After you put in the effort to be tested and treated for sleep apnea, don’t put your health on the line again with dirty CPAP supplies. The dangers of using a dirty CPAP include fatigue, getting sick, and the failure to receive enough oxygen for restorative rest.
Why You Need To Clean Your CPAP
You and your CPAP have a pretty personal relationship as regular use introduces your equipment to the oils and dead skin cells on your skin every night. Plus, your warm breath spreads vapor droplets that may contain germs and bacteria.
Your CPAP machine also pulls in air from the surrounding area and as a result can pick up dust, allergens, and harmful pathogens, making it easier to send them directly to your lungs. Plus, your humidifier creates the optimal environment for molds, bacteria, viruses, yeast, and more to flourish.
All of these factors increase the risk of catching infections such as pneumonia, sore throat, sinus infections, bronchitis, and irritated airways.
Aside from preventing illnesses and irritation regularly cleaning your supplies can prolong their life, saving you money because you won’t have to replace them as often.
So now that you know why it’s important to keep your CPAP clean let’s take a look at how to clean it.
How To Clean CPAP Supplies
As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to clean your CPAP equipment about once a week, unless you’re sick. Then you will need to clean your supplies daily to get rid of germs and harmful pathogens until you feel better.
You only need a few items that you probably already have at home to get started:
- A source of warm water
- A mild dish soap
- Clean, dry towels
- Room to allow your equipment to dry
How To Clean Your CPAP Hose and Mask
- Completely disassemble your hose and mask.
- Set your cloth headgear aside (Do not place it in the washing machine).
- Place each mask and hose part in a sink or bucket filled with warm water with a few drops of soap.
- Swirl the pieces around for about five minutes.
- Thoroughly rinse them in clean water.
- Set each item on a dry, clean towel and hang your hose up to dry.
- Allow each piece to completely air dry before reassembling your mask and hose.
How To Clean Your CPAP Filters
Note: Disposable filters need to be replaced according to their recommended resupply schedule.
Reusable filters should be washed about once a week depending on how much dust, pollen, animal dander, and other debris they collect. Cleaning them will help them continue to operate at peak performance by catching particles before they enter your CPAP hose.
- Remove your filters from your CPAP.
- Rinses them out under warm, running water.
- Squeeze them to remove excess moisture.
- Blot them dry with a clean towel.
- Lay them about to completely dry before putting them back in your CPAP.
How To Clean Your CPAP
- Be sure to unplug it FIRST.
- Wipe the body down with a clean, damp cloth.
- Dry it with a clean towel.
- Do not plug it back in until it’s 100% dry.
How To Clean Your CPAP Humidifier
If you have a CPAP with humidifier, it needs to be cleaned once every two weeks.
- Carefully detach the humidifier from your machine and empty out any remaining water.
- Then place the humidifier chamber in a solution that contains 1 part vinegar and 5 parts water to soak for 30 minutes.
- Next, thoroughly rinse it and place it on a towel to completely dry.
Note: Refer to your CPAP manual to see if it’s safe to place your humidifier in the dishwasher.
How To Disinfect Your CPAP
About once a month, your hardened CPAP supplies such as the mask and hose need to be fully disinfected.
- Disassemble your mask and hose and place them in a vinegar solution for 30 minutes.
- Thoroughly rinse them with warm water and set each part out to completely dry.
- Dispose of the vinegar solution after every user.
- Do not clean softer items such as your headgear or filters with vinegar.
Happy CPAP Cleaning!
Enjoy fully benefiting from your sleep apnea treatment, prolonging the life of your equipment, and preventing yourself from getting sick by keeping your CPAP nice and clean. If you don’t have the time to wash your equipment by hand, consider using a CPAP cleaner such as Lumin or SoClean. Either way, you’ll sleep better.