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

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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I don't sanitize. I changed the kit if I had an infection. My pulmonologist reports no new damage to lungs after 6 years I live on farm with pigs and cows and chickens; along river, in woods, and have 3 cats and potted plants inside. Not a sterile environment. Do have an HVAC, though.
Unless you have an on-going infection, don't stress. MAC doesn't live on dry equipment. I am a retires psychotherapist, not an expert in microbiology. Just used to helping people live their best life.

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@egayle187

I don't sanitize. I changed the kit if I had an infection. My pulmonologist reports no new damage to lungs after 6 years I live on farm with pigs and cows and chickens; along river, in woods, and have 3 cats and potted plants inside. Not a sterile environment. Do have an HVAC, though.
Unless you have an on-going infection, don't stress. MAC doesn't live on dry equipment. I am a retires psychotherapist, not an expert in microbiology. Just used to helping people live their best life.

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Thanks so much! I feel less nervous about it now. SO pleased that you are doing well.

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@sueinmn

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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Thanks, Sue! I think I will try the vinegar. (Does full strength mean 5% acidity? Same as the strength used for cooking?) I REALLY like the idea of using the microwave! Thanks again…much appreciated.

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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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I alternate cleaning my nebulizer and aerobika. One day hot water and dish soap for 5 minutes sitting. And the next day I boil what I sure. Everything is dried overnite. So far it works. Hauoli

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The vest has made a world of difference for me in loosening the secretions in my lungs. Have also done well with 7% saline as it does not irritate my throat. The vest I have is a "smart vest". I use it twice daily..it has three settings during each use and the settings squeeze my chest tighter as it goes and also the vibrations are stronger. I tolerate it well also. The equipment says "Smartvest SQL, by electromed. Hope this helps, good luck!

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@greentree

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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I posted a reply under general comments so I hope you see it there. Just in case it is a "Smartvest SQL by Electromed , Inc.

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@hauoli

I alternate cleaning my nebulizer and aerobika. One day hot water and dish soap for 5 minutes sitting. And the next day I boil what I sure. Everything is dried overnite. So far it works. Hauoli

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Thanks!

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@sueinmn

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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Sue I apologize if I missed this but I see you use the hot soapy water weekly I read this at once a week If this is correct, what do you use each day for sanitizing

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@gej53

I posted a reply under general comments so I hope you see it there. Just in case it is a "Smartvest SQL by Electromed , Inc.

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Thank you!

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Innospire user manual says either to boil — which I find to be a drag — OR use "a disinfectant of the Gluteraldehyde group," giving the example of "Korsolex Extra, 4%" which seems hard to acquire since it's a specialized medical product. Is there any reason I can't use alcohol or industrial strength vinegar on the Innospire, same as my Aerobika? (Also: do I really need to rinse with sterilized water instead of tap water?)
Thanks for any advice!

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@tatilove

Innospire user manual says either to boil — which I find to be a drag — OR use "a disinfectant of the Gluteraldehyde group," giving the example of "Korsolex Extra, 4%" which seems hard to acquire since it's a specialized medical product. Is there any reason I can't use alcohol or industrial strength vinegar on the Innospire, same as my Aerobika? (Also: do I really need to rinse with sterilized water instead of tap water?)
Thanks for any advice!

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@tatilove you will see that I have moved your post into an existing discussion on nebulizer cleaning. There have been several members like @thumperguy @sueinmn @hauoli and @greentree who have been discussion this topic and feel they could share some additional information with you.

How long have you had your Innospire?

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@tatilove

Innospire user manual says either to boil — which I find to be a drag — OR use "a disinfectant of the Gluteraldehyde group," giving the example of "Korsolex Extra, 4%" which seems hard to acquire since it's a specialized medical product. Is there any reason I can't use alcohol or industrial strength vinegar on the Innospire, same as my Aerobika? (Also: do I really need to rinse with sterilized water instead of tap water?)
Thanks for any advice!

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Hello, and welcome to the Mayo Connect community. We are people living with a wide variety of diseases and conditions, who try to help one another along the way. We each strive to be informed medical consumers, and our own best advocates in our care. We are not medical professionals, so not able to provide medical advice. We can tell you what has worked for us (or not) and provide you with information and conversation about your question.

As you can see in this discussion, this is a topic of great interest to all of us as we try to stay healthy. My program is pretty simple, and I use it for my nebulizer parts, Aerobika vibratory device and my inhalers and spacer. I described it here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/living-dangerously/?pg=9#comment-615922

I will just add that for my daily rinse after use, I use very hot tap water and air dry. This has been my routine for a couple of years, with only one minor exacerbation 2 weeks age.

Other people, especially those who have frequent flares, may have a more conservative approach.

A couple final questions, which Innospire are you using, and do you currently have an active infection?

Sue

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