Cleaning Your CPAP Mask

April 18, 2017 | By Peter Stanza | Filed in: CPAP Advice.

It’s Good Hygeine

Keeping your CPAP mask clean and germ-free is the absolute best way to reduce to risk of infection from your CPAP machine.

    – It touches your skin.

    – You breathe and cough into it.

    – It becomes damp and can get warm.

All of these things combined create an environment perfect for harbouring disease-causing bacteria (for example).

Cleaning your CPAP mask is simple.

It Will Make It Last Longer

Most CPAP cushions are made of a silicone material. They are designed to be gentle on the skin, non-irritating, and comfortable.

CPAP mask manufacturers draw a fine line between comfort and mask lifespan.

With regular cleaning, the silicone cushion will last longer, maintain it’s shape better, and seal better for longer.

The same goes for your headgear. If you don’t wash it regularly, the oils from your skin will quicken the deterioration of the fabric, resulting in the headgear losing it’s elasticity and eventually falling apart.

What do I need?

    – Mild detergent
    – CPAP wipes
    – Warm water
    – White Vinegar (optional)
    – Milton solution (optional)
    – SoClean 2 (optional)

Instructions for Cleaning Your CPAP Mask

Daily procedure:

Preferred:

    – Remove headgear from CPAP mask
    – Take elbow and cushion (if detatchable) from CPAP mask
    – In warm soapy water (using mild detergent) wash by hand all of the mask components (not necessarily the headgear)
    – Rinse all of the CPAP components thoroughly with fresh water
    – Allow mask components to air dry out of direct sunlight
    – Once dry, put the mask back together

Alternate:

    – Using the CPAP wipe, wipe out the inside of the mask frame and cushion thoroughly
    – Dispose of the CPAP wipe
    – Allow to air dry out of direct sunlight

SoClean 2 Procedure:

    – Clean the CPAP mask cushion and frame with a damp cloth
    – Place the mask compnents in the SoClean device, and run it as per the instructions

Weekly procedure:

Preferred:

    – Remove headgear from CPAP mask
    – Take apart mask completely, including valves and hose connector
    – In warm soapy water (using mild detergent) wash by hand all of the mask components including the headgear.
    – Wash the headgear thoroughly, squeezing and lightly wringing
    – Rinse all of the CPAP components thoroughly with fresh water
    – Transfer all of the mask components (excluding headgear) to either
    1 part white vinegar 3 parts water solution or milton solution (made up as per milton’s specifications)
    – Soak the components in above solution as per the manufactuer’s specifications
    – Rinse the mask components (including headgear and chinstraps) in fresh water
    – Allow mask components (including headgear) to air dry out of direct sunlight
    – Once dry, reassemble the mask

Alternate:

    – Using the CPAP wipe, wipe out the inside of the mask frame and cushion thoroughly
    – Dispose of the CPAP wipe
    – Allow to air dry out of direct sunlight

SoClean 2 Procedure:

    – Owners of the SoClean 2 device should remove the headgear from the mask frame
    – Clean the mask components (excluding headgear) as normal (i.e. wipe over and place in SoClean device)
    – Using warm soapy water (using a mild detergent) hand-wash the headgear thoroughly
    – Rinse the headgear with fresh water
    – Allow the headgear to air dry out of direct sunlight
    – When dry, replace the headgear on the mask

CPAP Mask Replacement Schedule

The replacement schedule of CPAP mask components varies between mask types and manufacturer’s.

We have found the replacement schedules recommended to be overly conservative from most CPAP manufacturers; afterall, the more often you buy new mask parts and/or masks, the more money they make. They are businesses that sell CPAP equipment first and foremost. Some indicate that mask cushions should be replaced 1-2 times per month, and the whole mask every 3-6 months.

The two components that need replacing most often are the mask headgear and mask cushion.

In our experience, with proper care of your CPAP mask, the following guide is appropriate:
– the longest one should go without replacing their CPAP mask cushion is approximately 6 months
More recent mask cushions need to be replaced more often, as the manufacturers have (in recent times) opted for greater comfort in exchanged for slightly-lessened durability.
– the CPAP mask headgear should be replaced after about 6 to 12 months
Some headgear (i.e. ResMed headgear) tend to be more durable, and less prone to falling apart.

The consensus is, don’t believe everything the people trying to sell you the CPAP equipment tell you.


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