How To Plug Your Nose?

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

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There are various amateur and professional techniques to plug one’s nose when swimming. The most accessible and affordable way is to pinch the nostrils tight with your index finger and thumb.

This will close off breathing patterns through the nose and prevent water from entering the nasal passage, perfect for the cannonball you’re about to perform.

The more professional means of plugging the nasal cavity would be to use a ‘swimming nose plug’ from a company like TYR or Speedo. These pieces of equipment, in effect, replace the index finger and thumb and provide a hands-free hold.

Girl in a swimming pool - How To Plug Your Nose?

How Do You Put in a Nose Plug?

This is not rocket science, nor a complicated process to place a clip on the nose. There are different types of nose-holding equipment; even goggles with nose attachments are an option.

Most snorkel and Scuba facemasks will have attachments to help keep water out of the nasal cavity; otherwise, the professional nose clips are simple to operate. First, place it on the nose and use the index finger and thumb to pin the device.

Adjust the pressure until the fit is comfortable, and the pinch effectively seals all water from entering the lungs.


Girl in a swimming pool - How To Plug Your Nose?


How do Nose Plugs Work?

Nose plugs work as if a swimmer was holding their nasal cavity with their thumb and index finger, or how cartoons use a clothesline pin to keep stinky smells out. The racers use simple plugs designed to be lightweight and because of little drag in the water.

They close around the nasal passages with the pinch of a hand. They have proven to stay in place even when exuding large amounts of energy and movement in the midst of a race.

The pressure from the clip then seals any movement of air or water through the nose during the use of the nose plug.


Can you Plug your Nose with Your Lips?

This is physically possible, as this writer attempts the feat while writing and does create a seal. Not a very good one; humans would do better to use their hands to keep the smell or water out of the nasal cavities.

This technique should be saved for the kids and used to make funny faces more than seal water out while swimming. Even a thumb and forefinger approach would be more effective than this humorous face approach.


How do you Make a Homemade Nose Plug?

Homemade products will suffice for competition levels at, say, grade school or high school, but at the collegiate, it is recommended to use team equipment rather than custom-made gear.

For example, one can use a gear tie from Nite Ize, a paper clip, or even a bread bag clip; as long as the item can squeeze the nose closed, it can work as a nose plug.

There are, however, products out there that have been specifically designed for holding the nasal passages closed while swimming. This includes Scuba, Snorkel, community pool, and official competition-grade nose plugs.


Things you Need to Know Before you Start Using Nose Plugs

The most important thing to remember is to find a comfortable and secure fit, and those two elements are by far the most important to focus on.

Now there will be discussions on style and design by the racer, high school, or professional, and it is usually a good idea to make the athlete happy.

Lastly, it may be a ‘duh’ point, but putting on nose plugs will make breathing difficult. You are cutting off a breathing canal, not permanently or entirely. Still, you will no longer be able to breathe through the nose while wearing this equipment.


Final Thoughts on How to Plug your Nose

There is plenty of water to keep water out of the respiratory system, the most straightforward being to hold one’s breath. Another is to take your hand, lift it to the face, and with the index finger and thumb, pinch the nose closed.

There are then activities that will need a swimmer to have both hands free, Scuba and Swim Races being two of them, and to keep water out of the nasal passage, a person will need to use nose plugs.

TYR and Speedo have already come out with designer plugs that are both visually appealing and fit snugly onto the nose.