We use our CPAP machines and masks day-in and day-out. So cleaning our PAP equipment is an essential step we don’t want to neglect. Without regular cleaning, your Sleep Apnea equipment can reduce function, break, or in the worst-case scenario, you’re putting yourself at risk of becoming ill.
Right now, we are living in a time when everyone is conscious about disinfecting their hands and homes properly since the recent Coronavirus pandemic. So, why shouldn’t your CPAP equipment receive the same treatment?
Below, we walk you through our top CPAP cleaning hacks and the signs you need to look out for to know when parts need to be replaced.
If you are one of those people who keeps meaning to clean their CPAP mask straps when they start getting dirty but end up putting it off, this guide is for you.
To ensure the longevity of your CPAP machine and mask, cleaning and sanitizing regularly is key.
Each day, bacteria and germs collect and flourish on each CPAP part. As some of these parts, such as the CPAP mask, share close proximity to the nose and mouth, it can create a breeding ground for infections and viruses.
The good news is that the process of cleaning your equipment doesn’t have to be complicated or take up too much time. Carving out a routine and schedule for cleaning your CPAP mask and machine can be really helpful for building a habit that will keep your equipment in great condition.
Now that you know why it’s important that you should be cleaning CPAP equipment regularly, we’ll get on to the real reason why you are reading this article: our CPAP cleaning hacks.
Below, we’ll talk you through the cleaning equipment you’ll need, how to clean each CPAP part and how often you should be cleaning.
In most cases, all you need to clean each part of your CPAP machine and mask is warm soapy water and a clean microfibre cloth.
However, to make sure that your equipment is truly sanitized, it can be beneficial to invest in CPAP cleaning products such as mask wipes and a sanitizing machine.
CPAP mask wipes like the Contour Flat Pack CPAP Mask Wipes are perfect for keeping beside your bed to quickly disinfect and wipe down your mask and machine each morning to ensure a bacteria-free night.
If you are prone to irritation or allergies, these mask wipes also use only natural ingredients which means that they are gentle on skin.
Alternatively, the Lumin CPAP Sanitizer is a state of the art disinfecting device which is capable of sanitizing your CPAP equipment and a number of other household items in a fast and safe manner using UV-C light.
Knowing what to use to clean your CPAP equipment is just half the battle. Next, let’s look at the right way to clean each CPAP part.
CPAP Masks: Your CPAP mask should always be your first port of call when cleaning. Begin by disconnecting the mask from tubing and disassemble each part of the mask. Next, place the mask and headgear into warm soapy water for at least 5 minutes. Once the time is up, rinse each part thoroughly and let air dry out of direct sunlight.
CPAP Hose: Due to its length, the hose might be a little trickier to use. Let it sit in soapy water and mild detergent for 5 minutes. Using a tube brush, scrub the length of the tube to remove any built-up deposits. Hang up and allow to dry fully before use.
CPAP Filters: If you use disposable filters, it is recommended that you replace them every 2 - 6 months. If you use reusable filters, there are a number of steps you can follow to keep them in good condition. Rinse the filters under warm water and gently squeeze out excess moisturize. Using a clean cloth, blot dry your CPAP filter and leave it to dry naturally on a flat surface.
Water Chamber: Calcium and other minerals often build up on the surface of water chambers. So, it is essential to clean this regularly. Using a distilled vinegar solution or hot, soapy water wipe down the chamber using a cloth. Allow to air dry for at least one hour, if not longer.
CPAP Machine: Last but not least, the CPAP machine itself. Although the CPAP mask and filters are seen as the most important parts to clean, you shouldn’t neglect the importance of cleaning the machine. Make sure to unplug it first and then gently wipe down the casing with a damp cloth.
A good rule of thumb: make sure that each month you are cleaning each part of your CPAP equipment a handful of times. However, there are some parts that require more frequent cleaning than others.
In this case, we are talking about the CPAP mask.
Your CPAP mask should be cleaned after every use. That means either washing it or disinfecting it with a wipe every morning. The reason for this is because it ensures that build up from oil and dead skin cells are removed before each use. On a weekly basis, you should be focusing on cleaning your CPAP hose, water chamber and machine. Your filters can be cleaned at least once a month.
It is always advisable to follow the instructions provided by your manufacturer but following the schedule above is a good starting point.
Sometimes when we notice that a part of our Sleep Apnea equipment isn’t working as well as it’s used to we think that giving it a good clean will do the trick. But this isn’t always the case.
Remember, CPAP supplies aren’t designed to last forever. So, it’s important to look out for signs that your CPAP parts need to be replaced.
The first warning sign can be when that part isn’t performing to its full capacity. For example, with the CPAP mask, you may experience more mask leaks or facial irritation after use. Your CPAP machine also has warning signs such as not delivering enough airway pressure or making an odd noise when operating.
The lifespan for each part will differ depending on how often they are cleaned and manufacturers’ guidelines. However, it is recommended that most CPAP supplies are replaced every 6 months except for the machine which can be replaced every 3 to 5 years.
Now, more than ever, we should be paying close attention to the cleanliness of our CPAP masks, machines and other vital supplies.
With COVID-19 highlighting the importance of keeping everyday items disinfected, now is as good a time as any to begin a regular CPAP cleaning routine.
If you have any questions in regards to cleaning or replacing your CPAP equipment, feel free to reach out to our experts here at MonsterCPAP. We’ll be more than happy to help.