After you bring your new CPAP machine home, there is a normal adjustment period for any patient. Learning how to use the machine comfortably takes time and practice, and there are additional tasks that new patients may forget, like regular CPAP cleaning. Although it can be easy to fall behind, it’s important to make sure you are cleaning your unit weekly. Getting into the habit of cleaning your CPAP machine each week can be hard for some patients. If you find yourself forgetting to clean the unit regularly, here are some easy tips and tricks to incorporate the process into your regular routine.
Get an Easy to Use CPAP Cleaner and Sanitizer
Using a CPAP cleaning device instead of trying to scrub the device with soap and water makes it much easier to complete the cleaning process each week. Not only is soap and water scrubbing messy, but it also takes a lot of effort on your part to reach each piece of the machine. The CPAP tubing can be hard to reach inside and scrub vigorously, even with specialized tools. The average cleaning time with soap, water and brushes can be one to two hours each week.
Ozone cleaning is much more effective because there is no scrubbing required to clean each part of the unit. The ozone gas naturally fills the CPAP tubing and sanitizes every inch. As soon as the ozone touches bacteria, it neutralizes it, ensuring that everything is left clean. Because of itsphenomenal cleaning properties, medical facilities and other places that keep a high standard of cleanliness prefer ozone. A device like the VirtuCLEAN unit makes it much easier to clean your CPAP machine, so you don’t have to set aside a large chunk of time for cleaning each week.
Schedule an Appointment with Your CPAP Cleaner
Like any other important task, you’ll need to set time aside to complete this task every week. The good news is that if you get a hands-free CPAP cleaning device, you will only need a few minutes to set things up and then you can walk away and do something else. Since the VirtuCLEAN unit is whisper quiet, you can relax, read a book or watch TV while the unit works beside you.
Pay Attention to the Smell
One of the first signs of dirt and mold growth in the unit is a change in the air chemistry that produces a musty smell. If you use an ozone-based cleaning on your CPAP machine, the smell of ozone can remain for the days after you initially clean it. Once that smell wears off, the air you breathe while using the CPAP machine should smell fresh and have very little odor. If you notice a musty or old smell when you put the mask on and switch on the machine, it might be time for a cleaning.
Check the Mask and Tube for Visible Signs of Buildup
As you use your CPAP machine, mineralization can occur along the inside of the tubing. This is evident to the naked eye and usually appears as small white flecks inside the folds of the tube. You may also see the first signs of mold in the tube or around the edges of the mask. Getting rid of this buildup will help you continue to breathe easy as you sleep.
Record Any New Symptoms
If you live a busy life, chances are you won‘t even notice the initial symptoms of a dirty CPAP machine, or you may write them off as something else. Many people dismiss the symptoms of using a dirty CPAP as a seasonal cold, allergies or general fatigue. If you have a career, family or other obligations, you may write these off as the signs of overwork, too little sleep or poor nutrition.
One good way to see if your symptoms are a sign of a more significant problem is to record them. As soon as you start experiencing the symptoms, write down or make a note on your calendar of the symptom, severity and how long it lasts. If these symptoms disappear when you clean your CPAP machine, chances are they were caused by using a dirty CPAP.
If you need a CPAP cleaning device that is easy to incorporate into your busy life, choose VirtuCLEAN. This hands-free unit makes it easy to keep your CPAP mask and unit sanitary, providing you with maximum relief. To find out more about how VirtuCLEAN works, click here.