How To Clean CPAP Machine Properly

How To Clean CPAP Machine? What Happens if You Don't Clean Your CPAP?

CPAP therapy has helped than 18 millions of Americans with obstructive sleep apnea. The therapy keeps the sleep apnea symptoms under control. It is the most effective nonsurgical treatment for sleep apnea condition.

The CPAP machine comes has filters, humidifiers and mask which are important for the machine to operate smoothly. Time after time the whole unit will get dirty. Before you learn about the cleaning tips, it is wise to know the dangers of using a dirty CPAP machine.

What Happens If You Don't Clean Your CPAP Machine?

A dirty CPAP machine poses lots of harm to your health. It may not work well in the long term and this reduces the lifespan of the equipment. Poor maintenance of the devices leads to leakage.

With a leak on the machine, you won't get the specified pressure. Which means, you will still have the symptoms of sleep apnea in your life? The leakage makes the machine to release the air to other parts like the eye.

Air released to the eyes makes them look dry and may irritate the skin in that area. Know that dirty CPAP can also leads to build up of sebum when the mask comes in contact with the skin.

This may make the mucus to enter into the mask system and moisture from the humidifier. If this situation is not corrected, the mask can be a breeding ground for bacteria, mold and germs.

You need a clean CPAP machine to avoid the risk of leakage and bacteria build up.

How do you know the right time to clean the CPAP machine?

Am glad you asked that. If you experience the following signs, you need to clean the device:

  • The machine reporting high rates of leakage.
  • Rashes or acne build up near the skin surface in contact with the mask.
  • Respiratory irritation.
  • Smelling funky.

You may like this video about CPAP Cleaning Processes 

CPAP needs to be cleaned in parts.

Cleaning Tips for CPAP Humidifiers.

Modern CPAP comes with humidifiers. The purpose of the humidifiers is to purify the air. It can either make the air warm or cool. The major role of a humidifier is to prevent you from having a dry mouth. To keep this part of the CPAP clean, here are cleaning tips to follow:

  • When cleaning, make sure that the humidifier chamber is separated from the CPAP. This prevents the water from getting inside the machine.
  • Wash the humidifier chamber with warm soapy water.
  • Rinse it well and dry it using a paper towel or clean cloths. Make sure that you keep it out of direct sunlight.
  • Only fill it with distilled or sterile water. Avoid tap water because they have germs which may enter the machine.
  • Clean the humidifier at least once a week. It only takes you 15 to 20 minutes.

Cleaning Tips for The CPAP Mask.

The mask is the area where air enters the nose or mouth. The mask is a delicate thing if not cleaned well. Its silicone material has a short life span if not maintained well. Here are the cleaning tips for the CPAP mask.

  • Wash the mask everyday with warm water using soap or nice detergents.
  • Rinse the mask and dry it with a clean towel or cloth. Make sure it stays away from direct sunlight.
  • Wash your face every night before you put the mask on. Avoid facial cleansers and moisturizers because they tend to break down the silicone fast.
  • Soak the mask in a solution of vinegar once a week before rinsing it with distilled water.
  • Headgear and chin straps that hold supports and hold the mask should stay free from dirt.
  • Check the manufacturer’s instruction about the best time to replace the mask. Also check with your insurance provider if they have a policy for mask replacement.
  • The tube leading from the device to the mask needs to be cleaned once a week. All you need to do is sink it in warm water and rinse it well.

How to Clean CPAP Filters? 

Filters located at the back of the CPAP machine should be clean. It is the area where the device draws lots of air from. Here are the cleaning tips for the filters.

  • Using a warm water and soap, clean the filters well.
  • Rinse the filters with distilled water.
  • Check on the manufacturer's instruction on when you should replace the filters.


Keeping the CPAP machine clean is vital if you want to stay healthy and prolong the lifespan of the machine. If you have a sleep apnea condition, you don't want to run to other health challenges of because of a dirty CPAP machine. There are some parts of CPAP machine that can be washed with a machine. Before you do that look at the manufacturer's instruction so that you do the right things.


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