Runny nose remedies: 6 ways to stop a runny nose 

Runny nose remedies: 6 ways to stop a runny nose

There’s probably not much worse than having a runny nose while you’re just trying to get on with the endless errands that make up your day. And it’s easy, when you’re under the weather, to forget to look after number one: yes, you! But when you’ve got a runny nose, it’ll be more than just a momentary sniff that soothes your nostrils. And if it means spending a few extra minutes in the morning indulging in one of our runny nose remedies, you absolutely should. So, read on to find out how to get rid of congestion or a runny nose. 

Relaxed? Good. Let’s dive into everything you need to know about runny nose treatment, including: 

  • What causes a runny nose 
  • How to cope when you’ve got the sniffles 
  • What helps stop a runny nose once and for all  

What causes a runny nose? 

Before diving into the six remedies, let’s learn more about what causes a runny nose. Understanding the causes behind a runny nose will help you take better care for yourself – so you can get back to giving everything you’ve got to everyone else. Here’s what causes a runny nose: 

  • Common cold and flu 
  • Allergies 
  • Dry air 
  • Stress 
  • Irritants like dust or tobacco smoke 
  • Overuse of decongestant nasal spray 

A runny nose is essentially the result of the body producing too much nasal mucus.1 If you’re not sure about the reason for a runny nose, or if it seems to be hanging around for longer than a couple of weeks, it’s time for a trip to the doctor. 

Six ways to stop a runny nose at home 

These soothing home remedies for a running nose are suitable for everyone (psst... that includes you, you know). Just remember: for medical advice, it’s always best to check in with your GP or a healthcare professional. Here are six home remedies for a runny nose:

1. Mix up some soothing hot drinks.


Animated GIF of a person using lemon and honey to create a hot drink.


When you have a cold, it’s important to drink plenty of fluids. This helps replace the water you lose from having a constantly runny nose. So, forget leading by example for a moment – it doesn’t always have to be water. When you have a cold, you deserve the good stuff. This isn’t about doing what your PT says is essential to stay “on plan”, it’s about you. So cast aside the kale, for once, and slip into something a bit sexier. You know, like hot chocolate with marshmallows – and sprinkles. Or, if that’s too indulgent (no such thing in our book), combine hot water with lemon and a squeeze (or three) of honey, for a traditional runny nose remedy.

2. Create a steam tent.


Animated GIF of a parent holding a towel over a child’s head, with a bowl of water in front of her.


While you never received any medals for single-handedly putting up that six-man deluxe tent (with a porch!) on last year’s camping trip, this little tent is the little treat you deserve. Boil some water, pour it into a bowl, and add some menthol or eucalyptus essential oil – perhaps alongside one of your favourite scents. Once it has cooled down a bit (but is still steaming), sit down in front of it, cover your head with a towel, and breathe in the steam for about 10 minutes.

Don’t tip the water down the sink once you’re done. It’s great for watering your garden plants, once it’s cooled. Not only does this reduce waste, but eucalyptus oil is a beneficial deterrent for garden pests.

3. Keep Cushelle soft tissues on hand.


Animated GIF of two arms grabbing a pair of keys and tissues off of a table.


When you notice the first symptoms of a cold, the best remedy for a runny nose is simply to blow it (but not too hard!) As soon as those sniffles start, make sure you buy plenty of soft tissues and keep them in easy reach around the house, and buy some travel packs to keep in pockets and bags.

4. Soothe sore noses with balm.


Animated GIF of a parent sat on the sofa with a child, applying balm to the red spots on the child’s nose and cheeks.


If you blow your nose a lot, it’s likely going to feel a little sore, even with the softest tissues in the world. An easy way to care for sore noses is to use a little neutral (no scent or flavour) balm or moisturiser to soothe the skin.

When you’re unwell, it’s important to put yourself first – you're no good to anyone else until you’re good to yourself. Luckily for you, there’s one little luxury that’s always on hand. Cushelle toilet paper combines smooth and strong layers with unique, thick cushions of air that make it our softest and most skin-loving* ever – for the indulgence you deserve, every day.

5. Run a warm bath.


Animated GIF of a person in a bath, with steam coming out of the bath.


In a world where the kids always get the last bite, and all the bubbles in the bath, it’s important to carve out some time just for you. Say no (or not yet) to story time – it can wait. Pour a tub, pour a glass. Sink into the bubbles yourself. Because this runny nose remedy is a warm, 20-minute bath with Epsom salts, just for you. If you like, you can also pop in some of your favourite essential oils – after all, your bath makes steam, too. Not only will the scented steam help clear the nose, the heat from the bath can also help the body reach a good temperature for some much-needed recovery sleep.

6. Eat some spicy foods.

If you’re suffering from nasal congestion – which is a feeling of fullness in the nose or face (and a symptom of sinusitis) – eating spicy foods can help.2 If you’re a fan of spicy foods, they could be the answer to your prayers and one of the best remedies for runny noses! Hot spices like cayenne pepper, habanero, horse radish, or ginger are all great options, as they create a heating sensation that can help to dilate passageways in the body and relieve sinus issues.3

What helps stop a runny nose from getting everyone ill? 

Illnesses spreading within the home may feel inevitable, but there are some simple tricks that can help to stop those around you from getting ill. Here’s what helps stop a runny nose 

  1. Firstly, blow your nose using a tissue (instead of just wiping it on a cuff or sleeve!) to keep germs from spreading. 
  2. Secondly, put every tissue in the bin after it’s been used, and wash your hands as soon as possible after blowing your nose.  

Keep the whole household happy by learning these tips on how to avoid spreading a cold. They'll thank you later! 

What stops a runny nose? General Guidance 

For more ways to stop a runny nose, try some of these tips to feel better faster: 

  • Drink your fluids. Make sure to replenish yourself with fluids throughout the day to help your body battle dehydration when you’re unwell. 
  • Get your rest. A runny nose is ultimately a result of your immune system working hard doing its job, which can naturally leave you feeling more tired than usual. Try to get as much downtime or sleep as possible, to compensate. 
  • Wash your hands thoroughly. Avoid spreading germs on countertops and surfaces by frequently washing your hands with soap and water. 
  • Disinfect surfaces. Always wipe down surfaces that you have touched with a disinfectant to avoid spreading germs as much as possible. 
  • Blow your nose gently. A habit some people fall into is blowing their nose too hard, so make sure to blow gently to prevent soreness and even nosebleeds. 
  • Stay at home.  If your runny nose is a symptom of feeling unwell, try not to spread germs around the workplace by working from home if you’re able.  

And most importantly, remember that when you’re unwell, you've got to put yourself first. Stop give, give, giving and take the time you deserve to get better. After all, you’re not much good to anyone else until you’re good to yourself! Establishing positive, hygienic habits is a great way to take care of yourself, and others. For example, staying home when you’re ill and throwing your used tissues in the bin show the people around you that you care. Plus, if you turn these acts of care into habits, over time, you won’t even need to think about doing them! 

These runny nose remedies should be enough to soothe those noses and carry you through the worst of it so you’re back to yourself in no time. Remember: get plenty of rest, stay hydrated and be kind to yourself! Get well soon! 

*To verify claims, please email for full verification details. 


1 Non-allergic rhinitis, NHS,
2 Decongestants, NHS,
3 Foods That Help Relieve Sinus Congestion, Marc Dean, MD, 

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