Living Dangerously - Nebulizer Cleaning

Posted by thumperguy @thumperguy, Mar 12, 2021

I marvel at the time consuming, meticulous way many, perhaps the majority, of contributors to this forum clean and sanitize nebulizers. Following the treatment session I soap and hot water “bathe” the mouthpiece then let it air dry until its next use. The tube gets no special attention except being fully disconnected from the compressor. I’ve read of some regimens aimed at sanitizing shower heads; another activity I ignore entirely. I’m closing in on 16 months free of a “flare-up” involving fever, and an antibiotic to defeat.
The lengthening periods of freedom from acute symptoms is something I attribute solely to learning about 7% saline nebulizer solution which I read about on this forum.
My comparatively minimal attention to “sanitation” may catch up with me but so far so good.

I should add that I realize many forum participants are contending with considerably more virulent pathology than I am. Don

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the MAC & Bronchiectasis group.

@patsolstad

How often do you sanitize? And what do you use? I am very new to all of this. THANKS!

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The “business end” of the nebulizer is dismantled and gets a white vinegar dunk following each use. Then the parts are rinsed in tap water and air dried. It’s not rocket science. You’ll be doin’ it like a pro in no time. Don

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@thumperguy

The “business end” of the nebulizer is dismantled and gets a white vinegar dunk following each use. Then the parts are rinsed in tap water and air dried. It’s not rocket science. You’ll be doin’ it like a pro in no time. Don

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Thanks, Don. Don't you wash the parts in soapy water? It certainly would be easier to just sanitize every time, it seems. I just bought a couple of bottles of 70% alcohol. Do you think I could do as you do and just use that every time (and not wash with soapy water)? Sorry for my dumb questions; I'm looking for any way to save time and still be safe. Pat

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@patsolstad

How often do you sanitize? And what do you use? I am very new to all of this. THANKS!

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@patsoldad…I wash every time I use the nebulizer. I brush my teeth before I use it, too. Good luck.

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@greentree

I use dish soap and warm water also Having flare up now and rethinking everything I do I also drink tap water but let it run a while before I drink it Sometimes I drink boiled water, which I let cool Any thoughts on this? Helene

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I am not new but resisted talking and dealing with a lot of this Still do actually Very hard accepting as I have always been very healthy and active. Re sanitizing….I do almost everyday. At times I feel lazy and skip a day

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@greentree

I am not new but resisted talking and dealing with a lot of this Still do actually Very hard accepting as I have always been very healthy and active. Re sanitizing….I do almost everyday. At times I feel lazy and skip a day

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I also was very healthy and active, watching diet and exercising. We moved right after I retired. Had my last day at work, signed on our house that evening and moved that week. I got very tired after that and developed this chronic cough that months later was diagnosed as bronchiectasis. Still hard to wrap my head around it and wonder how that happened…… but have been nebulizing and using my vest ever since.

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@janeta

your doc is right – 7% saline CAN cause bronchospasm, especially for folks who may have reactive airways. It can irritate the airways. In fact, 7% saline is sometimes used for specific pulm testing, testing for reactive airways, e.g. asthma. If bronchospasm occurs, taking a bronchodilator (e.g. Albuterol) can help alleviate the constriction and spasming of the airways. As it's being discussed here, the 7% saline is used to loosen/thin secretions — it can be safe if rx'd properly — having a discussion with your doc about it and your specific lung conditions would be advised.

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Thanks for that info….good to know. Hopefully if I tell him I have had no problem since starting he will give me a rx. The 7% saline , along with my vest has helped me alot.

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@gej53

Thanks for that info….good to know. Hopefully if I tell him I have had no problem since starting he will give me a rx. The 7% saline , along with my vest has helped me alot.

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Do you take a bronchodilator (e.g. Alb or Levalbuterol) as part of your med regimen, in either nebulizer or inhaler form?

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@egayle187

@patsoldad…I wash every time I use the nebulizer. I brush my teeth before I use it, too. Good luck.

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Hello. Thanks for the response. I, too, wash the parts after every use. That part has become a habit with me. BUT…I am still confused about how often I should sanitize (boil, microwave, use alcohol or vinegar or hydrogen peroxide). Do yo sanitize?

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@patsolstad

Thanks, Don. Don't you wash the parts in soapy water? It certainly would be easier to just sanitize every time, it seems. I just bought a couple of bottles of 70% alcohol. Do you think I could do as you do and just use that every time (and not wash with soapy water)? Sorry for my dumb questions; I'm looking for any way to save time and still be safe. Pat

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Pat, Absent some sort of solid material resisting removal I doubt soap and water adds much, if anything, to the hygienic status of the mouthpiece. But I’m a superannuated psychologist; maybe there’s a bacteriologist lurking on the forum can chime in here. Don

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@patsolstad

Hello. Thanks for the response. I, too, wash the parts after every use. That part has become a habit with me. BUT…I am still confused about how often I should sanitize (boil, microwave, use alcohol or vinegar or hydrogen peroxide). Do yo sanitize?

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Vinegar, full strength, is effective against mycobacterium, hence the use of vinegar. Water over 140F is as well.
There are varying reports about the effectiveness of alcohol and hydrogen peroxide (especially because hydrogen peroxide loses its effectiveness very soon after opening.
All that said, I immerse my neb and the mouthpieces from my inhalers as well as the extension tubes in VERY hot (145F) soapy water weekly, soak, scrub, rinse & air dry. Periodically I toss the whole works, in the water, in the microwave for 1 minute, then let it cool – in my oven, that heats the water from 145 to 180, enough to kill just about anything. I used to religiously use vinegar or alcohol, but quit several months ago with no apparent ill effect.
Sue

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@gej53

I also was very healthy and active, watching diet and exercising. We moved right after I retired. Had my last day at work, signed on our house that evening and moved that week. I got very tired after that and developed this chronic cough that months later was diagnosed as bronchiectasis. Still hard to wrap my head around it and wonder how that happened…… but have been nebulizing and using my vest ever since.

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I don't know about the vest Can you give me the name I assume you think it is worthwhile. I was diagnosed not long after retirement also Nebulizing has irritated my throat and upper chest during this last flare up, doc told me to take off from the neb for a bit. Do you take mucinex? Thanks for reaching out

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