Nebulisers

Cleaning your nebuliser

All nebulisers need to be maintained and cleaned. If your health care professional arranges one for you, they should give you information about this. 

You should always follow the instructions from the nebuliser’s manufacturer.

It can be time-consuming to clean and maintain your machine, so you’ll need to build this into your routine. It’s important to clean and dry your nebuliser thoroughly every day if you use one regularly.

Wash your nebuliser after each use by:

  • washing your hands
  • disconnecting the mask, mouthpiece and chamber
  • washing the individual parts in warm soapy water
  • shaking off excess water and leaving the parts to air dry on a clean tissue or kitchen paper towel

You may also be advised to disinfect the nebuliser regularly.

Parts such as mouthpieces, masks, tubing, filters and the nebuliser’s chamber need to be changed regularly, at least every 3 to 4 months.

To avoid cross infection, you should never use other people’s mouthpieces, masks or tubing.

Risk of infection from nebulisers

Hospitals assess the risk of infections caused by using nebulisers and have clear procedures to avoid spreading infections. These may include using nebulisers or their parts only once, and processes to clean and decontaminate them. At home, you should also be aware of the risk of infection. Nebulisers can be contaminated  by infections in your airways and bacteria in the environment. Any fluid left in a nebuliser can easily grow bacteria.

So it is very important you know how to clean and dry your nebuliser after every use. 

 

Aquilon nebulisers

If you have a nebuliser in the Aquilon series, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency advised to stop using it in February 2018.

Download our nebulisers PDF (239KB)

Last medically reviewed: August 2018. Due for review: August 2021

This information uses the best available medical evidence and was produced with the support of people living with lung conditions. Find out how we produce our information. If you’d like to see our references get in touch.