nose plugs that don't fall off?

I’ve been going through several different models of nose plugs and they all seem to fall off my nose once I go under.

My shnoze is average size, but it’s as if they slip off all the time. I wouldn’t say my skin is oily or anything, that’s just the feeling when it happens.

If anybody “nose” (sorry about that) of any makes of plugs that really really work, I’d sure appreciate it. This is driving me absolutely crazy!


Maybe scupper hole plugs? ;^)>

Try These
I have a friend in Arkansas that swears by these. She says the smileys slip off and prefers the foam/squeeze clips.

Good Luck


have you tried staples? stainless or brass if you can find 'em.

Smiley’s, and PINCH 'EM TIGHT
I wipe the sunblock off my nose before putting them on. They’ve never come off in the water. If you surf, YMMV, but these are popular among local WW yakers.

nose grease

– Last Updated: Dec-14-06 10:05 AM EST –

I don't know how to say this delicately, so I'll be direct. It is very likely that your nose is greasy, as are most other people's noses.

When I was a kid, we used nose grease to lubricate fishing rod ferrules. Worked fine. More recently, as a experiment I used it to "finish stain" the handle of a knife to bring out the grain- it worked.

Try wiping off the sides of your nose with paper towel or terry cloth just before using your nose plugs. Use some strong material, not Kleenex, and a couple of rubs. This practice keeps nose plugs on my (now not greasy) nose.

For me, Smiley's didn't stay on so I use some that are like the cheap orange swimming ones but thicker. Don't remember the brand.

(Edit) I looked up Smiley's nose plugs and they ARE the ones I do use. The ones that didn't stay on are silicon pads connected to a spring in an arc.


Smiley’s work
But only if you use them right. As others have remarked, you have to do something about the nose grease. And actually it is easy. First put your hand in the water and then rub your nose. Do this several times. You can tell when your fingers encounter more and more friction. Second, bend the Smiley’s together more than you need when they are on your nose. Do NOT put them on your nose and then squeeze them. This may sound silly but it is important. Slide the Smiley’s onto your nose and adjust the angle of the pads if you need to. Third, experiment with having the Smiley’s sit below your nose or over the top of your nose. For me, below the nose works. YMMV.

If you get tired of all this, learn to not need nose plugs. Just exhaling a little bit through your nose while you are under water works just fine. But you have to practice and be relaxed. And, of course, this only applies to fresh water. In salt water you don’t need nose plugs or breathing out.

don’t you need nostril protection when in salt water? I know major nose run from diving with a leaky mask.


It doesn’t burn like fresh water does
Still, if I were going to practice rolling a lot, I’d wear plugs for the cootie protection.


Contrary to popular rumor, practicing with plugs and then forgetting to wear them on a roll does NOT cause the roll to be flubbed. Even with fresh water.

Tweakers do the twick…
Best by far in my book are Harmony’s Tweakers Nose Plugs. I’ve tried several others with no luck at all. These have big circular silicone plastic sides that don’t slip off my greasy nose, and the spring that holds them together works great. Here’s one source:


This has been discussed before
But salt water is more friendly to your sinuses in the sense of causing discomfort. I know what you mean about dive masks. I have a full beard and my dive mask always leaks. Periodically I have to clear the water out but I always get some water in my sinuses. If I lean over it leaks out (sorry about the image). If I get river water in my nose it definitely is uncomfortable and less compatible with the fluids in your body. The one place I always wear nose plugs is in the pool. The combination of fresh water and chlorine is really the pits.

just a comment on nose grease
if you ever go to a Highland game look at the pipers…the older ones will take their pinky finger and wipe it across the nose to lubricate if for the burls they’ll play in competition :slight_smile:

Not so much
I get a instant blinding sinus ache from fresh water up my sinuses, even worse in pool water. The only times I’ve been able to control it or ignore it so it isn’t fatal to a roll has been in a for real, oops I didn’t mean to go over roll.

But salt water, at least as long as it is in the 50’s, is reasonably comfortable. If it’s warm enough and I am just dropping down for a quick practice roll or two at the end of a paddle I can usually not worry about nose plugs.


No need to be delicate to me. Sounds about right.

Good info.



highland laddie
Indeed. I was a piper for a dozen years or so, playing piping competitions all up and down the east coast. I know exactly what you’re talking about. Those oils came in real handy then, but it’s the last thing I want now.



More use for nose grease
Lube the male half of a fishing rod ferrule to prevent it from galling.


Second this
Smiley’s-type nose plugs do work even for those of us with exceptionally oily skin. Follow the advice above about rubbing off the skin oil and pinching the plug BEFORE you put it on. I make my own Smiley’s-type nose plugs – very inexpensively out of 12-gauge copper electrical wire dipped in liquid latex.

Tweakers are great!

“practicing with plugs and then forgetting to wear them on a roll does NOT cause the roll to be flubbed”

That’s correct, because once the initial discomfort happened, it can’t get any worse.

Swab the …
Might want to take an alcohol swab and degrease your nose and the contact area of the nose plugs for whatever sort you use.

See you on the water,