Caring for your CPAP System
Your CPAP system is made up of multiple parts. Just like a car, the system work best with proper maintenance, which involves regular cleaning and replacement of certain parts.
Many Sleep Apnea patients may not realize the importance of replacing their CPAP supplies to ensure a comfortable, proper fit and maximum effectiveness. When your CPAP system is at its best, you’ll be able to tell the difference. In fact, 7 in 10 patients say they sleep better after replacing their supplies, and 1 in 3 say they get more sleep after replacing their supplies.
The Danger of Not Cleaning CPAP Equipment
Cleaning your CPAP Equipment
Every day, or after each use, patients should:
- Disassemble the mask components (refer to the mask user guide for instructions). Patients using a nasal pillows mask should disassemble the pillows from the frame.
- Thoroughly handwash the separated mask components (excluding headgear and soft sleeves) by gently rubbing in warm water (approximately 30°C/86°F) with mild soap. To optimise the mask seal, facial oils should be removed from the cushion after use.
- Use a soft bristle brush to clean the vent, or any rotating parts on your mask such as the swivel, swivel ring or ball joint that require cleaning.
- Inspect each component and, if required, repeat washing until visually clean.
- Rinse all the components well with drinking-quality water and allow to air dry out of direct sunlight.
- When all components including the vent are dry, reassemble your mask (see the mask user guide for instructions).
If any component remains unclean after cleaning, or if there is visible deterioration of a system component (cracking, discolouration, tears, etc.), that component should be replaced.
Every week, patients should:
- Clean Headgear: Handwash the headgear, including the soft sleeves if these form part of the mask. Rinse well and allow to air dry out of direct sunlight. Please note that the headgear can be washed without being disassembled and that the dye used in the headgear may run during the first wash.
- Clean Water Chamber: Wash the disassembled water chamber lid, plate and base in warm water using a mild detergent. Rinse thoroughly in clean water and allow them to dry away from direct sunlight.
- Clean Tubing: Remove the air tubing from the therapy device and mask by pulling on the finger grips on the cuff, then wash the air tubing in warm water using mild detergent. Rinse the tubing thoroughly, hang it up in a clean, dry place, and allow it to dry.
Replacing your CPAP Equipment
CPAP device air filters can wear out or become clogged over time, potentially exposing you to airborne particles, mold and bacteria.
CPAP mask tubing may develop small holes or tears, which can cause air leaks. If your tube is leaking, you may not be receiving your prescribed therapy setting from your CPAP. This can cause you to feel like you’re not sleeping as well.
Mask cushions are in constant contact with your face and nasal pillows sit inside your nose throughout the night. Regular replacement is recommended for hygienic purposes and to ensure the best fit.
CPAP mask consists of headgear. cushion and frame which become stretched and lose their elasticity, leading to overtightening and discomfort. They can also trap bacteria from sweat and moisture.
CPAP humidifier water chambers may become discolored, cracked, cloudy or even pitted due to the mineral levels found in most tap and drinking water. As the material deteriorates, cracks may trap bacteria from moisture.
A CPAP machine’s life span is typically 5 years.
Cleaning and Care are key to success
CPAP supplies need to be cleaned and regularly replaced for hygienic reasons to prevent bacteria build-up. Proper cleaning of your equipment will prolong the life of your supplies, but regular replacement is still necessary. Many private insurance policies will cover the cost of CPAP equipment and supplies on an annual or semi-annual basis.