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Home > Health Topics > Allergy/Hay Fever > Avoid Infections When Rinsing Nasal Passages

Avoid Infections When Rinsing Nasal Passages

Q: What type of water should I use with a neti pot or other nasal-rinsing device?

A: Nasal rinsing can remove dirt, dust, pollen and other debris, as well as help to loosen thick mucous. But it’s important to follow directions to avoid potentially serious infections. The following types of water are recommended:

• Distilled or sterile water, which you can buy in stores. The label will state “distilled” or “sterile.”

• Boiled and cooled tap water—boiled for 3 to 5 minutes, then cooled until it is lukewarm. Previously boiled water can be stored in a clean, closed container for use within 24 hours.

• Water passed through a filter with an absolute pore size of 1 micron or smaller, which traps potentially infectious organisms. The CDC has information on selecting these filters, which you can buy from some hardware and discount stores or online.

Wash and dry hands before using the device. Check that the device is clean and completely dry. Prepare the saline rinse per instructions, either with the prepared mixture supplied with the device or with one you make yourself. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for use. After nasal rinsing, wash the device with distilled, sterile, or boiled and cooled tap water, and then dry the inside with a paper towel or let it air dry between uses.



—Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Good Neighbor Pharmacy Health Connection, Oct 2016

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