Caring for your nebulizer
There are two keys to getting the most from your nebulizer therapy – hygiene of your equipment and proper treatment procedure.
It is very important to keep your nebulizer equipment clean. The manufacturer’s instructions that come with your nebulizer will recommend how to clean your equipment. Make sure the nebulizer cup is clean and disinfected before each use. Use warm water and mild dishwashing soap to wash the cup. Rinse with warm water and shake the extra water out. Air dry on a cloth or paper towel. Do not put your nebulizer cup in the dishwasher unless the manufacturer’s instructions say you can do so, and if so, always use the top rack of the dishwasher. Disinfect your nebulizer every other day with a solution of one part distilled white vinegar and three parts hot water. Always mix fresh solution for each use.
Because only air moves through the inside of tubing, it should not have to be cleaned. Tubing should never be placed in a dishwasher. If you should accidentally get water inside your tubing, attach it directly to your compressor without the nebulizer cup attached. Run the compressor to push out excess water in the tubing. You can also hang the tubing to allow water to drain out. You may clean the outside of tubing using a clean damp cloth.
Cleaning the filter on your compressor depends on the type you have. For a soft sponge-like filter, change it every month. If you have a ceramic filter, it should be changed yearly.
Here are some things to keep in mind when using a nebulizer:
- Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, and dry them completely with a clean towel before using your nebulizer, and again after your treatment.
- Be sure to measure your medicine carefully, as you have been instructed. Use a clean eyedropper or syringe for each medication.
- Clean and disinfect your equipment after each treatment by rinsing the nebulizer cup with warm water and letting it air dry. Wash the nebulizer cup, mask or mouthpiece at the end of the day with warm, soapy water using a mild soap. Rinse them thoroughly and allow them to air dry. When not in use, keep your nebulizer equipment in a clean storage bag. Tubing connecting the nebulizer to the air compressor does not need to be cleaned. Unplug the compressor before cleaning it. Wipe clean as needed and cover with a clean cloth. Never put nebulizer components in the dishwasher.