Good To Nose Baraka Blog

Clean Neti Pot- Clean Nose

Written By: Stephani
June 20, 2011


sinus infectionBest Methods for Cleaning Your Neti Pot

We are often asked about sanitizing our neti pot, so we decided that a Clean Your Neti Pot blog was probably long overdue.  We have included some basic tips and more importantly our personal experience! Ultimately you can decide on what works best for you.

Since a neti pot is used to maintain healthy sinuses and mucus flow, it is a good idea to clean your pot often. This is what I do:

Before and after I use my neti pot, I rinse it with hot water and flush out the spout.  I tend to use my hand while I’m doing this to ensure any lingering salt or dust is removed.  I hand-wash my neti pot with warm, soapy water only about once a month, and every three months or so I put it into the dishwasher. This is what is comfortable for me, but you may find that you want to do a soapy wash more or less often. There’s no right way. Just be sure to rinse out any remaining soap as it can irritate your sinuses. It is also important to ensure that the pot air dries completely, as water left in the pot can allow bacteria to grow.

If you rinse on a daily basis, your neti pot will tend to be cleaner than someone who only rinses once a week or less.  Where you leave your neti pot will also play a part in how often you need to clean it. If you leave your neti under the sink and one day see mold growing next to it- wash it thoroughly before using!

Another important time to take extra care in washing your neti pot is when you are dealing with a cold/flu or other type of infection. Sometimes mucus can get into the pot and adhere to the inside. I recommend washing your neti pot with warm soapy water after each rinse when dealing with an infection.  You can also pour boiling water into your pot and let it sit for a few minutes before pouring it through.  Do this a couple of times in a row before or after washing it with soap for a very thorough germ-fighting clean.

Some people have asked about using the microwave as a tool to sterilize the pot- we feel that hand-washing with soapy water or running the pot through your dishwasher are effective ways to clean your pot. However, if you would like to utilize the microwave- this is the information we came across while investigating microwave sterilization.  Most bacteria is killed after 5 minutes in the microwave (set on high).  It is more effective to have water in the pot (rather than empty) while in the microwave during the disinfection stage.  Clean the neti pot first with soapy water and then place the product with water in the microwave- this is the best way to ensure you have a clean and sterilized pot.  Allow the pot sit for an extended time after heating for more than 2 minutes in the microwave- IT WILL BE VERY HOT as it retains heat!  Use a towel or oven mitt to protect your hands.

Above all, if you feel it is time to clean your neti pot then it probably is. A nasal cleansing device can never be too clean!

What do you do?  How often do you clean your neti pot? We always love to hear any feedback from fellow neti pot users- so please share with us!


sinus rinse


24 Responses to “Clean Neti Pot- Clean Nose”

  1. Wendy
    13. July 2012 um 23:53

    When I got my plastic neti pot it said to put baby shampoo in it to clean it. Does that sound right? The way I read the instructions it sounded like you were to clean it every time you used it. I first put brita water in a pan and I boil it. Then I put some brita in my neti pot and clean it with the shampoo. Then I make sure I rinse all that out. Then once the water is boiled I pour that into it and clean it out to serialize it. About 2 times a week I nuke it also to kill anything else. Am I going to far? I thought that was what the directions said to do. I see people on youtube and they hardly do anything.

  2. Stephani
    16. July 2012 um 18:07

    Wendy, it sounds like you are doing a lot to ensure that your neti pot is clean- which is great. Baraka believes that the baby shampoo is suggested to clean your neti, because it is often more gentle than other cleaning solutions. Check out natural/plant based cleaning solutions since even baby shampoo can contain chemicals. I would caution you about putting your plastic neti pot in the microwave as that can break down the plastics which can then leach into your water and some plastics can absorb chemicals. Drying your neti pot completely after cleaning is important, as bacteria can grow in small amounts of water left behind. Baraka thinks you must have the cleanest neti pot ever! Thanks for your question!

  3. Linda Popiel
    17. August 2012 um 11:50

    hi I just started using neti pots can you wipe around after cleaning it with a paper towel

  4. Stephani
    20. August 2012 um 17:09

    Ensuring that the neti pot is dry after use is an important part to keeping your neti pot clean. Yes, you can use a paper towel to dry the neti after using it or cleaning it. Happy Rinsing!

  5. Lori
    25. February 2014 um 22:26

    I scrub and rinse my neti pot daily with washing up liquid and very hot tap water. After that I spay it down the spout and into the pot with dettox solution. I then shake that out and leave it to drain for a while before rinsing thoroughly with boiled water. I can’t use boiling water as the pot is plastic. Am I taking sufficient steps to ensure cleanliness?

  6. Stephani
    25. February 2014 um 22:52

    While your cleaning practice sounds good, I’m curious about what your detox solution is. Be careful to not use chemicals as they can remain in the pot. Also a plastic neti pot should be replaced once a year, refer to the neti pot maker’s website for further information about this. Happy Rinsing!

  7. Alex
    28. February 2014 um 17:04

    I usually just rinse my neti pot with warm tap water inside and out thoroughly after each use, and i then allow it to air dry before i use it again. I feel like i might not be doing enough, what is your opinion?

  8. Stephani
    12. March 2014 um 21:10

    I would substitute the tap water for boiled water or distilled water to ensure you have the best water quality available. Allowing it to dry completely is key to keeping your pot clean. If you feel that your are not doing enough, then use the suggestions above (wash with warm soapy water or in a dishwasher) to improve your confidence in a clean neti pot. You will have to decide what your best cleaning strategy is and what feels most comfortable for you. Good luck!

  9. Liz
    22. April 2014 um 17:51

    I’m trying to come up with a way to disinfect or sterilize my neti in the bathroom, so I don’t have to carry it to the kitchen, boil water, etc. I have immune system problems and need to use it every day and be very careful cleaning it. If I wash it with soap and water could I then put it in an electric bottle sterilizer? Or would I have to take that to the kitchen to clean?

  10. Stephani
    23. April 2014 um 19:52

    Hello Liz, I think an electric sterilizer would work well to clean the neti pot. What a great idea! I’d love to hear how it works for you in the future!

  11. Rose
    13. October 2014 um 14:41

    I use my 190 degree filtered steaming hot water tap mixed with bought distilled water in my ceramic netty pot. I absolutely love having this tap in my kitchen and highly recommend it for daily netty pot users. After each use, I rinse a little of the steaming tap water through it and then let it air dry. I also run it in the dishwasher once a month or so, but must rinse it after with the steaming water in case there is any soap residue or smell from the dishwasher soap. I don’t recommend anyone to use a plastic netty pot, since plastic seems like it could absorb bacteria, whereas ceramic could only have it on the surface.

  12. Angelica
    16. May 2015 um 12:53

    I am inquiring about cleaning instructions for my copper neti pot.

  13. Stephani
    18. May 2015 um 16:00

    Hello Angelica. Thanks for contacting us. I don’t have directions on how best to clean a copper neti pot, unfortunately I have no experience with a copper pot. I would imagine the same rules would apply: clean with warm, soapy, distilled water and ensure the neti pot is completely dried out. Store in a clean location. I hope that helps!

  14. Karen
    24. June 2015 um 08:59

    I just saw my ENT Dr today. He said wash it with boiled distilled water and a bit of baby shampoo!

  15. Rochelle Coop
    3. January 2016 um 21:30

    Help! every time I use the neti pot this past month has thrown my sinuses into distress. at this point I believe it is an infection and the neti pot seems to make it worse. I clean it well, I use boiled water, I put 1/4 tsp. of baking soda and 1 tblsp. of neti pot salt as directed. instant results are pain, mucus, headache….and days after Im suffering still. whew! it’s bad.

  16. Sue
    4. January 2016 um 21:53

    Hi Rochelle – I think you are using too much salt. People generally rinse with a teaspoon when making a hypertonic rinse in 10 oz of water, but 1 tablespoon seems like too much. No wonder it burns. Also, are you using a sodium chloride salt? I think you should rethink what you add to the water. First, switch to a sea salt that hasn’t been stripped of its trace minerals if you are using a sodium chloride salt and then reduce the amount of salt to what I mentioned above. You won’t need to use baking soda when using a sea salt. Sodium chloride is harsh and needs the buffer of baking soda.

    It sounds like you are an experienced neti pot user and are just having a problem this month? Hmmm. Well, reply if you have other questions in relation to what I wrote above please write again.

  17. Rita
    15. August 2016 um 01:26

    Hi….I am just starting to use a neti pot. Just ordered a stainless steel one…I heard those are better than plastic and copper. So, reading everyone’s concerns I guess you can use hot tap water with soap to wash out the neti pot and then just let it air dry?? Also, you can use distilled water that you buy at the store for rinsing? Can you also heat the distilled water?? After using tap water should you rinse the pot out with hot distilled water?? I have been reading so much that I am not sure which is the best way to go….

  18. Stephani
    16. August 2016 um 19:56

    Hi Rita, When cleaning your neti pot, use hot water and ensure the pot is dried completely before use. Use a towel to dry the inside and I have heard of some people using a cotton swab inside the spout to ensure the area is clean. Drying the neti is important because it will help to ensure that there is no place for bacteria to linger or grow. You can use distilled water from the store to clean or use in your neti pot- just heat it in a kettle or microwave. I also suggest that if you have any hesitations about your tap water, than skip it although and go straight for the distilled water; better to feel confident about your water source than worry about it. Hope this helps and feel free to contact us again with any questions.

  19. Barbara Bourgeois
    6. February 2017 um 19:52

    With all I have read; it says to replace neti pot (varied suggestions); it that necessary, if you have a ceramic pot.

  20. Stephani
    6. February 2017 um 20:16

    Hello Barbara, The suggestion to replace a neti pot is common with plastic devices. Over time the plastic starts to break down and plastic manufacturers suggest replacing your neti pot every 6 months or so. This would not be necessary with a ceramic neti pot which has been cared for and cleaned in the proper manner. If you notice any cracks or chips in a ceramic pot, that is when I would suggest replacing a ceramic neti pot.

  21. Kayla
    29. March 2017 um 21:24

    When you rinse your net pot with warm water, do you use tap water? I just received my ceramic neti pot in the mail, but was using a plastic one up until this point.

    I was washing my plastic neti pot every day with tap water and dish soap, rinsing thoroughly. Can I really just wash once a week and rinse out with warm tap water after each use?

  22. Stephani
    29. March 2017 um 23:14

    Hi Kayla, Congratulations on purchasing a ceramic neti pot and getting rid of the plastic! Rinsing with tap water is fine- just be sure the pot is dried completely and no lingering water is left in the neti. How often you clean your neti pot is completely up to you- we all have different standards on “what is clean.” So do what feels proper for yourself. Cleaning everyday is not a bad thing and if it fits into your life- I say go for it.

  23. Nesha
    18. April 2017 um 21:01

    I recently just used a netti pot but I didn’t clean it before hand. It has been sitting for a few months now and I just rinsed it with warm water and I didn’t let it dry before using it… Should I go to the doctor to make sure no harmful bacteria are in my systems?

  24. Stephani
    19. April 2017 um 15:51

    Hello Neesha. While my instinct would be to tell you that you are probably fine, if you feel the need to got to the dr is important than you need to make that choice for yourself. What I would suggest is cleaning your neti pot thoroughly and then rinsing your sinuses properly- after all the neti pot is made to flush your sinuses! But as I stated your desire to go or not go to the dr is a choice you will have to make for yourself.

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