ELi5 why do you have to use distilled water in your nose as opposed to regular tap or purified water?

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ELi5 why do you have to use distilled water in your nose as opposed to regular tap or purified water?

In: Biology

Bc distilled water is cleaner/purer/safer. Think about it. Your stomach/digestive system is designed to take all sorts of drink and food, gastric acid is highly corrosive, there r bacteria in us to help break down n digest these foodstuff, all these systems r able to cope with foodstuff that may b less than pure. Our sinuses aren’t made for the same requirements. Nothing but air is supposed to enter there, so they r much more vulnerable to infection

*[Did a Brain-Eating Amoeba Kill a Woman Who Rinsed Her Sinuses with Tap Water?](https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/brain-eating-amoeba-sinuses/)*

*Balamuthia mandrillaris infections are extremely rare and largely preventable, but the few cases that do occur are usually fatal.*

**Snopes Verdict:** True

> On 5 December 2018, the Seattle Times published an article whose terrifying headline ensured its own virality: “Rare brain-eating amoebas killed Seattle woman who rinsed her sinuses with tap water. Doctor warns this could happen again.”

> Sadly for those who visited this page hoping to find that the reporting was exaggerated or made-up, this really happened. Though her anonymity was maintained, the story of a 69-year-old Seattle woman who used tap water in her Neti pot for over a year and then died from a Balamuthia mandrillaris brain infection was documented in a 20 September 2018 case study published in the *International Journal of Infectious Diseases*.

You could also use water that has been properly boiled. The problem with water sources that aren’t distilled is the source is always questionable. Plus with boiled water, many people would use it too soon and burn the crap out of their faces.

So it isn’t the quality of ‘distilled’ that makes the water usable. It is that ALL distilled water is free from Amoeba. Whereas MOST tap water is. Most purified water is also free of Amoeba, but purified water is also dual-use, someone might drink from it and contaminate it prior to use for your nose.

So, to simplify it for the common person, use distilled water, but you do have to include salt in the water. Straight distilled water is not good for your nose.