HF 7746

Nebulizer Cleaning and Disinfecting for Patients with Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis (CF) patients need to clean and disinfect each nebulizer cup after each use. This is because:

  • Germs can infect your nebulizer which could lead to lung infection.

  • It will help get the most medicine to your lungs.

If you can throw away your nebulizer cup it may not stand up to any heat methods, so use a cold method.

Steps for Nebulizer Care

To clean:

  1. Wash your hands.

  2. Using a basin, fill with water and dish detergent, wash your nebulizer cup, lid and mouthpiece.

  3. Rinse well with tap water.

To disinfect use heat method or cold method.

Heat Method

  • Place in pan, cover with water and boil for 5 minutes on stove top.

  • Place in microwave-safe bowl, fill with water and microwave for 5 minutes.

  • Place in dishwasher. Must be able to heat to 158° for 30 minutes.

  • Electric steam sterilizer such as a baby bottle steamer (one that has a 6 to 8 minute steam cycle)

Cold Method

  1. Soak in 3% hydrogen peroxide for 30 minutes or soak in rubbing alcohol for 5 minutes.

  2. Rinse using sterile water to avoid getting germs from the water into your clean equipment. 

  3. Sterilize water by heating a bowl of water for 5 minutes. Let cool. You should not save this water.

If your nebulizer has metal parts such as Altera®/Trio®/E-Flow®, refer to manufacturer’s directions. Use a different nebulizer for each medicine. When using a face mask, wipe out with alcohol pad.

If you are a patient receiving care at UnityPoint – Meriter, Swedish American or a health system outside of UW Health, please use the phone numbers provided in your discharge instructions for any questions or concerns.