I’m not sure what you mean by ‘properties’. It’s usually made by adding blessed salt (only a little) to ordinary water IIRC. It is a sacramental like any blessed object, but a particularly powerful one.
History of holy water?
It goes right back to Jesus’ own baptism - he sanctified the waters of our own baptism by being baptised Himself, so that, as John the Baptist said, our baptism is truly one of the Holy Spirit and fire as well as water.
If you want to go back further, there are the ritual baths or *mikveh *where Templegoers purified themselves in water before worshipping. So we do before entering the presence of God in our churches.
So holy water is symbolic of the purifying waters of our own baptism.
Of course Catholics should use it, and often - it’s not in our churches just to look good y’know It’s good and laudable to keep some in the home - in a clean bottle of course. It can be used to bless oneself as in church, or sprinkle it around the rooms of the home to bless them.
Many churches will have a little tank with a tap on it near the door labelled ‘Holy Water’ - it is for the use of those who wish to take some home.