It's challenging to get through your day and fend off germs circulating in the atmosphere. The one place you feel the safest is at home, but if you need a CPAP machine to sleep, you may have another obstacle in your way. Learning the best ways to clean a CPAP mask and machine goes a long way toward hurdling that obstacle.
It's nice to assume that you can use your standard cleaning tools to wipe away the germs and dust that collect on your CPAP equipment. Unfortunately, that isn't the case because there are some dos and don'ts in what you can use to clear away the debris.
The most effective solution to clean your CPAP parts is vinegar. Other than soap and warm water, vinegar is your next best option to ensure you clean your machine. Yet, vinegar does not eliminate excess accumulation like soap and water will. Adding vinegar with water once a month is the best strategy for thoroughly cleaning your device.
You must remember when using vinegar not to use it on any items with fabric. That includes your headgear and reusable filters. Additionally, you should never reuse your mixture, so dispose of it after each use.
Using bleach to clean your bathroom makes a lot of sense, but it's the biggest no-no for cleaning CPAP equipment. Bleach's toxic fumes could inflame your lungs, and any contact with it can burn your skin.
Another cleaning solution that's tempting to use is hydrogen peroxide. While hydrogen peroxide is useful for sterilizing lacerations or stainless-steel surfaces, it's walking that fine line between vinegar and bleach regarding toxic potency. Therefore, it's best to steer clear of hydrogen peroxide like you do bleach.
Since your CPAP face mask or nasal pillows is in constant contact with your face, it's imperative to clean it weekly to remove any bacteria that may have accumulated. If you're not cleaning your mask consistently, you will start to experience dry skin and a possible rash.
It's not a strenuous process to clean your mask appropriately. Detach the mask from the tubing and carefully disassemble its components. You may clean the other parts of your headgear with the mask, or you can set aside and do it separately. Fill your sink with warm soapy water and soak your mask in it for approximately five minutes. Rinse and let the items air dry completely; your headgear might require additional drying time.
Each CPAP machine has a recommended schedule, so refer to the manufacturer's suggestions before anything else. However, several steps are universal for cleaning the CPAP machine itself. First and foremost, you must unplug the machine. If you don't disconnect the cord, you could damage the machine or possibly even hurt yourself. Your mission in cleaning the machine is to rid it of dust. Once the dust is gone, dry it with a clean towel and let it dry before you plug it back in.
Your humidifier is a vital part of your CPAP machine. Cool air may infiltrate your system without it, causing issues that impede your airflow. Start by emptying any remaining water and use a combination of white vinegary and distilled water. Soak the humidifier in the mixture for 30 minutes before rinsing it and letting it dry.
You can decide between reusable or disposable CPAP filters. The only requirement of disposable filters is to trash and replace them regularly. On the other hand, reusable filters receive the weekly cleaning treatment unless you have pets or bad allergies, in which case you will need to wash them more frequently. You should discard your reusable filter if discoloration is happening.
The Difference Between Clean & Sterilized
Typically, cleaning your equipment once a week is acceptable. Although, if you fall ill from an upper respiratory infection or horrible allergies, you may have to put in double time to clean your supplies until your condition clears up.
While most germs will vanish as you clean the equipment, it's not 100% effective as sterilizing them. All CPAP users should know the difference between cleaning and sterilizing. Cleaning improves the condition and appearance of your machine, but dangerous pathogens may linger. Opting for CPAP cleaning machines to sterilize each component guarantees that all components are germ-free.
Going through these steps weekly may seem tedious, but it's necessary for your well-being. Now that you know what to use, do, and avoid when cleaning your CPAP equipment, let's review some helpful tips that can make the task easier.
The most effective and easiest decision is to purchase a CPAP cleaning machine like the Lumin CPAP cleaner. It will sterilize anything it touches within five minutes, and it requires little effort on your part. Other CPAP cleaning materials work wonders on your mask and other parts.
Alcohol-free CPAP cleaning solutions, spray mask cleaner, and specialized cleaning wipes do the job in minutes, saving you time and effort. One aspect you can control and change is washing your face every night before bed. Making this a part of your routine eliminates any dead skin you have before you leave it on your mask.
What You Shouldn't Do
You get the gist of what to stay away from with each section, but let's summarize everything you shouldn't do when cleaning your mask and machine. For starters, the humidifier must only have distilled water. Undistilled water could cause mineral build-up and possibly get you sick. Additionally, don't use essential oils or moisturizers on your face because they will stick to your mask.
Unless you know something gets the dishwasher-safe stamp of approval, don't put anything in it. Between the hazardous chemicals in the little packets and high temperatures, your equipment won't return in the same condition.
Lastly, don't be a mad scientist and concoct a special solution to clean your items. You will be doing more harm than good, and some of the damage may be irreversible.
Practicing the best ways to clean a CPAP mask and machine prevents your sleep apnea from worsening because of your lackadaisical care. The best for your machine and health is to visit CPAPnation's store for your cleaning essentials. We carry the finest CPAP cleaning materials available, and you can get a special discount by joining our mailing list today!
Disclaimer: The information provided on CPAPnation.com 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. CPAPnation.com 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 CPAPnation.com is solely at your own risk.