How To Use A Neti Pot

1. Enter Mother’s Market. Spend upwards of twenty minutes aimlessly walking around the store, feigning interest in various items while, in reality, you are too shy to ask the cute dude with dreads about the Neti Pot.

2. Locate a very tall Swedish man with a skinny plumber’s butt and ask for assistance locating the Neti Pots. Loudly knock over an organic tissue box display with your stroller.

3. Find and purchase Neti Pot.

4. Return home. Sit on couch. Take Neti Pot box out of the shopping bag.

5. Stare at Neti Pot box.

6. Repeat #5 several times.

7. Make dinner.

8. Finish dinner. Sit on couch.

9. Repeat #5.

10. Place Neti Pot box on the couch next to you, barely touching your leg. Pray that the physical contact alone will unleash the magical healing powers of the Neti Pot.

11. Realize magical Neti Pot diffusion isn’t happening. Decide to open the box.

12. While opening the box, notice the term “nasal douching” written on the side. Gag forcefully. Repeat #5.

13. Quickly get over your fears when your sinus cavities remind you that YOU WILL DIE IF YOU DON’T DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE MUCUS.

14. Prepare Neti Pot with the warm water and salt. (1/4 teaspoon to 8 ounces water is the recommended amount. I used a little bit less, thanks to your comments.)

15. Read the directions 5,000 times and obsessively worry that your head won’t be tilted properly.

16. Lean over the sink, tilt head and stick the Neti spout into your right nostril, creating a “seal”.

17. Pour water into your right nostril. See nothing coming out the other side. Wonder where the water is going. Tilt head upwards to look in the mirror. Salt water now gushes down your throat. Choke. Scream, “I’M DROWNING! HELP MEEEE!”

18. Realize you are, in fact, NOT drowning. Collect yourself.

19. Try again, this time tilting your head properly. The saltwater flows directly out the other nostril! You are amazed! This is the coolest party trick ever!

20. Feel equally happy/horrified about the expelled contents of your nose.

I’m here to tell you – don’t be scared of the Neti Pot! There is definitely a little bit of a learning curve when it comes to the tilt of your head (not tilting downwards enough can cause the saltwater to drain in your throat), but once you have that down, it’s really easy. I’m definitely a fan. Now, if I only had bought one a week ago, I probably wouldn’t be dealing with my newly-diagnosed sinus infection of mammoth proportions. Oh well, at least I’ll know next time.

  1. 180/360

    July 2, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    I twittered you a few months back during your last sinus infection that you should try a neti pot.

    I love mine! Once you get the hang of it, it’s really not so bad. I especially like using it before/after flying. I liked it so much I bought them for all of my family and friends.

    Be sure not to put in extra salt (OUCH) and always use warm water. Cold will give you a nasty brain freeze. I swear it helps keep me and my sinuses healthier.

  2. Loralee

    July 2, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    I am thrilled to know that this is actually out there. As an opera singer, mucous is a HUGE problem. You just cannot have it or it makes production of sound difficult, and this kind of irrigation is a singers secret (Along with zinc lozenges). I used to use an extra large ear syringe filled with lukewarm salt water but this thing looks much simpler.

  3. Kaili

    July 2, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    Interesting….I may try it next time my nasal needs douching! YIPES!

  4. barbara

    July 2, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    My favorite part is afterwards. People say you get your chi revved or something, but I am pretty sure the surge of energy is that primal “I didn’t drown!” response.

    and also? For about fifteen minutes post-neti, you may have sudden, inexplicable, water-tricking-from-nostril syndrome.

  5. Abi

    July 2, 2008 at 10:39 pm

    I’m still sticking to my guns that the NeilMed Sinus Rinse is a better, easier, less weirdy (weirdy?) way to go. But the neti pot does work — I did use one for years before switching to NeilMed.

    It IS quite a marvel what can come out of your nose. In fact, my friend just recently pulled a marble out of her daughter’s nose!

  6. angie

    July 3, 2008 at 4:04 am

    I tell you, I learn something new every day! I couldn’t watch that whole video-ewww. But to hear it from your mouth? Well that means something. Thank you, whoorl.

  7. tracey

    July 3, 2008 at 5:40 am

    Shuddering… The Neti Pot is one of those things, like a pap smear, that I’ve always said are great things! Awesome inventions!! Yay… Until the thought of having to do it myself (well, not the pap smear MYself, but you know what I mean) and then I get all weirded out.

    Glad you figured it out!

  8. tricia

    July 3, 2008 at 6:42 am

    yeah, i love the neti! and my dr. says the research shows it’s just as effective as antibiotics for minor sinus infections.

  9. katia

    July 3, 2008 at 7:02 am

    I need Neti. I’m on cold #2 in 2 weeks and I’m dyyyyyying.

  10. Olivia

    July 3, 2008 at 7:06 am

    slynnro: there is something like that for ears. Check out Murine Earigate Ear Cleansing System and similar products.

  11. merrymishaps

    July 3, 2008 at 7:22 am

    I have picked up the Neti Pot and NeilMed boxes in the drugstore many times. I have sinus problems during allergy season and I KNOW it will be good for me.

    I’m just a bit scared of it. I’ve tried saline rinses and it doesn’t work well, and this is a lot more water!

    I will just have to give it a shot one of these days. Hearing your step-by-step makes me a little less frightened!

  12. andrea

    July 3, 2008 at 8:42 am

    I’m deeply terrified of the neti pot although I’ve heard great things about them. And I am definitely one who could benefit from them but dear lord, I have to get over the fear. Thanks for making it a little less scary for me.

  13. Allison

    July 3, 2008 at 8:51 am

    I’ve heard you can accomplish the same results by using a nasal aspirator (you know? The Baby Booger Sucker) in reverse. You suck up some warm salt water and then squeeze the ball part to shoot the water into your nose. (I guess I’d be sure to buy a new one and not use the one you use for Wito’s booger sucking…)

    I’ve been too scared to even try that, so I’m amazed you tried the Neti Pot – that’s MUCH scarier!!

  14. Diane

    July 3, 2008 at 9:24 am

    So glad you tried it and now know the awesomeness of the neti. You’re right…once you get the angle down, it’s smooth sailing!

  15. metalia

    July 3, 2008 at 9:40 am

    The phrase “nasal douching” is making me giggle UNCONTROLLABLY. I don’t think that speaks too favorably of my maturity level.