CLEANING YOUR MACHINE AND SUPPLIES
A dirty CPAP machine contaminated with germs like viruses or bacteria can make you sick.
Germs from your lungs, throat, or mouth can get into the CPAP mask or hose as you breathe in and out during sleep, or germs on your skin may get transferred to the CPAP mask or hose. Dust, mold, or other allergens may also get into the CPAP mask or hose.
CPAP machines need to be cleaned regularly so that these germs and contaminants do not grow inside of your equipment and make you sick. Dust and dirt can also cause problems with the machine, making it more likely to break or need replacement.
EQUIPMENT THAT SHOULD BE CLEANED DAILY:
CPAP Mask or Nasal Pillows: You should clean your mask or nasal pillows every day. You can either clean your mask where it touches your face with a baby wipe or clean with mild soap and warm water. The soap that you use should not contain perfumes, dyes, or moisturizers or ALCOHOL. If you have any allergy problems while using your equipment, try switching to another cleaning product. Recommended cleaning products are clear dishwashing liquids, baby shampoo, the shampoo you currently use, or Neutrogena soap. Clean the mask or pillows with the mild soap where it touches your face or nose to clean the facial oils off of the seal. Rinse with warm water and sit on a paper towel or hang to let air dry. You may also hook the mask back up to the CPAP and turn on to let the air pressure dry out the mask. If dishwashing liquids bother your sinuses, simply switch to baby shampoo. If your skin becomes irritated try switching to Neutrogena.
Humidifier Chamber: You should empty the water chamber of the humidifier daily to prevent bacteria growth. Let the humidifier cool for about 15 minutes before cleaning. If you want, you can clean the chamber with dishwashing liquid. Squirt a little into the chamber along with warm water, cover the holes and shake. Rinse with warm water and let air dry or let your machine blow air through to dry. Make sure you refill the distilled water on a daily basis. DO NOT PUT ESSENTIAL OILS IN YOUR WATER RESERVOIR TANK!
Tubing: We recommend you clean your tubing daily only if using a heated humidifier and there is water in your tubing. If there is no water in the tubing you can wait and clean once weekly. If water is in the tubing, clean with the same type of soap that is used to clean the mask and humidifier. Clean the ends off with the soap and run soapy water through the tubing. Rinse with warm water and hang to air dry. You can also hook this up to your machine and run the air through to dry. You may opt to clean the tubing in the shower and simply hang it over the shower rod to dry.
EQUIPMENT THAT SHOULD BE CLEANED WEEKLY:
Mask and Nasal Pillows: You should clean all parts of the mask or nasal pillows once a week with mild soap or soak in a vinegar and water solution (see instructions on next page). Make sure you take the headgear off before soaking in vinegar and water.
Headgear/Chinstrap: The headgear that attaches to the mask and chinstrap should be cleaned at least once a week with mild soap. If you sweat excessively during sleep, you may want to clean more often. Hang to let air dry. Refer to your instructions that came with your mask before machine washing or drying. Do not dry with heat turned on. You may want to leave the headgear attached to the mask when cleaning daily so you do not have to resize the Velcro tabs. Do not soak your headgear in the vinegar solution.
Humidifier: You should clean your humidifier thoroughly with mild soap or soak in a vinegar and water solution (see below). Rinse and let air dry or hook it up to your CPAP and let air pressure dry. Note that some brands of humidifiers may be placed in the dishwasher. Please refer to your instruction manual before cleaning in the dishwasher.
Tubing: If you do not clean the tubing daily, make sure to clean it once weekly with mild soap and warm water or soak in the vinegar and water solution. Hang to let air dry or hook up to your CPAP to dry.
Filters: Respironics CPAP Machines – Your machine has a gray and an optional white filter. Rinse the gray filter with warm water to rinse the dust out of it. The white filter should be checked weekly, and when they become discolored simply discard and replace.
Resmed and Fisher and Paykel CPAP Machines – These machines only has a white filter. Check once weekly for discoloration, air blockage, or holes. Discard and replace if needed.
Vinegar and Water Solution: To make the vinegar and water solution, simply mix 3 parts water with 1 part distilled white vinegar (or you can fill your kitchen sink halfway with warm water and add 2 cups of vinegar). Soak your equipment in this solution for 30 minutes to kill the accumulated bacteria. After your equipment soaks for 30 minutes, rinse and let air dry. You may also want to wash or soak your equipment with dishwashing liquid to get the vinegar scent off of them.
REPLACING YOUR SUPPLIES:
Monthly– Replacement Nasal Pillows (if applicable), Replacement Mask Seal (for nasal or full face mask, if applicable), Pack of 2 disposable Filters (Philips Respironics CPAP)
Every 3 Months– Mask only (without headgear) if insurance allows
Every 6 Months– Mask and Headgear, Heated Humidifier Water Chamber, 1 non-disposable Filter, 6′ tubing
Note: Certain masks may require cushion and/or seal changes more often. Please refer to your Home Care Company or Providers recommendations.