The abbreviation CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. In order to justify its name and make sure that the airway pressure is really positive and ‘continuous’ you will need to clean and maintain it with special care to each of its parts.
There are lots of benefits of cleaning and maintaining your CPAP machine such as:
It will ensure optimal results
It will result in efficient performance
It will enhance the life of the machine
With no dust, mold, pet dander, or bacteria it will help in avoiding allergy symptoms and exposure
It will prevent mineralization inside the machine
It will eliminate foul odor and
It will prevent premature breakdown of the equipment.
In order to ensure that you get these benefits, you will need to clean the mask, the water chamber, the tube, the filter and other aspects. If you are new to it, you can follow The Guide to Keeping Your CPAP Machine Clean in order to make sure that each of its parts are working just as the way it should.
Cleaning the humidifier
Proper cleaning of the CPAP machine will save you from risk of infection, any mold exposure and oral allergy reactions. In order to ensure best hygiene cleaning you must first clean the humidifier, first thing in the morning. The best way to clean it is:
Take a bucket of soap and warm water
Empty the water from the humidifier chamber
Put it in water for several minutes to soak
Dry it properly after cleaning
Fill it with distilled water that is free from any chemicals.
In addition to the daily cleaning, sterilize it once in a week by soaking it in water and vinegar mixture for about 20 minutes. Replace it when necessary.
Cleaning the mask
The mask of a CPAP machine is typically made from silicone. This provides superb comfort. However, it affects the durability and longevity of the machine adversely as well. While cleaning it makes sure that:
You use specific cleaning fluids available for cleaning it
You take extra care of the material as it can break easily
You use a mixture of mild liquid soap and water if you do not get the cleaning fluid
You dry the mask away from sunlight
You sanitize it once in a week just like the humidifier.
Rinse it with distilled water, dry it and replace it when necessary, preferably once or twice a month.
Other parts to clean
There are other parts of the CPAP machine to clean as well.
Clean the tubes once in a week soaking it in a mixture of water and liquid soap and cleaning with a special brush and dry in direct sunlight.
Clean the headgear and chin straps by hand using the same mixture and dry it.
Also clean the gray filters as most of these are reusable once in a week by rinsing it and leaving it to dry. Replace it once in six months.