How To Clean a Nebulizer

August 28, 2023
how to clean a nebulizerhow to clean a nebulizer

Nebulizers are an important part of respiratory therapy. They effectively turn liquid medicine into mist that penetrates the user’s lungs for fast, effective treatment. An improperly cared for nebulizer, however, can be a breeding ground for germs and cause more harm than good. Below, we’ve outlined some general rules on how to maintain and clean your nebulizer.

How Often Should I Clean My Nebulizer? 

It is important to remove any excess medicine from your nebulizer device after each use. To do this, remove the medicine cup and rinse it with water. Allow the components to air dry completely before reassembling and storing.

A more thorough cleaning should take place weekly. This will require removing the medicine cup and detaching any tubing, mouthpiece or face mask. For many models, manufacturers will recommend allowing the mouthpiece to sit in boiling water for 10 minutes to eliminate germs. Some may suggest warm, soapy water for the medicine cup. Reference your specific device’s user manual for the best way to clean your nebulizer.

How to Clean Nebulizer Parts 

To properly clean your nebulizer, some simple disassembly is required. 

  1. Remove the mouthpiece and medicine cup from the unit. If your nebulizer has tubing, detach it from all connectors and set aside.
  2. Rinse the mask or mouthpiece, T-shaped connector and medication cup under warm water or wash in a bath of vinegar and water for about half a minute. Lay the parts on a towel to air dry.

How to Clean Nebulizer Tubing 

You should never wash your nebulizer tubing. Only clean air passes through the tubing so it should never be cleaned. However, you should replace tubing every 6 months as the tubing material can degrade over time. Consider replacing all parts of your nebulizer twice a year to help maintain performance. If you notice tears, cracks, or other damage to your tubing, replace it immediately.

How to Clean a Nebulizer Mask 

A nebulizer mask comes in contact with your face and mouth, which allows for bacteria and other germs to grow. Rinsing your mask weekly or daily, depending on use, with warm water and allowing it to air dry before reassembly can help keep your mask clean. 

How to Clean a Nebulizer Medicine Cup 

Your nebulizer medicine cup contains your medication for your respiratory illness. Because your medication is in liquid form, residues of the medication can adhere to the cup surface and may become a breeding ground for germs. Much like your mask, you should rinse the medicine cup in warm water daily to wash out only lingering residue.

How to Clean Nebulizer Parts with Vinegar 

Create a bath of 2 parts distilled vinegar to 1 part distilled water to help with sanitation. Wash for 30 minutes then allow to air dry for at least an hour before reassembly. 

A properly clean and well-maintained nebulizer goes a long way toward managing your respiratory illness. Our knowledgeable customer care team is available to answer questions, help you with replacement parts and make sure you get the most out of your therapy. Feel free to give us a call at 888-941-1688 or email today.

This post was originally published on July 21, 2021 and updated on Auguest 28, 2023. 

Chris Vasta

Chris Vasta is the president of The CPAP Shop and an expert in sleep and respiratory therapy. He often provides insights on product design and functionality on various manufacturers’ prototypes and is frequently tapped to provide reviews on new releases.