Truly Non-Toxic Garden Hose for Your Soil and Health

Last Updated on December 20, 2023

The Water Right Professional Garden Hose is your best bet if you want a genuinely safe drinking water hose to ensure a non-toxic supply of water for your soil and your edible plants.

For busy folks who are pressed for time:

✅  This  Water Right garden hose is truly non toxic, lead free, and drinking water safe according to tests.

*This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase any of the products I have recommended, I may receive a commission at no cost to you. 

One of the primary reasons people are gardening is to growchemical-free produce.

At first glance, this appears to be an achievable goal: get organic seeds, plant them in healthy soil, use organic fertilizers, avoid conventional herbicides and pesticides, and you’ll have a bountiful harvest of delicious, toxin-free organic crops.

However, there’s often one crucial step that’s easily overlooked.

As gardeners, we must water our plants. Without much consideration, we use hoses that may contain toxins for watering our gardens. Unintentionally, we end up contaminating the very plants we intend to eat and the soil in which they grow.

The truth about your garden hose

Many folks assume that when they purchase a garden hose from retailers like Lowe’s or Home Depot, it should be safe for watering plants, especially if it’s labeled as ‘safe for drinking.’ The belief is that governmental agencies would not permit toxic chemicals to come into contact with the food supply, right?

The reality, however, is different.

Visit stores such as Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walmart, or Target today and inspect their garden hoses. Unfortunately, the Proposition 65 warning label which states, ‘This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects and other reproductive harm,’ confronts you with an unpleasant truth.

Garden hose safety tips

  • Keep your hoses in a shaded area, since heat of the sun increases leaching of toxins into water
  • Before using hose let the water run for at least 10 seconds, because the  water that has been sitting in the hose has the highest level of chemicals
  • Always let water run until it cools off in summer time in order not to kill plants with hot water 
  • When you turn the water on (especially If you didn’t use hose for a while), point the hose away from the face in order not to inhale accidentally legionella bacteria that can grow inside a hose

Garden hose study

In June 2016 ecocenter.org conducted a garden hose study

32 hoses were tested, including hoses marked as safe for drinking. 24 of the tested hoses were made of PVC.

The test results were quite gloomy.

PVC hoses were the worst offenders. 75% of them contained phthalates (plasticizers). Lead, as well as bromine (associated with flame retardant), tin, cadmium, antimony were found in PVC and metal fittings of the garden hoses,  The tests showed presence of  the recycled PVC from electronic waste. The worst thing is that BPA and lead were found to leach into water from PVC hoses.

The study concluded that hoses labeled as “drinking water safe”  were safer but still contained phthalates. Yet lead, antimony, tin, bromine were low or undetectable in the  flexible hose layer (excluding fittings).

The tested Parker synthetic rubber hose showed high amounts of chlorine and lead.

Hoses made of polyurethane were among the safest ones, though some of them still had chlorine or lead in fittings.

The best non-toxic garden hose

Only two hoses among tested ones – Big Boss AquaStream Ultra Light Garden Hose  and Water Right Professional Coil Garden Hose (both were bought for the tests from Amazon) – did not contain toxic elements.

 I was not able to find Big Boss AquaStream hose on Amazon today. I saw only Big Boss expandable garden hose that was discontinued by the manufacturer and had some bad reviews due to lack of hose quality.

 Yet the Water Right Professional Coil Garden Hose is available for purchase and seems to be the only choice if you want a truly safe drinking water hose to ensure a non-toxic supply of water for your soil and your edible plants. (Disclosure – I do not have affiliation with Water Right brand.)

The reasons to get Water Right hose

  • 100 % lead free
  • BPA free
  • Made from UV stabilized FDA and NSF grade polyurethane
  • You can choose stainless steel or chrome plated lead free brass fittings option
  • can be used with hot water
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Test conducted in 2016 showed that it is a truly non-toxic hose

I personally have owned four Water Right hoses (not coiled version)  for at least 8 years. I absolutely love them. The only problem I have – they are hard to coil on the hose reel due to their relative stiffness, however this also makes them more resistant to kinking when they are pulled around the yard.

Non toxic soaker hose

In addition to making a toxin free garden hose, the Water Right company also manufactures a non-toxic soaker hose.

This well made soaker hose will not only keep your plants happy and hydrated during the hot  summer months, but also won’t poison your garden. Moreover, the Water Right soaker hose will not blemish your landscape because of its earthy color so that you won’t even notice it in the garden.

Advantages of the Water Right soaker hose

  • made of FDA and NSF grade polyurethane
  • drinking water safe
  • lead-free, BPA-free, phthalate-free
  • will not kink
  • will not crack over time
  • flexible even in freezing temperatures
  • lead free chrome plated brass fitting will not tarnish
  • specially engineered strain reliefs on both hose ends 
  • blends well with the environment
  • made in the U.S.A
  • 5 year warranty

The reviewers of the Water right soaker hose report that water distribution is very consistent: same flow of water at the end as at the beginning. It slowly drips water in the most effective way to keep plants supplied with moisture without wasting water. 

Overall, the hose is premium quality, safe, and worth the money. If you want to make your organic garden truly organic and thriving during dry weather, get the Water Right soaker hose.

What about stainless steel garden hoses? Are metal garden hoses safe?

I got an inquiry from a reader. He was wondering if stainless steel hoses are non-toxic. 

The reader rightfully pointed out that manufacturers usually do not tell you what steel garden hoses are lined with and asked if I can suggest a stainless steel garden hose with lead-safe linings, such as polyurethane.

When I took a look at stainless steel garden hoses offered on Amazon, a hose made by Touch Rich caught my attention. 

Its description stated that the outer shell of the hose is made of 304 stainless steel (16 gauge,3/8” ID,5/9” OD), and the inner hose is lead, BPA, phthalates free, and drinking water safe. 

This hose is made in China.

An Amazon reviewer that owns this hose wrote,”The inside of the steel hose is a white rubber tube. I have not noticed any smells from the hose. We used the hose in the middle of summer and we had no smell”.

There is no testing or study that I can find on this hose. The manufacturer claims that this stainless steel hose is safe for drinking water, BPA free, lead free, phthalates free. Would you trust the manufacturer? It is up to you to decide.

non- toxic garden hose - garden tools

Non toxic garden hose nozzle

So, you got a non toxic garden hose, now how about a drinking water safe hose nozzle?

Turns out, locating a lead free garden hose nozzle that works well and lasts more than one season out in the weather, can be a real challenge. 

Finding a non-toxic hose nozzle that was tested for toxins by an independent lab – is mission impossible. Pretty much you’ll need to trust the manufacturer’s claim.

Is solid brass lead free?

The claim “solid brass” does not necessarily mean that the brass is lead-free. The term “solid brass” means “made entirely of brass”, as opposed to being plated or coated with brass.

1. Lead-free brass garden hose nozzle

As of July 2023, I was only able to find one manufacturer, Eco Toolz, that sells a lead-free solid brass adjustable twist sprayer.

While there are numerous solid brass garden hose nozzles available on Amazon, currently, only EcoToolz claims that their nozzle is lead-free and safe for all garden watering purposes, including organic vegetable watering and produce washing.

Standard brass can contain lead, but EcoToolz assures that their nozzle conforms to all state laws for potable water use and is safe for children to handle due to its lead-free composition.

However, it is important to note that I couldn’t find extensive information about the EcoToolz company, and I couldn’t find any evidence supporting their claim of using lead-free brass for their nozzles. Therefore, if you decide to purchase this nozzle, please be aware that it is at your own risk.

  • lead-free brass
  • heavy duty
  • quickly adjusts from a fine mist to a powerful jet stream
  • 4 inch long
  • includes 4 extra rubber hose washers
  • attractive price

2. Stainless Steel Garden Hose Nozzle

Alternatively, you can get a Bon-Aire HN-10C hose nozzle made of stainless steel. Stainless steel is generally considered lead-free and non-toxic. It is an alloy primarily composed of iron, along with varying amounts of chromium, nickel, and other elements.

Bon-Aire nozzle has great reviews on Amazon. I need to warn you though that there is just a 1-year warranty on this nozzle and it’s quite expensive. 

stainless steel garden hose nozzle - non toxic and safe

 Unfortunately, I was unable to find a watering wand that is listed as non-toxic. If you happen to come across one, please share the information in the comments section so that we can all benefit from this knowledge.

Watering tip

If your garden is small and you do not have much watering to do, instead of using a hose nozzle – you can place your thumb over the hose end to adjust water flow.

watering with a hose, controlling water flow with  a thumb
Controlling water flow with a thumb

Lead free hose to hose connector

Do you need to connect two garden hoses and search for a non-toxic hose-to-hose fitting? Then check out this lead-free brass connector from LitOrange.

non-toxic lead free hose to hose connector ( lead free hose fittings)

Related reading:

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Final thoughts on non-toxic garden hoses

If you grow your own food – get a toxic free hose.  Stay away from hoses made from PVC and synthetic rubber. Your best bet is to choose a drinking water safe garden hose made of  FDA and NSF grade polyurethane and with lead free fittings, such as Water Right hose. 

The Water Right Professional Garden Hose is a truly safe and authentic option for ensuring a non-toxic water supply for your soil and edible plants. This hose is truly reliable in this regard.

truly safe garden hose

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  1. Thank you so much for this information! I have been so frustrated trying to hunt down safe products and this article was the best resource I’ve found. Really appreciate it!

    • You’re welcome, Sydney! I’m glad to hear that the information was helpful to you in your search for safe products. It’s always great to know that my articles are making a positive impact. If you have any other questions or concerns, feel free to ask me anytime!

    • Hi Craig,

      Thank you for your comment.

      I couldn’t recommend Eley hose because, according to the 2016 hose study test results, https://www.ecocenter.org/sites/default/files/healthy-stuff/images/FullResults.pdf this hose has high levels of lead and chlorine.
      Based on the numbers provided in the test results, it appears that the lead and chlorine concentrations in the Eley hose are much higher than the levels considered safe for drinking water. Therefore, it would be prudent to avoid using this particular hose for drinking water purposes

      Lead: Lead is a toxic metal that can be harmful to human health, particularly if ingested. The lead value in the tested Eley hose shows 459 parts per million (ppm). Drinking water standards set by regulatory authorities typically have much lower limits for lead content. For example, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set the action level for lead in drinking water at 15 parts per billion (ppb), which is significantly lower than 459 ppm. It’s important to note that the concentration of lead in water can be affected by various factors, including the length of time the water sits in the hose and the pH of the water.

      Chlorine: Chlorine is commonly used as a disinfectant in municipal water treatment to kill bacteria and other microorganisms. The chlorine value in the tested Eley hose shows 806 ppm. While chlorine is generally safe for drinking water at low concentrations, very high levels can cause unpleasant taste and odor. The EPA has set a maximum residual disinfectant level of 4.0 ppm for chlorine in drinking water, which is significantly lower than 806 ppm.

  2. Thank you so much for this article. It was informative and helpful. It’s sometimes difficult to find and determine what is a “safe” hose with fittings. I have two 50-ft rubber Continental hoses and two Briggs & Stratton heavy duty leader hoses (with Gilmour fittings) that attach to two 2-zone waterers and branch off with Y-valves to lines of soaker hoses for my vegetable gardens. Neither Amazon answers nor the product packaging itself guarantees conclusively that these don’t contain lead. It would seem that Water Right is my safest (albeit quite expensive) solution. but for my leader hoses, I only need about 10′, 4′ and 15′ lengths. It is tough/impossible to find the right lengths so extra hose slack is necessary. Add to that the different inner diameters (400, 500 and 600 series) and considering replacing ALL of the hoses makes it even tougher to swallow the bill. Here is their website for reference as they seem to be all sold out of the non-coiled ones on Amazon.com:

    https://www.waterrightinc.com/collections/all

    • Thank you very much for your feedback, KJ. I’m glad you found the article about non-toxic hoses informative and helpful. I understand your concerns and frustrations; it can indeed be challenging to find hoses and fittings that are safe and free from toxins.

      If you’re looking for a safer option, Water Right hoses are indeed known for their non-toxic materials. According to their website, they use 100% virgin polyurethane that meets FDA and NSF standards for drinking water safe applications. However, I understand that the cost and availability of specific lengths can be limiting factors.

      While it may be difficult to find exact lengths for your leader hoses, one option you could consider is connecting two leader hoses together. Water Right offers drinking water safe leader hoses in 6 and 10-foot lengths, with lead-free brass fittings installed. These hoses are available in all three sizes: 400 Series (7/16″), 500 Series (1/2″), and 600 Series (5/8″). You could potentially connect a 10-foot and a 6-foot leader hose together to achieve a combined length of 16 feet.

      To explore more options or inquire about custom lengths, I recommend contacting Water Right directly. They may be able to provide further assistance or offer alternative solutions that meet your specific requirements. You can reach out to them through their website at https://www.waterrightinc.com/pages/contact-us.

      I hope this information helps, and I wish you the best of luck in finding a suitable solution for your safe hose needs.