Poll Results: What is Your Method for Nasal Saline Rinses?

Well, the poll results are in.

I usually  try to take a poll down once a couple hundred results are recorded. This poll has reached over 290 results, and the results were not what I had expected:

What Methods Do We Use for Nasal Saline Rinses?

51% still use the Neti pot, as you can see from the figure, the majority of us.

42% use the Squeeze-bottle – from Nasopure, NeilMed, there are several available (more on this below).

4% still use the Suction-bulb! That is a surprise.

For those of you who don’t know what that is, think back to those blue or green rubber-like bulbs that many people use to suction a baby’s nose out.

There were a couple of wise-alecs who claimed to use their garden-hose to rinse their noses out!! Nice image.

boogordoctor Nasal Saline Poll Results

boogordoctor Nasal Saline Poll Results

What Are Saline Nasal Rinses Good For?

I have reviewed nasal saline rinses elsewhere on this blog, but let’s briefly review their value. Saline Nasal Rinses are good for those with:

  • allergic rhinitis
  • rhinitis from any cause (chemical rhinitis, say in a swimmer from chlorinated pool)
  • sinusitis – acute or chronic
  • simple viral URI syndrome
  • asthma – optimizing nasal hygiene will benefit your lungs!
  • otitis (ear infections) – again, optimal nasal hygiene reduces ear infections
  • anyone who is exposed to air pollutants – either indoors or outdoors
  • anyone with reflux that contributes to otitis or rhinitis/sinusitis
  • once you have achieved a healthy nose – best way to keep it that way!

Whatever is bothering your nose, this will rinse it away. Think of nasal saline rinses like a car-wash for your nose – rinse off the dirt: mold, virus, bacteria, particulate pollutants, chemical toxins, etc.

You get the idea. Basically, ANY “Itis” or inflammatory disorder of the respiratory tract will benefit from optimal nasal hygiene.

Why is that?

Read about the Unified Airway Model to find out:

Let Me Make A Recommendation

If you are doing nasal saline rinses …

First: stop using a suction-bulb. Primitive. Too risky for nasal trauma, likely to cause nose-bleeds. The goal here is to be nice to your nose, not to hurt it.

If you are using a Neti pot, time to switch to a squeeze-bottle.

There is an easier way to rinse your nose with saline – especially if you are doing saline rinses with a child.

For those of you who are struggling with the Neti pot to rinse a child’s nose, you know what I mean. Rinsing a child’s nose can be enough of a wrestling match without also struggling to get the positioning just right.

There is now a “Nicer Neti,” as the Nasopure bottle is referred to.

Of all the possible methods for doing nasal saline rinses, this is by far the easiest. And their bottle is BPA-free!

No odd head/neck contortions to get the positioning just right.

And if you have children who need nasal saline rinses, be sure to check out the videos on the Nasopure site: they show 3- and 4-year-old children easily doing nasal saline rinses. By themselves. Without the wrestling match. It’s that easy.

For Transparency:  I have NO financial or other arrangements with Nasopure.com or Dr. Hana Solomon. It is simply that this is the easiest system that I have found (and I have used them ALL), and the one that I use personally for myself and my own children, and the one that I recommend for my patients in clinic.

For those who might be interested in signing up for FREE email updates from this blog – no SPAM ever – you will receive a decent discount for everything on the Nasopure site.

If you or your child(ren) struggle with rhinitis or sinusitis, Dr. Hana’s book is a must-have:

Clearing The Air One Nose at a Time, by Dr. Hana Solomon.

Readers of this blog will recognize this as the book that I was intending to write!


Thanks for visiting.

Thanks especially to Kim, Jenna, and Lisa, for taking the time to leave comments, ask questions, and most importantly – to share their experiences with all of us. Your contributions to our little community of boogor-heads is greatly appreciated!

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Stay Informed.

Stay Healthy.

Best of health and success to you and your families.

Until next time, remember … you can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose (unless you’re a boogor doctor :~D)


  1. thanks for the shout-out :) It’s nice to be appreciated.

  2. As a pediatrician, I am glad to read only 4% of responders still use the ‘blue bulb torture’ on infants or any nose, for that matter. The bulb will breed fungus (dark and wet environments are the prefect medium for fungus). I recommend parents avoid spreading fungus into their child’s nose from the blue bulb.

    I refer to the ‘torture’ because too often, the parent will enter the nostril, incorrectly and suction repeatedly resulting in discomfort and a nose still filled with mucus. Sometimes the bulb can scratch the lining of the nose (ouch!). In my clinic, I have witnessed infants begin to scream if the parent was simply holding the ‘blue bulb torture’. If an effective device is used properly, the first time, with excellent results, the infant actually will not fuss. Why is this the case? Because breathing feels good.
    There are several effective nose suction devices which can be used for infants but also for the disabled. My favorite for design and cost is Baby NasaKleen.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      My Dear Dr. Hana,

      First, thank you for visiting, and taking the time to share your opinion with us!! Greatly appreciated.
      Great point that you make regarding the fungus from the suction bulb – I had failed to mention that problem with the bulb, and I am so glad that you brought that to our attention. I am very familiar with the “torture” from the bulb. I see nose-bleeds in infants and children from suction bulb mishaps.

      So, I fully agree with you regarding the need to just stop using suction bulbs for both nasal rinses, and for suction.

      I also agree about the Baby Nasakleen Nasal Aspirator as the best means of suctioning a baby’s nose without trauma.

      Again, thanks for sharing. Your opinion adds great value to our little community of boogor heads.
      RF (boogs)

  3. Miserable in Colorado says:

    I’ve read you shouldn’t do the nasal rinse if you have a nostril that is so plugged up you cannot breathe. ( I’ve been doing it anyway, because it does help somewhat.) Is this true? If so, what then, can you do to breathe and unplug the blockage? Sudafed marginally works, but I cannot take it at night because it keeps me awake.

    I am 48 and have never had allergy problems. This started in early January. Tomorrow is Easter. I have a doctor’s appointment May 2nd. Miserable is actually an understatement for how I am feeling. Thanks for any advice you can give me.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Dear Miserable,

      I feel your pain.

      You CAN do saline rinses even if your nose is so congested that you cannot breathe through it. Keep it up – it will help. When you are severely congested, try using a hypertonic solution. I simply put in the usual amount of saline powder (one packet), but simply don’t fill to the fill-line with water.

      NOTE that using the hypertonic saline rinses will aggravate your cilia over time, so only do that when you are severely congested – during a ‘cold,’ during sinusitis, when allergies flare up severely.

      Since this is new for you, and it has been going on for some months now, it will be important to make certain that you don’t have a bad sinusitis (infection), including a fungal sinus infection, and even making certain that you don’t have a rare tumor that is obstructing your nasal airway. Don’t miss your appointment with your doc. And please do keep us updated on how you’re doing.

      Thank you so much for visiting, and for taking the time to leave a note for us – we all learn from each other’s experiences!
      RF (boogs)

  4. What To Do When Your Nose Is Congested

    Some folks experience complete blockage or severe congestion in their nasal passages. If this blockage is a new or recent issue as compared to chronic (months or years), then I suggest washing as follows:

    Use hypertonic as soon as tolerated.
    Rinse ONLY the congested side, gently….and at least 4 times per day. The wash may only come in contact with only the first area of blockage. With each wash, the salty solution will decongest the tissues naturally as it comes in contact with the swelling. Repeat this gentle rinse every 4-6 hours, squeeze gently. Do not expect the solution to exit the opposite nostril during the first few flushes. After repeated flushes and as the solution gets deeper and decongests the tissues over time, the solution will pass thru the opposite side. Then and only then should the you wash on both sides.
    Always keep in mind to blow the nose very gently and without blocking one side (snort or forcefully exhale thru the nostrils with the mouth closed.
    The real secret is to then maintain clean nasal passages by washing daily with a milder solution.

    Be Well, Dr Hana

  5. I used a saline spray routinely for kids with recurrent ear infections and never saw any improvement. I added xylitol (shown to prevent 42% of ear infections when chewed in gum) to this saline nasal spray and saw a 92% reduction in recurrent otitis. See my article in Clinical Practice of Alternative Medicine.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Welcome Dr. Jones,
      Thanks for visiting, and for leaving that tip. How accessible is xylitol for the average family to be able to achieve your results? That is, can we apply your tip to nasal saline rinses? Love your site. I will look for your publication!
      Thanks again for visiting, and for taking the time to leave a comment!
      RF (boogs)

  6. Dr Jones,
    Perhaps your results with nasal spray would be vastly different if you used a nasal wash, and if you used hypertonic and buffered (at least 1.5% or more).
    These are so very different, I have found a wash can really improve ETD.
    I am anxious to hear more about the details of what you used.
    I love Xylitol but irrigating a wound before antibiotic ointment application makes sense.

  7. Wow! I am so thankful I have stumbled upon your website. I have a 16 month old that I just cannot get healthy and reading all of this is making me at peace thinking there may actually be a solution. At 5 months old, he was hospitalized with RSV and hasn’t been healthy since(prior to this he was completely healthy). He had several ear infections and after several visits to an ENT, we had tubes put in his ears. This has reduced the number of ear infections and thankfully antibiotics, but unfortunately it hasn’t reduced his other symptoms of misery. He consistently has a runny/stuffy nose and (I think) drainage. This, (I think) has lead him to having a constant very mucousy cough (unfortunately he doesn’t understand to spit it out). He was allergy tested (blood) which revealed nothing, although if we ever accidentally skip his nightly dose of zyrtec he is even more miserable the next day. Which leads me to believe he has some sort of non allergic rhinits, sinusitis or something of the sort (I am a little overwhelmed with all of the terminology I have been researching) We tried flovent with xopenex to treat the cough. After seeing the pulmonologist recently an xray of his chest revealed significant “junk” in his lungs. He is now on Dulera and Nasonex. I don’t believe either are significantly improving his condition. I am very concerned about all of these medications we pump in him every day. I am convinced as our pediatrician and pulmonologist has said if we can get his nasal issues under control, we can get the cough under control We have used “little noses” saline spray off and on but only when things get worse than normal. Although this site is giving me hope that I can get my son healthy, I feel as if I have been doing things all wrong and am very confused. Depending on the level of stuffiness we either hold him down and squirt or use the more gently spray. If we squirt it in, we use the bulb syringe to remove it. I am truly hoping you can help guide me to understanding what the best products and tools as well as the frequency to use these products so my son can be healthy. If we could just do a saline rinse and get everything under control and get him off all his other medications that would be so wonderful! Thank you sooo much in advance!!

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      HI Lauren,
      First, thank you for your kind comments. I’m delighted that you are finding some value here to help your son.
      Next: the more you know, the better: stay informed, stay healthy.
      So: please read the articles on this site about the “Unified Airway,” as the majority of these children have “reactive airways” where inflammation in one area will trigger reactions in other areas of the airway. Also read the one article on Xlitol, and several on Probiotics. Also check the Free Library section here (tab at the top) for downloadable pdf file on probiotics.
      Get rid of the bulb, and get the “nicer neti” – the Nasopure system from Nasopure.com
      That is the system that I personally use, and also use for my own kids. When you are on that website, be sure to watch the videos!!

      Things that will definitely help with children who have recurrent ear infections and stuffy noses:
      – A daily probiotic. The best are enteric coated, from Integrative Therapeutics. Before you tell me that your infant can’t swallow a little pill, note that several nursing mothers in my own practice tell me that their nursing infants take these without problems (they simply tuck the pearl into the infant’s cheek and then nurse).
      – Saline Nasal spray that contains Xylitol – I use the spray from Xlear.com for our kids. The Xylitol helps reduce ear infections, rhinitis, and sinusitis.
      – Nasakleen baby nasal aspirator to suction little tyke’s nose without trauma. Note that Nasopure.com also has one now, that I will review soon.

      Note: I have NO financial relationship with Nasopure.com, Integrative Therapeutics, or Xlear.com/ items on our Amazon Store are ‘affiliate links’ to help support this site.
      All of those products can be found through the boogordoctor’s Amazon Store, at Amazon’s best prices, or if you prefer not to have a few pennies go to support this site, simply go to Amazon.com and search for the items that I mention above and get them.
      Thanks again for your kind comments, and please let me know how things improve using these approaches.

      • Thank you sooo much for your quick response. I have ordered everything on the website and the Nasopure has already began to make a difference. My son just had his sinuses x-ray’d today by his pulmonologist and they are impacted and infected and he has “severe sinusitis”. We are following up with his ENT asap and are looking forward to a healthier happier little boy! It almost seems a similar story to your article on the 3 yr. old boy, round after round of antibiotics haven’t helped so we are hoping the sinus rinses will. It has only been two days, but it seems we are making some progress with the “boogers”. Thank you for inspiring me to fight for my son’s health by staying informed!! I will definitely keep you updated and continue to read your articles.

  8. D Kessler says:

    What is your thoughts on additives to the saline rinses? I have heard of a few drops of baby shampoo, half teaspoon of xylitol, two ampules of budesonide, and Bactroban nasal swabbing after the rinse. Any of the above, all at once, alternating days or weeks?


    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      To be honest, I only use one additive at a time to my own saline rinses, if only to avoid unexpected interactions. And note: if you try the baby shampoo thing, be VERY cautious, as it can burn … very ouchy. Start with only a few drops per rinse, increase as tolerated. And not to be used long-term, only to get control over a chronic biofilm problem. Xylitol good for long-term, regular usage. It increases the osmolarity of the rinse without adding more salt. That helps pull edema from the swollen tissues without harming the cilia. And Xylitol has some innate anti-microbial action, too.

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