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Is Reverse Osmosis Water Safe For Neti Pots? If So, Why?

is reverse osmosis water safe for neti pots


In most trials, nasal irrigation is a successful therapy for colds, allergies, and sinus infections. It is frequently asked whether Neti pots are safe. Neti pots have grown immensely popular among sinus sufferers in the past ten years. They are used to treat the symptoms of a cold and allergies and are safe to use. People use Neti pots, little teapot-like devices, to flush out their sinuses. Neti pots may be beneficial, but to prevent health problems must be used appropriately. 

Although using a neti pot may seem ludicrous, these teapot-like contraptions work wonderfully for nasal congestion. Some individuals swear by it since it provides relief fast and without a prescription. But these essential gadgets are capable of far more than softly dripping water on your path to a cleaner, less congested existence. It is critical to know how to operate Neti pots appropriately and securely to avoid worse problems.

Many people are unsure how to use a Neti pot, and many others are curious if Reverse Osmosis water is safe to use for Neti pots or whether tap water is the best option. This article will provide vital information on the following issues listed below.

  • How do Neti pots work, and how to use them?
  • Is reverse osmosis water safe for Neti Pots?
  • How to Purify Water for Neti Pot?

What are Neti pots?

“The neti pot is an over-the-counter (OTC) medication available for clogged noses and sinuses at most drugstores.” Neti pots are little teapot-like gadgets that individuals use to flush out their sinuses. Even though they may be helpful, to prevent health complications, you must use them properly. The patient must tilt their head back and place a neti pot filled with salt water in one nostril to do the entire procedure. One nostril receives the liquid, while the other serves as an exit. You may experience a bad headache after a sinus rinse.

How do Neti pots work?

The Neti pot thins mucus and helps drain it from the nasal passages. The small, hair-like structures called cilia that line the interior of the nasal and sinus passages provide a better physiologic explanation for how the Neti pot works. These cilia move back and forth, forcing mucus to the back of the throat or the nose, where it may be ingested or blown out. The cilia’s speed and coordination may be improved by saline solution, allowing them to eliminate allergens and other irritants that cause sinus difficulties more efficiently.

Note: Some ear, nose, and throat surgeons treat nasal irrigation using a Neti pot or another approach for sinus surgery patients to remove crusting in the nasal passages. Many patients with sinus issues caused by allergies or environmental irritants have started using the Neti pot to relieve congestion. According to research, nasal irrigation may be an effective technique to reduce sinus symptoms when used with traditional sinus treatments. Nasal irrigation may provide relief from sinus problems without drugs for some persons.

How to use Neti pot?

Do you face any problems with how to use a Neti pot? I have gone through the whole procedure of using a Neti pot quickly. You can use Neti Pot by following the instructions below.

Step 1:

  • Place the neti pot in a sink-equipped room. 
  • In a clean, dry neti pot, pour the saline solution.
  • Bend down over the sink and stare down at the basin.
  • Make a 45-degree angle with your head.
  • Press the Neti pot’s spout gently into the nose nearest to the ceiling.
  • Make sure the neti pot and your nose are completely sealed. The neti pot should not come into contact with your septum.

Note: Reduce the number of dry ingredients to generate a weaker solution if you suffer burning or stinging. Use a half-teaspoon with 4 ounces of water for youngsters. The fluid will flow out the opposite nostril after passing through your nasal cavity. It might potentially become stuck in your throat. If this happens, spit it out. Blow your nose to clear any residual liquid, then refill the Neti pot and repeat on the other side. After each usage, be sure to clean the irrigation device and let it air dry.

2nd step

  • During this stage, breathe through your mouth.
  • Make sure the saline solution enters your nose by tilting the neti pot.
  • While the solution goes into your nose and out the other nostril, keep the neti pot tipped.

3rd step

  • The solution will drain from the nostril nearest the sink basin.
  • Pour the fluid into your nostrils until the neti pot is empty.
  • Remove the neti pot from your nostril after you have used all of the solutions, and raise your head.
  • To cleanse your nose, breathe through both nostrils.
  • Using a tissue, absorb any residual saline or mucus from your nose.

4th step

  • To enable the saline solution to pass into the other nostril, repeat the instructions above.

Tips for using Neti Pot:

While there are several advantages to using a neti pot, there are some crucial points to remember to achieve the most significant results and prevent causing any unwanted problems with daily usage. The saline solution is a mixture of sodium chloride and potassium chloride. While you can make your saline solution at home, the packets that come with your Neti pot (as well as packs offered separately) are ideal since they include the correct quantity of salt. Nasal discomfort may be caused by either little or too much salt.

 Three effective techniques to guarantee the safe usage of the neti pot are listed below:

  • Use bottled water instead of tap water.

Never use tap water; instead, use distilled, filtered, bottled, or boiling water at room temperature. Tap water has not been filtered or treated the same way as distilled or bottled water, leading to illness. Nasal irrigation has the potential for side effects,” adds Dr. Sindwani. “Use a clean irrigation device and clean water source at all times.”

To reduce your risk of infection, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends doing at least one of the following steps:

  • Boil. Use water that has been boiled for one minute and cooled. Boil for three minutes at heights over 6,500 feet.
  • Filter. Use a filter to eliminate microorganisms that like to live in water. “NSF 53” or “NSF 58” might be written on the label. Filter labels that say “absolute pore size of 1 micron or smaller” work well.
  • Buy. Use water that has a label stating that it is distilled or sterile.
  • Disinfect. Chlorine bleach may be used as a disinfectant if applied at the proper concentration and for the right amount of time.
  • Make sure your neti pot is completely clean.

To prevent infections, disinfect and clean your neti pot entirely in addition to the water you use. After each usage, rinse the irrigation device with clean water and air dry thoroughly. It is suggested that you clean your neti pot after each use during the coronavirus epidemic. “I also recommend cleaning your neti pot every day with hot water and antibacterial soap,” Dr. Sindwani adds. Also, remember to change your neti pot regularly. Replace it every several months, mainly if you use it often. If your child’s doctor advises them to use one, keep one separate for them.

Types of Water Safe to Use in a Neti Pot?

When CBS News reported that a 69-year-old lady from Seattle died of a brain-eating amoeba infection, neti pot users were scared. The lady utilized municipality-supplied tap water in her neti pot for nasal congestion. Dr. Charles Cobbs, the woman’s neurosurgeon, thinks an amoeba entered her circulation via the upper nasal canal. It eventually made its way to her brain, producing a deadly infection. Although it is an uncommon occurrence, the doctor believes it might happen to anybody.

You may safely use four different kinds of water in your neti pot. These are the ones:

  • Reverse Osmosis (RO) water
  • Water that has been distilled
  • Water in a bottle
  • Water that has been boiled

Reverse Osmosis water

The safest water for Neti pots is reverse osmosis (RO) water. Water is forced through a permeable membrane known as the Reverse Osmosis Membrane by a reverse osmosis filter. This membrane has a pore size of 0.0001 millimeters. This membrane can only allow clean water to pass through it. Is reverse osmosis effective in removing amoebas? A brain-eating amoeba’s typical size is 8-15 micrometers. Even the tiniest amoeba is 8000 times larger than a RO Membrane’s pore size. As a result, there is no way an amoeba could get through a reverse osmosis filter and infect your water.

Reverse osmosis removes coliform bacteria and other water pollutants, whether organic, organic, or synthetic. Filters with Reverse osmosis remove amoebas and chlorine, heavy metals, lead, copper, chromium, cyst, fluoride, and microplastics from water. Because the RO filtering process is so sensitive, it may even remove dissolved particles from your drinking water. So, it is entirely safe to use reverse osmosis water for Neti pots.

Is reverse osmosis water safe for Neti Pots?

 Is it often asked that is reverse osmosis water is safe for nasal irrigation? Yes, reverse osmosis water is safe for nasal irrigation. Reverse osmosis removes bacteria, protozoa, amoebas, and viruses. Reverse osmosis water is entirely safe to use in Neti pots. Doctors and experts openly mention that Reverse Osmosis is one of their preferred water filtration methods the official website of the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Not just for your neti pot but for all of your cooking and drinking water, they highly advocate using a certified reverse osmosis water filter.

It is no surprise that many restaurants utilize RO-filtered water in their cooking since Reverse Osmosis can remove 95-99 percent of total dissolved solids (TDS) in drinking water and enhance the odor look and overall flavor of your water. The taste of coffee, tea, soup, and most other foods created using water may be substantially improved by cooking with filtered, impurity-free water. If you have been using Neti pots for a while, investing in an RO water filter for your house can be a good idea. Filters like the aquatic countertop and Waterdrop Whole House Crystal Quest can benefit you. Furthermore, it also works against the most frequent chemical pollutants of the twenty-first century, such as chloride, copper, nitrate, and phosphorus, among others. 

Bottled water

Is it possible to use bottled water in a neti pot? Yes. You may also use bottled water for your neti pot as a fast and inexpensive alternative. Because most bottled water businesses in the United States, such as Aquafina, Dasani, and Nestle Glaceau SmartWater, cleanse their water using reverse osmosis technology. They also utilize a mix of purifying methods, such as ozone sterilization, distillation, and UV light. Look for a RO water filtration certificate on the label of other branded bottled water. Filters with reverse osmosis remove coliform bacteria and many other heavy metals.

Boiled water

We advocate using boiling water for Neti pots at the very end for a reason. Yes, boiling water destroys the amoeba that eats your brain and other harmful microorganisms. In the United States, around 283 million people depend on municipally provided water. Because municipal water has already been through some filtering procedure before reaching your home, boiling water alone may be sufficient for those persons. But what about the other 100 million people who get their water from private wells, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs? They face a significant danger of drinking contaminated water. Boiling water will never be adequate to keep kids safe from those deadly chemicals without an active water filtering system.

Distilled water  

Water is boiled, steamed, then condensed back into liquid in distilled water. The purity of distilled water is comparable to that of RO water. As a result, you may use distilled water in your net pots without fear. You may either create distilled water at home or purchase distilled water at a store. A water distiller is required to manufacture distilled water at home. The majority of water distillers are electric and capable of producing 1-2 liters of distilled water in an hour. Water distillers of high quality are FDA or CE (European equivalent of FDA) approved, and they come with activated charcoal filters for better-tasting water.

If you want to purchase distilled water from the store, be sure it is from a reputable firm that adheres to CDC and FDA guidelines.

How to Purify Water for Neti Pot?

According to the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, never use tap water in a neti pot. The CDC recommends many methods for ensuring sterility in water: Boiling and then chilling the water, using distilled water, filtering the water with an amoeba filter, or treating the water with chlorine bleach. The ideal way is to use distilled or cooled boiling water. Most grocery shops sell distilled water, which is branded distilled or sterile. Reverse osmosis removes minerals and harmful microorganisms and makes them safe in Neti pots.

If you use boiling water, ensure it has been boiled for one minute and then cooled. According to the CDC,  you should boil the water for three minutes at heights over 6,500 feet.
The next best choice is filtered water; however, the filter must say “NSF 53” or “NSF 58” or have the phrases “cyst removal” or “cyst reduction” on it.

If you can not sterilize or filter your water using the procedures above, apply a double dosage of chlorine bleach disinfectant and let it sit for 30 minutes. Before treating it, the CDC suggests straining murky water through a clean cloth, paper towel, or coffee filter.

Is filtered water okay for Neti pot?

 Distilled, pre-boiled, or highly filtered water is required for Neti Pot usage; alternatives to tap water might enhance your life beyond nasal cleansing. Although certain low-level organisms die when they come into contact with stomach acid, chemicals in tap water such as fluoride, PFAs, and others may harm your health in different ways. As a result, you and your family must access improved water sources. Never use tap water for Neti pots because it contains several tiny organisms that can enter your body through the nostrils of the nose and can cause various fatal diseases.

Why Not Use Tap Water for Neti Pot?

According to FDA experts, nasal irrigation devices, such as Neti pots, bulb syringes, squeeze bottles, and battery-operated pulsed water devices, are generally safe and effective when used and cleaned correctly. What exactly does “safe use” imply? Rinse with only distilled, sterilized, or previously heated water at first.

Because tap water is not thoroughly filtered or treated, it is not safe to use as a nasal rinse. Because stomach acid destroys bacteria and protozoa, including amoebas, some tap water includes low amounts of organisms that are safe to consume. On the other hand, these organisms may survive in your nasal passages and produce potentially dangerous illnesses. According to the research, they may even be lethal in rare situations.

In reality, two individuals in Louisiana died in 2011 after contracting the uncommon amoeba Naegleria fowleri in their brains. A group of researchers discovered that both persons had used tap water in Neti pots to clear their sinuses, and Naegleria fowleri was detected in water samples from both residences. The CDC website says that incidences of Naegleria fowleri infection have been documented in patients who cleansed their sinuses for religious reasons and used contaminated water.


Some other questions, and answers for our readers that might be helpful for reading.

Is reverse osmosis water ok for Neti pot?

Reverse osmosis water is entirely safe to use in Neti pots. On the official website of the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), doctors and professionals plainly state that reverse osmosis filter is one of their favored water filtering technologies. Reverse osmosis water is free from heavy metals and contaminants, making it healthy and safe in net pots. However, I prefer to use distilled or boiled water instead of reverse osmosis water in Neti pots.

Can I use filtered water from the fridge for sinus rinse?

The cold solution should never be used in your nasal passages, mainly if you rinse them following sinus surgery. If you have had sinus surgery and utilized a cold solution, you may develop paranasal sinus exostoses, which are bony growths in your nasal passages (PSE). These growths may form in the sinuses of persons who have had surgery for chronic rhinosinusitis or inflammation of the sinus lining, according to Dr. Sindwani and his study team.

Nasal congestion and discomfort caused by a sinus infection, allergies, or cold may be relieved with a sinus flush. It is usually safe to follow the directions carefully, mainly when using sterile water, and to avoid cold water if you have just undergone sinus surgery.

What are the benefits of using a neti pot?

There are several benefits to using a neti pot to treat your sinuses, including:

  • Rinses the nasal canal completely.
  • Removes mucus that has backed up.
  • Congestion is reduced, and breathing is improved.
  • Sinus pressure is relieved.
  • Improves symptoms without the sleepiness or excitement associated with over-the-counter medications.
  • It is always a good idea to talk to your doctor about the best course of action and whether or not a neti pot is right for you. It is also crucial to make sure you are using it correctly.

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