Inspired by this question but I believe different because its not related to drinking.

Can you use carbonated, and even flavored clear water (seltzer) to do things that require water such as washing netilas yadayim, mayim achronim, tevilah in a mikvah etc?

  • 1
    A mikvah has to be rain water, so it probably won't work for that.
    – Daniel
    Commented Aug 4, 2013 at 3:43
  • 1
    @Daniel And why can't you carbonate rain water?
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 4, 2013 at 4:32
  • @Daniel: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perrier#About
    – Menachem
    Commented Aug 4, 2013 at 5:21
  • 1
    Mayim Aharonim you for sure can. I would think Netilat Yadaim also as long as it doesn't change color. Commented Aug 4, 2013 at 6:25
  • Mayim achronim you can use soda
    – sam
    Commented Aug 4, 2013 at 7:52

3 Answers 3


The Posekim write that you can do Mayim Aharonim with anything other than hot water [Gemara in Hulin quoted in all the Posekim](110 degrees or so [acc. to Rav Moshe]- Yad Soledet) or wine (Bediavad you can use wine). So carbonated water would be fine.

Ben Ish Hai Parashat Shalah 11:

ואם אין לו מים יטול בשאר משקין ואפילו ביין כיון דאין לו ליטול בענין אחר

If you have no other choice you can use wine.


With regards to netilas yadayim:

The Aruch Hashulchan 160:17 brings a machlokes if one can use something else besides water. The Raavad and Rosh hold only water can be used and Rashi and the Rashba hold other things can be used (if it is a different color then there is a discussion about this). The Rashba says that one should not use wine which is a davar choshev to wash with. It seems that washing with any type of juice drink is baal tashchis(wasting) and shouldn’t be used l’chatchila(if one has water),but in an instance where one doesn’t have any water then one could use fruit juice(and maybe even wine).

Certainly in a case where one doesn’t have water one could use beer which is cooked andits main ingredient is water. Some poskim only allow white wine to be used but majority of the poskim lean towards allowing red wine as well.

  • Why is a fruit drink baal tashchis and not water?
    – Orion
    Commented Sep 4, 2018 at 2:45

Netilat yadayim? Just has to look like water; I'd spoken this over with several people and it was concluded that a clear lemon-lime soda would work too. (Though yuck, what a mess). Certainly seltzer.

  • See Rivevos Ephraim 7:278:10 on using red wine for washing.
    – sam
    Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 4:35

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