The first line of therapy for severe sleep apnea is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. This therapy may not only make you sleep better but also prolong your life. But can you properly maintain a CPAP machine? Cleaning your CPAP machine is an essential component of its functioning if you use one often. To get you started, here are five CPAP cleaning suggestions.
What happens if your CPAP machine isn’t cleaned?
The air itself has to be as clean as possible since your cpap mach helps maintain your airway open at night with a consistent flow of pressured air. Although the air entering the machine is just as pure as the air you normally breathe, it still needs to pass through your CPAP machine. Before being supplied via your mask, the air is filtered and humidified throughout this procedure. Your mouth, nose, or both are covered by the mask while you exhale warm, wet air, which provides the ideal conditions for the growth of germs and mold.
You may encounter health concerns or treatment side effects if you do not routinely clean your CPAP machine and all of its components.
- The potential for bacterial and mold exposure
- Manifestation of allergy symptoms (or worsening of already-present symptoms)
- Enhanced potential for sinus infections
A CPAP machine that isn’t clean may begin to smell bad, which may discourage you from using it often. In severe circumstances, those who are predisposed could potentially be prone to pneumonia or other lung infections.
Of course, maintaining the warranty and extending the life of your CPAP machine are also benefits of thorough cleaning. If your machine is not maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, some manufacturers may not cover issues with it. If the equipment is not frequently cleaned, mineralization may happen, which might potentially invalidate your guarantee.
How often should a CPAP machine be cleaned?
It’s crucial to adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions for how often to clean your CPAP machine since every CPAP machine is unique. Daily cleaning is advised by certain manufacturers, although it might seem like a lot of effort. For the majority of machines, a complete cleaning at least every three days is sufficient, along with a daily check or a fast clean with CPAP cleaning wipes.
It’s a good idea to clean the mask each morning since it might collect microorganisms from your skin. Where the mask touches your skin, these bacteria may lead to rashes or acne, but a quick wipe will help avoid this.
It’s likely that you have been taking in germs for some time if you wait until your CPAP machine has an unpleasant or musty smell. Set reminders for frequent cleaning and follow them. Cleaning your CPAP machine will become second nature after you get into the process and will take less time as you create a more effective cleaning method.
Cleaning a CPAP machine
A CPAP machine may be cleaned using just five fundamental processes. If your machine’s care instructions vary from our basic recommendations, remember to always abide by them.
Step 1: Unplug everything you can.
Disconnect all of the tubing, hoses, masks, and connections from your CPAP machine while it is disconnected. If your machine has a water (humidification) chamber, remove it.
If you can’t locate your user handbook for your particular equipment, unhook everything that is simple to disassemble. Otherwise, follow the instructions in your user manual.
Step 2: Soak broken pieces
Warm, soapy water should be added to a sink or basin. Use of a diluted vinegar solution is also possible. Mask, tubing, and any additional connections should be submerged in the water and let to soak for 30 minutes. Your water chamber could also be able to be submerged.
The exterior of the tubing and the masks may be cleaned using CPAP cleaning wipes in between soaks, but the interior of the tubes and connections can only be thoroughly cleaned by soaking.
Thoroughly rinse each component, then let it air dry. To ensure that all water drops out, tubes may be hung from a shower curtain rod.
Step 3: Clean the device.
Use CPAP cleaning wipes or a moist towel to clean the outside components of your CPAP machine while the dismantled pieces are drying.
While doing this, make sure the machine is still disconnected. This may prevent dust from accumulating on the machine’s exterior.
Step 4: Clean the filter
Although not all CPAP machines have filters, if yours does, clean it in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
While some filters may be washed, others cannot be cleaned and must be replaced. Depending on where you use your CPAP machine, disposable filters could need to be changed as regularly as every two weeks.
Step 5: Reassemble your CPAP device.
The last step is to meticulously put your CPAP machine back together. Simply put it back together after making sure all of the components are dry. Connect tubing to the mask and machine, then secure the headgear to the mask.
As soon as your device starts up, listen for any hissing noises that may be an air leak. Otherwise, you’re done.
Extra cleaning advice
Additionally, when you replenish your water chamber, always use distilled water. This may delay mineralization and improve the efficiency of your CPAP machine.
- The dishwasher may be used to clean certain water chambers. Check the guidelines provided by your manufacturer.
- Water chambers could need frequent replacement. Consult the manufacturer once again.
Why You shouldn’t clean your CPAP machine with bleach.
There are a few different alternatives available if you want an all-in-one CPAP sanitizer and do not want to often detach your tubing, mask, and hoses. Although several processes are eliminated by these devices, the UV light they utilize only cleans the regions that are illuminated. In addition, these devices may emit ozone, a chemical known to aggravate respiratory problems even in tiny amounts, in addition to offensive odors. The best CPAP cleaning, in the end, is just regular soap and water with a vinegar soak.