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How do you clean your medical equipment?

Cleaning and sterilizing Asthma equipment

I am studying ways of improving cleanliness of medical equipment when away from the home environment, for example on holiday or prolonged hospital admissions, for my university degree.

I found the process particularly difficult when staying in hospital and would be keen to find out how others cope. Please could you help me by answering the following questions.

For my study no information will be stored on individuals, just the replies to questions.

Length of time spent in hospital this year:

Length of time spent on holiday this year:

At home:

1. What medical equipment do you use that requires regular cleaning?

(E.g. types of nebuliser mouth pieces (please be specific), inhalers and spacers)

2. Describe how you clean your medical equipment at home and how often?

3. Describe how you sterilize your equipment and how often? (Boiling, chemicals?)

Away from home: for example on holiday

4. Does the routine you use at home change when you are away, if so how?

5. What problems have you encountered and how did you solve them?

Staying in hospital

6. How do you continue your cleaning routine when you are staying in hospital, for a period of say 2 weeks?

7. What problems have you encountered and how did you solve them?

8. What was the advice of the nursing staff for cleaning medical equipment on the ward?

9. Does the cleaning process cause you extra stress when in hospital?

10. How could you improve the cleaning routine?

Many thanks


6 Replies

Hi in response to your message,

amount of time in hospital this year - All year since feb with the exception of between 2nd august (my birthday lol) and 11th august and the 27th august and 22nd sept - when unfortunatly i was back in again, then managed to fly again (21st oct) this week.

hols - I was briefly on hols in feb for 2 weeks to see family in the lovely blackpool,

time at home - all of jan, 2 weeks of feb, 9 days at beginning of august, 4 weeks end aug - end sept, and this week!

I have ventolin, atrovent, flixotide and oxis inhalers - use ventolin, atrovent and flixotide through spacer (aero-chamber) clean chamber with hot water every 10 days or so (each time i need a new steroid inhaler i clean the chamber - longest time between has been 15 days).

I also use atrovent and ventolin nebs (500mcg and 5mg (sometimes the 2.5mg ventolin ones used depends on if regular or PRN) i use these in the actineb. This is a compressor type nebuliser with mouthpiece etc same as in hospital. I change the mouth piece every 7 days and wash it with hot water after each use leaving it to drain (usually have two on the go so i can use one whilst the other is washed/drained etc etc.) I change the filters every month too.

i also have a portaneb from polygreen which is an ionisation nebuliser, i use this when im out and about and change the medication chamber every 4 uses and clean the mouthpeice or mask after each use again just with hot water.

I dont like using chemicals as i feel these will only end up in my airways if i do i just rinse the equipment with hot water and replace them very frequently, i also usually take the mouthpeice i use in hospital home with me if its new ish as this saves me money buying new ones and the hospitals only bin them if you dont take them haome anyway!!

My routine doesnt really change when im away except that i rely on my ionisation neb which is more portable and leave thenoisy compressor one at home!

When in hospital i dont tend to clean the equipment as they have a rule at my local hospital where they change the tubing and mask/mouthpeice every 7 days - which is why i do the same at home - feel if they do it like that in hospital there must be a reason for it!!!

the cleaning regimen doesnt cause me any strss when im in hospital as the nursing staff on the resp ward just throw the equipment away every 7 days and replace it all - must cost the NHS loads each year lol!

Hope this helps if you wanna ask anything else feel free to PM me and i'll help in any way i can. Take care Lv KitKat Xx


Thanks Kitkat your answers will be very useful.

More replies like this please!


feel bad that im the only one who has done this, im not the only one with a home neb so hopefully peeps may notice this 2nd time round.


feel bad that im the only one who has done this, im not the only one with a home neb so hopefully peeps may notice this 2nd time round.



I have an Omron Microair neb.

During the day and out I clean the mesh by nebbing through some sterile water and wipe the mouthpiece. At home, I clean all the washable bits in hot soapy water and then either soak the mesh in Sterident or boil it in sterile water. I also clean the contacts on the unit with a steret alcohol wipe. I more often use the sterident method for the mesh.

For compressor nebs, I wash the consumables in very hot soapy water and sometimes soak the whole lot in Miltons and air dry. Replaced yearly in accordance with user guide.

Spacers, washed under hot soapy water & alowed to air dry ( replaced every 6 months or so)

O2 masks - hot soapy water, changed regularly.

On Holiday, I take sterile water in 5ml ampoules and the sterident for the Omron with me plus a spare mesh.

Hospital, things aren't always washed as often as they should be............... I use their disposable nebs & masks when in hospital which is then disposed of when I leave.



I'm very bad at cleaning my medical equipment!

If it looks dirty then it gets cleaned, usually with some hot water and a bit of washing up liquid.

I replace nebs quite often, every month.

In hospital i just ask for a new mask/mouthpiece/nasal specs if they look dirty. usaully the nurses go round weekly and ask if we want new masks etc

I also have an omron micro air that also only gets cleaned when it needs it.


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