Is it acceptable to add alcohol to holy water?


I keep a small container of holy water with some blessed salt added to it as a stabilizer. But, after a few days it begins to turn and though I do keep some in the refrigerator I do rather dislike throwing what is in the container away. A friend of mine says she adds a small amount of cheap vodka to hers to keep bacteria at bay and not influence a smell. But, is such ok to do?


I think vodka for Eastern rite and whiskey or whisky for Roman. Perhaps sherry for Anglican rite?


Go ahead. Nothing wrong with what you suggest. I wouldn’t waste vodka though. Just some rubbing alcohol would work just fine.


I can imagine that becoming further regionalized, some tequila in Mexico, some Jack Daniels in parts of the U.S.A and so on. You could of course always drink the Holy Water which is a common practice in Eastern Catholicism and Orthodoxy. Some Christians in the Orthodox Churches regularly drink a small amount for example each day.


I remember Freddie Prinze (RIP) on “Chico and the Man” calling tequila “Mexican Holy Water”.


Considering that a priest can make pond scum water Holy Water, adding a bit of alcohol to the water shouldn’t be an issue at all.


Maybe it’s something as simple as having a closed container vs open. I have a travel bottle with sealing lid that has had the same holy water in it for 6-7 months (less the amount I’ve used) and is still as good as the day I retrieved it from the sacristy. Our open fonts never make it that long.


I have several bottles of holy water including one of Lourdes water that are all years old and nothing turns. I keep them out of the sunlight and when I go to use some, I sprinkle some out of the bottle rather than putting in my hand which might make contamination. So far so good.
It could also be something in the water source that the OP’s church or shrine is using to create the water. If they are not using distilled water or cleaning out their big urns, then it’s easy for the water to pick up a little something in there that shows up after a week or two.


If the OP is reusing the bottle without thoroughly washing it, something could be in there. Perhaps a new bottle would solve the problem.


Oh, it is sealed as it’s in a little spice jar with a rubber gasket.


That’s rather unusual. I have small bottles of Holy Water that last years without any problems.

It might be that you need to give the jar a good cleaning (I suggest using bleach) or it might be that the source needs a good cleaning. If it’s algae in the water (making it green) that algae has to come from somewhere.

Maybe the algae has taken up residence in the rubber gasket?

Where are you getting the Holy Water? Does it look clean? Is it exposed to the air or is it in something with a lid?


Please keep in mind that the Holy Water’s quality is also dependable of what happens in the household in which it is.
To mix it with anything else is blasphemy.
God bless


Hehe, well, I’ve been keeping it in a wide mouthed jar with a gasket (similar to what you’d store spice mixes in) so as to have it at the ready to use for the sign of the cross when praying. I think it might be that by dipping my fingers into it deposited germs and I’ve taken to keeping a larger bottle in the fridge with a bit of blessed salt added to it and only keeping a small amount in the jar while washing it out before filling anymore. It was me just being a dunderhead about it. Though, I do recall a study done on holy water basins in churches a few years ago to find they’re pretty filthy and do still wonder if adding just a tablespoon of odorless, cheap vodka to them would help to keep contamination down? If that’s ok with the church as I’d still like to keep a little in the jar as I had. Somehow, just using a plastic bottle seems odd to me. lol





Holy water is not affected by what happens around it spiritually. Unless you’re talking about physical hygiene, then yeah, it would be affected for obvious reasons. It seems the OP seals his holywater in an airtight container but uses it with dirty hands. So…dosn’t matter HOW holy or sinful he is. It’s going to grow bacteria.

And it is NOT “blasphemy” to put something in holy water. So long as it remains water and not another liquid. The church already permits us to put Blessed Salt in as well as Holy Oils if we so choose. Perhaps @FrDavid96 can put an end to that nonsense.


It is? I thought that so long as it was used in the course of faith that you could add it to things?


My wife does not allow Holy Water to hang around that long. She uses it RELIGIOUSLY. no pun intended…maybe a little.


Tee et hee. (letters added to fit the minimum character requirement :wink:


No. It is not “blasphemy.”


The poster who maintained it was is Orthodox Fr. David. That said so is half my family and I’ve seen people add it to tea or coffee and the idea that the moral quality of a home impacts how holy the water is was something my wife who is ROC found odd when I asked her opinion just now.


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