus that has become too thick can make breathing difficult. Fortunately, there are many ways to help the body expel mucus.

Drink plenty of water every day. You should drink enough so that your urine is clear. The constant flow of fluids promotes properly functioning sinuses.

Mix a teaspoon of salt in a tall glass of warm water. Gargle the water for 1 minute and spit it out. Repeat this three times per day.

Make sure your house is properly ventilated. Even when it is cold outside, it is important to open at least two windows in the house to get a flow of fresh air. Leave the windows open for at least ten minutes, twice per day. Stale air in a closed up house is full of bacteria and can cause more mucus to form.

Sleep with a humidifier in your room while you have mucus problems. October through March tend to be the most problematic months, so it would be beneficial to use the humidifier during this time.

Cleanse your nasal cavity and throat with a Neti pot. A Neti pot looks nearly identical to a teapot with a nozzle, but it is much smaller. Mix a teaspoon of salt with a tall glass of warm water and pour it into the Neti pot. Tilt your head to a 45-degree angle, place the nozzle in your nostril, and pour the water in slowly. The water will go through your entire nasal cavity and also help clean out your throat. A bulb syringe can also be used if a Neti pot is not available.

Apply Vicks VapoRub to your chest. This helps open up the airways and break up mucus. It can be used at any time of the day, but is especially beneficial at night.

Wash your bedding every few days while the mucus is a problem. This will help get rid of irritants that cause excess production of mucus.

Drink hot tea without cream or sugar. The heat from the liquid helps thin the mucus, thus making it easier to expel from the body.


See a doctor if thick mucus persists for more than 2 weeks.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Salt
  • Humidifier
  • Vicks VapoRub
  • Neti pot
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About the Author

Kenneth Coppens began his freelance writing career in 2008. His passions in life consist of extensive personal research on food, gardening and finding natural and eco-friendly alternatives to nearly all aspects of life.