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Cleaning Your Nebulizer Canister Kits

Cleaning Your Nebulizer Canister Kits

Recently, one of our writers penned an article about nebulizers. However, I would like to “add my 2 cents”!

Counting on our home nebulizers

We have been using home nebulizers for the last 19 years. Since we have two, we would keep the older nebulizer at school when my kids were little (since they have severe asthma.) Then keep the smaller unit at home.

Because the compressor unit turns liquid medicine into a soft mist, it can be easier for us to inhale – especially when we are sick or are having a severe asthma attack. Sometimes we just can’t inhale deep enough to use our quick relief/rescue inhalers.

When my daughter was younger, she also used the nebulizer every morning and every night with a vial of her controller/maintenance medicine to keep the swelling down in her lungs.

Be sure to clean your kit after use

So, once you have used your nebulizer and thrown away the plastic vial of Albuterol (or a controller medicine), now what? Just store the nebulizer back in the cupboard with the canister kits?

NO! It’s important that you clean your canister kit. Every. Single. Time.

Yes, you read that right. Canister kits needed to be cleaned EVERY time you use them (but not the tubing!)

Manufacturers recommend you:1

  1. Wash the canister kits in hot, sudsy water (dish soap – NOT hand soap! Some hand soaps have a lotion that can turn your next breathing treatment into a bubbly mess!)
  2. Or add the canister kits to the utensil basket on the TOP rack of the dishwasher (I haven’t personally done this because I don’t trust my dishwasher!)
  3. Another option is boiling them for 5 minutes in hot water (since I am clumsy, I will avoid a pot of boiling water!)
  4. Air dry on a paper towel (do NOT let the canister pieces dry on a dish towel – because who knows if the dog rubbed against it, the kids wiped their snotty noses on it…you get the picture.)
  5. Store the dried canister kit in a plastic resealable bag (the type you use to store your kid’s lunches or your lunch for work.)

Disinfecting is important!

Once a week, we sterilize our canister kits (especially if we are using them throughout the day when we are sick).

  1. Mix 1 part distilled white vinegar with 3 parts hot water (please do NOT use apple cider vinegar – that is for cooking!)
  2. Let soak for 1 hour
  3. Rinse
  4. Dry on paper towel
  5. Store in plastic resealable bag

When you don’t clean and sterilize your canister kits, bacteria can build up and end up inside you during a breathing treatment. Not good!

So clean and disinfect those canister kits!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Asthma.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

  1. Pari. Cleaning & Maintenance. Accessed on June 3, 2019. Available at: https://www.pari.com/us-en/education-ceu/cleaning-maintenance/

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