Do This When You Get Hot Sauce in Your Nose

If you’re a fan of hot sauce, you probably try to put it on all of your favorite foods to give them an extra kick. Unfortunately, using hot sauce carries the risk of getting some of it into your nose, which is a recipe for an awful and painful experience. Luckily, there are a few things you can do when this happens. 

Here are seven things to do when you get hot sauce in your nose: 

  1. Blow your nose.
  2. The dairy and q-tip method.
  3. Put some butter in your nose.
  4. Apply lemon juice or vinegar.
  5. Sit next to the air conditioning.
  6. Apply a sugary substance.
  7. Use a tiny ice cube.
  8. Wait half an hour. 

In this article, I’ll explain what to do if you get hot sauce in your nose. 

1. Blow Your Nose

If you get hot sauce in your nose, you should blow your nose as soon as possible to get rid of the excess hot sauce. 

Some of the hot sauce may have already been absorbed by your nasal lining. Still, eliminating the unabsorbed hot sauce will prevent it from causing problems in minutes to follow. Try not to rub your nose, as this could promote absorption. 

Avoid trying to wash the hot sauce out of your nose using water, as this will only make the burning worse. The capsaicin in hot sauce is oily, and water will spread it further. 

2. The Dairy and Q-Tip Method

Many people know that drinking milk can help when eating spicy foods. Dairy products contain casein, a protein type that breaks down capsaicin, a common ingredient in spicy foods. 

Inhaling milk or another dairy product is not a good idea, and a safer method is to dip a q-tip in milk or yogurt. Gently insert the dairy-soaked q-tip into your nose and let it rest for a few seconds.  

If you don’t have any q-tips lying around, you could soak some cotton wool in a dairy product before gently placing it in your nose.

As the casein breaks down the capsaicin particles, you should start to feel some relief. 

3. Put Some Butter in Your Nose

If you don’t have milk or yogurt, you could put some butter in your nose instead. Thankfully, butter isn’t very runny and will stay in place. 

As a dairy product, butter also contains casein. As a result, it will do an excellent job of breaking down the capsaicin in the hot sauce. A drawback of using this method is that the butter can feel slimy in your nose and leave behind a greasy residue.

Before placing the butter in your nose, wash your hands thoroughly to ensure that they don’t have traces of hot sauce on them, which could exacerbate the problem.

4. Apply Lemon Juice and Vinegar

Hot sauce contains capsaicin, an alkaline substance. When mixed with an acidic substance, it loses its potency and becomes neutralized.  

Therefore, using lemon juice or vinegar is an effective way of soothing the burning sensation that you experience when you get hot sauce in your nose. 

After washing your hands thoroughly, dip a finger, q-tip, or piece of cotton wool in some lemon juice or vinegar and insert it into your nose. You may not enjoy the smell, but you’ll feel much better after a few minutes. 

If you don’t have lemon juice or vinegar, some alternatives include the following: 

  • Lemonade 
  • Orange juice
  • Tomato sauce or juice
  • Limeade 
  • Wine vinegar

5. Sit Next to the Air Conditioning

When you get hot sauce in your nose, the spicy substance produces an unbearable burning sensation. To counteract this, you could expose your nose to very cold temperatures. 

If there’s an air conditioning unit close by, stand or sit directly over it and breathe in the icy air for a few minutes. The cold air should relieve the burning sensation effectively. However, keep in mind that this is only a temporary solution, as your symptoms may return if you move away from the air conditioning. 

If it’s winter, you could try going outside and breathing in the cold air for some relief. 

6. Apply a Sugary Substance

The glucose in sugar does an excellent job of absorbing the oily capsaicin molecules. Even if your nasal lining has already absorbed some hot sauce, you’ll gradually feel better when it absorbs the glucose molecules. 

Avoid inhaling table sugar and try and find one of the following sugary substances: 

  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Glucose gel
  • Caramel
  • Chocolate sauce

After washing your hands, put a small amount of the sugary substance on your finger, carefully insert it into your nose and let it rest for a few minutes. 

Use a Tiny Ice Cube

I previously mentioned that breathing in icy air can help relieve the symptoms of getting hot sauce in your nose. If you don’t have access to an air conditioning unit, you could use a tiny piece of ice instead. 

Placing a tiny piece of ice loose in your nose is dangerous because you risk inhaling it, and it will also melt quickly when it comes into contact with your skin. 

Here’s how you can relieve the burning from hot with a small piece of ice: 

  1. After wrapping an ice cube in some kitchen towel, take a rolling pin or hammer and bash it into tiny pieces. 
  2. Take one of the pieces and wrap it in a piece of tissue. 
  3. Twist the rest of the tissue into a thin spiral to easily insert it into your nose. 
  4. Insert the tissue-covered ice into your nose and hold it there until you feel some relief. 
  5. Repeat the process each time the ice melts.
  6. Wait Half an Hour

If the worst comes to the worst, and you don’t have access to any dairy products, acids, or an air conditioner, you’ll just need to ride the burning pain out. 

After blowing your nose to remove the excess hot sauce, try and breathe normally; the inhaled air can help soothe your nose. 

The good news is that the burning sensation in your nose from hot sauce is temporary. As long as you stay away from hot sauce for the next while, you should feel better within half an hour. 


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Bill Kalkumnerd
Bill Kalkumnerd

I am Bill, I am the Owner of HappySpicyHour, a website devoted to spicy food lovers like me. Ramen and Som-tum (Papaya Salad) are two of my favorite spicy dishes. Spicy food is more than a passion for me - it's my life! For more information about this site Click

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