Normal Saline: How to Prepare at Home

​Normal saline is a sterile mixture of salt and water. It is called normal because its salt concentration is similar to tears, blood, and other body fluids (0.9% saline). It is also called isotonic solution. Normal saline is soothing and will not burn or sting when applied. It is used for:

  • injecting medicines via the veins (intravenous infusion)
  • rinsing contact lenses
  • rinsing the nasal passages (nasal irrigation)
  • cleansing the bladder (bladder irrigation)

    How to make normal saline solution at home 

    Saline solution is easy to make at home. You will need:

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    • 1 clean glass bottle or jar with lid
    • table salt
    • pot with lid
    1. Put one cup of water and ½ teaspoon of salt into the pot. Put the lid on.
    2. Boil for 15 minutes with the lid on (set a timer).
    3. Set the pan aside until cooled to a room temperature.
    4. Carefully pour the salt and water (normal saline) from the pan into the jar or bottle and put the lid on.

    Normal saline solution: A few important points

    • It is very important to use only fresh normal saline. Bacteria can grow in saline and cause infections
    • Use a clean glass jar or bottle is that has been recently washed in a dishwasher with very hot soapy water
    • Do not drink solution
    • Throw away the solution if it grows cloudy or looks dirty
    • Keep the saline in a bottle or a glass for a maximum of 24 hours. Throw away any unused solution, wash the container, and make a new solution.

    ​Dalia Bozic, RN, MN, NP-PHC