Don’t let it turn into something more serious, like a respiratory infection. And you can do that by gargling with salt water once a day. A Japanese study found that gargling with salt water not only soothed a sore throat – it reduced the odds of a more serious infection by 40%. That’s because salt is anti-microbial and anti-viral… so it removes microscopic viruses from the soft tissues of the throat. It also loosens mucus so you can cough it up and get it out.