The Dangers of Using Tap Water in Your Neti Pot

April 8, 2019

With the recent case in Seattle concerning Neti Pot and tap water, it’s time to revisit some rules of the road when it comes to nasal rinsing and healthy water choices beyond nasal passage clearing product use. We’re taking a look at why tap water isn’t safe for nasal rinsing and providing a few tips for safe nasal rinsing practices.

No Tap for Nasal Rinsing

You’re well aware, or maybe not, of some of the chemicals present in most tap water. Regardless, these chemicals, while still not-so-great to ingest, are more dangerous when present in the water you use to clean your nasal passages. The FDA reports that while stomach acid can negate and kill most low-level organisms present in tap water, they do not receive the same treatment when sent through your nasal airways.* This means even small bacteria and amoebas can remain living in your respiratory airways, causing infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Safe Nasal Rinse Use Tips

Overall, it’s best to skip the tap water in favor of distilled or sterile water, boiled and cooled tap water, or water that has received proper treatment as designated by the FDA.* These forms of water will have no potentially harmful bacteria present, meaning access to these water options is just half the battle.

Nasal rinsing tools, whether in bulb or Neti Pot form, are meant to relieve blocked nasal passages, making breathing easier. As such, ensuring the tool itself is clean and free of potentially harmful bacteria is key to a safe nasal rinsing experience.

A few tips on actual tool care from the FDA include:

  • “Wash and dry your hands.

  • Check that the device is clean and completely dry.

  • Prepare the saline rinse, either with the prepared mixture supplied with the device, or one you make yourself.

  • Follow the manufacturer’s directions for use.

  • Wash the device, and dry the inside with a paper towel or let it air dry between uses.”*

Better Water Beyond the Neti Pot

While it’s critical to use distilled, pre-boiled, or specially filtered water for your Neti Pot use, alternatives to tap can improve your life outside of nasal rinsing practices. Despite some low-level organisms dying off once they encounter stomach acid, some of the chemicals in tap water such as fluoride, PFA’s, and others can negatively affect your health in other ways.

Because of this, it’s important to have access to better water sources for you and your family. Primo Water dispensers and Primo Water itself are available to help your family drink healthier water at every point in their day. Head to our shop to see which Primo Water solution is best for your home.



* Office of the Commissioner. (n.d.). Consumer Updates – Is Rinsing Your Sinuses With Neti Pots Safe? Retrieved March 22, 2019, from