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Your Questions — 4 minutes

What types of water should be used in your continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device?

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Distilled, demineralized, bottled, ozonated, boiled or tap water? Which ones are recommended, and which ones should be avoided?

CPAP tanks are usually made of materials that tend to degrade when in contact with heated minerals. Therefore, using mineral-free water prevents premature wear and build-up of a whitish residue. That's why only two types of purified water are recommended for CPAP tanks: demineralized water and distilled water.

Distilled water

This water is free of minerals and microorganisms. It is the purest commercially sold water as it contains the fewest organic contaminants.

Demineralized (or deionized) water

This water has been stripped of all its salts and minerals using a process of demineralization (or deionization).

You can find both types of water in grocery stores, pharmacies, and supermarkets. To avoid potential contamination, keep the bottles in a cool, dark place.

Also, there are domestic water demineralization devices, such as reverse osmosis systems. When properly maintained, they make it possible to use tap water in CPAP equipment.

The following types of water are not recommended for everyday use but can be used occasionally for troubleshooting. As they contain minerals (calcium, magnesium, iron, etc.), it is necessary to thoroughly clean the tank after using the device (see the box for cleaning instructions).

Ozonated water

Ozonation is a water sterilization process designed to destroy pathogens. Indeed, ozone is an oxidizing agent and a powerful disinfectant capable of eliminating viruses and bacteria that may have survived the filtration stage.

Boiled water

Contrary to popular belief, using tap water is not harmful to you, as long as it is safe to drink. Still, it can affect the lifespan of your accessories, especially your reservoir.

Tap water

Contrary to popular belief, using tap water is not harmful to you, as long as it is safe to drink. Still, it can affect the lifespan of your accessories, especially your reservoir.

Bottled spring water shares the same properties as tap water.

Note that a water softener does not make tap water usable since it usually removes only calcium and magnesium. Purifiers equipped with a carbon filter (e.g., Brita) reduce the chlorine content without removing minerals and leave impurities that can damage your equipment.

Important reminders

  • Never add essential or scented oils to the water as they can damage the device.
  • Remember to empty and rinse the tank after each use.
  • Every week, wash the tank with warm, soapy water and rinse with plenty of clean water. You can place certain models in the top rack of the dishwasher (check the manufacturer's instructions). Allow it to dry away from direct sunlight or any heat source before reassembling.
  • In case of mineral deposits, soak the tank for 10 minutes in a solution of one part white vinegar (5% acetic acid) to two parts water. Empty the solution and rinse thoroughly before letting it dry.
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