Cleaning and Disinfecting your nebulizer

Germs can grow on or in anything that is wet, including your nebulizer. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation consensus guidelines currently recommend that nebulizer equipment be cleaned, disinfected, rinsed, and air-dried between uses.

Here are some video demonstrations for the Altera and eFlow Nebulizers. This same technique can also be used for other PARI nebulizers.

To clean and disinfect your device, follow these steps:

1) Rinse your device with water immediately after use. This will stop any debris such as drugs, spit and mucous from sticking to the inside of the device.

2) Clean your hands.

3) Disassemble the device.

4) Wash parts with mild soap and warm water.  DO NOT WASH THE TUBING.  Ensure you only use clear (non-opaque) soap for cleaning the metal aerosol head on the eflow. 

5) Use a small scrub brush or cloth to remove any debris.  Take care not to tear or break any of the pieces. Do NOT use a scrub brush on the metal eflow aerosol head.

6) Rinse all parts well with sterile water.

7) Use one of the following methods to disinfect your equipment:

a) Boil for 10 minutes. Fill a clean pot with enough water to cover all of the pieces.  Bring the water to a boil then place all pieces into the boiling water for 10 minutes.  Do not forget to remove the equipment after 10 minutes.  If the water evaporates, the plastic will melt onto the pot.

b) Microwave at 2.45 Ghz for 5 minutes. Place pieces in a microwavable bowl covered with water.  Do not microwave the PARI eFlow, as this nebulizer contains metal parts.

c) Dishwasher at temperature > 158°F (70°C) for 30 minutes. To obtain this temperature, the dishwasher water may need to be reset.

d) Soak in 3% hydrogen peroxide for 30 minutes. After removing from the peroxide, rinse well with sterile water. Do not use bottled, distilled or tap water as these may contain germs. Tap water can be made sterile by boiling it for 5 minutes. Use this water once and then throw it out.

e) Use a baby bottle steam sterilizer - the counter top type to clean your nebulizer

8) Remove pieces carefully and air dry the equipment on a clean, dry, lint-free towel and cover.

9) Reassemble the equipment when the parts are dry and store.


- Check the filter on your compressor every month and replace it according the manufacturers specifications.

- Replace your nebulizer every 6 to 8 months and your compressor every 5 years.