Having a CPAP machine for your sleep apnea can transform your life. Instead of constantly waking up throughout the night, you can enjoy a safe, non-invasive treatment that allows you to breathe easily and enjoy deep, restful sleep. In order to keep it working in excellent condition, it’s important to learn how to care for your CPAP machine and keep it clean.
How Do CPAP Machines Get Dirty?
Your Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Machine works by placing a mask over your mouth and nose which is connected to a motorized blower that keeps a constant flow of air moving into your airway. This prevents your airways from collapsing, and stops apnea events.
The way the machine is made leads to it requiring regular cleaning. Dust, dead skin cells, and other debris in the air can clog and contaminate your filter, leading to a growth of bacteria and hindering its effectiveness. The mask itself also requires maintenance as the natural oils from your hair and face can collect on the mask while condensation from your breath can lead to mold and bacteria growing in the air tube. If left untreated, a dirty machine can damage your CPAP machine and have you breathing in dangerous bacteria.
How to Clean Your CPAP Machine
Each component of your sleep therapy device has specific cleaning requirements and it’s important to follow them closely. To disinfect your machine, never use alcohol, bleach, or other cleaners, a simple diluted vinegar soak (one part vinegar to three parts water) for thirty minutes followed by a rinse will kill germs and bacteria without degrading the materials.
- Mask: Handwash daily in warm, soapy water, rinse thoroughly, and air dry.
- Nasal Pillows/Cushion: Disassemble and follow instructions for the Mask
- Headgear, Hose, & Tubing: Clean once per week in warm, soapy water. Rinse thoroughly and air dry.
- Disposable filters – Check weekly and change when needed
- Non-Disposable filters – Hand wash weekly following same instructions for the mask
When cleaning the mechanisms, make sure you never immerse the unit itself in water. To clean the unit, simply unplug it, and use a damp cloth to wipe off any dust from the outside and let dry prior to using. To care for the humidifier, make sure you use fresh, distilled water every day, emptying it in the morning and filling it each night, and disassemble, wash, and disinfect all parts same as you would the mask or tubing.
Contact CHMEI for Additional CPAP Machine Assistance
If you have questions or concerns about your CPAP machine, Carolina’s Home Medical Equipment is here to help! We have an experienced customer service team and licensed respiratory therapists on staff to ensure you are comfortable and confident in caring for your CPAP machine and supplies. To learn more, be sure to call us at (704)846-7503 or fill out the contact form below.