How Often Should You Clean Your CPAP Machine?
Cleaning your CPAP machine is certainly one of the most important aspects of using it. How often you should clean your CPAP machine depends on the particular equipment. There are three parts of a CPAP machine that need to be regularly cleaned. They include:
- CPAP Tubing
- CPAP mask
How Do I Clean My CPAP Hose?
It is generally recommended that tubing and other accessories are cleaned at least once a week. When cleaning the tubing you should use warm soapy water in the sink or a basin and then air-dry it when done. It is advisable that you include your CPAP mask when cleaning the tubing and other accessories.
You need to note, that unlike the CPAP tubing, the mask requires more regular attention. This is because it comes into contact with your skin every single day. Consequently, we recommend that you clean your mask every single day.
Over the course of a single night, a huge amount of sweat, dead skin cells, and oil will accumulate in your CPAP mask. This filth will definitely interfere with the effectiveness and the quality of your sleep. In fact, it may very well make your situation worse.
There are a number of ways you can clean your CPAP mask, they include:
- Using a combination of mild detergent and warm water
- Using specially made CPAP wipes
- Using a CPAP cleaning machine
Usually, after use, a CPAP machine’s components become moist and warm. This damp setting creates an environment that is conducive for the breeding of bacteria and mold. When not cleaned, your mask will act as a conduit for the viruses, bacteria, and germs to get into your body. To prevent this kind of scenario, you need to ensure that your CPAP machine is thoroughly cleaned.
Instructions on how you clean your CPAP machine as well as how frequently you should do it varies from one manufacturer to the next. However, the guidelines usually are very similar.
The final way of cleaning your CPAP machine is by using a CPAP cleaner. No matter how hard you try to clean your CPAP machine manually using any of the methods listed above, there is always some margin of error. This is because it is not possible to reach all the nook and crannies either using CPAP wipes or soap and water, therefore not all bacteria and other dangerous pathogens are eliminated.
Also, the recommended wash time for CPAP equipment is usually 30 minutes and you might not have the time.
Using an automated device such as VirtuCLEAN, you are guaranteed that you will manage to eliminate 99.9% of all harmful pathogens.
With VirtuCLEAN you do not have to clean your CPAP tubing and other accessories on a weekly basis, you can easily do it on a daily basis. Simply connect the face mask, or humidifier to the VirtuCLEAN device, press the orange Start button and let VirtuCLEAN do all the rest. Learn more about the cost of a CPAP machine by clicking here.
What Is The Life Expectancy of A CPAP Machine?
CPAP life expectancy varies depending on a particular piece of equipment. CPAP machines will usually work for a number of years approximately 3 or before they are due for replacement. On the other hand, CPAP masks need to be replaced a number of times during the course of the year.
CPAP masks require frequent replacements because they are made up of many parts that are heavily utilized and thus wear out quicker. For example, the hose and chinstraps are more durable than the cushions on the face mask.
Oils secreted by your skin combined with the regular recommended cleaning, are another factor that affects the life expectancy of face masks. In addition to this, a CPAP mask’s cushion, headgear, and pillows can stretch out. The tubing can also develop cracks or tears as well as air filters wearing out.
If you do not replace your equipment when you see these signs of wear and tear, your sleep apnea therapy will not be as effective as intended.
Sleep therapists recommend you get a completely new CPAP mask every 3 months. It is also recommended that patients undergoing CPAP therapy replace their filters and cushions twice a month. The tubing that connects the machine with the mask ought to be replaced every 3 months.
Even though your sleep therapist or doctor, knows when your CPAP equipment is due for a replacement, it does not hurt to keep a record of your own.
The good news in all this is that most insurance companies will help meet the cost of replacing CPAP machine accessories based on the established replacement schedule. Just to be sure, you can check in with your insurance company to find out if your health insurance covers the regular replacement of your CPAP equipment. Read more about the life expectancy of your CPAP machine by clicking here.
Are There Side Effects of Using A CPAP Machine?
Yes. The most common side-effects associated with CPAP equipment are pressure or mask-related. Some patients report experiencing claustrophobia while others report a running nose or rhinitis. Still, others report that they developed nasal congestion. These, however, are temporary side-effects, any serious or long-term side effects are not common.
Here are a few things you could do to mitigate the side-effects of a CPAP machine:
- Ensure that the CPAP mask you use is a proper fit. Any mask that is too small or too large will feel uncomfortable.
- Using the humidifier you eliminate any nasal symptoms that might be bothering you. Most CPAP machines come with heated humidifiers however, most patients do not bother to use them.
- Over tightening the mask will undoubtedly lead to discomfort as well as damage to the skin. If air leaks happen, instead of tightening your mask you should consider replacing it all together.
Sleepiness and fatigue usually are symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. Most people report noticing a reduction of these symptoms as soon as they begin CPAP therapy. Studies show that for maximum effect, patients should use their CPAP equipment for at least 2 weeks before they start seeing results.