Using a Neti Pot

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December 27, 2011

Neti PotI felt it would be only right to share this information with fellow ThriftyFun members because many of us here do use Neti pots to irrigate our sinuses. I try not to be an alarmist, but this particular report has shaken me awake because I am definitely guilty of using non-sterile tap water in my Neti pot :-o


Neti pots have been linked with a brain eating amoeba that, although rare, can be and has been fatal. The infection is caused from not using distilled water or by not having previously sterilized tap water by boiling it and also because of improper cleansing of the Neti pot itself. This brain eating amoeba, from using Neti pots incorrectly, is the same that can be caused from swimming in warm contaminated rivers and lakes or swimming pools where cleansing chemicals are not used properly.

The amoeba enters through the nose when submerging in water and then moves towards the brain causing amebic meningoencephalitis which inflames the brain tissues, the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord and invades the central nervous system. The early stage symptoms may be headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, and stiffness of the neck. As it progresses the symptoms include confusion, loss of balance, seizures, and hallucinations. This disease progresses really quickly and can cause death in as little as one day.


It's better to be safe than sorry so please use distilled water or water that has previously been boiled and then stored in a sterile container. Also, rinse your Neti pot well with hot water, turn upside down on a clean towel to drain and allow to completely dry before replacing the lid and putting the pot away.

By Deeli from Richland, WA

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January 19, 2010

I have been fighting a sever sinus infection. I don't have the approximately $20.00 for purchasing this so I decided that there had to be some way of inventing my own little neti pot.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

February 4, 2009

Has anyone tried to make their own mix that goes in the Neti Pot? The pre-mixed packets cost $7.95 for 50. If you've made your own, where did you get the ingredients? They seem to be high-grade pure components.

Monica from KY


February 4, 20090 found this helpful

Mix 1/4 teaspoon of NON-iodized salt and 8 ounces (one liquid measuring cup) of warm water. You can add a pinch of baking soda, if desired.


I just use kosher salt from the grocery store, and baking soda from the pantry!

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By Chelsea (Guest Post)
February 4, 20090 found this helpful

I use fine, non-iodized kosher salt and a sometimes a drop of tea tree oil with 8 ounces of warm water in my neti pot. The tea tree oil is antibacterial, so I use it when my sinuses are particularly inflamed or infected, but it's pretty potent, so one drop is literally all you need.

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February 5, 20090 found this helpful

I don't even use a neti pot, I just use a cup from the cupboard, pour into my hand, much easier. Done this for several years. Can mix up 1/4 cup at time. It should not sit around, should be fresh each time you do it.


Have taught my nieces, nephews, granchildren as small kids how to do this too. Adults is harder for them to get it.
Practice in the shower. I am a swimmer, so the face in the water, nose in the water is not a big deal. I just use the koscher--a pinch to 1/4 cup warm water.
My Allergist gave me a pot to use, till in the drawer. More work than the way I do it.

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By Seashell (Guest Post)
February 6, 20090 found this helpful

The mixture I use is fine sea salt and baking sode, at a ratio of 2 parts sea salt to 1 part baking soda. I mix it in a sealable container and use 1/2 teaspoon per 8 oz of water. My husband uses a whole teaspoon of the mix, so the mix to water ratio is by personal taste. The sea salt is easily found in the grocery store and does not contain iodine.

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By Elaine (Guest Post)
February 7, 20090 found this helpful

Can anyone tell me if using the Neti-Pot helps post nasal drip? I used it for two weeks and cannot tell any difference. It is so aggravating because it drips down my throat at night and the next morning sometimes I can hardly talk.


I use the sea salt and water, not soda with it as my doctor directed. What does the soda do?

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May 21, 20090 found this helpful

I make mine with a 3 parts salt to one part baking soda measure. I put the both in food processor & process to get the mixture combined and the salt powdered. This seems to work just fine. Store in airtight container and mix about 1/8 tsp. with warm water in Neti pot.

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February 23, 20110 found this helpful

I use kosher salt and a pinch of baking soda. And I love my neti pot! Imagine your nose, with warm salt water flowing through, this is the 'river' you create each time you wash your nose.


Your sinuses are stagnant ponds with small outlets allowing them to drain into the nose. When the saline solution flows past these outlets it creates a low-pressure stream that draws out the contents of the sinus cavities; just like a swiftly moving river would drain a small pond.
It is just common sense to practice this nasal cleansing as a part of daily nasal hygiene. You get rid of allergens, pollution, dust & stagnant mucus.

My allergist calls me a "success story" and congratulates me on achieving "normal" sinus health by practicing daily nose washing. She told me most patients of hers who have had sinus surgery like I did end up worse off. I never thought I would be normal. After my 3rd sinus operation - back in 1995. I got so depressed because all I could see ahead was more sickness, more surgery and no normal sinus health. But daily nosewashing helped me improve and normalize my sinus health. I can not say enough good things about it. I have also avoided colds by doing this. I swear! I used to work as a teacher and those germ bag kids were always sick.

I have not had a cold since 1999. I had one cold in 1998 & one in 1999. I did not retire from teaching until 2003. I began daily nose washing in 1995 so since 1995 I have had 2 colds and none since 1999.

Nose washing is one of the safest, easiest, cheapest & most beneficial things you can do for yourself. I don't want others to suffer as I did, that is why I encourage everyone I know to protect their sinus & respiratory health by washing the nose!

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February 26, 2007

Has anyone used a neti pot? I want to know if it should feel like you brain is clogging up? I only used pure salt and not baking soda.

Shirley from Inverness Scotland


February 26, 20070 found this helpful

I use one when I am feeling sinus congestion. I use either plain salt (not iodized, I use kosher salt) or salt and baking soda. I don't really have a preference. (Right now I am using the packets that came with my pot--they have both.) 8 oz. warm water to 1/8 teaspoon of salt [and 1/8 tsp. soda if you wish]

I am not sure what you mean by the feeling your brain is clogging up. Are you leaning over the sink, with your mouth higher than your nose, one ear up? The solution goes in the upper nostril. I usually pour through four ounces on one side, then turn my head and send the remaining four ounces through the other. Afterward, I blow my nose gently, repeatedly. DO NOT blow your nose hard, and do not block one nostril to try to clear the other; that is part of the problem in the first place.

If my nose is clogged on one side before I begin, I don't begin until I clear it somewhat. (If one nostril is completely blocked, the water won't get through, and it will just end up in your mouth, and that's an obnoxious feeling.)

There have been times when I repeated the process up to two more times, because I just kept getting more out when I would blow my nose after irrigating. The relief from pressure can be remarkable.

Keep trying, if you were feeling uncomfortable enough to try a neti pot in the first place, you should end up appreciating it.

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June 10, 20210 found this helpful

Years ago, on the advice of our ENT specialist, my husband and I have been using neti pots for decades. At first we mixed distilled water with kosher salt; then we switched to premeasured packets (sold at Costco in big quantities). These packets come with neti bottles (manufacturer recommends disposing of the bottles after several weeks). Squeeze bottles work better than the pots, as you can use the bottle to push water upwards and out of nasal cavities. Before I start, I always add a tiny drop of tea tree oil and a tiny drop of baby shampoo to the mix with two premeasured saline packets (I make 16 oz of mixture at a time in a larger container than the bottle). We always use distilled water, certainly not tap water or anything else. My husband and I also heat our bottles in the microwave on low for a few seconds to warm the mixture and sterilize it - the boiling water will actually bubble inside the bottle so handle it from the stopper and wait for the mix to cool enough to use. My husband cleans his sinuses twice a day and I find that once a day is adequate. We both have allergies and this is one sure method of keeping our misery down to acceptable levels.

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June 11, 20210 found this helpful

I second the squeeze bottle over the neti pot. I just had sinus surgery and I had to rinse 4-5 times a day at first. It took a little bit of practice to get used to it but now, it is a snap. I had tried to use the neti pot in the past but I never could get the hang of the right angle and it just seemed like a hassle.

I use distilled water sometimes but more often, I will just boil water in my electric kettle and add it to the bottle. It takes about an hour to cool down to the point where it is comfortable. I just saw my doctor yesterday and she said either option was safe.

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