Many people with chronic lung diseases such as COPD or asthma use a nebulizer to take their
medication in the form of a mist that is inhaled into the lungs.
Nebulizers are often recommended for patients who have a hard time using inhalers because of health issues, or patients who are unable to inhale deeply enough for other devices.
A nebulizer has five basic parts:
Many people with chronic lung diseases, such as COPD or asthma, use a nebulizer to take their medication in the form of a mist that is inhaled into the lungs.
Cleaning your nebulizer is important to prevent the spread of germs and keep you from getting sick.
It will also keep your device working properly.
It is recommended to wash the parts of your nebulizer after each use, including the mouthpiece or mask, top piece, and medicine cup.
To start, take the nebulizer apart by removing the tubing and setting it aside. (The tubing should never be placed under water.)
Remove the mouthpiece or mask, and medicine cup from the top piece, and place them all into the top shelf of the dishwasher.
Or wash the medicine cup, top piece, and mouthpiece or mask, in warm soapy water, and rinse.
Shake off the excess water and let the pieces air-dry in a cool, dry place until the next use.
Your nebulizer will also need a thorough cleaning once a week.
Soak the mouthpiece or mask, top piece, and medicine cup in a white vinegar and water solution for 30 minutes, or as recommended by your device manufacturer.
After 30 minutes, rinse and air-dry in a cool, dry place.
Clean the surface of the compressor and the outside of the tubing with a soapy cloth or disinfectant wipe. (The compressor and the tubing should never be submerged in water.)
And, remember, most compressors have an air filter that will need to be replaced every six months, or as recommended by your manufacturer.
For more nebulizer demonstration videos and information, visit the American Lung Association's website at lung.org/nebulizer.
Learn how to properly clean a nebulizer to take your COPD medication with the American Lung Association.
The nebulizer educational videos are supported by Mylan Specialty, L.P. and Theravance Biopharma US.
Page last updated: March 27, 2023