I use a neti pot when I'm congested or suffering allergies. It doesn't always work for me completely, but it always helps. Are you making the water too hot by any chance? You don't want to burn your nasal passages. I like it on the hot side, but have to be careful not to go too hot. My favorite part is that when I have allergies my eyes itch like crazy and it rinses out the tear ducts, too.