If you’re undergoing CPAP therapy, you’ve undoubtedly been told of the importance that cleaning can have on your therapy. The reasons for cleaning are obvious: this equipment essentially lives on your face for 6-8 hours per day, and that’s a lot of time for cushions and breathing tubes to collect bodily oils and bacteria. You’re therapy will be much more hygienic — and therefore effective — if your gear stays clean. Plus, you don’t want to be the guy who takes his CPAP in for maintenance only to be embarrassed when the technician is grossed out by the fungus in your water chamber. Yes it can happen. Don’t be that guy or girl.
Cleaning can be a pain though. Whether you’re busy in the morning at night or simply don’t like spending time cleaning anything, most people would rather not invest much time in cleaning their CPAP devices. Most of the germs and bacteria are invisible, and so it’s easy to justify a lax attitude towards cleaning. Nothing seen, nothing harmed.
Of course, you know this isn’t true. Whether you can see it or not, bacteria and germs accumulate on CPAP equipment quickly. Without regular maintenance, you’re tube and water chamber will be host to a colony of organisms that you don’t have any business inhaling. It’s a revolting thought, and it’s almost enough to make you want to actually spend time washing your water chamber or disinfecting your tubes.
Fortunately, for the CPAP user who doesn’t have much patience for cleaning, we have a few tips to help you make the process quick and easy. Whether you’re looking for tips to clean your mask, cushions, or water chamber, we have you covered with these three tricks of the trade that will have your equipment sanitized in no time at all:
Take Your Mask Into the Shower
All you need to clean your headgear, cushions, and mask frame is warm water and a little soap. Common bath soaps and body washes are entirely sufficient for washing your mask effectively, so if you’re looking to save time on cleaning, just bring everything into your shower. Most headgear straps are designed to be water resistant, so your equipment shouldn’t take too long to dry.
By far, the tube is the most difficult part of your CPAP equipment to clean. The tubes are several feet long, and it can be tough to adequately sanitize the inside of them. This is a problem: you breathe through your tube all night, making it a hotbed for bacteria. To take care of this problem, we recommend the CPAP Tubing Brush. This bristled brush is three feet in length — there are longer brushes for patients with extended tubing — which is long enough to cover every centimeter of your tube.
Use a Dishwasher
While older equipment may or may not be durable enough to withstand the rigors of the dishwasher, newer machines are designed with dishwasher-safe water chambers. If you have a 60-series Respironics machine or an S9 or later ResMed AirSense 10 model, your water chamber can be dish-washed. There’s nothing wrong with hand-washing the chamber either, but if you’re looking to save time, you can pop it into the dishwasher as well. Just remember that, no matter how you clean it, your water chamber should be cleaned every single day.