CPAP machines can dramatically improve sleep apnea symptoms and should be considered a significant investment in your overall health. Although it may be tempting to forgo cleaning your machine regularly, dirty CPAP equipment can have serious negative consequences and may make your treatment less effective. However, with routine maintenance, you can prolong the life of your CPAP machine and ensure your equipment is working correctly.
Dangers of a Dirty CPAP Machine
Sleep apnea patients typically use their CPAP machine for up to eight hours per night. During that time, air goes into the machine, filter, tube, mask, and nose. Then, exhaled air goes back into the mask to continue the cycle. This exhaled air contains moisture from your body, which microorganisms thrive on to survive.
Without regular cleaning, your machine and its accessories can begin growing colonies of bacteria, causing your equipment to develop a foul odor or even stop working entirely. Bacteria in CPAP equipment can also pose serious health risks, including congestion, coughs, and other respiratory-related symptoms.
How to Clean Your CPAP Machine and Equipment
While it may seem overwhelming, cleaning your CPAP machine is a relatively quick and easy process. It is best to clean your machine, mask, tubing, and headgear at least once per week. However, most manufacturers and sleep specialists recommend daily cleaning of your CPAP machine and its components. The following tips will help you clean your machine and maintain its equipment.
Mask and Tubing
- Wash your mask daily in warm water and mild soap. Rinse thoroughly, then allow to air dry.
- Disinfect your mask and tubing weekly by soaking in a solution of 2 parts white vinegar to 3 parts water for 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly, then allow to air dry.
- If you have a cold or sinus infection, disinfect your mask daily.
- Never clean your mask and tubing with alcohol or put them in the dishwasher.
- Wash in mild laundry detergent every few weeks or as needed.
- Air dry – do not put headgear in the dryer.
- Empty unused water daily.
- Wash in mild soapy water and rinse thoroughly.
- Disinfect by soaking once per month in a solution of 2 parts white vinegar to 3 parts water. Rinse thoroughly and allow to air dry.
At Advanced Homecare, we offer a wide variety of supplies to help you clean and maintain your CPAP machine. Contact us today to learn more about our products and resupply program.