Dealing with CPAP Mask Cleaning
A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is used on someone that has obstructive sleep apnea. This medical condition occurs when there is something that blocks the airway when sleeping. Supplies need to be purchased separately from the machine and can be purchased online as well as the machine. In order to keep the expense down, proper care and maintenance of the tubing and mask need to be performed regularly.
Proper care and maintenance of CPAP masks, headgear and tubing in clued weekly cleanings to prolong their life. There are special products sold to help clean the tubing and mask which will not only sanitize and clean the equipment, it will make the mask more comfortable and increase compliance. Do not use alcohol to clean the mask or tubing as alcohol will harm their integrity. Harsh soaps or those with fragrance will leave a residue on the tubing and make it less effective.
Prior to cleaning the tubing, mask or headgear for a sleep apnea machine, it needs to be disconnected from the machine. If there are any foam filters in the CPAP machine they can be washed but will need to be replaced at least every few months.
Cleaning the Tubing and Other Components
The mask and tubing for sleep apnea machines needs to be cleaned daily in order to minimize the amount of bacteria, oil and dirt that collects on these items and ensure the proper fit for the longest amount of time. If the special cleaning products that are to be used for cleaning the mask and tubing are not readily available it is advisable to use simple soaps or baby shampoo. There are also mask wipes available to use for quick cleaning although it is best to use warm soapy water.
Once a week it is recommended to disassemble all of the components and clean them in warm soapy water. Follow the instructions included with the mask in order to safely take it apart. For weekly cleaning a soft brush is needed and all the components need to be soaked in a cleaning solution and then scrubbed with the brush for one minute. Again, there are special cleaning agents available for this weekly cleaning. Do not use products that contain vinegar, alcohol, chlorine, aromatics, moisturizers or antibacterial agents. Never use oil on the CPAP mask or tubing. The products listed above may damage the apparatus and reduce the amount of time you are able to wear it before needing a new one.
When performing the weekly scrub of the apparatus pay special attention to the crevices and recessed areas. This is where bacteria, oil and dirt build-up. Wash each component until it is visibly clean. Rinse everything two times and allow them to air dry out of the view of direct sunlight.
One more way to clean the CPAP components is to use a thermal disinfecting system. This CPAP cleaner is more costly but every bit as effective. Chemical disinfectant can be used as well. The disinfecting solution needs to be purchased commercially and requires the mask and other components to be soaked for at least 20 minutes.
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