Steps to Clean the Device
Jet nebulizers are the most widely used nebulizers, be it in homes, clinics or hospitals.
Given below are the steps for cleaning and disinfecting jet nebulizers. However, it is recommended that the user also refers to and follows the steps detailed in the manufacturer’s information booklet.
Nebulizers should be cleaned after each treatment and also disinfected daily to prevent the risk of infection.
Here are some tips that can help you with cleaning and maintaining the nebulizer system:
1. Turn off the power switch and unplug the power cord.
2. Disconnect the tubing from the air outlet on the compressor.
3. Disassemble the mask or mouthpiece from the medication cup. Remove the medication cap.
4. Wash all the accessories (except the tubing) in warm water or a mild detergent solution in sterile water or clean tap water. Remove any detergent residue by rinsing the accessories in warm water and allow them to air-dry.
5. Wipe the outer surface of the tubing regularly. If any liquid droplets are noticed in the tubing, connect the tubing to the compressor air outlet, detach the medication cup, switch on the compressor and blow air through the tubing for a few seconds to dry it out.
6. Do not towel-dry the accessories. The accessories must be air-dried in a clean place.
The cleaning should be done after every use and disinfection should be done once daily.
Remember to clean and disinfect the nebulizer accessories daily.
1. Disinfection of the device needs to be done once in 24 hours. It can be done at home by using a disinfecting agent such as rubbing alcohol (70% isopropanol). In clinics or hospitals, another option that can be used is 3% hydrogen peroxide. If rubbing alcohol is used, immerse the accessories for 5 minutes; if using hydrogen peroxide, immerse the accessories for 30 minutes.
An electric steam sterilizer (baby bottle sterilizer) can also be used. Simply boiling the accessories in clean water for 5 minutes can also effectively disinfect them.
2. After disinfecting the accessories, rinse them thoroughly with sterile water. If this is not possible, rinse them with filtered or tap water. Then keep them in a clean place to air-dry.
Nebulizer accessories such as a face mask, mouthpiece, baffle, medication cup (excluding the tubing) should be cleaned after every use and disinfected daily.
Care of the nebulizer
- When the compressor is not in use, cover it with a clean cloth and keep it in a safe, dry and secure place.
- Do not keep the air compressor on the floor either for storage or for treatment.
- Check the filter of the air compressor regularly. The filters of compressor filter the surrounding air which is pumped with pressure by the compressor in the tube. Replace it according to the directions given by the equipment supplier. These filters are disposable and should not be washed and reused and generally spare filters are provided with the nebulization kit.
- Store the medications in a cool, dry place as per the instructions on the pack.
- Check the medications frequently for any change in color or turbidity or crystal formation. If present, throw them away and replace them with new ones.
- All the accessories required for nebulizer therapy can be obtained from the equipment supplier.
For your convenience, always keep a backup for the medication cup, tubing, air filters, mask or mouthpiece, and medications.
Also keep a spare compressor as a backup (useful in case of a compressor breakdown), which can be availed of from the equipment supplier.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions while cleaning your nebulizers.
Respir Care 2015;60(6):917–930