A stainless steel neti pot is used for nasal irrigation — to cleanse the nostrils and sinuses of mucus and airborne pollution. People with colds, allergies and chronic sinusitis might use a neti pot instead of medications and nasal sprays because it is a natural alternative that uses only saline solution to alleviate uncomfortable symptoms like nasal congestion and dryness. The size, shape, and quality are all important considerations when choosing a stainless steel neti pot.
Also called jala-neti, nasal cleansing with a neti pot is a centuries-old practice from Southeast Asia. Neti pots look like small teapots and they usually hold 8 to 16 ounces (236-473ml) of saline. For comfort, the saline solution should be approximately the same temperature as the human body with a similar salinity to human tears. The user inserts the spout into one nostril and tips her head to the side and slightly forward. Gravity forces the saline out through the other nostril, clearing out particles and dried mucous.
Neti pots are available in plastic, ceramic, copper, and stainless steel. Some users prefer the softer, non-medical look and feel of ceramic neti pots while others may choose plastic pots because they are light and disposable. People who practice daily nasal cleansing might use a copper or stainless steel neti pot because metal is more lightweight and durable. Copper neti pots often turn green on the inside with oxidization from the saline solution while stainless steel rarely corrodes. Unlike ceramic and plastic, stainless steel is not porous, which makes it easier to clean and sanitize. Stainless steel is also safer to pack for travel, as it will not break easily.
In order to choose the best stainless steel neti pot, the size and shape of the pot should be considered as well as the quality of the steel and construction. Ideally, a stainless steel neti pot should hold about 16 ounces (473 ml) of liquid because this is the amount needed to properly clean one nostril. The tip of the spout should be cone-shaped and fit comfortably into the nostril, creating a seal. There should not be any seams on the cone, since these can scratch the nostril. Sometimes a stainless steel neti pot can rust around the seams, but if the pot is thoroughly rinsed and dried after each use, corrosion is less likely. A stainless steel neti pot that is dishwasher-safe is the easiest to sanitize between uses.