Is it necessary?
Yes! And we’re not just saying that. Clean and effective equipment is the best way to maintain your CPAP therapy and improve your experience. As you can imagine, something that you sleep with every night (right?!) requires some tlc. Different equipment does have different guidelines for cleaning, but there are some general rules.
Your cushion needs the most care. Since it rests right on your face it is exposed to your skin, oils and sweat. This needs to be wiped down every morning. We like to call it squeaky clean. Since most cushions are made of silicone, when they are properly cleaned, they should resist your fingers sliding on it. Your mask cushion can be wiped with a damp washcloth, baby wipes or CPAP wipes. Not only will this keep your cushion from leaking and tearing, but it also will help to keep the bacteria away.
Once a week is your big clean. Unless your mask has a foam cushion you want to submerge the whole thing in warm soapy water with a gentle soap. Be thorough but careful and wash every part of your mask. Set it flat to dry. Your water chamber and tubing will go in the bath as well and set out to dry. Your filter depends on the manufacturer. Some you can wash as well, most can just be “flicked” out once a week. A cleaning device like the SoClean can help with machine maintenance. It does not remove the oils and sweat on your equipment, but it does get rid of 99.99% of viruses and bacteria. This will keep you healthier and help maintain your CPAP supplies.
At least once a year:
Now for replacement. Unfortunately, none of your equipment is designed to last forever. With constant use, even the best care will not prevent the equipment from requiring renewal. Each manufacturer has recommended guidelines for replacement, but again, there are some standards. Over time, your cushion will get more relaxed and may start leaking. This may cause you to tighten your headgear, that gets looser and looser. The whole mask should be replaced once a year. Under certain circumstances the cushion may need to be replaced more frequently. Your filters should be replaced regularly to ensure proper air flow into your machine. Your water chamber and tubing should be replaced annually. Since they are exposed to water repeatedly it can be a breeding ground for bacteria and will degrade the materials.
Remember, your CPAP equipment is vital to your health and treating your sleep apnea. And since it takes such good care of you, you should take good care of it!
Our home page now has a handy supply matcher tool that shows you what equipment is used with each machine. If yours isn’t listed, feel free to chat with us! Finally, stay tuned on some very exciting news we have coming to simplify your annual supply order!