I received complimentary product for this post from Crowdtap. All opinions are my own.
I’m going to show you how to make your own sinus rinse using items you already have at home. There is no sense in you spending a ton of money to buy these fancy schmancy saline rinses that cost at least $7 when the main ingredient is probably in your pantry RIGHT NOW.
Now, before I go into detail on all of this, lemme tell you this (and it is not just a disclaimer, it is from my own dang personal experience): If you have a sore throat and congestion that does not get better after 48 hours, you get your butt to the doctor. Now, I mean it – you could possibly have an infection that could turn into something worse if it isn’t properly treated. And don’t do any of this stuff without consulting your doctor first. Don’t be like me; I was the idiot who said “Oh, I can ride this out with garlic and echinacea and all this other crap” – NO. You will miss work, you will feel like crap and you will make everyone around you miserable (and possibly sick as well). So get to the doctor. I am not here to give medical advice. Okay, then.
I have horrible allergies and am very prone to sinus and respiratory infections. So every year I face this predicament of having a clogged nose, and possibly a headache, fatigue, a sore throat and a general feeling of “bleargh.”
So yesterday, I was on the way home from the walk-in clinic to get stuff for a sinus infection. Mostly soft and warm foods since right now, anything harder than steamed rice might as well be extremely jagged cardboard. Even drinking water hurts. MEH.
I went to the allergy and cold aisle at the Walmart Market, fully intent on getting some saline packet refills for my very fancy sinus rinse bottle that the very fancy sinus rinse manufacturer sent to me. I looked at the price – these packets were like seven dollars. “WTF?!”, I said as I picked up the Equate nasal spray for $1.97.
Went home, napped, picked up my prescriptions, came back home, used my nasal spray every four hours. It just wasn’t enough. I knew that the best way I have ever cleaned out my sinuses was with nasal irrigation, so I was on a mission to make my own sinus rinse. Let’s get to the photo of what you’ll need.
First, you need something to put that rinse up your nose. A squeeze bottle, an all-plastic syringe or a nasal syringe will work perfectly for this. Then, you need table salt. You also need a box of Kleenex because you are about to get rid of more snot than you ever thought capable. For this, I am using a box of Kleenex with lotion + Aloe and vitamin e, which I’m very glad was sent to me because runny noses get dry with frequent use of Kleenex, and every bit of softness helps.
Then, not pictured, you need 8 ounces of warm water. Now, here’s another very important thing: Do NOT use plain tap water. You either get distilled water, use filtered water, or take that tap water and boil it. I am not going to be held responsible if brain-eating amoebas come after you. So protect yourself and your brain.
So, before you make your mix, make sure the water is at a temperature that you can handle in your hands and up your nose. I wait until I can pick up whatever I’ve boiled the water in with both hands placed on the sides and me not cursing about how hot the water is as a result. So if you’ve boiled it, eh, give it about 20 to 30 minutes.
Add one teaspoon of salt per 8 ounces of water. Unless, of course, you are a masochist and really want your nose to burn like hell. I learned the hard way that if you go crazy with the salt, you can prepare for a painful irrigation experience.
You can also add 1 teaspoon of baking soda here. I am not one of these people who keeps baking soda all around the house and I was not about to leave my place again. So add your salt (and optional baking soda), and mix the two. Then you are ready for action.
Secure the rinse in your irrigation device of choice, then get your head as close to the sink as possible. Tilt your head to the left and squeeze/inject/pour the rinse into the right nostril. You should immediately get results, so grab the Kleenex. Now, tilt your head to the right and get the rinse up your left nostril. I suggest repeating this process until all the rinse is gone.
Once you are done, clean up your hands and face and follow up with a good moisturizer for sensitive skin. Salt dries up everything in its path, so this is crucial for your comfort.
If you have any remaining rinse (why didn’t you use it all, I said use it all!), pour it out and rinse the bottle or syringe you are using. You may have to repeat this irrigation every four hours or so, but it will give you some space to breathe.
So there you have it. You’ve rinsed out your nose with ingredients that cost maybe three bucks at the most. You can breathe now. Now, get some sleep and thank me later.