CPAP Equipment Maintenance

For those who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, taking care of your CPAP machine is a very important part of your daily health plan. The proper maintenance will ensure that your CPAP equipment is performing at the level that your body needs. And while only a trained professional should repair your equipment, there are some regular maintenance tips that, if followed, can go a long way toward preventing any necessary repairs.

The following tips will help you properly clean and maintain your CPAP equipment.

Mask

  • Wash daily in warm soapy water (Ivory liquid or mild dish soap) and rinse thoroughly, then allow to air dry
  • Disinfect weekly by soaking in a solution of 2 parts white vinegar to 3 parts water (for example, 1 cup white vinegar to 1½ cups water), then rinse thoroughly and allow to air dry. Discard the vinegar/water solution after each use.
  • If you have a cold or upper respiratory infection with clear nasal drainage, you should disinfect your mask daily.
  • If you are on antibiotics for a sinus infection with yellowish drainage, stop CPAP for a few nights until the drainage clears and the infection begins to resolve.
  • Never clean the mask with alcohol or put it in the dishwasher.

Headgear

  • Wash in mild laundry detergent as needed once or twice per month.
  • Allow to air dry—DO NOT put in dryer.

Tubing

  • Disinfect weekly by soaking for 30 minutes in a solution of 2 parts white vinegar to 3 parts water (for example, 1 cup white vinegar to 1½ cups water). Rinse thoroughly and allow to air dry. Discard the vinegar/water solution after each use.

Humidifier Chamber

  • Empty unused water daily.
  • Wash in mild soapy water and rinse well.
  • Soak for 30 minutes in solution of 2 parts white vinegar and 3 parts water (for example, 1 cup vinegar and 1½ cups water) once a month, then rinse well in warm water.

Washable Filters (gray)

  • Rinse in plain water once a week, allow to air dry before replacing in machine.

Disposable Filters (white)

  • These are optional. If used, replace monthly, well before they appear visibly dirty.
  • For ResMed and Fisher Paykel units, replace “filter strips” as needed, and at least every 6 months.

Replacement of Worn Components

  • Replace filters at least every 6 months.
  • Replace mask and headgear every 6-12 months.
  • Replace tubing every 1-2 years.
  • Replace humidifier chamber as necessary, usually within 1-3 years.

Other Tips

  • Always remove water from the humidifier chamber before moving machine (water leaks may damage the mechanism).
  • Never re-use the vinegar and water disinfectant solution.
  • Always empty unused water from humidifier chamber in morning and replace with fresh distilled water before re-use.
  • Washing your face to remove facial oils before putting the mask on will prolong the life of the mask.
  • Once the headgear is properly adjusted, mark the positions where the end of each strap is fastened to the Velcro with a permanent marker for easy adjustment after washing.
  • Mask leaks can be caused by pulling the mask too tightly as well as not tight enough.
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