How to Use a Sports Bottle Instead of a Neti Pot

Use a sports bottle to help clear up clogged sinuses.
Use a sports bottle to help clear up clogged sinuses. (Image: Sport water bottle image by TekinT from

Sinuses can become stopped up due to allergies or the common cold. A neti pot clears up your sinuses with a saline solution. Rather than spend the money to buy a neti pot or leave home to get one when you're not feeling well, you can make a neti pot at home from a water bottle. Within minutes, the nasal congestion will usually clear up.

Things You'll Need

  • Sports bottle
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt or non-iodized salt (finely ground)
  • 1/8 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup distilled water or boiled tap water

Wash the sports bottle and dry it completely before use. Pour the crushed sea salt and baking soda into the bottle.

Add warm or room-temperature water to the bottle, close it and shake it to blend the salt, baking soda and water together.

Lean over a sink with your head tilted to the side. Place the spout of the sports bottle in the nostril that is higher up and squeeze the bottle gently. The solution will drain out from the other nostril.

Switch sides and repeat the previous step. After draining is complete, blow your nose in a tissue to remove leftover mucus. Sterilize the neti pot thoroughly after use.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use the dishwasher or a five-minute boil to sterilize the sports bottle. Make sure high temperatures are safe for the bottle or it will melt.
  • If baking soda is not available, make the mixture with just salt and water.
  • Do not plug one nostril with the sports bottle and hold the other closed at the same time, or the solution will run into your ears.
  • The first time you use a neti pot or sports bottle, you may cough or the solution may go into your throat. This diminishes with practice and correct use.

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