Many people use neti pots to relieve the sniffing, sneezing, and congestion from colds and allergies.\nWhile the idea of nasal irrigation may seem strange at first, rinsing your sinuses can effectively flush allergens, bacteria, and thin mucus \u2014 so you can breathe easier.\nWhat is a neti pot and how do you use it? Learn more here. Click To Tweet\nBefore you give it a try, learn the basics about how neti pots work and\u00a0how to safely use them.\nWhat Is a Neti Pot?\nA neti pot is a teapot-shaped container, usually made of plastic or ceramic, filled with warm water and a special saline solution to rinse out your sinuses. You can purchase\u00a0a neti pot at most pharmacies, and many come with\u00a0pre-packaged kits that include the saline solution.\nHow Do I Use a Neti Pot?\n\nBefore using a neti pot, make sure that it is clean. Wash your hands first, then wash the pot in distilled, filtered, or previously boiled and cooled water.\nFill the pot with warm distilled, filtered, or previously boiled and cooled water and add the saline mixture. If you don\u2019t have a kit that includes the\u00a0pre-packaged solution, you can make your own by mixing 1 teaspoon of table, kosher, or sea salt with a pinch of baking soda.\nStanding over your sink, tilt your head to one side, open your mouth to breathe, and pour the water into one nostril. The water will flow into your sinus cavity and out the other nostril. Gently blow your nose, then repeat on\u00a0the other side.\nOnce you\u2019re finished, wash the neti pot again with distilled, filtered, or previously boiled and cooled water.\n\nAre Neti Pots Safe?\nYou may\u00a0have heard that using a neti pot isn\u2019t safe because there is a risk of bacteria getting into your body. This can happen if you don\u2019t use distilled, filtered, or previously boiled and cooled water, but in general, neti pots are considered safe to use.\nNeti pots are considered safe to use - just make sure you use distilled or filtered water! Click To Tweet\nAlways read the package instructions before using a neti pot. If there are no directions, talk with your doctor about how to use it safely.\n\u00a0\nLearn more by visiting the UPMC Ear, Nose, and Throat services webpage.