Nebulizer Cleaning and Maintenance Part 2

A couple months ago while I was talking to a SARP research nurse, she was asking me a bunch of questions about medication, triggers, experiences, etc.  We started talking about nebulizers and she asked how I clean mine.  I said I rinse/wash them once a day and then once a week clean them in vinegar.  While this was the preferred method for “deep cleaning” your equipment, there has been some recent research that shows soapy water is actually more effective.

So I’ve switched from buying giant jugs of white, distilled vinegar to putting my nebulizer pieces into a plastic bowl and letting them soak in hot, soapy water for about an hour.  I’ve had people tell me they can’t wash their nebs in vinegar because then it tastes like vinegar or they feel like they’re inhaling vinegar fumes.  I’ve never had that happen, but I would also thoroughly rinse everything after the vinegar soak.

Nebulizer parts

Unfortunately this doesn’t work for my CPAP cushions because our dish soap is anti-bacterial which breaks down the silicone or whatever the comfort gel blue is made of.  I still use liquid baby soap for that.  No matter how you clean your durable medical equipment, the important thing is to actually clean it.  Using a dirty nebulizer isn’t going to help you at all.  I’ve seen old parts with mold in them, and if you happen to be sick with something bacterial or viral, you might be re-infecting yourself.  It’s kind of like what they say about getting a new toothbrush after you’ve been sick.