How to Use Saline Nasal Spray

Saline nasal spray is used to moisturize nasal passages and/or remove mucus blockage. Saline nasal sprays can also help loosen mucus in an infant or child who is too young to blow his nose. This non-medicated solution can be used in a few simple steps.

Saline nasal sprays. Credit: KEVMA21/iStock/Getty Images


Step 1

Blow your nose to remove any loosened mucus.

Step 2

Remove the cap and shake the bottle. Give the bottle a few practice squeezes until a fine mist comes out.

Step 3

Lean forward slightly. Breath out slowly while holding the bottle against the nostril. Plug the opposite nostril with the other hand.

Step 4

Squeeze the bottle and breathe in slowly through your nose. Do not blow your nose right away.

Step 5

Repeat the steps for the opposite side.

Administering to an Infant

Step 1

Lie your infant on her back.

Step 2

Place a few drops of saline in each nostril.

Step 3

Use a suction bulb to remove the loosened mucus.

Things You'll Need

  • Commercial saline nasal spray

  • Bulb syringe (for infants)

  • Tissues


Wash the syringe with soap and warm water after each use. Suck water in and out of the bulb syringe to get all the mucus out. Preservative-free saline sprays might produce less stinging.


Do not squeeze the bulb syringe while it is in the infant's nostril.

Do not use during a nosebleed.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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