How to Unstuff Your Nose with 15 Home Remedies

man with stuffy nose outside caption home remedies

A stuffy nose is one of the many irritating conditions you put up with every winter and sometimes in the spring. A stuffy nose can cause an interruption in your regular daily activities, but you don’t have to allow it to keep you down. Knowing how to unstuff your nose using ingredients and remedies that you already have in your house is a great asset for keeping up your regular routine.

We will provide you with 15 home remedies to clear out that stuffiness, but keep in mind that they are not all-inclusive cures. Chronic stuffy nose can be an indicator of other conditions for which the treatment and advice of a health care professional may be required.

1. Peppermint

Peppermint isn’t just for candy canes and chewing gum, it is also an effective remedy for how to unstuff your nose. Nerve receptors in the sinuses and nasal cavity are stimulated by the menthol in peppermint and help to open up clogged passageways. Additionally, peppermint helps to thin mucus and help reduce the stuffiness.

What to do:

  • A warm cup of peppermint tea is a very good way to get peppermint in your nasal passages.
  • Inhaling steam with peppermint oil in it is another effective way.
  • Rubbing a drop or two of peppermint oil between your palms and inhaling it while you are on the go is another way to use it.
  • Several drops of peppermint oil in 1 tsp of coconut oil applied to your chest and throat before going to bed can help keep you breathing well all night.
Tip: Grow your plant of mint and discover all of its unique uses.

2. Humidifier

Using a humidifier in the room where you sleep is another effective remedy when it comes to how to unstuff your nose. Your sinuses prefer a warm, moist environment in the 35 to 45 percent humidity range, so increasing the level of humidity in your home, especially while you sleep can be helpful for keeping your sinuses happy.

What to do:

  • Keep an air humidifier operating in your room overnight.
  • Add peppermint or eucalyptus oil to the humidifier as an added booster to this remedy.

3. Massage

Another top remedy for how to unstuff your nose is through the use of massage. Massage helps to increase circulation in the sinus cavities as well as thinning out mucus.

What to do:

  • Slightly warm some olive or mustard oil.
  • Sit in a slightly reclined position.
  • Apply the oil to your nose.
  • Apply slight pressure between your thumb and forefinger as you massage outward from the bridge of your nose under your eyes and back again.
  • Repeat this for about 5 to 7 cycles of 30 seconds each cycle.
  • You can repeat this process several times a day.

4. Ginger

Ginger is a common spice in most kitchens and is also very effective for how to unstuff your nose. The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger help to shrink swollen nasal cavities while thinning mucus at the same time. Additionally, ginger helps boost immunity to ward off sinus infections.

What to do:

  • Add 1 Tbsp of freshly grated and sliced ginger to 2 cups of boiling water.
  • Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Strain the tea from the grated ginger and drink it with a tsp of honey and a squeeze of lemon.
  • Repeat this remedy 2 to 3 times daily.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar

It should come as no surprise that another effective way of how to unstuff your nose involves the use of apple cider vinegar. The high potassium content in ACV helps thin mucus. In addition, ACV is a natural antibiotic which helps to fight off sinus infections.

What to do:

  • Mix 1 Tbsp of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in an 8 to 12 oz. glass of warm water.
  • Add a little honey if you must and drink it down twice a day.
  • You can also use ½ cup of apple cider vinegar in a steam treatment which we will discuss shortly.

6. Steam Inhalation

A very common remedy for how to unstuff your nose is inhaling steam. Whether you add additional ingredients or not, the effect of steam on your sinus cavity helps to clear out the buildup of mucus and the swelling of the tissues bringing relief to your stuffiness.

What to do:

  • Boil a pot of water and then remove it from heat.
  • Add peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil or apple cider vinegar to the boiled water.
  • Place a towel over your head and lean over the rising steam from the pot, using the towel to help direct the steam toward your nostrils.
  • Breathe in the steam for several minutes.
  • You can repeat this remedy 3 or 4 times a day

What is great about this method is that you can use the steam remedy in a variety of ways. One of the best ways to use steam to your advantage is during a long hot bath. If you soak in a hot bath, the steam from the water will help to unclog your nose a bit. Additionally, if you soak in deep enough, the water will help to calm and relax your muscles that will make you feel better overall. If you are cut for time or do not enjoy taking baths, then taking a hot shower can be just as effective. Standing in the hot shower and taking deep breaths of the stem can help make your sinuses feel a great deal of overall relief. 

7. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is another common household spice which is effective when it comes to how to unstuff your nose. Capsaicin, found in cayenne pepper, is a natural decongestant. It loosens mucus and phlegm and makes it easier to get it out of your respiratory system. In addition, it helps to reduce swelling in the nasal cavity.

What to do:

  • Simmer ¼ cup lemon juice, ¼ cup raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and ½ tsp of cayenne pepper in a pot.
  • Mix in 2 to 3 Tbsp of raw, organic honey, allow the mixture to cool and pour it into a jar.
  • Dip out 1 Tbsp of the mixture several times a day and swallow it.

picture of cayenne pepper powder next to actual peppers

8. Garlic

Also an all-time favorite for how to unstuff your nose is garlic. Garlic acts as both a decongestant and expectorant helping to get rid of mucus in your sinuses. Garlic is anti-inflammatory, so it helps shrink swollen sinus tissue and it is a great immunity booster to boot.

What to do:

  • Peel and crush 3 or 4 garlic cloves and add them to 2 cups of boiling water.
  • Reduce the heat and allow the water to simmer while covered for about 5 minutes.
  • Strain the tea and drink it with a dab of honey.
  • As a quick remedy, you can chew a peeled garlic clove in place of a throat lozenge as you go through your day. Just don’t expect to be kissed.

9. Warm Compress

Another effective remedy for how to unstuff your nose is a warm compress. Having a similar action to steam, a warm compress helps to thin mucus, draw circulation to the area, reduce swelling and bring relief to your stuffy sinuses.

What to do:

  • Soak a towel or washcloth in a bowl of hot water.
  • Wring out the excess water, fold the cloth and place it over your nose and forehead.
  • As the towel cools, repeat the process until the water in the bowl is no longer hot.
  • Repeat this remedy as often as you like.

10. Nasal Irrigation

Nasal irrigation is one of the most often discussed remedies for how to unstuff your nose. Researchers suggest that nasal irrigation not only works for stuffiness that is an acute symptom, but can also help to relieve chronic sinus congestion as well. Irrigation helps to moisten inflamed tissue and blood vessels as well as thin mucus in order to get it out of your sinus cavity.

What to do:

  • Create a solution of 3 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of baking soda in 1 cup of lukewarm distilled water.
  • Place in a bulb syringe or make use of a neti-pot to insert the solution through one nostril at a time into your nasal cavity while your head is tilted back.
  • Tilt your head forward and allow the solution to drain out.
  • Repeat with each nostril 2 or 3 times per session.
  • Repeat this remedy a few times per day, especially before bedtime.

A helpful product that you can use in nose irrigation is saline sprays. Saline sprays can work wonders as far as helping to break down the mucus that is clogged up in your sinus cavity. What is great about using a saline spray or saline drops is that you can use it on any infant, child, or adult. You simply need to put a couple of drops in your nose, tilt your head back, and then let the drops fall down through your nasal cavity towards the back of your throat. This method works wonders and provides almost immediate relief. Although it is a temporary solution, it can help to get you back on track if you use it a couple of times throughout the day. 

11. Horseradish

Horseradish is a powerful remedy for how to unstuff your nose. Similar to the effects of capsaicin, horseradish helps to reduce inflammation in swollen nasal passages as it thins mucus to make it easier to get rid of.

What to do:

  • Add horseradish sauce to your favorite sandwich, make use of it as a vegetable dip with carrots and celery.
  • If you can get raw horseradish root, peel and grate it and make a tea similar to the ginger tea we discussed above.

12. Stay Hydrated

Staying well hydrated is also a simple means of how to unstuff your nose. Being well hydrated helps your body to flush out the irritants in your sinuses which are causing the inflammation, production of mucus and stuffiness. If you find yourself with a stuffy nose during the warmer months in the year, then it is super important that you stay hydrated. Warmer climates can cause your mucus to dry up and results in the ever dreaded crusty buildup that is just as uncomfortable as a runny nose. When you stay hydrated, you ensure that your body has an adequate amount of fluids to help flush the gunk away.

What to do:

  • Drinking 8 to 10 twelve ounce glasses of water or freshly extracted juice daily.
  • Increase your intake of warm, herbal teas.
  • Consume clear-broth soups as an additional means of hydration.
  • Avoid sodas, sugary juice and drinks and caffeine as these have a tendency to dehydrate your body.

13. Onions

If you have ever cried while slicing onions, then you are well aware of the power of onions as a means of how to unstuff your nose. The sulfur compounds in onions cause mucus to thin and reduce inflammation in your sinus cavity.

What to do:

  • Extract the juice from a medium onion and keep it on hand throughout the day in a covered jar.
  • Mix 1 tsp each of the onion juice and honey and take the mixture as a tonic a few times per day.
  • Consume onion soups and hot and sour soup.

14. Pineapple

Pineapple is another effective means of how to unstuff your nose. The bromelain in pineapples is highly effective at reducing inflammation in the nasal tissues and getting rid of that feeling of stuffiness.

What to do:

  • Extract the juice of a pineapple and drink a 12 oz. glass without added sugar 3 or 4 times per day.
  • You can also snack on fresh sliced pineapple.
  • Avoid pineapple canned in syrup as you are mostly consuming sugar.

Pineapple lemonade

15. Eucalyptus Oil

Though it is last on our list, eucalyptus is certainly not the least effective when it comes down to how to unstuff your nose. Eucalyptus oil has compounds in it which help to stimulate the nerve receptors in your nasal cavities to help reduce swelling and open up those clogged passages.

What to do:

  • Eucalyptus oil can be added to several of the treatments listed above: in a humidifier, in a steam treatment, for massage or mixed with coconut oil and applied to your chest and throat before bedtime.


A stuffy nose is not only unpleasant, but it tends to slow down or interrupt your daily routine. Now that you have 15 home remedies for how to unstuff your nose, you can make use of one or several of them to get those nasal passages cleared out and get right back in the swing of things. Please add questions, comments or additional home remedies that can help clear up a stuffy nose in the comments below.