In order to prevent the spread of germs, it is very important that the equipment used to care for your airway be cleaned regularly. There are two types of respiratory equipment: disposable (items you throw away after each use) and non-disposable (items that are re-usable). The type of equipment you have will depend or your finances and insurance coverage. This section will explain how to clean your equipment and kill the germs that could cause infections.
The first step in cleaning is to find a spot in your home that will be the “clean zone.”
This area will be away from open windows and doors and away from busy traffic areas where people often come and go.
It should have a sink and enough counter space for items to dry without being in the way. Importantly, it should always be kept away from cigarette smoke or fumes.
What Cleaning Equipment Should I Have?
In order to clean everything well, you should have your supplies designated for “respiratory cleaning” use only. For example, if you use a five-gallon bucket, it should only be used for cleaning your breathing equipment and not also to mop the floor or wash the car. Have separate supplies for general household cleaning.
You will need the following:
- Two five-gallon buckets with lids to hold cleaning solution
- 1.25% white vinegar for disinfecting (killing the germs)
- Antibacterial liquid soap for washing
- A short piece of clothesline or a bar to hang tubing from
- White towels for the equipment to dry
- Clean cloth or paper bags to store clean dry equipment
- Garbage bags that tie, in which to place dirty equipment until it can be cleaned
- A sink with running water
- Large syringe
- Round brush for scrubbing suction canister and top
How Do I Wash the Equipment?
The first step is to label the five-gallon buckets as “Bucket 1” and “Bucket 2.” Bucket 1 will be used to clean, while Bucket 2 will be used to disinfect.
Prepare the buckets.
- Pour in some antibacterial liquid soap
- Pour in about 3 gallons of warm tap water
- Pour in 3 ounces of white vinegar -Pour in 3 gallons of tap water
- To make less solution, just add 1 ounce of white vinegar to 1 gallon of tap water
Step 2: Wash your hands.
Step 3: Put on a pair of clean gloves.
Step 4: Begin cleaning:
- Pour and flush dirty contents from canister into the toilet.
- Take all of the respiratory equipment apart and put all of the pieces into Bucket 1.
- Let the pieces soak for about 15 minutes.
- Clean all pieces thoroughly, using the round brush to scrub the inside of the canister and top.
- Use the large syringe to pull soapy water in and out of the small tubes.
- Take the pieces out and rinse them off using warm tap water. Flush the tubes with tap water.
- Flush the solution in Bucket 1 down the toilet. Do not reuse.
How Do I Disinfect the Equipment?
- Shake the excess water off the rinsed equipment. Place the pieces into Bucket 2
- Soak the pieces for about one hour.
- Rinse all the pieces in warm tap water. Flush the tubes.
- Shake the excess water from all the pieces. Do this over the sink.
- The vinegar and water solution should not be reused. Flush used solution down the toilet.
How Do I Dry the Equipment?
- Hang all hoses and tubing on a clothesline or rod to dry. Place a towel under them on the floor to catch the water that drips.
- Place all other pieces on a clean white towel to dry.
How Do I Store the Dry Equipment?
- -When the supplies are completely dry, wash your hands and put on a pair of clean gloves.
- Reassemble all of the equipment that you took apart for washing.
- Make sure that you reassemble it correctly (check to make sure it works)
- Store the equipment in a clean, dry and safe place, such as a clean cloth, pillowcase, or clean paper bag in a safe container or drawer.