Hot salt water quiets coughing

If you’re facing a late-night run to the pharmacy for cough medicine, consider a detour to the kitchen first. In my experience, nothing stops coughing better than gargling with hot salt water, the hotter and saltier the better. If your little one can handle gargling and is willing to deal with the taste of salt for a few minutes, give it a try.

More: Best of Parent Hacks: Cold and flu season tips


  1. Vince L says

    This is old news. I recall doing this YEARS ago (30+). Learned it my folks who learned it from thiers…

  2. Stu Mark says

    Blairex Laboratories makes a product called Simply Saline. It is saline mist in a can. It has a special nozzle built perfect for small nostrils. You tilt your head all the way to the side (so that your nose and your chin are on the same horizontal plane) and spray a bit up the top nostril. Pause, tilt back up, let drain, then do the other nostril. This generously decreases the amount of mucus and it is much more kid-friendly than gargling hot liquid.

  3. Patsy says

    My sister works at the CDC and says this is the cure all… I have been doing it since I was a child. When you start getting sick start gargling the salt kills all bacteria in the throat. And both the warm water and salt make the throat feel better!

  4. says

    well, not the “hotter and saltier” the better; if it’s too salty, it might cause further inflammation of the throat. and i think 10 – 20 seconds max would do.