The Salt Water Flush Didn’t Work (What to Do)?

This process, along with the herbal laxative detox tea, is probably the most confusing, most alarming, most questioned part of the master cleanse, apart from the fact you don't eat anything except the lemonade. The strong reactions come from the strong associations we have with words like “salt” and “laxative” and so worry about safety is present just beneath the surface of each question, and rightfully so (even though misplaced).

6 reasons why the salt water flush didn't work

If the salt water isn't flushing through your system in an hour or two, you're probably guilty of one of these 5, and only 5 reasons:

the-salt-water-flush-riding-the-waveYou took the sea salt water on a full stomach

If you take the sea salt water solution too soon after eating, the food will soak up the liquid and not allow the digestive system the opportunity to reject the solution independently. You basically just make a nice salty soup inside your stomach

Your salt water was too salty

You can't over do it. Less is more in this case. It's hard to know exactly what will work. Where did you start from? Always start at the base of 2 teaspoons of sea salt. One common mistake here is to use 2 tablespoons, easily enough confused by the 2 tablespoon measure of both the fresh lemon juice and the maple syrup. I used to make that mistake all the time, and even published it as such, because 2 tablespoons worked for me, which is why I know, the ration can vary greatly with success rates.

You didn't use enough salt

If less was more in the case above then now more is more. The right amount is more or less exactly what will work for you (did that make sense?). Usually the problem isn't too little salt as most people don't start out with less than 2 teaspoons, and if there is another measuring area to cause issue it's the water volume. 1 litre should be used, and often people will use a standard glass, 8-10 oz which is just 1/4 liter, again finding themselves in a less is more situation. They need more water to balance the right amount of salt, if the ratio was right. Long story short. 1 liter. 2 teaspoons. Increment first up 1/2 teaspoon at a time until you get to 4 teaspoons, which is still 2 teaspoons less than the 2 tablespoons I have had work for me. If the salt water is still not working, revisit the other reasons on this page (especially the last one)

You used the wrong kind of salt (iodized salt, table salt)

As covered in another faq regarding the type of salt to use in the salt water cleanse we made it clear that you must only use sea salt, and non-iodized sea salt. Iodized sea salt will not work. Did you know that our salive is 99% saline? Did you know that we evolved from the sea (maybe, probably) [this is long before our early primate phase], and that the similarities between human blood and sea water prove (arguably), that we came from the sea (where all life probably did). If fact this is why the sea salt water flush works, because the solution is so much like our blood (specifically what's called the specific gravity), that our digestive system won't process the liquid like food. We're built to avoid the salt, and osmosis and diffusion go to work for us to pass out this usually dangerous drink as to prevent any harm to our cells.

You didn't completely drink the entire salt water solution

Often times it can be hard to get the whole 1 liter of lovely saltiness down your throat without sending it back up like a whale's blow hole. It's a challenge I know. You do tend to get used to it, and there are several tricks to make the salt water flush easier that you should definitely check out because if you don't manage to get it down in 1 short time span, you won't get the flushiness you need. Sipping here and there from the edge of your teaspoon won't cut it. It may taste brothy but it's a FLUSH, not a can of Campbell's salty finest. You have to chug it to flush it (as the saying goes –I know that's not a saying).

The sea salt gods didn't favour you

If you're  doing all else right, as many have proclaimed in frustration “flush not working” you might just consider that god simply doesn't like you. That's god with a lowercase g, cause I am sure God loves you. But this god, the god that decides why the salt water flush doesn't work for you has chosen to curse you with one more challenge in life today. But know this to overcome even that seemingly insurmountable obstacle. The Salt Water Flush is optional. It's great, and if you can get it to work you should try to get a couple in for each 10 day master cleanse, but you can simply use the herbal laxative detox tea. As long as your having a bowel movement and eliminating toxins that the lemon cleanser and the rest of your “every body detox” is stirring up each day.


What did you do to make the salt water flush work?

If you have any tips please do let us know, and if you think your situation is special, then please tell us your struggle. We'll lend an ear and support your efforts. Leave a comment below, and share this post if you found it answered your question “why isn't the salt water flush working?

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15 Responses to The Salt Water Flush Didn’t Work (What to Do)?

  1. Anonymous August 7, 2017 at 10:04 am #

    How do I get rid of the salt water I drank, since I used only 1 teaspoon instead of 2. I was very sleepy and didn’t realize that I only used 1. Now some of it exited my system, but not all. I did drink a full quart but just enough salt. Do I just drink lots of water? OR AM I GOING TO DIE? LOL No, but seriously, what do I do. I feel like my lower back hurts and I feel like I have to go but nothing :(

  2. Naeemah May 1, 2017 at 3:38 am #

    Day 8

    Did the SWF yesterday and that was the first time it didn’t work! And I’ve done the MC before & the SWF always works! Even with the tea my eliminations are small. Maybe I’m all clean out at this point! Lol

    We’ll see….I’ll try again!


  3. Anonymous November 17, 2016 at 6:00 am #

    I accidentally rushed through my first SWF and only used 1 teaspoon instead of two. Waited an hour and thought maybe I should check my recipe. When I realized I had shorted myself a teaspoon, I heated only six ounces of water and added a tsp of sea salt. I drank it hot and within a few minutes I could feel it working with all the other tolution in there. Elimination was inevitable. Success within 20 minutes.

    • Toni June 6, 2017 at 1:54 pm #

      Maybe the temperature was my problem. Maybe I should heat the water a little bit. Thanks for the idea.

  4. Lisa October 1, 2016 at 2:11 pm #

    It didn’t work for me. I’m not sure why but I am taking medicine for seizures which lowers the sodium in my blood, so I think I have to use different measurement of salt than 2 teaspoons but I’m not sure if I should go less or more. Any suggestions?

  5. Becca April 22, 2016 at 5:08 am #

    I have done this lots of times either great success. This time however, it did not work. I just finished a workout so I may have been dehydrated.
    So I’m stuck full of salt! Yuck!
    Any suggestions when I should try again? Should I do it right away or wait a day or so?

  6. Consuello February 27, 2016 at 9:10 pm #

    Didn’t work for me on to the next step

  7. Consuello February 27, 2016 at 9:08 pm #

    Tried the SWF did not work for me followed the instructions but nothing so I will try all the tips…keep you guys posted fingers posted :)

  8. Tammy January 16, 2015 at 2:03 pm #

    I did the salt water flush 3 days ago. All want well. Expelled everything but since then I have not gone since. Is that normal? I took a probiotic to replenish the good bacteria, stool softener and nothing.

  9. TaJye May 24, 2012 at 10:45 am #

    I am on day 4 and the salt water flush has worked every other day but not today. It is almost 1pm and i have not had a bowel movement. I tried to hold out on drinking the lemonade until after but gave in around noon. Used the same measurements of salt to water and it worked perfectly the first 3 days.

    • John Nichols January 10, 2016 at 2:11 pm #

      TRY INCREASING DISTILLED WATER INTAKE, i.e. Approx. 1 ounce of water for every 2lbs. of body weight, for a daily intake.

  10. kyra June 14, 2011 at 6:12 am #

    Day 4 salt water flush not working…why???????

    • Tiffany July 7, 2011 at 6:34 am #

      2 Teaspoon Unrefined Non-Iodized Fine Sea Salt w/32oz of Spring Water in Morning (BRAND – REAL SALT ) FYI – Make sure it is in the morning on an empty stomach. This should work.

      • Louise July 23, 2011 at 11:54 am #

        Day 2, MasterCleanse: SWF isn’t working for me. I have followed the specific measurements. Should I be concerned? I just feel sooo bloated.
        Why do some people start “dumping” on the 1st day? Is there something wrong with me, or is this common?

        • Marcia July 23, 2011 at 4:42 pm #

          Here are things to try if it’s not working. 1) Wait longer after your last lemonade or water to do SWF. Be sure your stomach is absolutely empty – no lemonade, no water, for at least 5 hours prior. Also, no solid food at all, of course. Solid food will soak up and dilute the salt water. 2) Did you do the Ease-In? After 3 days of Ease-In, your alimentary canal will be empty enough for the SWF. If you didn’t do the Ease-In, SWF might not work until Day 3 or 4. 3) Try a little more salt. I used 32 oz water with 2 teaspoons of salt, but you might have to do 1 tablespoon.

          And remember to drink lots of water between SWFs.

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