Medically reviewed by Michelle Worley, RN
CPAP cleaning is important to help reduce the risk of respiratory infections while using your CPAP. Proper cleaning and maintenance are key for keeping your machine operating at peak performance and ensuring durability. So, let’s check out why, when, and how to clean your CPAP!
Why Cleaning Your CPAP Is Important
Your CPAP machine works hard to send a constant flow of air pressure into your airway. The air is usually humidified which creates a perfect breeding ground for mold and bacteria to grow and reproduce. Dust and allergens can also contaminate your CPAP supplies over time. These pathogens can be inhaled as you breathe, causing you to become sick or suffer from allergy symptoms. Oils and dead skin cells from your face and hands can build up on your mask and cause irritation or poor mask seal. Cleaning your CPAP supplies on a regular basis will also extend the life of your supplies.
If you clean your CPAP accessories on a regular basis you might actually help them last longer and might solve common CPAP problems like noise and skin irritation.
How Do I Disinfect My CPAP Machine?
What if you’ve recently gotten over a cold and want to make sure no nasty germs linger on your CPAP? The good news is that a proper cleaning with warm, soapy water should be enough to both clean and disinfect your machine, mask, and parts. Vinegar may also be used as a natural disinfectant, but only after a thorough cleaning with soap.If you’re particularly concerned about bacterial or viral infection, you might consider using specialized CPAP cleaning solution with germicide, but you should NEVER use bleach or other household chemical cleaners.
These could leave behind harmful residues that can irritate the skin or create toxic fumes.You may also consider using a CPAP sanitizer. These machines use either ozone or UV light to safely and easily kill over 99% of bacteria, viruses, mold, and fungus. That said, a sanitizer should be used in conjunction with regular cleanings. They won’t, for example, remove any buildup of oils, skin cells, or mineral deposits, so they should not take the place of routine washing.
How To Clean A CPAP Machine
Your CPAP machine and supplies should be cleaned daily following the manufacturers’ recommendations, or at least once per week. If you are sick, however, a daily cleaning schedule is crucial until you are better.
Refer to the following steps to clean your CPAP:
- Clean all of your CPAP supplies in the morning to allow enough time to air dry.
- Unplug your device and disassemble each part, including the water chamber. Then wipe it’s exterior with a clean, dry cloth to remove any dust or debris.
- Wash your CPAP mask, tubing, and water chamber with warm soapy water. Use a mild soap, such as Dawn or Ivory.
- Rinse with your CPAP hose and other supplies with clean water. If you choose, at this point you may use vinegar to disinfect your supplies after they’ve been washed. To do this, soak your supplies in a solution of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water for approximately 30 minutes. Then rinse with clean water.
- Allow all supplies to air dry.
Important Things to Remember When Cleaning your CPAP and Supplies:
- Remember to only use distilled water in your CPAP humidifier to avoid the build-up of minerals and bacteria.
- Review the manufacturer’s recommendations to see how your CPAP filters should be cleaned. Some can be rinsed with warm water. Other disposable options will need to be replaced.
- Do not put your mask or tubing in the dishwasher. Some water chambers may be dishwasher safe. Refer to your CPAP manufacturer’s recommendations to find out.
- Never place your headgear or straps in the dryer.
- Do not leave CPAP equipment to dry in direct sunlight as discoloration could occur.
- Remember CPAP supplies still need to be replaced on a regular basis. If you are unsure of your replacement schedule, contact your provider for assistance.
How To Speed Up The Cleaning Process
If you don’t have time to spare cleaning your CPAP products on a weekly basis, don’t worry. There are CPAP cleaning options and accessories that will reduce time or effort for cleaning.
CPAP Wipes:You can reduce build up on your mask and machine by using CPAP wipes. These should not replace your normal weekly cleaning but can help reduce the build-up of debris to make cleaning quicker.
CPAP Spray: You can use a CPAP spray to get rid of dust and bacteria and to freshen up your mask.
CPAP Santizers: A sanitizer can ease your worries about bacteria or mold buildup if your cleaning habits fall short of the manufacturer’s recommendations. When it comes to the best CPAP santizer, there are multiple options to choose from, but the top customer favorites include the SoClean, the Motif Clean-Z, and the Lumin.
Note: Cleaners that use ozone may void the warranty for CPAP machines from ResMed. Always check your manufacturer’s recommendations before using a CPAP sanitizer.
The Lumin CPAP Sanitizer
Knock out viruses, mold, fungus, and more in as little as five minutes with the power of specialized UV light technology inside of the Lumin CPAP cleaner. Place your CPAP supplies inside the Lumin, and they’ll be germ-free before you know it.
It’s the fastest way to disinfect 99% of bacteria on your CPAP supplies. You can also use it to sanitize whatever fits inside such as toothbrushes, your children’s toys, hearing aids, and more without the use of harsh chemicals or water. To determine which option will best fit your needs be sure to look up CPAP cleaner reviews.
Now that you know how to properly clean and care for your CPAP, there’s no need to stress about your CPAP maintenance. Caring for your machine and replacing parts as they wear out will help ensure you have a positive CPAP experience. Remember that replacement CPAP supplies may be covered through insurance!
Information provided on the Aeroflow Healthcare blog is not intended as a substitute to medical advice or care. Aeroflow Healthcare recommends consulting a doctor if you are experiencing medical issues or concerns.