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Cleaning and maintaining your PAP device and accessories

You may look at the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning your PAP accessories and roll your eyes. Wash your tub, mask and tubing EVERY morning, when you barely have time to run out the door or sign on to your first Zoom call.

We recognize that while something may be ideal, it does not always fit everyone’s lifestyle. The point of cleaning your supplies regularly is to make sure they continue to function well for your nightly treatment. If a daily thorough cleaning routine is so overwhelming that you give up all together it is time to rethink your maintenance routine.  

Cleaning

Daily, everything does not need to be thoroughly cleaned. However, depending on your skin-type, you may find that your cushions and forehead pads get oily. An easy solution is to use Citrus II CPAP Mask Cleaning Wipes or isopropyl alcohol and a cotton pad to clean the cushions. This, along with washing your face thoroughly before wearing your mask will help to ensure a tight seal and may help prevent breakouts.

Additionally, your humidifier chambers should also be emptied and cleaned every day to prevent contamination and the transmission of airborne bacteria. While only distilled water should be used in the chamber while using the humidifier with the PAP, it will not harm the chamber to clean it with warm tap water and a mild dishwashing liquid. Thoroughly rinse and allow it to dry.

We recommend that your mask, cushions, nasal pillows, headgear, and tubing are cleaned at least once a week to prevent the build-up of body oils, dust, dirt and/or bacteria.

For Cushions

  1. Unplug your device.
  2. Separate the mask cushion from the mask frame and headgear.
  3. Use mild soap and warm water to clean cushions (Ivory liquid is recommended), do not use anti-bacterial soap or soaps with softening agents.
  4. Rinse everything with warm water.
  5. Find a flat surface out of direct sunlight. Lay out a clean towel and place all items to dry. If the cushion is not dry, you can put the mask back together, connect it to your PAP device and tube, and run the pressurized air for a while to dry off the cushion. Never use a hair dryer to dry PAP supplies; the high heat can ruin the parts.(Tip: Clean in the morning to allow for maximum drying time)

For Tubes

  1. Unplug your device
  2. Disconnect the tube from the mask and machine
  3. Coil the tube and place it in large sink or bucket with warm soapy water. You can use mild dishwashing liquid.
  4. Rinse thoroughly with clear water. Try attaching the end of the tube to the faucet and allow clear water to run through for a few minutes.
  5. Hang to dry

All other mask parts, including headgear and clips, should be hand-washed as-needed. Do not wash headgear in a washing machine, which can be most unkind to Velcro. Hang or lay on towels to dry.

Sanitizing

To reduce the risk of infection, your mask parts and other accessories should be sanitized once a week. These items may come in contact with airborne bacteria and viruses. Only those parts (mask, cushions, nasal pillows, tubing, and humidifier chambers) through which you breathe should be sanitized. Remove any cloth headgear before sanitizing. Sanitize your supplies after the cleaning process has been completed.

  1. Soak all parts in a tub with 1-part white vinegar and 10- parts water for 15-20 min. 

    (An approximation of this mixture would be ½ of a divided kitchen sink filled with clear water and 2 cups of vinegar. Alternately, a product such as Control III™ can be used in lieu of the vinegar. If you are bothered by any residual scent, you may rinse once again in clean, soapy water, followed by a clear water rinse.)

  1. Rinse thoroughly with warm water.
  2. Find a flat surface out of direct sunlight. Lay out a clean towel and allow to dry completely. Tubing should be hung over a showerhead or rack to dry.

If you use a reusable filter it should be checked and washed weekly with mild soap and warm water, rinsed thoroughly with warm water, and laid out to dry.

If you use disposable filters: when your disposable filter is discolored, throw it away and replace it with a new one. Check once monthly depending on your environmental conditions.

 

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