A common cold or sinus infection often produces mucus, a clear or yellowish secretion that drips from your mucous membranes and out of your nose or down your throat. Your body produces mucus when it is fighting a virus and often accumulates it, creating a stuffy nose or postnasal drip. While prescribed antibiotics are required to eliminate the sinus infection, home remedies and over-the-counter medication are helpful to reduce mucus production and cold symptoms.
Increase fluid intake. Water breaks up the thickness of mucus, which clears it from your sinuses and helps shorten the lifespan of your cold or sinus infection. Caffeinated drinks including tea, coffee and carbonated drinks worsen mucus production, as they dehydrate your body and prevent proper mucus drainage.
Take oral decongestants. An over-the-counter (OTC) decongestant reduces swelling of the nasal passages, which allows mucus to properly pass through and eliminate mucus build-up. The OTC medication comes in either 12 hour or 24 hour treatment.
Use nasal sprays. Nasal sprays work similarly to oral allergy medication by reducing swelling and drying up mucus but tend to work faster when sprayed directed into the nasal cavity. Limit over-the-counter nasal spray use to no more than seven days, as dependency is common when using OTC sprays and can worsen congestion and mucus build-up.
Wet a washcloth with warm water and squeeze out the excess water. Fold the washcloth in half and cover your nose and cheeks with the compress. The heat from the washcloth loosens the mucus and reduces pain caused by congestion.
Take a hot shower. The steam from the shower opens up your nasal passages, which allows mucus to easily pass through.