Aero Chamber Plus cleaning question

I'm wondering how others clean their Aero Chamber Plus spacer. On some instructions I see it says to simply soak it in soapy water for 15 minutes and to not rinse. On other sites I've seen it says to rinse after the 15 minutes soak in soapy water. And yet on other sites I've seen it said to use a cloth to wipe it while it is in the soapy water, and then to rinse. Always it says to air dry, no matter the method of cleaning.

I don't know which is the best cleaning method. My Aero Chamber Plus is five months old now and I clean it every couple of weeks, but no matter how I clean it - I've tried all the above methods - there is what I think might be a residue of medicine, though it doesn't ever come off even when I've wiped it with a cloth while it is immersed in soapy water.

Any suggestions ?

Anne

16 Replies

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  • I always clean mine in warm soapy water using a 'j' cloth which is lint free, rinse under cold water then leave to dry naturally (do not dry with a tea towel as this will leave fibres in the chamber).

    x

  • The British Thoracic Society Guidelines on cleaning / replacing spacers are:

    - Spacers should be cleaned monthly rather than weekly as per manufacturer's recommendations or performance is adversely affected.They should be washed in detergent and allowed to dry in air. The mouthpiece should be wiped clean of detergent before use.

    - Drug delivery may vary significantly due to static charge. Metal and other antistatic spacers are not affected in this way.

    - Plastic spacers should be replaced at least every 12 months but some may need changing at six months.

    So - if you're using your spacer a lot - I have one in the bathroom that does 8 puffs per day and my main carry-around one gets a right hammering - bin it after 6 months, or at least relegate it to a less-used role, like the spare for the car.

    Personally I wipe mine with a soft cloth while they're in the water - the key thing seems to be to make sure that after rinsing they are allowed to dry upright in air, never dried with a cloth. I find that after each cleaning the anti-static is a little less effective, so the time between cleans gradually shortens (because otherwise the meds build up to the point where I can taste that it's sticking to itself). Allowing it to fully dry before using it again means you need at least 2 spacers, because it takes more than 12 hours.

    Mine never look sparklingly clean after a wash, but they are definitely much less coated.

    In the end though, if your spacer is a bit grubby and you're having an attack you just have to stick more squirts in to get the same dose. Obviously not going to work for your ICS / LABA where you need to know what dosage you're taking.

  • I guess I'm cleaning mine right then - these last few weeks I've been using the cloth while it's in the soapy water method, rinsing and then air drying upright afterwards. I suppose it can never look sparkly clean then ! Thanks !

  • You will notice the BTS guidelines don't mention rinsing. I was told emphatically by the respiratory nurse specialist that they should NOT be rinsed. I know this sounds weird but she explained that this reduces the amount of drug that sticks to the sides as it reduces static charge. If you rinse them more drug is attracted to sticking to the internal sides of the aero chamber. I was mine in soapy water with a cloth, swish it around and leave it to air dry just rinsing the mouthpiece.

  • This is why I am confused, becasue of different advice....I didn't rinse the first few times and got what seemed to me medication residue which is why I started rinsing...but now there seems to be residue anyway !

  • you will always get some degree of medication residue over time, thats normal, but you do get less if you dont rinse, and just leave to drip dry - dont wipe the insides to dry it.

  • Hey anneb

    asked you gp for a spear one ! I put my one for a clean weekly in the top of the dish washer dose it no harm ! but don't put peak flow meter in there ! as it take the numbers off it ! so I was it in hot water and put the mouth pice in the dish washer nice and clean and kills all bugs :)

    hope this helps

    Take Care

    Mat :)

  • asked you gp for a spear one !

    Good idea, I'll do that Mat - thanks !

  • see, i thought they had a coating inside that came of if you wiped it with a cloth during cleaning!?! is that wrong??

  • everything Ive read says they arent dishwasher safe... the instructions say to only wash how they tell you to:

    hcp.gsk.co.uk/content/dam/H...

    Given it says to wash in lukewarm water, I think a dishwasher would be way too hot.

    Interestingly they now do a posh upgrade version in Canada, don't know if its here, which is diswasher safe - trudellmed.com/consumer-hea...

  • Is the body of the PF meter meant to be washed? I thought it was just the mouthpiece.

    All this is making me think I need a new spacer! Mine is a few years old and I don't wash it enough. On the other hand, I don't use it except when I start needing multiple puffs - but in that case, probably best to have a spacer which works as well as it can.

  • Um, yeah the whole thing gets washed. Dont you use a spacer for you inhaled steroid? :/ Every respiratory nurse and doc I've ever seen have banged on about the importance of using a spacer, as drug delivery is much more effective and oral/pharyngeal side effects reduced..

  • I'm on Symbicort, so can't really use a spacer for that. I am religious about rinsing afterwards though and so far (I've been on it a bit over a year) have not had any throat or mouth issues with it despite high doses. And according to pharmacist have perfect technique for that and Ventolin (kind of a shame, as that would be easier to fix. And a shame I'm not better at blowing out for LF tests/spiro!)

    I should probably use the spacer more for Ventolin though, but it only occurs to me when it really starts not working!

    Have to say I had no idea you were meant to wash the whole PF meter d'oh this thread is useful! Will have to do that as not washed the whole thing ever, just mouthpiece.

  • Ah I see now why you dont use it regularly - it still improves drug deposition of ventolin though so worthwhile from that point of view. Its also easier to use spacer when breathless as the drug is contained until you can breathe it in + no requirement for breath holding as there would be without the spacer.

    Have you washed it yet?? LOL :-p

  • The spacer, or the meter? hehe. (Neither - I've been trying on clothes for my interview and cursing the fact I live with two men).

    No-one has shown me how to use a spacer properly yet. I've looked up some videos but they aren't quite the same as each other or as what I've read. Another thing to ask the asthma nurse on Wed!

  • Every respiratory nurse and doc I've ever seen have banged on about the importance of using a spacer, as drug delivery is much more effective and oral/pharyngeal side effects reduced..

    Now that's really interesting because the respiratory consultant I saw just gave me a prescription for Qvar. He never said a word about spacers ! BUT as soon as I got home from the appointment I looked Qvar up on the net and saw the need for a spacer, so when I saw my GP I asked for a spacer straight away. It's pretty typical that doctors don't know about these things. I think you were lucky nursefurby !

    No-one has shown me how to use a spacer properly yet. I've looked up some videos but they aren't quite the same as each other or as what I've read.

    No one showed me how to use my spacer. No one showed me how to use my MDI - well the respiratory doc pretended to use one to demonstrate how I was supposed to use one. I looked at the videos on Asthma UK and then on YouTube ! At first I thought that it was a bit off that I couldn't practice on some non-medication, I'm pretty sure I've got it right though, and I'm very glad I got a spacer right from the start.