Image by @drewcoffman via Unsplash


When you have a cold, sometimes you will cough up phlegm. Phlegm is a type of mucus that is made to protect your respiratory system by trapping dust, allergens and other bacteria so that it does not enter into our system. 

The most common colours of phlegm we usually see are yellow and green. If you see green or yellow phlegm, it means that your body is working hard to fight off an infection. The colour of the phlegm actually comes from the enzymes in white blood cells! 

Here are some ways you can get rid of mucus and phlegm at home. 

Image by @sarahdorweiler via Unsplash

Keep the air moist

If you are constantly in an air-conditioned room, such as working in the office for a long number of hours, keep a humidifier at your desk. When dry air irritates your nose and throat, more mucus will be formed in an attempt to keep your nose and throat moist. Placing one in the bedroom can help you to achieve better sleep too by keeping your nose unblocked and prevent a sore throat.

– advertisement – 
Image by Ivan Oboleninov via Pexels

Prop Your Head Up

Having phlegm as you work throughout the day is annoying enough, but it can be particularly hard when you have to sleep with the buildup of mucus. Add another pillow to prop your head higher when you sleep to help relieve discomfort.

Image by Stephan Müller via Pexels

Gargle with saltwater

Get a cup of warm water with a teaspoon of salt. Stir well before gargling. Not only can saltwater soothe an irritated throat, but it may also help to get rid of any mucus that might be left in your throat. Gargle salt water several times a day for the best effect. 

Image by @ouss3ma19 via Unsplash

Stop smoking and avoid secondhand smoke

Smoke, whether it is first hand or secondhand smoke will cause the body to produce more phlegm and mucus to trap the allergens. Thankfully in Singapore, smokers are restricted to certain areas in the outdoors. Did you know that smoking along the HDB corridors is an offence? Avoid secondhand smoke by slowing down when there are people smoking in front of you or walking in front of them.

– advertisement – 
Image by @curology via Unsplash

Take a hot shower

Heat can help to clear mucus in the nose and throat. If you are having sinus pressure too, splashing some warm water on the face can help to relieve it. Alternatively, boil some water and pour it into a bowl. Place your face above the bowl to inhale the steam. For best effect, cover your head with a towel so that the steam does not escape into the air.

Image by @candidbcolette via Unsplash

Blow the nose gently

From young, we have been taught by our parents to give it our hardest and best shot when it comes to blowing nose. This generally works great but when it comes to thick phlegm and mucus, most of the time the nose is blocked. You might be tempted to blow your nose hard until all of it comes out, but doing so may increase the sinus pressure instead, leading to pain. 

Image by bridgesward via Pixabay

Avoid cold drinks

As much as all of us love having cold drinks in Singapore’s humid weather, having cold drinks might irritate your throat and worsen your cough.