Getting Sawdust out of Your Nose

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Forum topic by grfrazee posted 09-16-2013 05:30 PM 9308 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View grfrazee's profile


388 posts in 2164 days

09-16-2013 05:30 PM

Topic tags/keywords: sawdust cleaning nose health

I don’t know if this technically counts as “safety,” but I couldn’t think of a better place to put it.

I’m sure everyone’s reached a point where after a long day in the workshop you blow sawdust out of your nose for the next few days. Allergies and lung health aside, I find it pretty annoying to have a layer of dust caked over my boogers.

A while back I bought one of those Sinus Rinse kits from the drugstore when I had particularly bad nasal congestion (not related to woodworking). It was fairly effective at clearing my sinuses out, as least temporarily.

After one particularly heavy day of breathing in mesquite dust, I decided to give the squeezy-bottle a try. Wouldn’t ya know it, it did a pretty good job of clearing the brown-colored dust boogers right out!

I know some people don’t particularly like the idea of squirting saline water (or anything, really) up their nose and having it run out the opposite nostril, so this probably isn’t the best for them. Heck, my girlfriend can’t even watch me do it or she starts gagging. However, for me, it sure beats turning Kleenexes brown for the couple days following my shop time.

Anyone else have another remedy?

-- -=Pride is not a sin=-

13 replies so far

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2272 days

#1 posted 09-16-2013 05:33 PM

Dust collection, air filtration, and when all else fails a respriator :)

You can clean your nose, but you can’t clean your lungs


View nailbanger2's profile


1041 posts in 3168 days

#2 posted 09-16-2013 05:40 PM

^ +1

-- Wish I were Norm's Nephew

View grfrazee's profile


388 posts in 2164 days

#3 posted 09-16-2013 05:44 PM

Dust collection is probably the next big shop upgrade. I usually try to wear a mask when I know I’ll be working with dust but sometimes I just don’t put it on. I know, poor excuse, one pair of lungs, you’ll regret it when you’re older, etc. :-)

-- -=Pride is not a sin=-

View bigblockyeti's profile


5137 posts in 1745 days

#4 posted 09-16-2013 05:50 PM

In the mean time, even the disposable single use dust masks would be a major improvement over what you’re currently using. Plus they don’t represent the financial commitment that a dust collection system can represent.

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2601 days

#5 posted 09-16-2013 06:52 PM

I wear a dust mask when operating machines but not when doing anything else in the shop.
I too bought one of those kits a while back; it works very well. Use distilled water.

It’s not really uncomfortable once you get used to it. It’s like getting water in your nose in the pool.

For a dust mask I highly recommend 3m’s 7500 series. I use it for spraying too with the appropriate filters. It’s a workhorse in my shop.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7758 posts in 2938 days

#6 posted 09-16-2013 06:55 PM

Don’t forget to use the saline packets and very warm water.. That gets rid of that “pool water” in the nose feeling.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Woodendeavor's profile


276 posts in 2631 days

#7 posted 09-16-2013 07:15 PM

I have dust collection, wear a respirator and still use the saline rinse at the end of the day. I have a hard time with Walnut dust and seem to be working with the material allot lately

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3672 days

#8 posted 09-16-2013 07:16 PM

Always boil the water first.

Amoebas have killed people from doing sinus flushes with
unsterilized water.

View grfrazee's profile


388 posts in 2164 days

#9 posted 09-16-2013 08:24 PM

You bring up a good point Loren. Though you have a very small chance of catching naegleria from tap water (especially since it can’t survive even in mildly chlorinated water), the 99% death rate isn’t worth the risk.

-- -=Pride is not a sin=-

View BJODay's profile


526 posts in 1967 days

#10 posted 09-17-2013 03:27 AM

Boil then cool? I bet boiling water would really clean out the sinuses.


View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2601 days

#11 posted 09-17-2013 05:00 AM

@Mike, I’ll try warming it up a bit. It’s usually room temp.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3672 days

#12 posted 09-17-2013 06:04 AM

I use a Neti Pot, boil it and then usually forget about
it until it cools. If I want it warmer than room temp after
I might microwave it a bit in a coffee cup to warm it up.

Room temp water works fine. The discomfort of pure water
is alleviated by irrigation mixes. I have used packets but I
usually just use salt and suck up the discomfort because that’s
the way I learned. A friend told me his Ayurvedic physician
told him the powder packets are a 50/50 mix of salt and
baking soda.

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 2099 days

#13 posted 09-17-2013 10:53 AM

+1 on the neti pot here.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

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