If you are suffering from sleep apnea, chances are that you are being recommended to undergo a CPAP or continuous positive airway pressure therapy. This often involves that use of a CPAP machine. For a first-time user, there is often a degree of information overload with regard to device usage, maintenance, and all of that.
Speaking of maintenance, one way of keeping your device working smoothly is through regular cleaning. Also, by keeping your device clean at the clock, you are making sure that you are breathing clean and safe air as you use the device.
Why must you clean your CPAP?
The importance of cleaning your CPAP machine regularly is very self-explanatory. You are directly breathing the air that is pumped by the machine and anything that comes contact with it.
Cleaning can help avoid potential dangers such as the following:
- Bacteria exposure
- Mold exposure
- Allergy symptoms
- Increased risk for sinus infections or pneumonia
- Musty or foul odor
- Mineralization within the equipment
- Premature equipment breakdown
CPAP Machine Cleaner: Automated Cleaning
One of the easiest, safest, and most convenient ways to clean your CPAP supplies is by using a CPAP machine cleaner. This specially crafted device is powered by oxygen or ultraviolet technology that is proven to clean your supplies and kill any bacteria or virus. This is all possible without the help of soap, water, or any other cleaning chemicals. All you need to do is plug in the device, put your supplies inside, and let the CPAP cleaner do its magic.
Check out some CPAP cleaner reviews and see how automatic CPAP cleaning helped other people’s lives.
For video instructions on how to automatically sanitize your CPAP device, watch this video.
Do It the Old-Fashioned Way: Manual Cleaning
If a CPAP sanitizer is not around at your disposal, or if you think twice on spending extra bucks on a compact device, you can opt to clean your supplies the conventional way. As ancient as it may sound, it still means a world of difference.
To start manually cleaning your device, assemble the supplies that you need:
- CPAP equipment (mask, headgear, tubing, humidifier water chamber, CPAP machine)
- Soft cloth
- Warm water, preferably a high-quality drinking water
- Dish soap (mild antibacterial soap is preferable)
- Small sink, tub, or basin
Manual Cleaning Steps
Ideally, CPAP supplies should be cleaned every day, but if you have time constraints make sure to do it at least once a week.
1. Disassemble the CPAP.
- Unplug the CPAP machine first, to avoid the danger of electrical shock.
- Disconnect the mask from the CPAP tubing.
- Other pieces, such as headgear, can also be separated as well.
- Remove the CPAP tubing from any connectors like the humidifier output or from the CPAP machine itself.
- If your machine has a water chamber, remove it as well and separate it into parts.
- Wet the soft cloth with warm water.
- With the device unplugged, gently wipe down the external surface of the CPAP machine to remove dust and dirt.
- Mix a small amount of gentle dish soap in warm water placed in tub, sink, or basin.
- Soak the CPAP supplies such as mask, headgear, tubing, and any connectors in soap mixture for about 30 minutes, doing occasional wiping with warm water.
- Air dry with a towel or by hanging.
- For humidifier, do the same as you did with the CPAP parts. Just wipe with soap and warm water and allow it to dry.
- For filters, make sure to review the user manual or ask your provider on how it should be maintained. Some can be rinsed out such as the other parts while others must be replaced.
Additional Tips and Precautions
- Clean your equipment more often if you feel sick by using the machine.
- Before disassembling your device, remember to follow the advice of your physician and CPAP provider for cleaning your CPAP.
- Avoid using strong chemicals or other cleaning solutions beside soap. If these substances are left unrinsed, these may cause you further harm.
- Do not ever attempt to clean your CPAP supplies in a dishwasher or washing machine as it could become damaged.
The importance of CPAP machine maintenance is understated for most people. But if you are a patient of sleep apnea, you would understand why. If you are a frequent user of CPAP machines, make sure that it is cared for in a proper way to protect yourself as well as the device. If you refrain from cleaning your device, then it could begin to grow colonies of bacteria. Not only that it could compromise the functionality of your device, but it can endanger your health as well.
Keeping your equipment thoroughly cleaned will help you to ensure that you are benefitting well from the CPAP therapy. In the bigger scheme of things, cleaning your device regularly would also mean keeping yourself healthy.
Very Well Health