Question: “Where To Buy Smelling Salts”


Since I put up this site and started telling people about smelling salts, “where to buy smelling salts” is the question I’ve heard the most. I’ve heard everything from people thinking that smelling salt was illegal, to just not being able to find it. Ok, so these things aren’t exactly the easiest to find (Far from illegal though), but once you know where to look there’s not problem at all.

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smelling salts ampuleA quick look on CVS, Walgreens, or Rite Aid online doesn’t show anything by the name of smelling salts (In fact they may not even be available online through them). I know that some pharmacies carry something at least similar in-store, but can’t be sure. Apart from some specialty store where you will pay through the roof, Amazon will probably be your best bet. Amazon generally carries bulk boxes of at least 100 units around $25.
UPDATE: We now carry smelling salts right here in the store if you want to check them out. They are even cheaper than the best prices on Amazon. Or Check out our post on the top 3 smelling salts options for athletes.

In Store

Ok, after mentioning that I didn’t know if they carried it in-store, I went and made some calls to check. Neither Rite Aid, Walgreens, or CVS (Both of my local pharmacies) carry any smelling salts either online or in-store just like they usually don’t carry the best creatine supplement that I like. I also checked Walmart and several other stores around and couldn’t find anything like what I’ve found on Amazon. The only thing I can imagine is that people are buying bottles of pure ammonia and sniffing that (gross!!). That’d probably do the trick, but the concentration would likely burn your eyebrows off and peel back your eyelids if you just bought a big bottle of bleach :).

EDIT: Ok, another closer look and I finally found a store that carries smelling salts. Strangely, it was still not a pharmacy. CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid (My local pharmacies) do not carry them. However, Walmart does :). The downside? They are about 10 bucks more expensive than the same brands right here on our site.

Liquid vs. Ampules

So here’s another question that has come up pretty frequently. There are basically two forms of smelling “salt” available today: (1) Small ampules with a glass capsule in the center of a plastic casing. You crack the ampule (like those glow sticks you use at raves) and the two chemicals combine to release the ammonia which give you the kick and (2) A small bottle that has pre-mixed chemicals that you just open and sniff. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but really it just comes down to preference.

smelling salts bottleThe liquid forms tend to have less kick (they’re generally made for clearing sinuses, not kicking you in the pants before a big play) and plus you then have to worry about spilling or breaking the bottle. One the other side (If you couldn’t tell, I recommend this side), the ampules are very easy single use packs. Just take it out, crack it, sniff, dispose, and win :). I have heard some complaint that you can cut yourself on the inner glass capsule but its never happened to me (Plus what good is something like smelling salts without a bit of danger like pricking your finger).

So breaking it down, there are plenty of places you can buy the stuff and plenty of ways to use them. I personally prefer the convenience of buying the capsules off Amazon, but don’t take my word for it. Try it out yourself and see what you prefer.

  1. 10 years ago

    I’ve tried the capsules. When I crack them they leave me with a chemical irritation. Any advice?

    • 10 years ago
      Jeff Kingston

      Hey Chris, is it irritation on your fingers? If so try the ammonia wipes or maybe Nose Tork instead of the capsules (See
      If you’re getting irritation in your nose/sinuses, try a lower concentration (Nose Tork > Capsule/Ampules > Wipes) or try laying off them for a week or two. I’ve never had problems but I don’t use them more than once (maybe twice) per workout.
      Let me know if that answers your question.

  2. 9 years ago

    I ordered smelling salts from this website over three weeks ago and they still haven’t come in. When will my salts (that I already paid for) come in

    • 9 years ago
      Jeff Kingston

      Hey Steve, we don’t actually sell any salts ourselves. If you bought any of the products we recommended you probably bought from amazon and should check with them. Every time I’ve orders it’s gotten here within a few days.


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