You wouldn’t go months without brushing your teeth, so why should cleaning your CPAP machine be any different? It is used for hours each night on your face and as such, it should be properly cleaned and maintained. Caring for your CPAP is unlike any other equipment in your home and with that comes a different set of care instructions. Follow along to explore the whys and hows for cleaning your CPAP.
It’s a health concern. This is the most important reason why you need to be sure your machine is cleaned thoroughly. Think about what the CPAP is doing and in what conditions. There is a combination of air, moisture and oil that can lead to bacteria, yeast and mold being ingested into your system. This has the potential to cause sinus and respiratory infections. It can also lead to a cough or, at its worst, pneumonia and asthma attacks. None of these are good outcomes and can deter you from being compliant with therapy.
In addition to the health concerns, your machine may not last as long or work properly if not maintained. There is a lot going on with your machine. Some of the parts should be cleaned daily and some weekly. If not cleaned, mineralization from the water can decrease the life of the machine.
The Mask, Humidifier and Tubing
The mask, humidifying chamber and tubing should be soaked in warm, soapy water. It can also be cleaned with wipes, but to really deep clean the materials you will want to have them soak for at least twenty minutes. Be sure to rinse all of the soap away after the soak. Let them air dry. Now they are ready for your next night of sleep!
Your CPAP has an air filter, if it has a replaceable one, this does not apply to you. You will change your white filter on the machine once a month. If you do not have one, now is the time to rinse it with clean water. Be sure to get all of the dust out and allow to air dry.
Wipe down the outside of the machine with a damp cloth, but be sure to not get the outside too wet as it will damage the machine. You will also want to be sure that you have replaced the water in the chamber.
Tips & Tricks
Set a schedule
It’s easy to let the cleaning slide, but having a schedule may help. It’s all about creating a habit of cleaning. Your mask, tubing and humidifier should be cleaned daily. You could do a general cleaning each day but a weekly deeper cleaning of the items to let them soak. The machine itself should be wiped down each week.
Only use distilled water
It might seem easier to use the tap water, but it is best that only filtered, distilled water be used.
Keep it clear
How you store the CPAP machine can impact its care. Keep it out of sunlight and away from any objects that could impact the air intake.
Now that you know the importance of cleaning your CPAP, contact us for help today!