Cleaning your CPAP Machine: The Easy Way

Thu, Feb 21, 2019

F&P Eson™ easy-cleanEven if you’ve been using CPAP for years it's always a good idea to refresh your memory when it comes to cleaning your CPAP machine. Irregular cleaning can cause spores, viruses, mould and microbes to build up in your machine. So, if you find you have a cold, cough, a runny nose or you feel congested and you haven't cleaned your machine for a couple of days, it’s time to clean it. Because nasties can develop almost immediately.

Cleaning your CPAP machine is so easy. And necessary for guaranteeing CPAP treatment success. Trust us, the benefits of better sleep will be worth adding 5 minutes of cleaning to your morning routine.  


CPAP Mask Cleaning

If you want your CPAP mask to work properly you have to clean it regularly. Oils from your skin are in contact with your mask and they can cause wear and tear. Even the seals on your mask can be damaged by natural oils. We recommend washing your face before putting your mask on. This will prevent residue build-up from makeup, sunscreen and skin lotions and may lower the impact of natural oils.

Your mask is made of materials that are super comfortable to wear, for example, silicone. But silicone is not designed to last a lifetime. As with all your CPAP components, keeping them clean may increase their longevity.

You should aim to clean your mask on a daily basis. But rest assured, it doesn’t take long. Here’s a quick 3-step cleaning process to add to your morning routine.

  1. Remove any headgear and chin strips from your mask.
  2. Wash your mask with warm, soapy water. Don’t forget to give it a rinse to prevent soap build up.
  3. Leave it to dry on a paper towel or clean cloth. But avoid direct sunlight.

We also recommend sanitising your CPAP mask once a week. Don’t worry, it’s completely non-toxic and easier than you think. Soak your mask in a solution of 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water for about 20-30 minutes. Rinse it well with distilled water and leave it to dry on a paper towel or clean cloth.

You can also clean your headgear and straps, but only when needed. Wash them in warm soapy water also and leave to dry in the shade. But don’t put them in the washing machine.


CPAP Humidifier Cleaning

Almost all CPAP machines have humidifiers these days. Humidifiers relieve dryness in your mouth and throat making your CPAP experience more comfortable. The humidifier detaches from the machine. It has a chamber you fill up with distilled water. The water turns into humidity thanks to a hot plate under the chamber. Pressurised air passes through the humidity as it travels through your machine.

Now you know what the humidifier does you can see why it's so vital to keep it clean. After all, who wants to breathe in nasty bacteria or viruses? Not to mention mould.

Cleaning your humidifier is the same as cleaning your mask. So, it makes sense to clean them together every day.

  1. Remove the humidifier chamber from your machine. Be careful not to spill water into the machine.
  2. Open the chamber, wash with warm soapy water and rinse.
  3. Leave to dry on a paper towel or clean cloth in the shade.

We recommend weekly sterilisation of your humidifier. The great news is that you can sterilise it the same way you sterilise your mask. Soak your chamber in a solution of 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water for about 20-30 minutes. Rinse it with distilled water and leave to dry on a paper towel or clean cloth.

Your CPAP machine manual should include cleaning instructions so read your manual first for any variation. For example, some chambers are dishwasher safe. Your manual will indicate whether you can put your chamber in the dishwasher.

We recommend using distilled water when you fill up your chamber after cleaning. Tap water can produce mineral build up which will shorten the life of your equipment.


Cleaning CPAP Filters

The filters on your CPAP machine purify the air you’ll be breathing. Your machine sucks air from the room and the air flows through the filters. Most machines have a grey re-usable filter as well as a white disposable filter. We recommend cleaning the grey filter weekly. It’s really easy to clean, simply run it under water and leave to dry. If you smoke or have pets you may find you need to clean your filter more often.


Replacing Your CPAP Parts

CPAP parts need to be replaced regularly depending on how well you care for them. Learn the signs to look out for in our guide for replacing parts.

Remember, check your manual before cleaning your CPAP machine. And then stick to a daily routine to prevent sickness and for successful treatment. Trust us, an extra few minutes in your morning routine is all it takes. And, you can always contact one of our friendly Sleep Therapists if you have any questions or concerns about cleaning your CPAP machine. Call us today on 1300 246 637 or submit the contact form below.