Skip to content

Try a Saline Nasal Rinse

One way to remove excess mucus without blowing is to use a saline (salt water) nasal rinse. A nasal rinse can also help remove allergens and germs from your nose.

To make the rinse, add one teaspoon of uniodized salt and a pinch of baking soda to 16 ounces of warm distilled or previously boiled water. Then, pour the salt water into a Neti pot or draw it up into an infant nasal bulb or rubber ear bulb syringe. You can also purchase a nasal irrigation kit.

Standing over a sink or in the shower, tilt your head to the left and pour or gently squirt the liquid into your right nostril. The liquid should drain out of your left nostril. It may feel awkward at first, but it should become easier with a little practice. Repeat this process with the other nostril.

It's important to note that, according to the CDC, if you are irrigating, flushing, or rinsing your sinuses, use distilled, sterile, or previously boiled water to make up the irrigation solution. It’s also important to rinse the irrigation device after each use and leave open to air dry. Draw some alcohol into the syringe and swish it around inside the bulb, then empty it. Let it dry completely before using it again.

An over-the-counter (OTC) saline spray may also help thin mucus and provide relief from a stuffy or runny nose. Saline sprays are safe to use several times throughout the day to relieve symptoms. Read and follow the label for proper dosing.

Keep Your Allergies Under Control

Of course, the best way to keep your nose feeling good is to avoid your allergy triggers and treat the underlying problem -- your allergies -- when you have symptoms.

“These days we have lots of options for treating allergies -- from over-the counter medications to allergy shots, so there's no reason for anyone to suffer with allergy symptoms,” says Marshall Plaut, MD, chief of the allergic mechanisms section at the Asthma, Allergy and Inflammation branch of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “Even if you’ve tried OTC or prescription medications before without success, it’s likely you can find something to relieve your symptoms.”

Your nose will thank you.

Allergy Symptom Poll

When are your nasal allergy symptoms the worst?

View Results