Mold in nasal aspirator

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Mold in nasal aspirator

Mold in nasal aspirator

You think that you are helping your baby when you clear out his/her stuffy little nose… but think again!

Last week when our baby was sick, I got out our nasal aspirator and when I squeezed it, I noticed a odor. I decided to see what was going on, and sure enough- our nasal aspirator was filled with mold! The worst part is that I had always cleaned them after each “sickness”. I would fill a bowl with HOT soapy water and suck the water into it and squeeze it back out. I thought this was helping, but I guess it wasn’t. When I checked another one that I had (that I hadn’t cleaned), it was the same way- filled with mold. Since you can’t dry the inside, it just becomes a mold breeding ground!

Our kids are already at risk for breathing problems. Each of our kids have use nebulizers on regular basis’ in their first few years and it is scary to think that I was just adding another ‘risk’ by using a mold-filled aspirator!

I read online that a good alternative is the NoseFrida nasal aspirator (also known as the snot sucker).

Do you have any other suggestions?  Add them to the comment below!


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  1. says

    Oh, my!!!! I hope hospitals don’t still use this, especially beyond 48 hours (which is how long the EPA says it takes mold to grow). I don’t have any suggestions, but I sure hope that people can find out about this. Thank you for the information!

  2. says

    I was concerned about this too recently, after hearing about this through friends. When I told my husband about it, he pointed out that you suck IN with the bulb syringe, and you never blow into the baby’s nose with this device, so there’s no need to be concerned about blowing mold into the baby’s nose. And if we throw this out, we may as well throw out the rubber duckies too!

    • says

      I think throwing out anything with mold is a good idea. (Did you see my comment on plugging up your bath toys with a dab of hot glue to prevent water from getting into them?
      The air does, in fact, go into the baby’s airways because to suction you have to build up the negative pressure (outside of the baby’s nose), which, in turn, releases positive pressure when suctioning.
      (Check with your pediatrician for more info… we did. ) :)
      I hope this helped!

      • liz says

        I’m replying to “your modern family’s” last post about having to build up the negative pressure in order for the syringe to work correctly. While you are correct about that, I can’t help but assume you’re “building up the negative pressure” inside the babushka nose bc of your reply to “gabrielle’s” comment about never pushing air into the babys nose with the bulb.. I just wanted to correct you… you should NEVER ” build up the negative pressure inside the babushka nose! This should ALWAYS be done before the bulb ever even comes in contact w/ baby. In other words… you must first sanitize bulb, then squeeze out all air inside bulb, hold, and
        then insert into babys nostrils..which would greatly eliminate any danger of pushing anything from inside the bulb into babys air ways. Although I’m not sure after finding black mold inside, I would ever use again! They make bulbs you can take apart and clean! Good luck!:)

  3. Joanna says

    Summer Infant makes an aspirator that you can take apart to clean – our son is at a high risk for asthma and has used a nebulizer like your children, so this article has made me NEVER want to use the regular ones again. I’m planning to order a Summer Infant one! Thank you – what a blessing to know this now, and the tip for bath toys was great, too!!

  4. Leah says

    I found that if I shine a flashlight on the bulb and look in the opening, I can see clearly inside of mine. My baby is 8 months old and it looks fine, but I use very hot (nearly boiling) water to clean it and I live in a very dry climate (25% humidity would be high around these parts.) I guess I’ve just been lucky!

  5. Genie says

    Just had to post regarding the moldy bulb aspirator. I gotta say that bc of that post, I was extremely worried about mine but didn’t want to tear it apart to check thereby rendering it useless especially bc the hospital grade ones work best. I’ve found an easy method is to place a flashlight on the fat end of the bulb syringe with the stream of light facing toward it and look inside from the hole in. The inside of the bulb syringe will be illuminated and you can see everything, the ribbing inside, even a small number 16, etc. Got the idea from when I used to place a flashlight on the outside of my cheek and see it illimunate the inside my mouth. Same concept. I’ve had bulb aspirator for 5 years and haven’t had a problem. You must cleanse with hot water to break down the mucous that gets inside bc they can be very viscous and slimy. Also make sure completely suck water inside, close the hole end and shake it to get a thorough cleaning. For me I never use soap, just hot water. I would think soap would be hard to rinse out and another agent for bacteria/mold to cling to if not properly cleaned out and suggest not using it. Our tap water is very hot, almost boiling bc we set our water heater above normal range. After thoroughly cleaning the bulb syringe, pump out all the water until you are pumping dry air. I even shake the syringe a few times after until I don’t feel any water droplets. Then allow to air dry. I’ve never had a problem as is testament by my flashlight test. The hospital ones are made to last, would hate for anyone to have to rip theirs open as they are nonreplaceble. I’ve bought others and they truly don’t have the same pumping action. Some like the nosefrida. I have been using a nosefrida also but I find it doesn’t get deep enough and I am very sick now possibly due to viral or bacterial transfer. They say the spongy filter blocks it but I don’t think it will prevent the airborne ones especially viruses. Snot is truly disgusting. Happy nose sucking.

  6. Mytwocents says

    Do not wait to clean the aspirator. Do not let it sit. Clean immediately after use. If mucous dries inside, it is very hard to clean out especially once hardened. Clean and dry thoroughly and this won’t happen. Love the bulb. Baby hates it but it works. My hospital gives one for free when you have a baby. They are truly the best.


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