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A Guide to Cleaning Your CPAP

Sleep apnea is no joke -- it can cause serious health risks. Sleep apnea sufferers are much more likely than non-sufferers to get into car accidents, and they have an increased risk for hypertension and other disorders. Sleep apnea is prevalent among as many as 18 million Americans, but luckily, there are a variety of ways that someone with sleep apnea can ensure that they get enough oxygen during the night. Mouthpieces and nasal pillows for sleep apnea have proven to be very effective, and for more severe cases, a CPAP mask and CPAP machine can help open up the upper airways that make breathing so hard for many patients.

When one has a CPAP machine, it is important to take proper care of it to ensure its continued functioning. And of course, keeping it clean is important for health and sanitation reasons. Here is a guide to keep CPAP masks and machines clean:
  1. Remove your CPAP machine from its power source, as this may cause electrical shock.
  2. Remove your CPAP mask from the tubing that connects it to the rest of the machine, including the humidifier and any additional connectors.
  3. Fill a small basin with warm water, a gentle dish soap, and some white vinegar.
  4. Submerge the mask, headgear, tubing, and any other connectors in the warm, soapy water. Let soak for about 30 minutes. You can also wipe down and rinse with soapy water and a clean rag.
  5. Rinse all parts thoroughly, and place mask and tubing on a clean towel to air dry. If your machine has a filter, consult the user manual or your doctor to determine how to clean these parts.
Ideally, you should try to clean these parts on a daily basis. If this is not possible, make an effort to clean them at least three times a week, and much more frequently if you are sick or have been sick. Never use harsh cleaning products or perfumes on your machine -- they can irritate and cause significant harm to your lungs. Remember that part of treating sleep apnea is treating your overall health, so be especially vigilant about the maintenance of your CPAP machinery!