When CPAP machines are used regularly (they should be used every night for the most effective sleep apnea treatment), many things can build up within the machine over time. This is especially true for the tubing that connects the machine to your CPAP mask. Everything from dust to excess water vapor can become trapped within the tubing and mask of a CPAP machine over time. If left uncleaned, this can lead to mold, mildew and bacteria growth.
If this occurs, it’s recommended to discontinue use of and replace CPAP tubing and masks, as continuing use can cause you to become sick or have an allergic reaction to the mold that has grown.
How to Clean Your CPAP Machine
It’s always recommended to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and replacement, but generally, your hose and mask should be cleaned at least once a week (more often, if needed). Often, the best way to clean the mask and hose is to submerge them in warm water with a mild detergent. Distilled water is preferred in order to avoid mineral buildup. You can also use CPAP mask wipes for a quick cleaning solution for your mask. After cleaning, hang the hose and mask and allow them to fully dry before storing or using them again.
The machine can be cleaned by unplugging it and using a slightly damp cloth to wipe it down. Do not submerge the entire CPAP machine in water or any cleaning solution.
What Can Be Used to Clean a CPAP Machine?
In general, mild soaps and dish detergents can be used to clean your CPAP machine. You can also use a homemade cleaning solution consisting of one part vinegar and three parts water. This can help descale the tube and mask and eliminate any mineral buildups that may be present.
What to Avoid
There are many things you should avoid doing while cleaning your device:
Always make sure the device is unplugged before cleaning
Do not submerge the device in water (the mask and tubes can be completely submerged)
Do not use bleach or a bleach water mixture to clean the device
Do not use Clorox® wipes
Do not use hand sanitizer
Do not use hydrogen peroxide, ammonia or rubbing alcohol
Do not place the device, mask or tubing in the dishwasher, washing machine, or dryer
Keeping your CPAP machine clean takes a bit of work, but it’s important in order to maintain your health, prolong the life of your device, and get the best sleep apnea treatment possible.