Well Rested: Keeping It Clean

Well Rested: Keeping It CleanOne of the most important factors in making sure your CPAP treatment is working well is regular cleaning and replacement of your CPAP equipment. Fortunately, taking proper care of your equipment is easy, and takes very little time.
 Mask – The most important part of the system to clean is the mask. This comes in contact with your face every night and so picks up and can spread the most bacteria. Every day, clean your mask cushion and frame with a mild soap solutions and warm water, rinsing well. You can also use wipes specifically made for CPAP masks, and give it a thorough cleaning once a week. Your straps can be cleaned by hand once a week, rinsed well and hung to dry.
 Hose – Your hose can be a breeding ground for bacteria and spores since it often holds moisture and bacteria from your breath. Clean it at least weekly with warm soapy water, rinsing very well, and hanging to dry. Make sure the electrical end of heated hoses are completely dry before plugging back into your machine.
 Humidifier Water Chamber – Your water chamber provides you with the humidity that your airway needs, but make sure it isn’t giving you a sinus or chest infection too! Use distilled water in it. Regular water creates a crusty mineral build up on the bottom, a great place for bacteria to grow. Rinse it out every three – four days and wash once a week in warm soapy water. Some can even be put in the dishwasher.  Check with your sleep therapist.
 Filters – Your filters need to be cleaned and replaced regularly. The inside of your machine can become coated with tiny sticky particles, causing machine noise and malfunction. Check with your sleep therapist to find out the schedule for your particular machine.
 Replacement – Your CPAP mask and hose go through a lot of wear and tear. At about six months, bacteria   growth cannot be stopped with regular cleaning. Those sneaky little creatures can hide in cracks and scratches in your mask and hose, causing breathing infections. Your insurance company covers replacement mask and equipment, usually at least twice a year. Remember, your health depends on it!