If you suffer from sleep apnea, an integral part of your therapy is the CPAP machine. It’s extremely important for your health, as well as the health and longevity of the machine, to properly clean it; and unfortunately, you can’t just throw it in the dishwasher. Remember the device is helping you breathe, and if left unclean, you’re inhaling whatever may be growing in there.
Although fairly easy, the process can take up to 45 minutes as there are many components that need to come apart and be sanitized. Here are 9 simple steps to a cleaner, healthier CPAP machine.
*** DO NOT clean the machine or any corresponding parts with alcohol or a cleaning solutions containing alcohol. Using these solutions can harm the functionality of your machine by hardening or deforming the flexible plastic parts of the system.
1) Unplug the machine. You’re going to be cleaning the machine with water, and as we all (hopefully) learned at a young age–Water and electricity are enemies! CPAP Cleaners
2) Disconnect your mask. Regardless of what type of mask you use with your CPAP machines, they all distribute air from the nose or mouth and can all be cleaned the same way. To disconnect, separate the mask and swivel from the tubing, including the headgear if your mask has one. If there are parts that can easily put back on, take them off as well. The more thorough job you do, the better your machine will run. (Although it’s not mandatory that you remove support ring, spacer, or rotating connector from the Respironics mask before cleaning it, you can to get a more through clean.)
3) Disconnect the tubing. It’s important that the tubing is removed from the CPAP machine itself or form any humidifiers.
4) Separate CPAP machine from humidifier. Remove the humidifier unit from the CPAP machine if you have one, and break it down into its smaller pieces. If the pieces are too difficult to remove, separate as much as you can and continue on to the next step.
5) Clean the outer extremities of the machine. Get a soft cloth and moisten it with warm water and wipe down the external surfaces of the machine. (While its unplugged, of course.)
6) Get to scrubbing! Gently wipe down the external surface of the unplugged CPAP machine. Next, fill a sink or basin with warm water and a small amount of mild unscented shampoo or dish detergent (i.e. Dawn Original)
7) Soak. Immerse the mask, tubing, headgear, and connectors for about 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes is up let the parts air dry.
8) Clean the humidifier. Always use distilled water in your humidifier to prevent mineral buildup. After the heater plate has cooled, remove the tubing from the top of the chamber and remove the chamber from the heater base. Wash the chamber top, base, deflector, and supply tubing in warm soapy water mixture. Rinse, washing all soap residue clean and allow to air dry.