CPAP Mask, Filter, Humidifier Cleaning Tips
  • 14 Jun 2022
  • 3 Minutes to read
  • Contributors
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CPAP Mask, Filter, Humidifier Cleaning Tips

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The machinemask, and related accessories are essential for your CPAP therapy routine. But since they're used nightly, you'll need to clean your CPAP equipment quite frequently in order to keep it in top working condition. Use the tips in this guide to make sure each piece is cleaned properly.

Here is a video with an overview of hand washing your CPAP you may want to start with:

Cleaning the CPAP Mask

Since your mask comes into direct contact with your face, it's best to clean it every day. This helps to prevent skin irritation as well as the transfer of bacteria through any mask pieces. Follow these steps to clean your CPAP mask:

  1. Wipe down your mask using a damp cloth. Warm water and soap are sufficient for removing oils, sweat, dead skin cells and bacteria. Alternatively, you can use pre-moistened wipes made specifically for CPAP masks.
  2. Rinse the mask and dry it with a clean towel.
  3. Allow the mask to air dry during the day.

Q: What is the best soap to clean a CPAP mask?

A: Use a mild, plain soap or dish liquid. Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Unscented Liquid Soap is a great example and time-tested by many CPAP users. 

Q: How do you clean a CPAP nasal mask?

A: The tips we give you in this article apply to cleaning any type of a CPAP mask. 

Q: Why does my CPAP mask turn yellow?

A: Cushions can turn yellow from dirt build-up over time. This can be prevented by regular cleaning with warm soapy water/CPAP wipes to remove any face oil/dirt on the cushion.

Q: How do you clean CPAP headgear?

A: Please refer to the user manual on how to remove the headgear from your mask. Once removed, hand wash headgear with laundry detergent or soap and lay flat to air dry. 

Cleaning the CPAP Filter

Before cleaning your filter, find out what type of filter your CPAP machine has. 

Some machines come equipped with disposable filters. If yours has this type of filter, stock up on extras and replace according to the instructions. This type of filter typically needs to be replaced about once a month.

If you have a reusable filter, you'll need to clean it about once a week using the following steps:

  1. Remove the filter from the CPAP machine and rinse it in warm tap water.
  2. Squeeze and rinse the filter until no dust or debris is present.
  3. Blot the filter with a towel and allow it to air dry.

Q: What happens if you don't change the CPAP filter?

A: Dust and debris will enter the unit causing the motor to break down and the machine to stop functioning.

Q: How do I know if my CPAP filter is dirty?

A: If it is a light grey color, it is time to change your filter.

Q: Can CPAP filters be washed and reused?

A: Read the packaging - some filters can be washed and reused, and some are disposable only. 

Cleaning the CPAP Humidifier

Your CPAP humidifier is another important component that you'll want to keep in top condition. 

Each day, you should drain the leftover water from the humidifier and empty it into a sink. Then, refill the humidifier with clean distilled water right before going to bed. This helps to keep the humidifier clean and working efficiently.

Besides changing the water daily, however, you should also clean the humidifier about once per week. To do this, use the following steps:

  1. Remove the leftover water from the humidifier.
  2. Wash the water chamber in the sink using warm water and a mild detergent.
  3. Rinse the chamber well and allow it to air dry completely before replacing.

To make sure it helps produce clean air, you'll also need to disinfect the humidifier every other week. Here's how to do it:

  1. Remove the leftover water from the humidifier.
  2. Soak the chamber for 30 minutes in a solution of five parts water to one part vinegar.
  3. Rinse the chamber thoroughly.
  4. Place the chamber on the top rack of the dishwasher and complete a wash cycle.
  5. Allow the chamber to dry completely before replacing.

Your chamber should be replaced about once every six months or as needed.

Follow this cleaning routine to ensure a better CPAP therapy experience. In addition, be sure to read manufacturer instructions for special care of any CPAP devices.

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