CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) mask is a machine that uses a hose, a mask or nosepiece to deliver constant and steady air pressure as a treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea.
Proper and regular maintenance of CPAP equipment ensures optimal function and health. Most CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) masks are made with silicone cushions, designed to be gentle, comfortable, and non-irritating.
It consists of a standard tubing made of flexible, durable plastic, around 6 feet long However, in the absence of proper care and maintenance, the material may wear out faster. Hence, regular cleaning of your CPAP mask and it’s tubing promotes good hygiene and helps your equipment last longer. Your CPAP equipment is an asset for your sleep health, take good care of it. Routine, effective and proper care of your CPAP machine will prolong the life of the equipment as well as its parts.
Why It’s Important to Clean Your CPAP?
Cleaning can help to avoid potential dangers and problems, including the following;
- Bacteria exposure
- Sweat, dead skin cells, oil, moisture can accumulate in the CPAP mask every time it is used
- Voiding the device warranty
- Symptoms and sign of allergy
- Exposure to mold
- Increased risk for pneumonia or sinus infections
- Musty or foul odour
- Mineralization within the equipment
- Premature equipment breakdown
The question is how to carry out cleaning if it is so important. Luckily, this cleaning is easily possible and that too at a very little price.
Simple Steps to a Cleaner CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) Machine
- All the parts of your CPAP machine need to be disassembled. It is very important to ensure that your machine has been unplugged from its power source, as there may be a risk of electrical shock.
- Take a soft cloth and wet it with warm water. To remove dust, wipe the external surface of your equipment gently with this soft cloth.
- Add warm water and a gentle dish soap to a small tub, sink, or basin. Little vinegar can also be added (Vinegar’s acidity makes it a good cleaner). Immerse all the parts of the machine like the headgear frame, elbow, dial, mask, hoses, and any connectors in the soapy warm water. Keep them soaked for about 30 minutes.
- After rinsing properly with clean water, lay all the parts on a on a clean cloth, paper or flat surface to air dry.
- The humidifier of the CPAP machine should be cleaned only with distilled water. If distilled water is not used, there is high risk of mineral build up in the machine as well as. Humidifier can be cleaned on weekly basis.
- Replace the filter (if any) at least monthly and perhaps as frequently as every 2 weeks.
- Reassemble every part of the CPAP equipment after everything has air dried. Application of headgear to your CPAP mask is recommended, fasten the mask back onto the hose and any connectors, and attach the tubing back directly to the CPAP machine or the humidifier. Turn the equipment on briefly and listen for any air leaks that weren’t there previously.
If you find that your sleep apnoea symptoms have returned or you feel like your machine isn’t working right, bring it in to your equipment provider or sleep specialist and have things checked out.
How Often Should CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) Equipment Be Cleaned?
Your sleep therapy equipment or machine provider specialist recommends proper and regular cleaning and maintenance of your sleep equipment. All the durable medical equipment manufacturers and suppliers recommend and suggest daily cleaning of the water chamber, hoses, and mask.
Cleaning is important since your equipment is at an increased risk of mould or infection exposure that may further deteriorate your sleeping disorder. For optimal hygiene, it is recommended that you clean your sleep equipment at least once a week.
- The mask should be cleaned every day, either using warm and soapy water or using CPAP mask specific detergents and wipes. Later rinse the mask in distilled water.
- CPAP Machine Filters simply need weekly hand cleaning in a mild dish washing soap mix, then a clear water rinse and air dry.
- Clean tubing weekly. Take mix of mild soapy mix (free of strong chemicals) and warm water and add it into the sink. Submerge the tubing in this mix in such a way so that the soapy water cleans the entire inside surface area. Clean and rinse the inside of the tubing with a small and thin bottle brush. However, ensure that you do not end up breaking or cutting the tubing material placed between the coils, which is very fragile. After rinsing and cleaning well, allow tubing to hang and air dry.
- Clean Humidified Water Chamber every morning with a ten-minute soak in a mild soap mix, rinse well and again clean it with distilled water and air dry.
- AutoCPAP, CPAP, and BiLevel Machine Care – The equipment’s outer casing needs minimal attention and any special maintenance as such. Just wipe clean with a partially wet and soft cloth using a mild soapy mix. Make the unit and these parts dry thoroughly.
- If you are unwell and suffering with an upper respiratory infection, the cleaning of your CPAP equipment is needed at this time. It is also important to keep in mind not to share your CPAP equipment with others as this may cause an infection to be shared.
Recommendations for CPAP Equipment Parts Replacement
|Full Face Mask||1 per 3 months|
|Full Face Cushion||1 per 1 month|
|Nasal Cushion||2 per 1 month|
|Replacement Pillow||2 per 1 month|
|CPAP Mask||1 per 3 months|
|CPAP Headgear||1 per 6 months|
|CPAP Chinstrap||1 per 6 months|
|CPAP Tubing||1 per 3 months|
|Disposable Filter||2 per 1 month|
|Non-disposable Filters||1 per 6 months|
|Oral Interface||1 per 3 months|
|Heated Humidifier||5 Years|
|CPAP Machine||5 Years|
|Humidifier Chamber||1 per 6 months|