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How To Clean Your CPAP Machine In 3 Simple Steps
If you’re wondering about cleaning your CPAP machine you’re not alone. In fact, here at Sleep Clinic Services one of the questions we get asked a lot is “How do I clean my CPAP”? And because we want your CPAP treatment to be as hassle-free as possible we’ve created a quick guide to cleaning your CPAP machine.
Even if you’ve been using CPAP for years it’s always a great idea to refresh your memory when it comes to cleaning your CPAP machine. A lapse in regular cleaning can lead to a build-up of mould spores, viruses, mildew, fungus and bacteria.
In fact, if you have a cough, congestion, a runny nose or a cold and you haven’t cleaned your machine for a few days, you might want to check your filters and humidifier. Because that’s how fast nasties can build up.
Taking care of your CPAP equipment has never been easier. All it takes is a slight change to your morning routine and you’ll reap the rewards of better sleep and improved health. Cleaning your CPAP machine is an important step in ensuring your CPAP therapy is successful.
How To Clean Your CPAP Humidifier
Humidifiers are very common now in CPAP machines. Humidified air makes your CPAP experience more comfortable, relieving dryness in your mouth and throat. Usually, the humidifier is a detachable part of the machine. It has a tank or chamber you fill up with water. A hot plate under the tank heats up and turns the water into humidity. Pressurised air then passes through the humidity creating a more comfortable experience.
Now that you know the purpose of the humidifier you can see why it’s so important to keep it clean. After all, you don’t want to be breathing in any toxic particles, bacteria or mould. And, as with all your CPAP components, keeping them clean may increase their longevity. You should aim to clean your humidifier on a daily basis. But rest assured, it doesn’t take long.
Here’s a quick 3-step cleaning process to add to your morning routine:
- Remove the humidifier chamber or tank from your CPAP machine. Make sure water doesn’t spill and enter your machine.
- Open the tank and wash it with warm, soapy water. Don’t forget to give it a rinse to prevent soap build up.
- Leave it to dry on a clean cloth. But avoid direct sunlight.
Once a week you need to give the humidifier a good sterilise. Don’t worry, it’s easier than you think and completely non-toxic. Soak your humidifier in a solution of 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water for about 20-30 minutes. Give it a good rinse with distilled water and leave to dry on a clean cloth.
Check your CPAP machine manual for any additional cleaning instructions. Some humidifier tanks are even dishwasher safe but you need to check your manual before popping yours in the dishwasher.
And for best results use distilled water when you fill up your tank again. This will help your machine last longer and prevent mineral build up.
How To Clean Your CPAP Mask
If you want your CPAP mask to be 100% effective you need to clean it every day. Natural oils from your skin constantly come into contact with your mask and they can cause wear and tear. Even affecting the seal on your mask. Your mask is made of materials that are very comfortable to wear however those same materials such as silicone don’t last very long.
Cleaning your mask is the same as cleaning your humidifier, so clean them at the same time each day.
- Detach the mask from any headgear or chin straps.
- Wash with warm soapy water and rinse.
- Leave to dry on a clean cloth out of the sun.
Sanitising your CPAP mask once a week is also recommended. And the process is once again the same as your humidifier. Soak your mask in a solution of 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water for about 20-30 minutes. Give it a good rinse with distilled water and leave to dry on a clean cloth.
If you’re wondering what to do about your headgear and straps, well they should be cleaned as needed. Wash them in warm soapy water also and leave to dry out of the sun. Do not put them in the washing machine.
And our biggest tip is to wash your face before putting your mask on. This will reduce the number of bacteria on your mask, not to mention residue from makeup, sunscreen and skin lotions.
How To Clean Your CPAP Filters
When your machine draws air from the room the air flows through filters at the back of the machine. These filters perform the very important task of purifying the air you breathe in. Most machines have a disposable white filter and a grey re-usable filter. You need to clean the grey filter once a week. Or more often if you have pets, smoke or you haven’t dusted in a while. Simply rinse the grey filter and leave it to dry. It’s that simple.
Do You Need To Replace Your CPAP Parts?
Yes, you need to replace CPAP parts regularly. How well you look after them will determine how often you need to replace them. That’s why cleaning your CPAP machine is so important. Check out our definitive guide on signs to look out for when your CPAP equipment needs replacing.
Sticking to a regular cleaning routine is so important. Not only for preventing illness but also to ensure successful CPAP therapy. And the extra 5 minutes added to your morning routine is all it takes. Remember, you can always contact one of our friendly Sleep Therapists if you have any questions or concerns. Call us today on 1300 246 637 or submit the contact form below.
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