A recipe for homemade saline solution calls for a cup of distilled water, 1/2 teaspoon of pickling or canning salt and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, according to WebMD. It can be stored for up to three days at room temperature.
A homemade saline solution can be used for nasal irrigation by filling a large medical syringe, nasal cleaning pot or squeeze bottle with the solution and gently squeezing the tip inside the nostril, states WebMD. The tip should point toward the back of the head so the stream comes out of the other nostril or down through the mouth. Unless otherwise instructed by a doctor, blowing the nose is helpful to clean out the remaining solution. Repeat several times daily, and clean the syringe or bottle after each use.
Saline washes help to flush dried or thickened mucus out of the nasal passages, explains WebMD. They also help the cilia to function properly with regular sinus cleaning, prevent infection and reduce postnasal drip. Use a saline wash prior to other nasal medicines for better absorption. It can be warmed first, however the first few uses may produce a slight burning or stinging sensation. Saline nose drops can also be purchased in most pharmacies.