The Top 10 CPAP Care Tips you NEED TO KNOW
1. Do not over tighten your headgear straps. Many patients tighten their headgear too tightly compressing the cushion onto the face. This will leave facial red marks and allows air to escape the mask. The issue starts with the headgear losing elasticity which can be easily replaced.
2. Clean you mask cushion daily. This will help prevent chafing of the face and reduce the incidence of infection. Mold and bacteria can also grow in the mask if not properly cleaned and stored on a daily basis.
3. Wash and dry all of your mask and headgear parts at least twice a week. Many mask manufacturer's recommend that the mask be cleaned daily.
4. Do not use harsh chemicals to clean your equipment. Hand washing your CPAP equipment with a mild, non-antibacterial soap produces the best results. Other mask cleaning alternatives include using white vinegar and water or Woolite soap. Rinse well.
5. Replace your cushions or mask pillows every 3 months. Cushions wear out over time and replacement is important for overall hygiene to keep equipment sanitary.
6. Mold is the CPAP enemy. Spots that wash off and come back in a few days may be a sign of mold that has established itself into the silicone. Once mold is inside of your cushion, you can't get it out. Mold is hazardous to your health. Just like moldy bread, get rid of CPAP equipment with mold.
7. Wash and hang tubing. Ideally we recommend washing your tubing every day. (Pro tip: Hang your tubing over the shower head to dry. Any liquid left in the tubing goes straight into the shower area.)
8. Replace disposable filters at least each month. Filters are important to replace due to the removal of dust and other pathogens from the air. The positive air is being forced into your upper airway, bypassing the noses ability to filter air normally. It is not worth getting sick just because a filter is dirty.
9. Wash non-disposable sponge filters at least weekly. Replace every 3 months.
10. Recurring sinus infection or cough. If this is happening more than normal, we highly suggest replacing your entire CPAP equipment setup. Many people do this every 3 months to reduce the incidence of respiratory infection.
Schedule to Clean CPAP Equipment
Daily: Wash your mask with warm, soapy water. Rinse well and allow to air dry away from direct sunlight.
Weekly: Your mask and headgear should be separated and hand washed in warm water with mild soap. You can wash the headgear without taking it apart. Rinse components well and allow to air dry. Tubing should be removed from your CPAP device and mask. Wash it by submerging the tube in a sink of soapy water and agitate the water back and forth inside the tube. Rinse and allow to air dry by hanging the tube out of direct sunlight.
Monthly: Wipe the exterior of your CPAP machine with a damp cloth and mild soap. Check air filters for holes or blockages from dust. Clean the water chamber with warm soapy water. Check your Equipment schedule to determine if parts of your mask, tubing, or machine need to be replaced. Conduct a cleaning as stated in the above weekly section.