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The Ultimate Guide for Sterilizing a CPAP Machine

The Ultimate Guide for Sterilizing a CPAP Machine

The Ultimate Guide for Sterilizing a CPAP Machine

If you are new to having a CPAP device for treating your obstructive sleep apnea, welcome abroad—but know that you are not alone. Millions of people have some variation of a CPAP machine to help regulate their breathing while they are counting sheep night.

While having and using the machine is paramount to your overall health, it's equally as important to maintain and clean your equipment. After all, most humans should care the most about something that helps them breathe. Learning about the ultimate guide for sterilizing a CPAP machine illustrates the value of having clean and sterile CPAP equipment. We will explain the tools of the trade and what you need to clean all the parts appropriately.

Use Mild Soap and Water

Throwing all soups into one umbrella isn't entirely accurate. The majority of soaps sold in supermarkets are not real soaps that blend fats and sodium hydroxide. Your choices at the store are usually synthetic and have more pH than your skin, leading to painful breakouts.  

Instead, opt for mild soap because it's non-toxic, which will protect your skin and your equipment. Also, mild soap is odorless, so you won't be inhaling any harmful chemicals they use for the fragrance. The silicone components of your mask benefit from mild soap, considering they won't deteriorate quicker. You can use mild soap and warm water for all your CPAP accessories. 

Scrub With a Lint-Free Towel or CPAP Wipes

To remove stubborn deposits from your gear, you'll need something to scrape it carefully. Although a lint-free towel is preferable to avoid lint clinging to your mask or tubing and irritating your face in the wee hours, many CPAP users also use CPAP mask wipes to guarantee cleanliness. 

Try Some Vinegar

Vinegar is an organic disinfectant that vanquishes anything it touches. Vinegar is also beneficial for rapidly and simply removing the calcium residue at the bottom of the humidifier. This convenient CPAP cleaning essential is also crucial for preserving the interior of your CPAP hose.

Differences Between Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting

Cleaning is removing bacteria, filth, and pollutants from surfaces or items, such as the exterior of all your CPAP equipment. By only removing the grime, you improve its appearance but do not necessarily kill the germs. However, by eradicating them, you reduce the chances of any accompanying hazards.

Sanitizing decreases the number of germs on items to a comfortable range but does not wipe them completely, whereas disinfecting erases bacteria entirely. When you disinfect your CPAP equipment, you instantly eliminate any stubborn microorganisms. It's imperative that you only disinfect the exterior surfaces of your equipment with approved CPAP wipes or a disinfectant with diluted water.

Components of a CPAP Machine & Recommended Cleaning Schedule

Body (Daily)

The easiest part of the process is cleaning the body of your CPAP machine. Delicately wipe the outer surfaces of the device with a damp cloth, removing the accumulated dust and debris that's visible. Once you've satisfied with your wiping skills, carefully dry it off with a paper towel or a lint-free towel.

Mask (Daily)

Next up on the docket is sterilizing your mask. You should disassemble all the parts of your device before the cleaning process begins, considering it's much easier to clean when it's not attached to other mechanisms.

You will use warm water and mild soap and scrub your mask gently. After the wiping, let your mask air dry. You'll repeat the same process for the inside of your mask, including the cushion. If you want to take it one step further, you can use a UV sanitizer to clean your mask.

Tubing (Weekly Cleaning, Dry Daily)

It's now time to move on to your tubing. At this point, you can test out your amateur chemistry skills and make a concoction out of vinegar and water—or you could still employ the tried-and-true method of soap and water.

Regardless of the method, you will rinse your tubing by repeatedly running the solution through the tube, plugging one end with your hand, so it swooshes around diligently. It would help if you had a tube brush to get the hard-to-reach spots of the tubes like the sidewalls. If you think you did an adequate job, hang it out to dry on a towel rack.

Humidifier (Weekly Cleaning, Empty Daily)

You cannot overlook the sanitation of the water chamber in the humidifier. If you let the water chamber go unattended, water residue can develop into mold or other mineral deposits that are detrimental to your well-being.

You will want to remove any remaining water before you clean it with either soap or vinegar. Like with all other machine pieces, you to eliminate any visible debris that may be dangerous to your health, particularly inside the chamber. Once it's clean, you must use distilled water to refill the chamber. Distilled water won't have mineral remnants stick, making it easier to clean later.

Filters (Weekly)

Like your HVAC filters in your home, your CPAP filters help remove unwanted airborne contaminants such as pollen or dust. Your CPAP filter does an excellent job protecting you from these harmful pollutants from hurting you, but they don't last forever. Each reusable filter can last upwards of six months, assuming that you clean them once a week. Moreover, cleaning your filters is helpful because it makes the other parts of your CPAP machine work more effectively.

Cleaning your CPAP is a core part of your upkeep regimen, so it's vital to have this ultimate guide for sterilizing a CPAP machine on hand. Maintaining sterilized equipment does not have to be a headache with such a broad assortment of cleaners. Once you've established a proper cleaning schedule as part of your evening routine, you'll notice an improvement in your general health. You're now one step closer to avoiding illness and succeeding with your CPAP therapy. 

CPAPnation has a wonderful variety of CPAP cleaning machines for sale today. Items such as the previously mentioned Lumin UV sanitizer or the handheld wand will have your machine looking and running like new every day. Check out our store today and contact us for any questions you may have about your CPAP treatment.

The Ultimate Guide for Sterilizing a CPAP Machine

Disclaimer: The information provided on is solely for educational purposes and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. is not responsible or liable for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or products that you obtain through this site. Reliance on any information provided by is solely at your own risk.