06 Jul Caring for your CPAP equipment
It is always important to clean and maintain your CPAP equipment. As we are in the midst of the cold and flu season and especially if you have been sick recently you may need to be more diligent in cleaning your CPAP equipment. Before you start any cleaning procedures make sure your CPAP machine is switched off and all the mask parts and tubing have been disconnected. Here is a checklist to assist with keeping a track of what you should and shouldn’t be doing
What CPAP equipment do you need to clean?
The entire mask including the headgear, machine tubing, machine filters and the humidification chamber. The CPAP machine itself should be regularly wiped down to prevent dust build up.
Your mask cushion and humidification chamber should be cleaned daily. This can be done by either rinsing both out with water or using a wet cloth to wipe them out.
Clean your tubing, mask and humidifier weekly. They should be soaked for around 15 minutes in a diluted mixture of mild detergent and water. Thoroughly wash and rinse everything with water. Preferably do this in the morning so that your equipment will be dry and ready to use that night.
Depending on what the manufacturer’s instructions are for the filters you will be able to do the following; some filters can be washed, if not, they will need to be replaced. Ideally you should check the filters every 2-3 weeks. If they appear dusty and they are able to be washed then they just need rinsing in fresh water.
Humidifier lime scale
Most CPAP manufacturers recommend using only distilled water in the humidifier to prevent any hard water stains from mineral build up. If you do find there is some lime scale build up in the bottom of the humidifier, soak some diluted vinegar with water and use a soft brush to remove. Then wash and rinse the humidifier thoroughly with clean water.
Do not use any perfumes or harsh cleaning solutions on your equipment. The inhalation of the residue may irritate your lungs and make you sick. Do not place any essential oils in your humidification chamber, such as Eucalyptus or Lavender oils. If you mix these oils with your water in your humidifier you will damage your CPAP machine and void your warranty.
Finally always check with the cleaning instructions from the manufacturer of your CPAP equipment.