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How to Clean a Nasal Aspirator

By Kay Ireland ; Updated August 14, 2017

Using a nasal aspirator to help your baby relieve congestion is a tactic recommended by Dr. William Sears, Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine. But once you've used the aspirator to suction away excess mucus, typical bulb aspirators hold the mucus in the bottom of the instrument. To avoid reinfecting your baby with the same germs you've removed, cleaning after each use should be an important part of your nasal aspirator care routine.

Fill your sink with hot water, adding a few drops of antibacterial soap to the water and swishing with your hands to agitate. Drop the nasal aspirator into the hot water after each use when your child is sick.

Depress the bulb on the end of the aspirator to remove any air, and then release to allow the aspirator to suck up the hot, soapy water. Squeeze the end of the bulb quickly to blast the water and mucus out of the bulb and into the water.

Repeat the depressing and releasing motion several times in the water to ensure that the inside of the aspirator has been thoroughly cleaned. Remove from the water and lay on a towel to air dry in preparation for each usage.

Sterilize your nasal aspirator before you store it away for another time. While antibacterial soap cleanings after each use will disinfect and clean the aspirator, when your child's health improves and you're ready to store the aspirator, sterilizing it can kill any bacteria to stop the spread of germs in your medicine cabinet.

Heat a pot of water to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, suggests Mom's Medicine Chest. Drop the complete aspirator into the water and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes. Allow the water to cool before you remove it, and wipe the outside of the aspirator with rubbing alcohol before allowing it to air dry.

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