How to launch the perfect snot rocket and win at blowing your nose without your hands

Winter is here; let’s all have a blow

I had just returned from a trip overseas in warmer climes and was dismayed to land head cold-first into the icy hold of a traditional prairie winter. The bitter slap of cold across the face, the bum rush of flurries up the too-thin jacket: it wasn’t the warm welcome home I had hoped for.

Tellingly, I was sick within minutes. Blurg.

A couple days later, out walking with a friend, I noticed his oh-so-sly, subtle movements, the telltale sniffles and the whisper-like swooshing.

“Nice farmer blow bro,” I laughed.

“Don’t knock it until you try it,” he snapped back.

As it turns out, my friend is something of a pro when it comes to the no-Kleenex blow, and the snot rocket is a total legit way to clear the sinuses.

“Consider that you don’t even need to use your hands,” he bragged. “If you’re good at it that is.”

On that brief stroll downtown, we got the rundown on the technique, the etiquette and the nuances of mucous management:

Technique #1: The Swab ‘n’ Spit
Skill level: Beginner

Like sports, work, sex and life, if you aren’t confident in your endeavours you will fail. That said, just like with the aforementioned topics, there’s always an easy out.

“Instead of blowing, try sucking,” said the friend in an earnest tone. And with, like a massive pair of windy bellows, he brought in a hefty breeze through his nostrils and deposited the slippery sluice out his mouth.

“Kinda gross,” I said.

“It’s not pretty,” he agreed.

Technique #2: The One-Hander
Skill level: Intermediate

This is the snot rocket you grew up with, the one that you fell in love with as a kid in elementary school and took all the way to college and beyond. This is the version where the astrosnot takes a finger, closes a nostril, and launches their cargo via a quick snort. And it works.

The secret here is to be aware of your payload – the heavier the cargo the more fuel you’re going to need to get this stuff in orbit.

Technique #3: The No-Hander
Skill level: Advanced

That said, if you’re a germaphobe and don’t have access to a sink, or are carrying something, you could always try and snot rocket sans finger. But this technique comes with a terrible warning: muck this up and you’re liable to get boogers on your favourite blouse.

“It’s a full body movement,” admitted my friend when pried for more information. “It can be taught, but it doesn’t come over night.”

And with that he turned his head to one side and then quickly snapped back, creating a facial fulcrum along with an impressive wad of ooze.

“Impressive,” I remarked.

“I think I just grossed myself out,” he sighed.

– Featured photo via Flickr user three_if_by_bike, Creative Commons