Neti pots can be used to clean out mucus, allergens, and debris that build up on the nose and sinus cavity. They are safe if used correctly. A recent case report involving a woman who allegedly passed away from an amoeba acquired from unsterile water used in her neti pot over many months reminds us to do diligence when preparing saline water and cleaning pots to stay safe.
* Keep your neti pot clean regardless of whether it is made of plastic, ceramic, glass, or some other material.
* Use a safe water source for the saline solution you prepare for your pot (e.g., preferably sterile or distilled water).
* Use proper technique with your neti pot to get a good rinse. If you are unsure of how to use it, contact your favorite pharmacist for a quick demo.
The Center for Disease Control tells us to wash our neti pots after each use. Some of these pots are dishwasher safe, but not all. Please read the directions on the box.
Neti pots can be hand washed with dish soap and hot water and air dried. Don’t use hand towels that contain lint to dry them, as the lint can go up your nose and cause other issues.
If you think your neti pot is contaminated, you can use a chlorine bleach solution to cleanse it, but be careful to thoroughly rinse out any soap or bleach from the pot before you reuse it. This will prevent unwanted residue getting into your nostrils.
Don’t use tap water run through a Brita filter or any home filter unless you boil it for 3 to 5 minutes and then cool it down to room temperature first. Boiled water is storable for up to 24 hours.
For more information, please visit www.apha.us/CDCSafeNetiPots.
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