Chief Medical Director at SANESolution | Website

Dr. Matthew Olesiak continues to make a significant impact in the medical field through his work at SANESolution and his dedication to evidence-based practices.

9 BEST Throat Clearing Techniques

Is constant throat clearing keeping you from fully enjoying your favorite song or participating in a conversation without interruption?  You need these BEST throat clearing techniques then!

The act of clearing your throat is not only bothersome but can also impact the health of your vocal cords.

In this Throat Cleaner and throat health blog post, we will explore the secrets of throat clearing techniques and clearing the throat, providing you with a comprehensive guide to reducing mucus in the throat and protecting your precious singing voice. So let’s dive in and unlock the secrets to a clearer throat and a healthier vocal performance! If you want deeper information about throat health and guides, check out 6 Ways to Create a Healthy Throat Cleansing Regimen and Throat Cleaning guides!

Short Summary

  • Understand the causes and concerns of throat clearing for better vocal health.
  • Utilize hydration, humidification, saline nasal sprays, and gargling solutions to reduce throat clearing.
  • Make lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet, managing stress, and avoiding triggers. Seek professional help if symptoms persist. Get a throat cleaner!

Understanding Throat Clearing Techniques: Causes & Concerns

Throat clearing, also known as throat cleaning, is often a symptom of an underlying condition, which can result in redness and swelling of the vocal cords, granulomas, and even difficulty in breathing and speaking. The most common causes of throat clearing include allergies, reflux, and vocal cord issues, all of which may lead to constantly clearing your throat.

Understanding these causes and concerns is the first step towards taking better care of your voice and avoiding frequently clearing your throat. So, what exactly are the factors contributing to this persistent need to clear your throat? Let’s take a closer look.

Allergies and Post Nasal Drip

Allergies and post-nasal drip are conditions that can result in an excess of mucus in the throat, prompting the need to clear your throat. Allergens such as pollen, dust, and animal dander can trigger allergies, while postnasal drip occurs when mucus from the nose drains too much mucus back into the throat. Postnasal drip is associated with several common symptoms. These include cough, nausea, sore throat, and bad breath.

Various factors contribute to the buildup of excessive mucus in the throat, such as blood pressure medications, poor nutrition, an unhealthy lifestyle, and incorrect vocal technique.

Treatment options for postnasal drip may include avoiding the allergen, taking medications, utilizing over-the-counter decongestants, taking antihistamines, using saline nasal sprays, and maintaining hydration. The effectiveness of these treatments in reducing chronic throat clearing depends on the individual and the underlying cause of postnasal drainage.

Reflux and Throat Irritation

Reflux and throat irritation, such as laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), can cause an increase in mucus production in the throat, leading to more throat clearing. This sensation of tickling in the throat may lead to persistent throat clearing due to excess mucus production. Interestingly, individuals with LPR often do not display the traditional signs of reflux, such as heartburn and indigestion.

Addressing the root of chronic throat clearing is paramount to avoid vocal cord damage and preserve vocal range and tone. The most effective treatment for reflux that causes chronic throat clearing is typically a combination of medication and lifestyle modifications, such as abstaining from certain food and beverage items, reducing stress levels, and achieving a healthy weight. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to treat LPR.

Vocal Cord Issues

Vocal cord issues refer to any difficulties that can arise due to misuse or abuse of the voice or other conditions.

Vocal cords, also known as vocal folds, are comprised of strips of the mucous membrane located in the larynx. Abuse or misuse of the voice, including throat clearing, smoking, or exposure to loud noises that cause you to frequently raise your voice, are all triggers for vocal cord issues, as well as any underlying medical condition or conditions such as allergies, postnasal drip, reflux, and throat irritation.

Treatment options are available for vocal cord issues, such as hydration and humidification, saline nasal sprays, gargling solutions, lifestyle changes like diet and nutrition, stress management, avoiding triggers, proper vocal warm-ups, breath control techniques, and rest and recovery.

If symptoms persist, professional help may be necessary to treat throat clearing, voice changes or pain, or breathing difficulties.

MOST Effective Throat Clearing Techniques

Now that we have a better understanding of the causes and concerns of throat clearing, let’s discuss some effective techniques for clearing the throat. We’ll explore the importance of hydration and humidification, the benefits of saline nasal sprays, and how gargling solutions can help clear mucus from the throat.

With a little practice and consistency, you can master these techniques and reduce the frequency of throat clearing, giving your vocal cords the best chance to perform at their optimal level.

Hydration and Humidification

Adequate hydration and the use of a humidifier can help thin mucus, thus diminishing the necessity for throat clearing.

Drinking water and herbal tea are recommended for thinning vocal mucus while limiting beverages with added sugars, caffeine intake, dairy consumption, and foods with high acidity should be avoided.

Dry air can lead to an accumulation of thick mucus in the throat, making throat clearing more difficult. To counteract this, maintaining proper hydration is essential. Ensuring a healthy water intake can not only help thin mucus but also provide lubrication to the vocal cords, allowing them to function optimally.

Saline Nasal Sprays

Saline nasal sprays are a mixture of water and salt that can be employed to alleviate nasal or sinus dryness, congestion, allergies, or snoring. They are formulated to lubricate and flush out nasal passages, helping to reduce nasal congestion, decrease inflammation, and enhance breathing.

However, it’s essential to be cautious with the use of saline nasal sprays, as excessive use can cause irritation and dryness of the nasal passages. By using saline nasal sprays as needed and in moderation, you can effectively alleviate postnasal drip and reduce the need for throat clearing.

An infographic with cartoon images illustrating causes of chronic throat clearing with explanatory text described below.

Infographic Text

 Frog in Your Throat?

 Four Causes of Chronic Throat Clearing

 Nasal allergies: can inflame your sinuses and mucus membranes and thicken throat phlegm. Typical allergens include dust, pollen, and animal dander.

 Acid reflux: Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), a type of acid reflux, causes stomach acid to flow back up into the back of your throat or in the voice box (larynx), irritating the throat. Symptoms include coughing, wheezing, hoarseness, and sore throat.

 Asthma: Asthma is a chronic condition in which the airways narrow and swollen, producing extra mucus. Symptoms can include shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, and chest pain or tightness.

 Brain Inflammation: Brain inflammation is created by glial cells of the nervous system, which may lead to chronic throat clearing.

End Infographic Text

Gargling Solutions

Gargling with warm salt water or other solutions can help clear mucus from the throat and soothe irritation.

To create a saltwater solution, combine one teaspoon of table salt with 8 ounces of warm water. Alternative solutions for gargling include herbal teas, apple cider vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide.

To use a gargling solution, simply gargle with the solution for 30 seconds, then spit it out. Repeat this process several times a day for best results.

Gargling solutions can not only help your throat clear of mucus but also provide relief for a sore throat and other symptoms associated with throat irritation.

Lifestyle Changes for Throat Health

In addition to the effective throat-clearing techniques mentioned above, making certain lifestyle changes can also contribute to improved throat health.

Incorporating a healthy diet, managing stress, and avoiding triggers are all essential components to maintaining optimal vocal health and reducing the need for throat clearing.

Let’s explore these lifestyle changes in more detail and learn how you can take control of your throat health.

Diet and Nutrition

A healthy diet and proper nutrition can help reduce mucus production and improve overall throat health. Poor nutrition and smoking can lead to dehydration of mucus membranes, resulting in increased mucus production in an attempt to protect vocal cords from irritation. To counteract this, it’s essential to limit the consumption of processed foods, dairy products, excess sugar, and alcohol.

Incorporating a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains into your diet is crucial for optimal throat health. By making these dietary modifications, you can effectively reduce mucus production and protect your vocal cords from irritation and potential damage.

Stress Management

Managing stress and anxiety can help reduce habitual throat clearing and promote relaxation. When we’re stressed, our bodies may unconsciously respond with throat clearing as a nervous habit. By effectively managing stress, you can break this vicious cycle and reduce the need for throat clearing.

Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, yoga, and meditation, may be beneficial in reducing stress and improving throat health. By incorporating these stress management techniques into your daily routine, you can not only improve your overall well-being but also reduce the frequency of throat clearing and its impact on your vocal health.

Avoiding Triggers

Identifying and avoiding triggers, such as allergens or irritants, can help minimize throat clearing. Common triggers include environmental pollutants, irritants such as smoke or chemicals, chronic pharyngitis, acid reflux, food allergies, and muscle tension. Once triggers are identified, it is essential to avoid them as much as possible to reduce the need for throat clearing.

In order to minimize throat clearing, it is important to avoid exposure to environmental pollutants, use a humidifier to reduce irritants, avoid certain medications, and manage stress levels.

By taking these steps to identify and avoid throat health triggers, you can effectively reduce the need for throat clearing and maintain optimal vocal health.

Caring for Your Singing Voice

Caring for your singing voice involves more than just effective throat-clearing techniques and lifestyle changes. It also requires proper vocal warm-ups, breath control techniques, and allowing your voice to rest and recover after singing or speaking for extended periods.

By incorporating these elements into your vocal care routine, you can ensure a healthier, more vibrant singing voice and reduce the need for throat clearing.

Proper Vocal Warm-ups

An image of a man doing vocal warm ups before a signing performance.

Engaging in appropriate vocal warm-up exercises can help prevent strain and reduce the need for throat clearing. Exercises such as humming, lip trills, tongue twisters, breathing exercises, and solfege and scales can effectively warm up the vocal cords prior to singing or speaking.

By incorporating these vocal warm-up exercises into your routine, you can not only reduce the need for throat clearing but also protect your vocal cords from potential damage and strain. So, before hitting that high note or delivering that speech, make sure to give your vocal cords the proper warm-up they deserve!

Breath Control Techniques

Practicing breath control techniques, such as diaphragmatic breathing, can strengthen vocal cords and improve singing performance. Breath control is essential for regulating the flow of air during breathing and enhancing breath support, which can significantly impact the performance of vocal cords.

By incorporating breath control techniques into your vocal practice, you can not only improve your singing performance but also reduce the need for throat clearing. So take a deep breath, and let your voice soar to new heights!

Rest and Recovery

Allowing your voice to rest and recover after singing or speaking for extended periods is essential for maintaining vocal health. During rest and recovery, it is advisable to limit speaking, stay away from loud environments, and avoid singing or speaking in a strained or forced way.

Additionally, it is essential to practice suitable vocal warm-ups and breath control techniques.

Ensuring adequate sleep, avoiding vocal strain, and abstaining from smoking and alcohol are also important aspects of rest and recovery for your voice. By giving your vocal cords the rest and recovery they need, you can protect them from potential damage and ensure a healthy and vibrant singing voice.

When to Seek Professional Help

Despite trying various throat-clearing techniques and making lifestyle changes, you may still find yourself struggling with persistent throat-clearing, voice changes, throat pain, and breathing difficulties. In such cases, it’s essential to recognize when to seek professional help.

Knowing when to consult a healthcare professional can make all the difference in maintaining optimal vocal health and addressing any underlying conditions causing your throat-clearing issues.

It is important to understand the signs and symptoms of throat clearing and to be aware of when to seek medical advice. Consulting a healthcare professional can help identify any underlying conditions and provide the best treatment plan for your individual needs. With the right care and attention, you can overcome any throat-clearing issues you’ve experienced.

Persistent Throat Clearing

If throat clearing persists despite trying various techniques, it is recommended to seek advice from a healthcare professional for further assessment and treatment. Persistent throat clearing can be a sign of an underlying condition causing it, such as acid reflux, allergies, or respiratory infections.

An endoscopy may be recommended to gain a better view of the throat, and allergy testing may be advised for persistent throat clearing. By seeking professional help and addressing the root cause of your throat clearing, you can ensure a healthier voice and improved quality of life.

Voice Changes or Pain

If you experience symptoms such as mucus build-up, a persistent need to clear the throat, changes in voice quality, or pain while speaking or singing, it would be prudent to consult a doctor about your voice box.

Voice changes or pain may indicate vocal cord damage, and seeking professional attention can help address the underlying issue and prevent further harm to your voice.

Breathing Difficulties

Breathing difficulties, such as shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, or wheezing, may be a sign of a more serious underlying condition and warrant medical evaluation.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is imperative to seek medical assistance promptly to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.

An image of a woman with seasonal allergies blowing her nose into a tissue.


In conclusion, unlocking the secrets of throat-clearing techniques can significantly improve your vocal health and overall well-being. By understanding the causes and concerns of throat clearing and employing effective techniques such as hydration, saline nasal sprays, and gargling solutions, you can reduce the frequency of throat clearing and protect your vocal cords.

Furthermore, incorporating lifestyle changes and caring for your singing voice through proper vocal warm-ups, breath control techniques, and rest and recovery will ensure a healthier, more vibrant singing voice.

Remember, if persistent throat clearing, voice changes, or breathing difficulties continue despite your efforts, seeking professional help is crucial for maintaining optimal vocal health.

Frequently Asked Questions

What helps constant throat clearing?

Taking simple steps such as drinking plenty of water, avoiding irritants like smoke, and gargling with warm salt water can help relieve the symptoms associated with chronic throat clearing.

Identifying any underlying causes and treating them may also be beneficial for long-term treatment and short-term relief.

How do I get phlegm off my vocal cords?

Gargling with lukewarm salt water can help clear phlegm from your vocal cords. Take one teaspoon of salt and dissolve it in a cup of warm water. Swish it around your mouth for 15-20 seconds, focusing on the area at the back of your throat. Spit out the solution and repeat this a few times each day until your symptoms have cleared.

To maintain vocal health, be sure to stay hydrated and rest your voice.

What are the most common causes of throat clearing?

The three most common causes of throat clearing are allergies, reflux, and vocal cord dysfunction. All can lead to frequent coughing and throat clearing if the underlying cause is not properly addressed.

How can I reduce throat clearing caused by allergies or postnasal drip?

By avoiding allergens, taking medications, using decongestants and antihistamines, rinsing with a saline nasal spray, and staying hydrated, you can take control of your throat clearing and reduce its effects caused by allergies or postnasal drip.

These steps can help you manage your throat clearing and reduce its effects. Taking the time to identify and avoid allergens, as well as taking medications and using decongestants and antihistamines, can help you reduce the frequency and severity of throat clearing. Additionally, rinsing with a saline nasal spray and staying hydrated can help reduce inflammation.

What lifestyle changes can I make to improve throat health?

Staying hydrated, avoiding unhealthy habits such as smoking or consuming alcohol, and getting sufficient rest can help protect your throat from irritation and reduce your throat clearing.

Chief Medical Director at SANESolution | Website

Dr. Matthew Olesiak continues to make a significant impact in the medical field through his work at SANESolution and his dedication to evidence-based practices.