Cleaning CPAP Machines daily is one of the most important things you can do. Not only does it extend the life of your equipment and save you money, but it greatly benefits your overall health. Sleep apnea is a serious health disorder, and getting treatment is not only important to healthy living, but it can affect your ability to perform at work, school, or any other important area of life. Treating sleeping disorders has become more relevant in the last decade, as the community starts to realize that sleep apnea is a serious condition, and CPAP machines are the primary way of treating both safely and effectively.
There are multiple steps to beginning CPAP treatment, getting a sleep test done, getting a prescription from your doctor, researching the best possible machine for your need, maybe trying out the different types of CPAP masks, whether its full face or nasal, and purchasing your set up and getting started. While many users have gone through these steps and are now undergoing treatment, what some don’t realize is the important of taking care of your equipment can not only save you money, it can really improve your therapy and your overall health.
We’re treating a health disorder that millions suffer from, and these machines and masks are touching your face and being breathed into every night that you use it. As with any type of medical equipment, sanitizing is extremely important to ensure that your mask and tube are thoroughly cleaned from any types of bacteria or facial oils. One of the biggest complains or concerns we get from customers is leaks from their CPAP mask, and while a lot of time that may have to do with proper fitting or the right type of mask, it can also be caused by your cushion or headgear breaking down. A CPAP mask is going to sit on your face throughout the night, and the oils from your skin can cause your cushion to break down faster than standard wear and tear if not properly cleaned.
So how do you clean a mask properly? First, warm water and a mild detergent every morning after use is the bare minimum, as a user myself, I recommend going beyond that, whether it’s with CPAP mask cleansing wipes or a CPAP mask spray. The video that we made for you below will give you a basic outline of how to use these products, but in general they’re pretty simple. The wipes are like any typical household wipe, albeit with much different products in them, and they can be used to clean your mask and should be disposed of. The spray on the other hand is sprayed directly onto the mask, and then you should wash it off with warm water.
Masks are just one part of cleaning CPAP equipment, possibly the most important piece to clean on your set up is the hardest to thoroughly do. The CPAP tube will build up bacteria over consistent use, and while washing it out with water and soap and hanging to air dry may work, it’s not guarantee to remove everything inside. This tube brush has been one of the most beneficial things I ever purchased for my set up. While I use the standard 6 foot tube, this brush is also available in a 5 foot length, and as you see in the video, you should clean out both sides to make sure you get all the way through the tube.
Finally we come to CPAP humidifiers, I use one with my machine, but not everybody does. For those who do, they know how comfortable they can be, but do they know that the water chamber can get filled with bacteria or minerals from tap water use? Replacing the water every morning after use is important, and cleaning it out (not in the dishwasher!!) will make sure that you scrub away any of the bad. While tap filter will work, distilled water is recommended as it is cleaner and safer, and will make improve the therapy you receive from your CPAP equipment.
Listen, I am realistic, it’s a chore to always be cleaning CPAP machines, but it’s one that is necessary, if not for the health, at least the money! I know I prefer saving 40 or 50 dollars every few weeks on cushion replacements by just taking a wipe and making sure I take proper care of my set up. We are all in this to treat our sleep disorders, and knowing that sleep apnea is a serious medical condition, we should strive hard to educate each other on how we work to clean our equipment. Leave me some comments to let me know what you guys think, and hopefully this was a good outline for some of the important basics to CPAP maintenance!