Those who use CPAP machines are often surprised to find out just how well they can sleep when using the machine and how well-rested they feel the next day. However, to keep this treatment working effectively and to prevent illness, users must maintain a regular cleaning schedule for all parts of the CPAP machine, which will also help to lengthen the life of the device.
Follow these simple tips to keep your CPAP machine running better for years to come.
The humidifier tank is quite important to clean because the constant presence of water or steam in the chamber makes mold growth a possibility if distilled water is not used every time. Users should exchange the water in the chamber every day. This refill time also gives individuals an excellent opportunity to give the chamber a light cleaning per the manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance of the reservoir. It is important to protect the internal electrical circuits from water spills while cleaning the reservoir. The tubing should be cleaned weekly by soaking it in a mild soap-and-water solution or a mild vinegar solution. Medium-sized bottle brushes are excellent tools for scrubbing out hard-to-reach areas.
Because the CPAP mask touches one’s skin and is close to the eyes, nose and mouth, it must be kept clean to avoid illness. The cushion around the edges of the mask should be thoroughly wiped down every morning and should be left out to dry. However, the entire mask frame and headgear should be washed in a mild solution every week. Headgear straps should never be machine washed. Users can prevent breakdown of the mask and its accessories by removing makeup and washing away skin oils before bed.
You can also purchase a CPAP mask and accessory cleaner to help keep your parts and accessories clean. These machines clean your CPAP mask and tubing with the treatment of ozone or UV light.
Every CPAP device has one or two filters located in the back of the device to filter the air entering the unit. These should be cleaned per the manufacturer’s instructions- generally, every week by rinsing it in warm water and allowing it to air dry. Users who smoke or have pets in the home may need to clean this filter more frequently.
In general, the CPAP mask and tubing should be replaced twice per year. CPAP user manuals will detail the replacement schedule for CPAP parts and accessories. Following these recommended replacement timelines will help ensure your CPAP equipment continues to function properly.