How to Make Saline Solution?

••• Zinkevych/iStock/GettyImages

When a cold or sinus infection appears, saline solutions may help you breathe. Irrigation can open up the nasal passages and offer relief from the misery of clogged up sinuses. However, you do not have to rely on over-the-counter drops. You can make a saline solution at home. This simple product can improve symptoms and make you feel better.

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)

You can make different types of saline solutions, but one of the easiest methods is to add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of distilled water.

Making a Saline Solution

A typical saline solution is a mixture of water and salt. There are a variety of recipes that can work for different problems, but one of the simplest methods is to take 1 cup of distilled water, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to it, and stir the mixture to use it as your saline solution. It is possible to substitute boiled water for distilled water, but you should not use tap water because it may contain bacteria and other organisms.

How to Make a Saline Solution for Wounds

When making a saline solution for wounds, it is essential that the water is sterile. The solution also has to be fresh for each use because bacteria can grow in it. Start with 4 cups of either distilled or boiled water in a large container. Then, add 2 teaspoons of salt. Mix until the salt dissolves. If boiled water is part of the preparation, wait for it to cool to room temperature before applying it to any wounds. Also, follow your doctor’s instructions for wound care.

How to Make a Saline Solution for a Baby's Nose

A saline solution can help clear a baby’s nose. Avoid using salt with iodine or preservatives because it can irritate the mucous lining. Start with 1 cup of boiled or distilled water and add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda. You want to use less salt for a baby than an adult.

Avoid Homemade Saline Solutions for Contacts

Saline solution is not the same as contact lens solution. The bottles you buy in a store for soft contacts have preservatives and cleaning agents in them. Homemade saline solution cannot disinfect lenses, so it is not sufficient to keep contacts clean. Also, it can irritate the eyes and lead to other problems. You should avoid using homemade saline solution for contacts because it can increase the risk of eye infections.


About the Author

Lana Bandoim is a freelance writer and editor. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and chemistry from Butler University. Her work has appeared on Forbes, Yahoo! News, Business Insider, Lifescript, Healthline and many other publications. She has been a judge for the Scholastic Writing Awards from the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. She has also been nominated for a Best Shortform Science Writing award by the Best Shortform Science Writing Project.