Think you are caring for your CPAP correctly?
Take this quiz to find out.
One of the most important factors in maintaining CPAP compliance is taking care of your CPAP equipment. Fortunately, caring for your CPAP equipment can be easy. By making it part of your morning routine you will keep your device and accessories working properly. And say hello to sleep again…
1. The water in the humidification chamber needs to be cleaned out daily?
The answer is a resounding yes. Emptying out the water helps prevents bacteria and calcification build up.
- Remove chamber from humidifier carefully so water doesn’t enter your CPAP machine.
- Open chamber and wash with warm, soapy water.
- Rinse well with water and allow to dry on a clean cloth or paper towel out of direct sunlight.
2. Once a week, the humidification chamber needs to be completely washed?
Again, the answer is YES.
- Once a week the humidifier chamber should be soaked in a solution of 1-part white vinegar, 3-parts water for approximately 15-20 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.
- Some humidifier chambers are dishwasher safe, but make sure to check your CPAP machine’s manual before cleaning in a dishwasher.
- Humidifier chambers should be replaced every 6 months or as needed.
3. CPAP masks need to be washed daily?
The answer is Yes, (do you see a theme here?)
Most CPAP mask cushions are made of silicone. While silicone is a very comfortable material for masks, it doesn’t have a very long lifespan, and without proper care can breakdown even faster than expected. Therefore, cleaning your CPAP mask is crucial in making it efficient as possible. Here are some tips on CPAP mask cleaning and replacement:
- Wash mask daily with warm water and mild, non-fragrant, soap or use unscented baby wipes. You can also purchase CPAP mask wipes.
- Rinse with water and allow to air dry on a clean cloth or paper towel out of direct sunlight.
- Before using mask at night, wash your face thoroughly and don’t use facial moisturizers. Facial oils and moisturizers can breakdown the silicone faster.
- Once a week, soak mask in solution of 1-part white vinegar, 3-parts water before rinsing.
- Headgear and chinstraps should be washed as needed by hand using warm soapy water, rinsed well, and air dried. Do not place headgear or chinstraps in washing machine or dryer.
- When caring for your CPAP masks check both your manufacturer’s recommendations and your insurance allowance. However, for most masks it is recommended that you replace the cushions 1-2 times per month, and the mask every 3-6 months.
- CPAP tubing should be cleaned weekly in a sink of warm, soapy water, rinsed well, and left to hang-dry out of direct sunlight.
4. Should you clean the non-disposable filter weekly? More if you have pets or smoke?
I think you know what the answer is.
Your filters are located near the back of the CPAP machine where the device draws air. Nearly all CPAP machines have a disposable filter and some have an additional non-disposable filter as well. Here are some cleaning tips for your CPAP filters:
- Rinse non-disposable filters with water and allow to dry before placing back into your machine.
- The re-usable filters should be replaced when it begins to look worn or after 6 months.
- Replace disposable filters every 2 weeks or more frequently if it appears dingy or dirty.
- Once a week, unplug device from outlet and wipe with a damp cloth.
- Make caring for your CPAP equipment part of your morning routine.
- Keep machine and accessories out of direct sunlight to avoid damaging them.
- Never use bleach to clean accessories.
- Place machine on a level surface and away from curtains that may interfere with the air intake.
- Keep track of when you should order replacement parts for your mask and accessories so that you always get the most out of your CPAP.
If you have a CPAP, but are struggling with compliance, check out our no mask oral appliance, ApneaGuard, for mild to moderate sleep apnea. Call and schedule a consultation with one of our sleep medicine physicians, or ask your doctor about a sleep referral to the Comprehensive Sleep Care Center.
If you are struggling with your CPAP or have sleep issues, contact Comprehensive Sleep Care Center for a consultation and Say Hello to Sleep Again…