DIY 1% Povidone-Iodine Nasal Spray

After listening to Dr. McCullough ( link ) , I went to Walgreens and bought a bottle of 10% Povidone-Iodine solution, a small 1.5 oz bottle called “Nasal Spray” which is just a saline solution,

EDITED: I later heard from a company that markets a virus killing nasal spray – check them out: Eliminates math and guesswork for you, and the money isn’t all that different.

CONTINUED: It looks like I can get to a 1% iodine/saline solution as follows: (I’ll give the answer down below, but also put a round-about way of getting there.

First, tried to set it up with algebra: 44 ml + X 10% = N 1%
and frankly that didn’t seem to help me much, even if it is technically correct.

I could see that if I started with
44 of 0% saline , and added 44 of 10% iodine that I would get 88 of 5% iodine.
So that seemed like a step in the right direction.
It looked like adding 22 would get me to a 2.5%, and so therefore 11 would get me to a 1.25%.

I believe below is the proportion you want to do:
Assuming that if you get about 5ml, you’ve got about .5ml of the concentrated iodine:

saline: 44 ml
10% iodine: 5.5 ish ml, giving you .5 concentrate
total 49.5 with .5 concentrate
and .5 divided by 49.5 comes out to close to 1%

Then, as luck would have it, 1 teaspoon is right at 5 ml.

So all you have to do is open up your nasal spray bottle, sqeeze the air out, fill a teaspoon, then quickly flip the nasal spray bottle over into the iodine
solution, and suck it into the bottle. It will go easily.

Just nobody tell my wife that due to a math error, this first batch is double strength and gives us double the kick that the good doctor recommended. Hey, I’m not a pharmacist, please do your own math. I squirted it once and breathed a bit to get some impact, then blew the orangey stuff all back out. And 30 minutes later I still feel a bit of a tingle. I’ve already had my butt kicked by a flu this season, so maybe I’ll never really know if I was protected or not, but it’s such an easy preventative. Don’t you wonder why, instead of masks, this wasn’t recommended since last year?

10 thoughts on “DIY 1% Povidone-Iodine Nasal Spray

  1. Ummm, maybe I’m wrong, but wouldn’t adding 4.4ml (10% of 44) of the iodine to a 44ml bottle of saline, give you the 1% solution that you’re looking for?


    1. Here are your numbers:
      4.4 ml of the 10% iodine , so .44 ml of concentrate.
      .44 ml / (44 + 4.4 ) = 0.0090909 … so yes, about 1%
      My numbers were:
      5.5 ml with .55 ml concentrate
      .55 / (44 + 5.5) = 0.011111…

      But, this is kitchen, not lab, and the teaspoon is shy of 5 ml.

      What I actually made was two teaspoons, and I’m too cheap to throw it away, so I have a fairly zingy nasal spray that I’ll work through before I redo it more correctly. It burns slightly for about 30 min, and I expect the 1% mix to be bland.

      Anyway, good for you. I was not able to see it the easy way, and once I wrote down the algebra, it got more confusing. Your way is easier to understand.


  2. I pulled the nasal saline lid completely off & poured 4.4ml of 10% Povidone-Iodine solution into. Recapped the nasal spray & tipped it to mix.


    1. Good for you, Lulu. I do not have access to precise measuring equipment and I’m guessing the volume by the position of the meniscus in the little teaspoon measure I have. Not only that, but when I was making some for my brother, it seemed like my hand trembled while holding the long teaspoon and the bottle of nasal saline, and that deep orange iodine made a bit of a mess. This whole process is more like cooking than chemistry.


      1. I bought an oral syringe with mL and tsp gradations at RiteMart. Also got the iodine there. Going to try this out. Got three persons in the house with COVID. I’m attacking it before I have any symptoms.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. In researching this today after hearing Peter speak on it, I thought “why pay nearly $30 for commercial mixes when saline nasal spray is cheap and plentiful”? Then I found this site. Thank you. I will ask the pharmacist for a measuring dropper so I can be more precise than merely using a spoon. Odds are I have several from years of parenting and pet care.


    1. That’s pretty funny (comment on my redneck engineering).

      I thought “why didn’t I think of that … seems like a good idea. ” However, I’m using the suction of the spray bottle to pull the iodine in from the teaspoon/measure. I suppose you could suck in a drop at a time and get the same effect from the dropper. I never even knew there was a measuring dropper. And some of my commenters apparently have a chem lab at their house.

      I honestly don’t think precision is all that important though – I made a batch of double strength, and while it’s got a bit of a kick, it’s not intolerable.

      Also, check out on the “real” minimum requirement of Vitamin D. It’s apparently way over 25.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I have 1 cc syringes (marked off in ml) so I will use one of those to measure my iodine after I get a bottle of saline nasal spray..People can ask their pharmacist for a 1cc syringe (these are oral syringes..I use to dose pets so order by the case on AMazon, but druggist should have one to give u!)


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