If you’re looking for the most therapeutic benefit out of CPAP treatment, proper cleaning and maintenance is critical.
The bad news: CPAP equipment is constantly creating and handling with warm, humid air (either from the humidifier or your breath). This is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, mold and yeast if not regularly cleaned and disinfected. Additionally, as components break down, performance suffers due to air leak.
The good news: Proper cleaning and maintenance is pretty straight forward. This post will offer a few simple tips to follow for better sleep wellness.
Daily Routine: Clean your cushion by using warm water and mild soap to gently remove oil produced from your face. Be careful not to use any products which can be too abrasive as this will shorten the lifespan of your cushion.
Weekly Routine: Clean your tubing, chamber and filter.
- To clean your tubing and chamber use mild soap and water. Put a few drops of soap in your tubing, pour some warm water in the tube and swish it around. Run more water through to get rid of the soapy water then let it hang dry over your shower head to dry.
- When washing your chamber, wash it like you do your dishes then let it air dry.
- Finally, when cleaning your filter, you will only need to brush off whatever the filter has collected. Do not wet the filter.
Many CPAP users prefer to use cleaning devices such as the SoClean 2 or Sleep8 systems. These devices do a great job disinfecting your CPAP equipment, but should not be seen as a replacement for the cleaning mentioned above.
How about maintenance and resupply? This is a big topic and there is room for each CPAP user to fine tune how often they replace each component. The following are guidelines that we’ve found to be a good starting point:
- Filters: Your filter should be replaced every 1-3 months.
- Mask Cushions: You should replace your cushion every 1 - 2 months. Cushions breakdown with time and you will not get the same seal you had with a new cushion. If your air leak starts to increase regularly, try new cushions. Most manufacturers recommend changing your cushions every 30 days. Many of our clients push this to 60 days.
- Complete Mask: The complete mask should be replaced every 6 months. Even though it's not as critical as the cushions, the mask will begin to stretch or begin to collect bacteria, etc.
- Tubing and Water Chamber: These items should be replaced every 6 months. Even with regular cleaning, these items won’t last forever. Some clients push this to 9 months, but most replace these items every 6 months.
One simple way to manage your resupply and accessory replacement is to set up recurring orders. The fact is, by the time you notice that a part really needs to be replaced, it’s probably too late! When dealing with mold, bacteria, and your breathing, you are always better off not pushing resupply too far.