Ways to Unstuff Your Nose Naturally

The top 10 ways to naturally clear a stuffy nose.
The top 10 ways to naturally clear a stuffy nose.

How to Unstuff a Blocked-up Nose without Medicine

Normally I am a pretty healthy person. I get sick very rarely. But any of us can wake up to an uncomfortable stuffed nostril and sore throat. Just this morning, I woke up and found I could not breathe out of my left nostril and my throat hurt. I found that blowing my nose only made my stuffiness worse and increased my discomfort.

Perhaps I caught something when I delivered cupcakes across the street last night; maybe my allergies were acting up (here in Connecticut, trees can wreak havoc on one's sinuses). Whatever the reason, when I get a stuffy nose, I want to get rid of it ASAP and move on with what I have to get done that day, which is why I've found and tested several remedies throughout the years.

Though I hate having a sore throat and stuffy nose, taking medication is not my first course of action. Usually one of my home remedies takes care of the problem. Because of today's runny nose, I decided I would share my home remedies in this article. Usually one or a combination of these practices works for me.

All of these at home tactics will help to clear out your nasal passageways. Not only will you be able to breathe better, but you will be clear-headed so you can have a productive day ahead.

How often do people get stuffy noses and nasal congestion?

How Often Do You Have a Stuffy Nose or Nasal Congestion Where You Cannot Breathe through Your Nose Properly?

  • Everyday
  • Once a Week
  • Once a Month
  • Only When i Have a Cold
  • Just a Few Times A Year
  • I Never Get a Stuffy Nose
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1. Gargle Your Nose with Salt Walter to Help Alleviate Stuffiness

Salt water can help unclog your nose.
Salt water can help unclog your nose.

Doing a salt water nose gargle is very simple. Just fill up a small cup with warm water and a pinch of salt. Close one nostril and snort the salt water with the other nostril. Then simply blow your nose.

Incidentally, along with salt water, you can also use Listerine for a nose gargle. If you have the beginnings of a sore throat, as I did this morning, Listerine can do wonders.

Of course, this technique is very difficult to use on little ones. As the mother of a two-year-old, I know how often children's noses can get stuffed, but their noses are so small that it's hard to clear them out. This kit has already-mixed saline spray in a container meant for children's noses. It is still an all-natural cure but much easier to use, and it has worked very well for my son.

2. Use a Neti Pot to Clear Your Nose

Neti pots are much less intimidating than they seem.
Neti pots are much less intimidating than they seem.

I know I have already mentioned a salt water gargle as a way of clearing your sinuses. The gargle is simple because you probably already have all of the necessary supplies. However, the neti pot is the nicer way of doing a salt water gargle—if you can, I recommend using a neti pot over a mug. Simply fill the neti pot with salt water and pour it into one nostril while tilting your head to the opposite side. These neti pots come with "saline solution," that you pour into water to use in your pot. However, "saline solution" is another word for salt, so once you run out of the solution, you can simply use about one teaspoon of sea salt.

Below, I have included a video to show you exactly how to use a neti pot. It's not as scary as it looks. It does wonders for your health, so it's something you should learn.

3. Use Mouthwash When You Think a Cold Is Starting

I prefer the original Listerine (second from the left) because it is much less sweet than the other varieties.
I prefer the original Listerine (second from the left) because it is much less sweet than the other varieties. | Source

While I am focusing on how to clear a stuffy nose in this article, sometimes sinuses come hand-in-hand with a sore throat. Maybe you have experienced this, too. When your sinuses flare up, does your throat begin to feel itchy and scratchy?

Well, my first home remedy for this is to get the Listerine out of the medicine cabinet. This stuff is not just for the plaque on your teeth (I have already mentioned how it can help with a runny nose). When you have a sore throat, gargle with Listerine, and it will make a huge difference in how you feel a few hours later.

If you don't already have mouthwash, I recommend the regular Listerine that comes in yellow. The blue one and other flavors are way too sugary—just my opinion.

4. Take a Hot Shower or Boil Water

A steaming hot shower can help clear your sinuses.
A steaming hot shower can help clear your sinuses.

The steam from a hot shower will help to clear out your nose. While this clearing effect can be temporary, it still can help the process of clearing your nasal passageways.

Alternatively, the steam from a pot of boiling water can help clear your nose. Just be careful not to get your face too close to the pot, because the steam can get quite hot and boiling water can splash. Start with your face over a foot away from the water, and adjust accordingly.

This can be easier than taking a hot shower, because you don't have to change your clothes.

5. Drink a Full Glass of Water

Drinking water is such an easy thing to do. Keep your body hydrated.
Drinking water is such an easy thing to do. Keep your body hydrated. | Source

One of the reasons your nose is stuffy is because of mucous buildup. Drinking ample water helps to thin out this mucus—just another way water helps your body. You always want to make sure you stay hydrated, especially when you are not feeling 100 percent.

6. Eat Spicy Foods

Spicy foods can help unblock a stuffy nose.
Spicy foods can help unblock a stuffy nose.

Spicy foods will often help drain the nose. Like the effect of steam, this effect may only be temporary, but will help lead to more lasting results. We make Indian food everyday, so I can easily add a serrano chili or cayenne pepper to make something extra spicy.

Try adding chilis to your cooking. If that's too much effort, you can easily order spicy Indian or Vietnamese dishes.

7. Lay on the Side that Is Unstuffed or Less Clogged

Lying to one side can help relieve a stuffy nose.
Lying to one side can help relieve a stuffy nose.

This can help relieve the pressure on the more stuffed side of your face. Lying on your side works especially well after nose gargling salt water or using a neti pot.

8. Massage Your Sinuses

Massaging your sinuses can help them drain.
Massaging your sinuses can help them drain.

Massaging your sinuses can help to break up the congestion. It works, just like any massage, by loosening things up.

Below is a video that walks you through exactly how to drain your sinuses using massage and pressure points.

9. Cut an Onion

Cutting an onion can help relieve sinuses.
Cutting an onion can help relieve sinuses.

This morning, an item on my to-do list was to make sauce. It required onions. This instantly unstuffed my nose. The strong smell of the onion not only made me cry, but also helped open up my nostrils.

10. Use a Humidifier While You Sleep to Add Moisture to the Air

We do this in our Connecticut home during the wintertime. A humidifier instantly puts moisture into the air, increasing the humidity (hence the name). Like drinking a glass of water, using a humidifier can help thin out the mucus in your nose and sinus areas, allowing you to breathe better and sleep more restfully.

Please Share Your Tips and Experiences Getting Rid of Stuffy Noses 53 comments

Tasha 2 years ago

I had a stuffy nose for 1 week so I used Vicks vapor rub on my nose and I put a little bit of Vicks vapor rub on a piece of Kleenex and stuffed it in the one stopped up nostril this really helped me sleep

David 2 years ago

Tasha I tried that last night and it works after I read about it on hear from you thnk u

a certain person 2 years ago

can someone help??? ive actually woke up with a blocked nose on one side and when i get up it clears but when i sit down or lay down on something it starts to block up one of the sides of my nostrils and i can't breath and i always get up at about 2:00 in the morning to look for something to help my nose and ive tried nostril sprays but they don't work and i blow my nose but its still blocked HELP!!!! pleaseeee!

tyler 2 years ago

I'm 15 om allergic to about everything green can someone tell me the best allergy medicine

Yovanny 2 years ago

iv had a stuffed nose for like 2 weeks now and I used Vicks vapor every night and it worked

ZAcH 2 years ago

Please help I need this stuff nose to go away

bawbluvzpie 2 years ago

Ive had the same problem for two days. I'm sick, have a scratchy throat, and a stuffy nose. Anyone now how to fix it WITHOUT medicine

Taytum 2 years ago

This is exactly what happened to me and I hope it works.

Jessica 2 years ago

Please help!!!! I need this nostril cleared in hopeing SECONDS if I don't clear my mom might get it and DIE! (Long story)

bamagirlnikki 2 years ago

I was fine until i cut an onion. i have cut them before and this has never happen I've always been fine but today i was making roast and i cut a onion and it made me cry very bad and my nose ran and i now have a sore throat. idk its never happen and i love onions now i feel like i have a cold i feel so bad has this ever happen to anyone else what can i do

isabelle 2 years ago

I had a blocked nose for like three weeks and last night it was like I was dieing in my sleep someone pls help me I don't want to tAke tabs

ddabs 2 years ago

This is not helping vicks or enything hahahaha I'm about to freak. i was at mud bogs were there is a bunch of polin and dust!

Agnes 2 years ago

Plz help I have had a cold for 3 days now and I have a blocked nose, I don't know how to get rid of it, I have tried Vic, Steam, tablets, olbas inhaler and nothing has worked. If anyone knows how to get rid of blocked noses plz tell me.

Sierra 2 years ago

I need help I don't how to get rid of a stuffy nose :(

ji 2 years ago

i don't know what to do with a nose like this i can barely even breathe

domino 2 years ago

I don't understand why you all don't take medication? I woke up with a sore throat, blocked nose and a cough, all I did was take two cold and flu tablets and I feel terrific. Not judgeing, just saying

Ashley 2 years ago

Try to take a Warm shower , and blow the nostril that is clogged & i have stuffy nose too smh. :(

TinaStyles2 2 years ago

Drink one of them lemon cold and flu drink stuff they only cost about 1 dollar in the pharmacys amd believe me they work miracles if you take a sachet every 4 hours and theres about 4 or 5 sachets in 1 box so trust me if you have a stuffy nose then buy this

Arc4life profile image

Arc4life 2 years ago from Florida Author

Thanks Tina, for your advice.

Jonah 2 years ago

Please help it's 3 am in the morning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous 2 years ago

I say u should try holding on the top of the unclogged nose and them blow out the clogged nose.It really helped for me.

Nathan perry 2 years ago

I had this for almost three days now I and I need help my throat hurts and I can't sleep HELP

Misha 2 years ago

Like i have a stuffed up nose and i barely have the materials. U guys are suggestion i have that cold and cough its basically a tea u have to make but my nose stoped on one side of my nose which is the right and im tryna do everything to stay up or help my nose so i can go bak to sleep cause its kinda hard for me to breath that's why im up 2 sum in the morning PLEASE HELPPP U GUYS

David Nurse 2 years ago

I clean out my basement this morning and by evening my nose became stopped up on the left nostril I put some Rose oil on my mustash then I compress the tip of my cheek bones it hurt a little but about 3 minutes later I felt a movement I blew into a tissue and all that block up stuff came out. Now I am back to normal no stuffy nose Blessings.

MJ 2 years ago

Doctors! see your doctors-

Patricia 2 years ago

I have a stuffy nose everyday! its so frustrating I went to the doctor and she prescribe Nasonex and Claritin D it help a little in 2 weeks I have an appointment with the ENT hopefully They have a cure for me I have this problem for over 7 years now and I am only 25.

naydelin estrada 2 years ago

I'm a 8 year old my nose is stuffed up and. Its not working its painful

And I've been up till five and six of clock in the morning if any body has anythind to help me with let me know thanks:-) :-) :-)

Laderell 2 years ago

Shower with hot water and eat like 10 halls cough drops....u should be good for the night

blah03. 2 years ago

i don't have a pot

Rose 2 years ago

Im tired of my stuffed nose , its always around this time

Hannah 2 years ago

Please help me with my stuffed up nose and my sore throat! My brother had a stuffed up nose for 3 days. I think I got it when I went to church without a coat on. I really need some advice for what to do. I don't take medication for my stuffed nose. So, if you could give me some help with this. Thank you so much.

Ciara 24 months ago

I've had a stuffy nose since Thursday night and it's really agrovating me! Someone tell me how to stop it I don't have the Neti pot or an onion.

Habibah Malik 23 months ago

Which is the fastest way to open a blocked nose naturally??????

Someone 23 months ago

It is 1 in the morning and i have a test tomorrow and i can't get sleep! I went to bed at 8:00 pm and i have been trying so hard to even lay down

Kirsty 23 months ago

I got allergy conjunctivitis and have stuffy and runny nose need help to get rid of the stuffy and runny nose really getting annoying now my nose is sore too and dry from where I blow and wipe the runny nose help!!!!

PAS 23 months ago

Doctors do squat when you see them about a blocked nose, unless it's infected, in which case you a prescription for antibiotics.

Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 21 months ago from Northeast Ohio

Great tips. I always end up with nasal or sinus congestion. This would save me money on Mucinex and other cold medicines.

Crystal 20 months ago

I've had a cold for a while and I am trying to get rid of my stuffy nose. Going to try this stuff and see if it works.

beautyandremedy profile image

beautyandremedy 20 months ago from Kingdom of Heaven

Drinking more water at least 6 - 8 glasses, getting enough sleep and eating more foods containing vitamin C are the best home remedies for that condition.

Makia 19 months ago

I'm 14 and I've had a stuffy nose for 2 weeks now.i am going to try this stuff and see if it really helps or works

Alexus Ahner 18 months ago

Drink lots of water and blow your nose a lot

Logan Weldon 18 months ago

When I usualy have stuffy noses is winter so when I get a stuffy nose in winter at school I go out side and run around for like 30-20 minutes and then my nose will not be stuffed this lasts like 1 hour and 30minutes.

Tameka 14 months ago

Everytime i leave home from being in da Air....And go outside in the Heat....i start sneezing n nose running....At night they both get stopped up....Tell me a Good Remedies

Casey 14 months ago

When it comes to night and morning, my nose starts to get


Amin 13 months ago

it is amazing......thanku

Tori 12 months ago

I tried the cup of water. It helps... But only for a second. I find sleeping on the opposite side of which the nose is clogged helped me the most.

Usmanbhatti profile image

Usmanbhatti 11 months ago

I tried the cup of water. It helps... But only for a second. I find sleeping on the opposite side of which the nose is clogged helped me the is amazing......thanku

Arc4life profile image

Arc4life 11 months ago from Florida Author

Tori and Usman, did you guys use warm water?

Lucy Buehler 9 months ago

This is a weird one but if you get scared/frightend during the day with a stuffed up nose it will almost instantly unclog itself.

Rose 3 months ago

Some ways to rid your stuffy nose and cough are to drink lemon tea with honey, the honey is a natural cough suppressant and sleep aid while lemon helps fight respiratory problems, take a hot shower and near the end slowly remove the hot water until it's a nice cool shower, both hot and cold showers had different perks to make your body more healthy! Also don't forget to frequently wash your hands, so you don't keep spreading germs everywhere. Vapourizing Ointment also helps if you just spread it on your chest, throat, and on your upper lip and around the holes of your nose to not only help clear your nasal but also help sooth the raw skin around your nose that you might get after blowing your nose a lot, which is something you should do, don't sniff it in because that just it makes the problem worse. I hope you guys get better soon!

Mimi 2 months ago

I have stuffed nose all the time due to allergy and mild deviated septum . What helps me is ocean saline nasal spray - use it 3 or more times daily . It's purely natural so there is no rebound affect ! It was recommended by ENT Doctor ! I also put real hot water in a bowl , soak a wash cloth and put it over the bridge of my nose on my face . Do this several times to loosen the blockage up . At night I use Vicks waterless vaporizer and mine came with 5 menthol vapors pads- using all those works wonders for me . Hope this helps someone !

matt meister 2 months ago

what i do is a put bit of salt in your nose it reallly helps

Lofa 7 weeks ago

breath in 3 times and on the out hale pinch your nose hold your breath as long as you can do it atleast 5 times If that doesn 't work take a shower it will unclog your nose for about 30 min Do 10 push ups Nasal Strips Drink alot's of fluids Eat spicy foods Like Red peppers Anything hot in your house Take any kind of allergy medicine Nasal Spray

The best thing you can do is go to your nearest Store and ask for Nasal strips put them on your cheeks it should clear up in 1 min if it doesn't wait 10 min then you should be cleared for the reast of the day

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