Treating sleep apnea starts with acquiring a CPAP machine. There will be a feeling-out period until your face and body get acclimated to the device, but it can go more smoothly if you follow the best maintenance practices. With the varying parts, it helps to know how often you should clean a CPAP device to get the best results.
Picking the Correct Soap
Before we jump into the schedule for cleaning your CPAP device and its components, it would help to know what supplies you need. The most integral aspect of your cleaning regimen is the soap you use. A delicate, mild soap is ideal to use while washing your CPAP mask and components. Cleaning your CPAP pieces with mild soap can help you avoid causing any permanent damage to your gear or constant discomfort.
While CPAP-specific soaps are best, many individuals have had luck using ordinary dish soap to do the job; even children’s shampoo works. The only qualification for the soap is that it’s mild and doesn’t damage, discolor, or stink up your items. You want to keep an eye out for bleach, dyes, ammonia, and moisturizers when selecting your soap.
Not only will the soap contact your face, but you will also breathe it in. Inhaling toxic chemicals will create more problems than your sleep apnea concerns, so make sure the soap you choose checks all the boxes before submerging your CPAP parts in the sink.
With your trusty soap in hand, you shouldn’t have too many issues with the rest of the bare necessities. All you need is a sink, a clean towel, and warm water to do the trick.
Your CPAP cleaning schedule is similar to your schedule for your body. There are things that we should do daily, weekly, quarterly, bi-annually, and every few years to keep a clean bill of health. Your daily CPAP tasks are akin to brushing your teeth, which you should do every day before you call it quits.
Wipe the Mask Cushions
You might not even realize it, but your skin produces oils that may impair the functionality and quality of your mask, loosening the seal. So after using your mask, wipe it to eliminate any oils. You’ll have a spotless mask suitable to wear the following night if you continue to wash it every morning.
When you clean your CPAP mask, dab your clean towel with warm water and mild soap and give it a gentle wiping. Avoid potent cleaning solvents since your mask is your device’s most vulnerable piece.
You should clean your humidifier chamber weekly, considering leftover water particles can lead to bacteria building up. You don’t want to inhale bacteria, so it’s wise to remove the excess water when you clean your mask. You can stick with the usual mild soap and warm water. However, you should add white vinegar into the equation for its weekly treatment. White vinegar does a thorough job of disinfecting everything it touches.
Once you have thoroughly rinsed the humidifier, use another clean towel to dry it off. You can leave the mask and humidifier in direct sunlight to let them air dry, ensuring they’re ready to use before bedtime.
Keeping an Eye on Your Tubing
Your tubing is responsible for transferring your airflow settings to your mouth to ensure you sleep well each night. Thus, it’s paramount that you don’t neglect this piece of your CPAP device from the cleaning schedule. Fortunately, it’s as easy as cleansing the first two components of the CPAP. Using the warm water/mild soap combination, make sure you clean the outside and inside the tubing equally. If you overlook one part of the tube, it could deteriorate faster and be hazardous to your health.
Once a Month
With your mask and water tub getting the bulk of your attention daily, they must remain flawless. Therefore, we recommend a detailed examination of each piece every month to ensure everything is in working order.
Any complications with your humidifier chamber are more noticeable. Things like cracks or a cloudy residue indicate that you should replace the humidifier chamber. As noted above, you don’t want to mess around with bacteria, so don’t hesitate to make a change.
Assuming you’re cleaning your tubing every week as recommended, it should remain robust enough to supply adequate airflow. Nevertheless, even the smallest of holes or tears can cause problems.
You should check your tubes every three months for leaks from tears or tiny punctures. One way to check for leaks is to run water through the tubes and plug the ends to see if any of it seeps out from an unforeseen leak. It’s not the worst idea to replace your tubing every three months, regardless of whether there’s a problem, so that option is always on the table.
A household maintenance task that’s easy to forget is replacing the filter in your HVAC unit. When you disregard it, dust can congregate, hampering the system’s effectiveness. The same situation can happen to your CPAP device. As dust collects in the back of the machine, it can impede your treatment. If your bedroom is prone to collecting more dust particles than normal, you might have to change the filters more frequently than twice a year.
Additionally, although your mask remains clean from the daily washes, it can still start to wane. A common theme is that the mask loses its elasticity, forcing you to tug on the straps to tighten it. The more you stretch it out, the more likely it is that you’ll need a new mask.
Two-Year Pressure Confirmation
The last bit of business doesn’t necessarily have to do with cleaning anything in particular, but it’s in your best interest to follow up on your current CPAP pressure settings. You may not be aware of any small changes until you test yourself. Without the correct settings, all the cleaning and usage will be for naught.
This guide should give you a clear image of how often you should clean your CPAP device. You can add more cleanliness to your repertoire by getting sleep apnea cleaning machines from CPAPnation. We have everything you need to treat your sleep apnea to the best of your ability, and our special discount for your first order is a great place to start!