Step-By-Step Guide to Cleaning a CPAP Mask
For most people, the use of a CPAP mask is the only thing that stands between them and a sleepy, crabby day. To get the longest life possible out of this equipment and ensure it stays in good working order, CPAP masks need to be cleaned regularly. Because a CPAP machine has so many intricate parts, a simple wiping down of the machine isn’t enough to keep it in pristine order. CPAP Cleaning
Each morning, the CPAP mask needs a basic clean. During this cleaning, all of the tubing needs to be disconnected by gently pulling the tubing from the unit. Then, it needs to be separated from the plastic tubing as well.
To clean the plastic face mask, a clean basin should be filled with warm, soapy water. Be sure not to use hot water, which can cause the mask to soften and lose its contoured shape. This causes it to lose its seal when placed on the face, and it simply won’t work as well. While the CPAP mask is drying, gather the two ends of the hose and rinse it with clear water to flush out the line. All pieces can be left sitting on a towel to air dry.
Twice Weekly Cleans
The hoses and CPAP mask need a more thorough clean at least twice per week. First, disconnect the hoses and hold each end of the tubing in one hand. Plugging one end with your thumb, pour a quarter cup of vinegar into it to kill any bacteria that might be inside. To ensure it’s cleaned thoroughly, raise and lower the ends to ensure the full length of the tubing is cleaned. Then, simply let the tubing air dry.
To clean the mask itself, soak a plain cotton ball in white vinegar and gently wipe down the plastic. Next, take a new cotton ball, soak it in vinegar, and wipe down the inside of the plastic. It’s particularly important to wipe down any parts that make contact with the skin. This eliminates any bacteria and build up that can cause skin to break out and become infected. Once clean, allow the entire mask to air dry.
Additional Cleaning and Maintenance
Several other components need regular cleaning as well. The head straps that hold CPAP masks in place should be washed thoroughly with warm, soapy water. Simply soak it in the soap and water solution, then work the straps against each other by had before rinsing them and laying them on a towel to dry. The same thing should be done with the filters.