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Question from the community: What is the best way to disinfect tubing?

What is the best way to disinfect tubing? I soak the masks and mouthpieces in vinegar and water. Are the air hoses supposed to be washed?


Community Answers
  • EllaMorris
    9 months ago

    I see using mouth wash put a little vinager. I am sensitive to oders so am careful when I go in places. I carry a hanky to cover my nose. A store always pops popcorn it takes my breathaway.

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    9 months ago

    Hi EllaMorris and thanks for your post. We understand about protecting yourself, as best you can, from odors in stores – so using a handkerchief as a barrier sounds like a good idea. Are you also saying you use mouthwash and vinegar to clean your tubing? Would you be able to clarify that for us? Thanks,
    Leon (site moderator)

  • Alesandra Bevilacqua moderator author
    9 months ago

    Thank you Leon and Allyson for your responses! As Leon mentioned, we encourage members to speak with the physician to see what’s best for them and their situation in particular. – Alesandra (COPD.net Team)

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    9 months ago

    It’s my pleasure, Alesandra. I support that view as well – our members may want to rely on their prescribing physician for advice in this regard.
    Warmly,
    Leon (site moderator)

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    9 months ago

    In general, most tubing for respiratory therapy equipment (e.g. nasal cannulas, oxygen connecting tubing, corrugated hoses) are single use items. The manufacturers do not recommend re-use of these items via processing or disinfecting. It is very important for our community members to be aware of this.

    When referring to ventilator circuits (BiPAP/CPAP machines), these, too, are considered to be single use items. In rare instances, these circuits can be bought as items that can be disinfected, but this is not common at all, especially in the home. Masks designed for BiPAP/CPAP machines can also be single use items or reusable. The recommendation will depend on the type.

    Small volume nebulizers, the short corrugated hose, and masks and/or mouthpieces should be rinsed after each use, but the oxygen supply hose should not. Recommendations for the hose and mask can vary and may depend on the level of hygiene the patient can adhere to.

    Clearly, there is a wide range of types of equipment in use commercially for the home patient. It will be interesting to see if there are any additional comments from our community members.

    We all have to be cautious about what winds up being posted as some people may/may not be doing what’s accepted practice and, more importantly safe, as far as infection control practices for the home.
    We want to caution our readers/members to consult with their physician as to what is proper for their particular situation.

    Are there others who would like to add their comments here?
    Thanks,
    Leon (site moderator)

  • Allyson.Ellis moderator
    9 months ago

    This article about cleaning the various parts of oxygen equipment might also be useful: https://copd.net/living/cleaning-oxygen-equipment/ ~Allyson (COPD.net team)

  • Alesandra Bevilacqua moderator author
    9 months ago

    I’m hoping others in the community will chime in with their experience or tips on disinfecting. In the meantime, if you know your tubing supplier, you may be able to Google it and see what the cleaning suggestions are. Or perhaps your oxygen supplier would know more about this as well. I hope this helps! – Alesandra (COPD.net Team)

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