All About Saline Solutions and their Numerous Uses


If you’re someone who wears contacts, you may have used saline solution to help rinse your lenses. Or, as a kid, you may remember using saltwater gargle to help soothe a sore throat. What else is saline solution used for?

Saline solutions have many uses from intravenous fluids to cleaning wounds, flushing noses, and even making slime. Some come in sterile nasal spray formats to help soothe the sinuses or rinse the eyes. Other saline solutions are DIY that you mix to rinse your sinuses or even fill your salt-water fish tank.

Let’s take a closer look how you can use saline solution for a variety of needs.


What is Saline Solution?

At its core, saline solution is a mixture of salt and water. “Normal” or isotonic saline solutions contain 0.9 percent sodium chloride (salt), a concentration similar to human tears. Hypotonic saline solutions contain half as much salt, or 0.45 percent sodium chloride.

Saline can be applied topically or intravenously. Depending on what you’re using saline solution for, you can find formats with set concentrations, or prepare a homemade saline solution by mixing about 2 teaspoons table salt with 4 cups water.

Saline solutions can be used at home to irrigate sinuses, treat wounds and more. They also have uses in medical settings, playing a role in treating dehydration or sodium depletion, plus diluting medicine to administer it to patients at a controlled pace. If you’ve ever used a nebulizer, the saline solution produces a misty air that can help ease chest congestion and tightness!

We’re going dig deeper into the different uses so as to help better inform how you can utilize saline solutions as a tool at home!

Types of Saline Solutions for Home Use

Whether making a DIY saline solution or using a sterile commercial product, there are several ways you can use saline solutions around the home. So, let’s examine each of those uses:

1. Washing Wounds

A common use for saline solutions in your home is to wash wounds. These saline solutions typically come in pressurized cans or bottles and help loosen and wash away debris, dirt, and foreign material in wounds. The focused nozzle and stronger stream help you clean wounds better by working at every angle and helping flush inside the cut.Whether your child picked up a scrape while playing around in the yard or you cut your elbow diving for a fly ball during a rec league softball game, reach for ARM & HAMMER™ Simply Saline™ wound care products. These wound washes also include baking soda to help soothe irritation:

Cuts happen, but you want to address them quickly! Try Simply Saline™ Wound Care 3 in 1 to help clean those cuts or scrapes and prevent risk of bacterial infection.

2. Irrigating the Nose

Girl inserting the tip of a saline spray bottle into nostril to irrigate the nose.

Saline nasal sprays can provide relief from nasal congestion caused by allergies by irrigating and moisturizing the nasal passages.These sprays can help flush pollen, dirt, dust and other irritants to help you avoid the constant itching or rubbing.

Unlike decongestant nasal sprays, saline nasal sprays are drug-free and can be used daily or whenever the need arises. That includes ARM & HAMMER™ Simply Saline™ Nasal Sprays:

3. Eye Irrigation & Rinsing

Saline solution is commonly used for rinsing contact lenses. However, you can also use an eye wash saline solution to help rinse out your eyes:

  • Saline eye washes can help flush irritants out of the eye. They do not address dryness. You should speak with an optometrist to ensure using a saline wash for your eyes is the proper course of action.
  • Normal saline solutions can rinse contact lenses and may work if you need short-term storage, though they do not disinfect or sanitize like a contact lens solution.
  • If you’re using saline solutions to rinse your contact lenses, you should opt for commercially produced sterile saline over a homemade solution.

Saline solutions can be a nice tool to have on the go if your eyes need a quick breather or you are desperately trying to figure out what exactly got stuck in your eye. Just remember that normal saline solutions are not recommended for long-term contact lens storage.

4. Making Slime

Now for something a bit more interactive! You can combine saline, baking soda and other ingredients as a recipe for slime! Saline solutions act as the activator that helps give the slime its rubbery texture and shape. So, if you’re looking to get scientific with your kids or maybe trying to make holiday or specialty slimes, saline solutions can also help in this arena!

5. Mouth Rinses

Is that throat feeling a bit scratchy or achy? Did you recently get your wisdom teeth pulled and are dealing with some sore gums? You can make (or buy) a saltwater, or saline, rinse to help! Gargling saltwater can soothe sore throats so they don’t feel so biting. Additionally, oral saline solutions can help cleanse or relieve pain from mouth injuries, canker sores, or other general pain.

What Can Saline Solutions Do for You?

There’s a decent chance you’ve used some kind of saline solution before, even if you weren’t aware of it at the time! From eye and wound care to nasal sprays and even making slime, saline solutions have fairly vast application and topical uses that can make a real difference for you or your kids.

Turn to ARM & HAMMER™ Simply Saline™ Nasal Sprays or Wound Care and see the ways in which saline solutions can give your family a boost!

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