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How to Make Saline Solution for Nebulizer

How to Make Saline Solution for Nebulizer
Shweta Chaubey

5 Key Takeaways

  • Salt is an essential component in creating a homemade saline solution for nebulizers. It plays a vital role in preventing bacteria growth.
  • Saline solution is a combination of salt and water, usually 0.9% sodium chloride, similar to the natural fluids in the body. It is also known as normal, physiological, or isotonic saline.
  • Using saline in a nebulizer provides several advantages, including thinning mucus, aiding mucus clearance, moisturizing airways, reducing airway inflammation, and cleansing the respiratory tract.
  • You can easily prepare a saline solution for a nebulizer using common kitchen items and various methods.
  • Using the saline solution in a nebulizer helps moisturize and soothe the airways. However, please note that it is recommended that you consult with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.


Salt is a necessary evil. While many often point out too much salt can be detrimental to one's health, it also has properties that can help prevent bacterial growth. But why are we talking about salt? Because salt is your main ingredient in making homemade saline solution for nebulizers. 

What is a saline solution?

A saline solution is a mix of salt and water. The ready-to-use normal saline solution contains 0.9 percent sodium chloride. Interestingly, this concentration is similar to the sodium concentration found in tears and blood. Saline is popularly known as normal saline; however, often, it is also referred to as physiological or isotonic saline and has many benefits.

Benefits of using saline solution for nebulizer

Using saline solution in a nebulizer offers benefits such as -

  • thinning mucus
  • mucus clearance
  • moisturizing the airways
  • reducing airway inflammation
  • cleansing the respiratory tract

When is saline used?

Normal saline solution is used -

How to make a saline solution for a nebulizer?

Saline solutions are readily available online and offline. Similarly, it can also be made at home. You can make your saline solution using items found in your kitchen. To make it -

1. Gather your supplies

  • tap water
  • table salt or iodine-free fine sea salt
  • a pot or a microwave bowl with a lid
  • a clean jar
  • a measuring cup
  • a teaspoon
  • baking soda (optional)

2. Instructions

Prepare a clean jar for storing your saline solution by thoroughly washing it and its lid with hot water and soap or running it through the dishwasher to prevent bacteria contamination.

Stovetop Method

  1. Boil 2 cups of water covered for 15 minutes.
  2. Let the water cool down to room temperature.
  3. Add one teaspoon of salt and a pinch of optional baking soda.
  4. Stir until fully dissolved.
  5. Shift the solution to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Avoid using the solution after 24 hours to prevent infections.

Note: The stovetop method is more sterile as the water is boiled; however, bacteria can still grow after 24 hours.

Microwave Method

  • Place 2 cups of water in a microwave-safe container.
  • Mix in 1 teaspoon of salt.
  • Microwave, covered, for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Allow the water to cool.
  • Transfer the solution to a clean jar.
  • Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

Distilled Method

For a more sterile and long-lasting version, use distilled water, available at your local pharmacy or grocery store. Alternatively, you can distill water at home.

  1. Add eight teaspoons of table salt to 1 gallon of distilled water.
  2. Refrigerate for up to 1 month.

According to research published by the National Center of Biotechnology Information, homemade saline nasal irrigation solutions can quickly develop harmful bacteria with regular handling. It's better to refrigerate them. If storing at room temperature, use isotonic or hypertonic solutions made from bottled or distilled water.

How to use saline solution for nebulizer?

Using a saline solution in a nebulizer is a common way to help moisturize and soothe your airways. Here's a general guide on how to use saline solution in a nebulizer

  1. Gather your supplies: You'll need a nebulizer machine, a nebulizer cup, and the saline solution.
  2. Wash your hands: Before you touch any equipment, make sure your hands are clean to keep everything sterile. 
  3. Refer to your doctor to find out the ratio of saline solution.
  4. Assemble the nebulizer system: Connect the nebulizer cup to the machine according to the instructions. Make sure the nebulizer cup is clean and dry.
  5. Add saline solution: Pour the required amount of saline solution into the nebulizer cup. If you need to dilute it, add the prescribed amount of water.
  6. Attach the mask or mouthpiece: If you're using a mask, attach it to the nebulizer cup, ensuring a proper seal. If you're using a mouthpiece, attach it securely.
  7. Turn the nebulizer on: Power on the nebulizer machine and make sure the mist is being produced.
  8. Inhale the mist: Place the mask over your nose and mouth or insert the mouthpiece into your mouth and breathe normally. Inhale the mist until the solution is depleted or the nebulizer stops.
  9. Clean the nebulizer: After each use, take apart the nebulizer and clean all parts as per the instructions. Let the components air dry.
  10. Storage: Keep the nebulizer and saline solution in a cool, dry place, following any specific storage instructions given by your doctor.

Always follow the guidance of your respiratory therapist or doctor when using saline solution for a nebulizer, including the recommended frequency and concentration.

How to use saline solution for sinuses?

Using a saltwater solution to clean your nose can help you breathe better and prevent infections. It is called nasal irrigation. It works by flushing out things like dust, pollen, and mucus from your nasal passages. You can use a special pot or bulb to do this, but you can also use things you might already have at home, like a turkey baster or a squirt bottle. Just make sure to clean them well with soap and hot water or the dishwasher.

To clear your sinuses

  1. Position your head over the sink or step into the shower. 
  2. Tilt your head to the right. 
  3. Pour or squeeze the saline solution into the left nostril (the solution should flow out from your right nostril). 
  4. Repeat the process on the opposite side. 
  5. Adjust your head position if water tends to go down the back of your throat. 

When to seek a doctor’s help?

Although making saline solution for nebulizer at home or using an over-the-counter solution is safe, if you have any concerns, consulting your doctor is a good idea. Additionally, it is also recommended that you confer with your doctor before using saline for wounds or sinus passages. If the solution comes into contact with anything that has not been sterilized or seems contaminated, dispose of the batch immediately. 

Where can you buy saline solution for nebulizers online?

HPFY has been online since 2002. We carry a wide range of medical and health products, such as respiratory supplies, including 0.9% saline solution. Explore our catalog today to find all that you need.  


Reference -


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HPFY Shweta Chaubey

Shweta Chaubey

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Shweta Chaubey, has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2021. An advocate-turned-writer, her desire to create meaningful and positive content has brought her to HPFY and what better than writing ...

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