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Your Questions — 9 minutes

How to clean your sleep apnea (CPAP) machine, mask and accessories?

Biron Team
info@biron.com

How to clean your sleep apnea (CPAP) machine?

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device
Frequency As needed
How to clean Wipe your machine with a damp cloth to remove dust.

It is important to follow the manufacturer's cleaning recommendations. The use of an automatic cleaning machine (ozone device) can potentially cause internal damage to a CPAP machine. Please note that some manufacturers exclude damage caused by this type of device from their warranty.

Tubing
Tubing
Frequency Once a week
How to clean WImmerse the tubing in lukewarm water with mild soap and rub gently. You can also use a soft bristle brush to wash the inside of the tubing. Rinse with lukewarm water and hang to dry.
Humidifier chamber
Humidifier chamber
Frequency Once a week
How to clean Wash the humidifier chamber and gasket seals (if present) with lukewarm water and mild soap, then rinse with lukewarm water.

Note : You can wash certain humidifier chambers in the dishwasher. Check the manufacturer’s instructions before proceeding.

Filters
Filters
Frequency Once a week
How to clean Resmed and Fisher-Paykel machines: Remove dust from the filter simply by tapping it with your fingers. Respironics machines: Rinse the filter with water to remove dust. Allow to dry fully before reinstalling.

Note : The Respironics ultra-fine filter added (if needed) to the hypoallergenic filter cannot be cleaned. You should replace it monthly.

How to clean your mask and accessories*?

Mask Other mask components (headgear, frame, etc.)
Frequency Every day One a week
How to clean Clean the mask cushion (the part that touches the face) by immersing it in lukewarm water with mild soap or rubbing it with a specially designed wipe. Clean with lukewarm water and mild soap. Do not machine wash.
How to dry Allow the mask components to dry on a towel away from direct sunlight. Allow the mask components to dry on a towel away from direct sunlight. Do not tumble dry.

*Except the AirTouch mask, which must be cleaned with a dry cloth as needed and whose cushion must be replaced monthly.

To avoid damaging your equipment or shortening its lifespan, do not use strong cleaning products such as:

  • Bleach, chlorine, alcohol or ammonia based solutions
  • Moisturizing, antibacterial or glycerin-based soaps
  • Unauthorized fabric softeners or descaling products

A mild soap (e.g. dishwashing liquid) is recommended, ideally colourless and not ultra-degreasing.

Why maintain your equipment?

A CPAP machine and its accessories use water and generate humidity, creating an environment conducive to bacteria and other germs. One American study [1] identified more than 2,000 colonies of bacteria on 48% of masks after two days with no cleaning.

Proliferation of micro-organisms such as fungi, algae, bacteria and others in the mask, tubing and humidifier chamber can adversely affect your health. This could lead to nasal congestion or a heightened risk of respiratory infections such as bronchitis, sinusitis or pneumonia.

Poorly maintained accessories can also wear out faster and make your treatment less effective. For example, a buildup of oils and bacteria from your face may compromise the seal on the mask, causing the cushion to move around and increasing skin irritation. In addition, a dusty filter could not only affect your treatment but also damage the machine’s motor or make it noisier.

Why replace your equipment?

Mask

The American study [1] mentioned above showed that the older the mask, the more germs and fungi are found on it. After six to twelve months, it is difficult to reduce the number of bacteria, even with regular maintenance. For this reason, it is recommended that you replace your mask every six months or once a year. In the latter case, it is advisable to change the cushion at least once every six months.

The following signs indicate that a mask should be replaced:

  1. The mask straps often become loose.
  2. The strap must be tightened to make sure the mask is sealed.
  3. The treatment seems less and less effective (more leaks and waking up during the night due to the mask moving).
  4. The mask cushion remains slippery even after cleaning.
  5. Redness or pimples appear on the face.
Tubing

It is recommended that you replace the tubing once a year. Over time, small holes or tears can cause air leaks, while harmful micro-organisms may become embedded in the tubing despite regular cleaning.

Humidifier chamber

The humidifier chamber should be replaced once a year, as cracks can develop which could trap mould and bacteria or cause water leaks that can damage furniture.

Filter

Depending on the model of CPAP machine, the filter should be replaced every one to six months. Dust build-up can block the filter and affect its performance. A dusty filter can also cause the machine’s motor to overheat, make annoying noises and even affect your treatment by reducing air pressure.

  • Resmed filters: Every six months at most, replace the standard or hypoallergenic filter (this filter, offering an higher degree of particle filtration, can replace the standard filter).
  • Respironics filters: Replace the hypoallergenic filter every six months at most, and replace the ultra-fine filter each month (this filter, recommended for people who are sensitive to smoke, can be added to the hypoallergenic filter).
  • Fisher-Paykel filters: Replace every three months at most.

It is recommended to always use the original brand of filters to ensure the best treatment results, but also to avoid damaging the unit with lower-quality filters.

For professional support, we’re here.

We provide services that can help your doctor diagnose sleep disorders and determine the appropriate treatment.

If you have any questions or would like more information, feel free to contact Biron Health Group’s customer service at 1 833 590-2713.

Sources1
  1. Horowitz, Alex, Sandra Horowitz and Chinhak Chun. “CPAP Masks are Sources of Microbial Contamination,” SleepHealth Centers, Division of Sleep Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston (2012). https://www.homesleepcare.com/home-sleep-care-news-item-four/
Biron Team
info@biron.com