a CPAP machine tubing and mask in a bubble bath

How I Clean My CPAP

Cleaning your continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is a very important part of your daily routine. It is recommended to clean your machine every day, and for good reason. Moisture can become trapped in the machine and the tubing, causing the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. If you are consistently sick and are unsure why, not cleaning your machine could be the culprit.

This is my daily routine that helps keep my machine clean and my body healthy. First, I disassemble my machine by taking off the tubing, the mask, and the filter. This makes it easier for me to clean my machine.

Cleaning and drying the tubing

At first, I had trouble figuring out how I was going to clean the inside of my tubing. You can’t really run anything through it because it’s too long, so I had to think of a way to clean it without making a mess or taking up too much time.

I have found the best thing for me is a five-gallon bucket about half full with warm, soapy water. This way I can agitate the tubing in the water and flush soap through the whole tube to clean any funk out of it. I also take a minute to put some soapy water in it and shake it to try to get anything that may need a little extra force from the shaking water to get it clean.

I then take it to the shower and use the faucet to flush out the inside of the tube and rinse off the outside. This makes the least amount of mess as the water stays inside the tube. Once I do that, I hang the tube to dry in the bathroom. I use a rubber band around a clothes hanger and hang it over the tub to let excess water drip into the tub.

Cleaning my nasal pillow mask

I am a little more careful with the mask. I use nasal pillows and they have a very soft and more delicate material than the tubing. I take the nasal pillow off because it pops right off. I clean that in the same soapy water with a soft sponge or washcloth and then rinse it off in the sink and place it on a towel to air dry.

The rest of the mask, I clean with the same washcloth being careful not to get the headband wet. I could take that off, but I choose not to because I have it set where it fits best when I sleep and I don’t want to keep adjusting it every night.

Cleaning the CPAP machine

For the machine itself, I take a mild cleaning wipe and wipe the machine down. I make sure to get inside the filter and the water-holding area. I leave it disassembled until it is completely dry, which I let dry during the day and by night it is ready to go.

The disassembling, cleaning, and reassembly don’t take too long for the benefit of having a clean machine. I know there are machines out there that clean it for you and take much less effort, but I am a penny pincher and this is an inexpensive way to clean your machine and only takes about 15 minutes a day.

What's your CPAP cleaning routine? Do you use soap and water? Wipes? A cleaning machine? Share in the comments below!

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