Taking Care of Your CPAP Machine

If you have sleep apnea and use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, spending some time caring for your machine could mean the difference between a working machine that gives you a restful night of sleep and a machine that keeps you up all night.

The lung specialists at Northwest Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine in Algonquin, Illinois, want to ensure that you get the safest, soundest sleep possible. CPAP machines prevent the sudden stops in breathing caused by sleep apnea. But, if you don’t take good care of your machine, it may not help you breathe easier at night. 

Without proper care, the filters, hoses, humidifier, and connectors your machine uses to deliver air and keep your throat from getting too dry can become home to health-threatening bacteria. And without regular maintenance, your machine may start to develop other problems, such as broken straps, faulty hoses, a leaky mask, and irregular or problematic pressure.  

Ensure a healthier night’s sleep and better overall health by taking care of your CPAP machine. Here’s a look at what you need to know to keep it running smoothly for as long as possible.   

What to do every day

Clean your mask

Clean your mask with a mild detergent and moist washcloth, then rinse and allow it to air dry. This removes the substances, such as dead skin, sweat, and oil, that can build up on your mask.

Empty and refill humidifier reservoir

If your machine has a humidifier, empty it every morning and be sure to use fresh, clean water each night when you fill it before going to bed.

Clean parts if you’re sick

Clean CPAP parts daily if you’re sick. Viruses, such as the common cold or flu, can get trapped in your machine and re-expose you to the illness, so be sure to do this daily if you’re sick.

What to do each week  

Wipe surfaces

Wipe the outer surfaces of your machine using a damp cloth to remove dust and other grime that can build up over time.

Clean filters

Clean washable filters by rinsing them in warm water until the water runs clear. Then let them air dry. However, if your CPAP uses disposable filters, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Wash humidifier reservoir

Wash the humidifier reservoir in the sink or tub using a mild detergent, and rinse it thoroughly to make sure no soap remains before your next use.

Clean parts

Clean the tubing, hoses, and headgear by filling the tub or sink with warm water and a mild detergent and moving the soapy water through them for five minutes. You can also purchase special brushes for a more thorough cleansing. Then let them air dry.

What to do twice a month

Disinfect and sanitize

Disinfect and sanitize any washable CPAP parts by soaking them for at least 30 minutes in a solution made of one part water and a half part vinegar. Then let them air dry. Or, if you have dishwasher-safe components, you can put them in a dishwasher.

To learn more about caring for your CPAP machine, book an appointment online or over the phone with Northwest Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine today.

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