Spring is in the air! Over the course of the past 10 days, our hometown has gone from highs in the low 40’s to now the upper 70’s, trees are in bloom, and lawns are getting their first haircut of 2012. Many tackle their annual Spring Cleaning, which is our inspiration for this post. Homecare Advocate met with respiratory therapists and medical service technicians to bring you the best cleaning instructions for your medical equipment.
Canes & Walkers
- Daily: Clean the handle as per the recommendations of the manufacturer.
- Weekly: Dust off debris and dirt.
- 1-2 times/month: For a wood cane polish to keep wood healthy & shiny. If a metal cane or walker, use a light soapy water & cloth, then wipe dry.
- Replace cane/walker tips if they become damaged.
CPAP & BiPAP Machine
- Daily: Disassemble nasal mask/pillows and wash with Dove or Ivory and warm water in a container. Rinse, air dry, an reassemble. Replace monthly. (Note: Do not use alcohol, vinegar, or harsh detergents.)
- Weekly: Wash your headgear/softcap and straps with Dove or Ivory and warm water. Replace masks every 6 months. (Note: Never use dryer, iron, or bleach.)
- Weekly: Wash tubing in Ivory or Dove, rinse, and hang to dry. Replace every 3 months.
- Weekly: Wash the reusable filter in mild detergent and water, rinse, and air dry. Replace every 6 months. (If using a disposable filter, discard when it becomes discolored.)
- To clean the exterior of the CPAP machine, unplug and wipe with a slightly damp cloth of warm water. Dry completely prior to plugging into an outlet. (Note: Never submerge in water or allow water to enter vents/ports.)
CPAP/BiPAP Heated Humidifier
- Daily: Wash the water chamber in mild soapy water. Rinse.
- Weekly: Soak the water chamber in 1:1.5 solution of white vinegar to distilled water for 20 minutes, totally submerging the water chamber. Rinse well. Replace every 6 months.
- As necessary: Wearing rubber gloves, unplug any electrical equipment connected to the bed from the outlet. Remove and wash bed linens. Spray a germicidal spray (such as Citrus II or Clorox) onto a cloth, and wipe the bed frame, rails, headboard, footboard, mattress, and electrical devices. Dry with a sterile cloth. Make bed, and reconnect electrical devices to the outlet.
- After each treatment: Disassemble nebulizer from air tubing and mouthpiece. Rinse all nebulizer parts in warm running water. Shake excess water off, then air dry. Cover with a paper towel while drying to prevent dust particles from getting on it.
- Daily: Disassemble as above. Wash in a solution of 1:3 white vinegar and water for 30 minutes, then rinse thoroughly and air dry on a paper towel. (Note: It is important not to use a towel to dry it, as that will affect the flow of medicine. Air drying is the only way to properly dry it out.)
- Daily: at least once/day, remove the nasal cannula and wipe it clean with a damp cloth. Replace the cannula every 2 weeks and tubing every 90 days.
- Weekly: clean the inlet air filter by removing it from the concentrator and washing under warm tap water. Be sure to dry it with a clean towel before inserting it into the concentrator.
- Monthly: Wipe down the concentrator’s exterior with a damp cloth.
Seat Lift Chair
- Weekly: Vacuum crumbs/dirt in the seat, arms, and crevices of the chair.
- Weekly: Mist a germicidal spray on a clean cloth, and wipe the remote for the chair.
- If soiled everywhere, have it professionally cleaned.
- If needing a general cleaning or spot cleaning, check the label on your seat lift chair for the fabric code and cleaning method best suited for the material. Always test an inconspicuous spot of the fabric with the cleaner to see if it damages/colors/distorts the fabric.
- Suede: dry sponge or specialized suede brush
- Micro-Suede: wipe with a dry cloth or rubbing alcohol. Relax stiff spots with a soft brush
- Brisa or Ultra-Leather: soap, water, and/or alcohol-based cleanser solution. Disinfect with 5:1 water/bleach solution.
- Weekly: Wipe with a damp cloth, using a mild detergent such as Dove or Ivory for dirty/sticky spots. Dry to prevent rusting.
- Monthly: Check all nuts and bolts for tightness.
- Monthly: Check the inflation of your tires, per the guidelines on the outside of the tire. (Note: A bike pump may be used to inflate the tires; do NOT use a high-pressure pump for vehicles.)
- Periodically, clean the wheel axle/caster of any grime or buildup. To keep the hinges properly lubricated, use an all-purpose silicone lube spray.
If you have other questions about the cleaning and maintenance of your equipment, contact your local home medical equipment company. Many companies like Lambert’s have trained technicians on staff that can do repairs and professional-grade cleanings on durable medical equipment. These companies may also offer specialty air fresheners, such as ElimO Healthcare, help neutralize odors in a room from issues such as incontinence, smoke, urine, and more.
A little elbow grease will go a long way for keeping your medical equipment performing optimally while lengthening its useful life. Regular maintenance and cleaning will help keep you healthier so that you can enjoy this beautiful season we’re entering. What are some of your spring cleaning tips?