How Does One Dispose of Contaminated Holy Water?

Hello Fr. Phil,

I have a little plastic bottle that I use to collect Holy Water at my parish. And I like to bless myself before leaving the house and going to bed, each day. However, by the time I am half way done with the bottle it starts to form some "stuff" that I cannot describe very well. It doesn't look like mold, but I know some stuff is forming in the bottle. Since I am seeing a dermatologist for rosacea (facial skin disease), I am hesitant to use this water. I don't know if it would be wrong to just throw it out and get some more. For now, I just dip my fingers and motion to my head, but actually touch my chest and shoulders with the water. What are some ways to constructively dispose of this holy water?

Thank you very much. God bless.



Dear Michael,

Thanks for the question. Holy water may be disposed of by pouring it into the ground. If you have potted plants, it's fine to pour it on them. The general rule regarding the disposal of blessed objects is to either burn or place in the ground - but not throw into trash or a drain that leads to the sewer. In the sacristies of Catholic Churchs we have a special sink (called the "sacrarium") which connects directly to the ground to dispose of contaminated holy water or to wash sacred vessels. The U.S. Bishops have an article which mentions disposal of blessed objects.

God bless,

Fr. Phil

P.S. A prayer that the rosacea gets better. A friend of mine has it and it seems like a real nuisance. Be sure to offer it as part of your lenten penance.

Other Questions