How to Clean Your CPAP Machine | BuyMedical.com
CPAP Machines, like most other devices, often come with a warranty to help CPAP users feel assured they are protected from any issues of production. However, failing to maintain your CPAP machine properly can be a cause for the manufacturer to deem the warranty void. Because of this, it is important to clean your CPAP machine regularly and stay up-to-date with its upkeep. Aside from this, cleaning your CPAP machine is necessary to ensure your system does not house any bacterial or mold growth.
How often should I clean my CPAP Machine?
Ideally, CPAP users must clean their machine or system everyday, especially when actively suffering from any type of upper respiratory infection or illness. However, if that is unrealistic for you, it is necessary you clean your system at least once a week. Failure to keep your CPAP system clean can cause serious illness.
In addition to regular cleaning, it is also important to check on the state of your mask, cushion, filters, and tubing. CPAP accessories that are in direct contact with your skin are at risk of deterioration and deformity due to exposure to oils. It is important for your mask, in particular, to maintain its shape in order to prevent any leaks from occurring. CPAP filters, on the other hand, must be replaced or cleaned regularly to make sure the air that flows through the system is clean and uncontaminated. Lastly, the CPAP air tubing must be checked for holes that will cause air to leak out of it. In a CPAP system, air leaks are guaranteed to prevent the machine from doing its job correctly and maintaining the positive air pressure to help the user breathe well in sleep.
What do I need to prepare for CPAP cleaning and maintenance?
There are several things that you would have to need on standby whenever you clean your CPAP device. It is important to use the correct materials and tools to avoid damaging your machine.
Make sure that the soap that you use is very mild and unscented. Harsh soaps may damage your machine or other CPAP accessories. It is also important to use unscented soaps that do not contain ingredients meant for moisturizing such as aloe because these types of soaps may leave a residue on your device and accessories.
The water you use must be potable and lukewarm. This means that the water must not be too cold nor too hot. Moreover, any sudden change in temperature may cause certain parts of your CPAP system to shrink, expand, or become malformed.
A sink or tub
When cleaning your CPAP system, it is a good idea to have a sink or tub at the ready that is large enough to submerge your CPAP tubing in water.
A clean, soft towel
Make sure that you have a clean towel that isn’t contaminated or abrasive. You will be using this towel to wipe down your components after washing. You will also be setting down these components on the towel to help them air dry during the day to make sure they are ready to use by bedtime.
You won’t be needing white vinegar every single time you clean your machine. Moreover, only use white vinegar if you are using a humidifier with your CPAP system. If your CPAP system does not have a humidifying component, you will not be needing this.
How to Clean Your CPAP Machine
If you’re taking the time to clean your CPAP machine, you might as well do it properly to ensure you are completely disinfecting it while also not damaging its materials. Here are some tips that might be helpful for you, especially if you are new to using and maintaining CPAP machines.
Submerge your tubing and hoses in warm water
It is not enough to clean the exterior of your tubing. Given how this component is particularly long and narrow, your best option for disinfection is to completely submerge it in soapy water for a few minutes. Afterwards, you may rinse it gently and thoroughly so as to not leave any soap residue.
This method of cleaning, however, is not applicable to all tubing and hose components. This is due to how some hoses may be electrical in nature. For instance, for heated hoses, make sure you check the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning and disinfection.
Hand wash mask, cushion, and headgear components
Masks, cushions, and headgear CPAP components are the most prone to wear and tear due to how these parts are in constant contact with hair and skin oils. It is best to clean these oils off of these components regularly. Make sure to hand wash with lukewarm water and mild, unscented soap. Wipe them down and leave them out on the towel for air drying.
Clean your humidifier tub
For regular cleaning of your humidifier tub, you may simply wash it gently with soapy water to make sure it stays clean. With prolonged use, you would notice that your humidifier tub would start to accumulate white deposits that are difficult to rub out. When this starts to happen, you can soak your tub with equal parts warm water and vinegar. Make sure you clean and rinse the tub out thoroughly before setting it down to dry.
Wash and replace CPAP filters regularly
CPAP machines involve the use of CPAP filters. These filters can either be disposable or reusable. The disposable filters are much more common and have to be replaced every 2 weeks of use. Another option is to use reusable filters, which must be washed every 2 weeks and replaced every 3 months.
The use of the correct procedure and materials to clean your CPAP machine and its components is not only important to ensure the health of your CPAP system, but also to make sure you aren’t exposed to bacterial or mold growth which can cause infection or pneumonia. Keeping your CPAP machine and components well-maintained would also help you save money in the long run because you wouldn't have to replace certain parts and components as often.