Homemade Saline Nasal Wash

Updated April 17, 2017

Washing the nasal passages with saline solution is an ancient practice that is still performed today. The salty liquid is similar in composition to the body's own natural fluids (such as tears). Saline solutions are used to cleanse the nasal passageway, to reduce dryness, to help clear mucus and to reduce swelling in the nasal tissue. While saline solutions are commercially available, making your own using a few household ingredients is simple and effective.

Heat the water until it reaches a lukewarm temperature. You are aiming for body temperature, so test by touching the water to your skin in order to get the ideal temperature.

Pour the salt and baking soda into the bowl. Baking soda is a buffer that helps the solution to adapt to the pH of the body, while also improving its mucus-dissolving properties. Carefully add the lukewarm water to the salt and soda.

Mix the salt, soda and water together until all the ingredients are fully dissolved.

Pour the completed saline solution into a clean, airtight container, preferably one made of glass.


Discard your saline solution after one week. If it looks cloudy or there is floating debris present, discard and make a new batch.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 tsp iodine-free salt (pickling or canning salt works well)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 pint distilled or filtered water (you can also use tap water that has been boiled and brought to room temperature)
  • Small bowl
  • Clean, airtight container for storage
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About the Author

Ava Perez cut her journalism teeth in 2005 while balancing her university studies with a voracious appetite for fashion, music and beauty. Her music reviews, interviews and editorials have been published in numerous magazines worldwide. She specializes in writing beauty, health and fitness-related articles for various websites. Perez holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from York University.