Best CPAP Cleaner Advice 2019 (UPDATED)
Maintaining your CPAP equipment clean and sanitized will ensure the proper functioning of your machine and accessories for very long years. Typically, when you purchase CPAP equipment, the user manual will contain special instructions on cleaning CPAP mask, the tubes or the device itself. Clean and sanitized CPAP equipment will also help you ensure you are receiving quality air therapy with each session. Proper maintenance of your air treatment device is of primordial importance, to avoid illnesses and infections.
What can happen if your CPAP is not clean?
The heated tubing and heated humidifier systems of your CPAP equipment are basically humid environments. Such conditions are prone to developing mold, yeast or fungus. Certainly, these accessories help you enjoy a warm and comfortable breathing experience, but you must pay particular attention to regular cleaning of these accessories. When moisture builds up in excess within the tubing or humidifier system, dangerous molds can accumulate and expose your health to certain risks. When purchasing your CPAP equipment, also look for a quality CPAP sanitizer that you can use to keep your machine clean
Mold can cause nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing, eye and skin irritations.
Cleaning your CPAP Equipment: Step-By-Step Guide
1. Always make sure to unplug your CPAP from the power outlet before starting the sanitation process. Electrocuting yourself is one of the risks when trying to clean an electrical device with water. Never immerse your device in water, even if unplugged!
2. Dismantle the machine: detach the mask from the tubing system, remove the headgear, and also remove the CPAP tubes from the power outlet. Next, remove the humidifier and the water chamber. Check your user manual to see how to disassemble your CPAP equipment properly. Make sure you follow all the instructions.
3. Start cleaning your gear using a soft wet cloth. If you wish, you can add some gentle baby shampoo or sensitive dish soap to the water. For better disinfection, some users prefer using a mixture of water and vinegar to cleanse their CPAP equipment. However, for even more professional results you should use an automated sanitizer such as the SoClean CPAP cleaner.
4. Thoroughly wipe the parts and accessories of your equipment with the damp cloth, making sure to change the water at least once during the procedure.
5. Soak the heated tubing, mask, and headgear in warm water, and allow soaking for approximately half an hour. It is crucial to allow these accessories to air dry before you can use them again. If you don’t let them dry properly the risks of accumulating mold are much higher. Repeat the cleaning procedure once a week.
6. Check the CPAP machine filters if your machine has such components. Some devices come with reusable filters that can be cleaned (washed) and then reassembled again. Other devices will require that you replace the old filters at last once a month. Again, check the user manual to see manufacturer’s instructions regarding cleaning and maintenance of these filters.
The importance of a CPAP cleaner:
• With the help of an automated CPAP cleaner, you can actually maintain your equipment clean and sanitized without the need to disassemble the machine. This makes the cleaning procedure much easier for people who aren’t able to move a lot
• These machines do not require water or the addition of any chemicals
• An automated sanitizer destroys 99.9% of the viruses, bacteria or mold that resides within the equipment
• The machine provides safe and powerful hospital grade sanitation for your entire CPAP equipment
In 2017 Virtuox announced their new CPAP cleaning machine called the Virtuclean. This little machine is great for people who want to have a clean CPAP while traveling. It’s very easy to use and not only it fits in any suitcase but is also quite affordable. It’s ultra quiet and charges in less than two hours. The cleaning cycle is only 30 minutes. Unlike other CPAP cleaners, the Virtuox doesn’t require maintenance and parts changing. It has an 18-month guarantee and a battery life of 10 years. It’s a really helpful cleaning machine for people who don’t have the time for a thorough cleaning process. However, ozone can be harmful to people who have high-ozone sensitivity. That’s why you have to use it in open and well-ventilated areas.
The Lumin CPAP and mask cleaner is another great machine that uses UV light instead of ozone to clean your CPAP. It was first released in February 2018 and has gotten nothing but positive user reviews. The manufacturer claims that it can kill 99% of bacteria just as well as the Virtuclean. It can disinfect the CPAP in only 5 minutes. The best thing about this machine is that it’s suitable for disinfecting other items as well. You can clean cell phones, kid’s toys, and other accessories. The compact design really helps as it doesn’t take a lot of space in your home. Unlike the Virtuclean, the Lumin doesn’t use ozone and is much safer for the user. It even turns the light off when you open the drawer. This is done to protect your eyes from the UV light.
Experts advise that users should clean their CPAP equipment at regular intervals (minimum once a week). However, if you are down with the flu or any other respiratory disease, you should clean your machine every single day to remove properly any potential discharges or residues from the tubing and mask. To reduce condensation properly, you should use a heated tubing and humidifier system. It is also advisable to use only distilled water with your system, to avoid any infection risks.
Replace your mask at 3 to 4 months, and pay attention to replacing all spare parts regularly such as the air filters. Never operate your CPAP device with used masks or tubing systems, but ensure to purchase new ones each time it is required. Also stay away at all costs from sharing your equipment, as this increases substantially the risk of infections.
Alternative cleaning methods: CPAP cleaning wipes and CPAP Sanitizer
The CPAP cleaning wipes help you maintain your CPAP device clean and hygienic. Famous manufacturers such as ResMed offer cleaning wipes that allow for a convenient way to keep your CPAP clean on a daily basis. Use these wipes to remove the facial oils build up from the mask cushion.
The cleaning wipes will gently yet effectively remove any dirt and residues from the cushion, and this, in turn, helps to optimize the mask seal. When a CPAP mask has facial oil buildup on it, this will not seal properly which means your air therapy might be compromised.
High-quality CPAP cleaning wipes are made from pure cotton, and they do not contain any fragranced ingredients, latex or alcohol. The wipes are infused with a gentle cleansing lotion and natural deodorant such as Aloe Vera extract.
The Control III Disinfectant Germicide is an EPA approved cleaning solution that can greatly help with cleaning your CPAP and accessories. Once you have created the diluted solution it can be re-used for up to 14 days. This makes the Control III extremely cost-effective. It has a very pleasant odor and it doesn’t irritate the skin. The Control III has a low environmental impact and is easier to use than alcohol or other alcohol-based solutions.
You can find plenty CPAP cleaning supplies to keep your machine clean and sanitized on a regular basis. There is the tube cleaning system which helps to keep your tubing free of mold and bacteria. There are also many citrus, or natural extract infused gentle CPAP detergents available which help you perform cleaning of your device in a professional way right at home. The CPAP tube cleaning wands and brushes are also efficient, allowing you to clean the inside of your tube in easy steps.
Especially if you use a humidifier for your treatment, you must properly care for your device. Look for supplies and accessories that allow you to clean your device quickly and comfortably. At times, you might find it tiresome to disassemble your equipment and bathe every single part separately in soapy water. Then, you must allow everything to air dry before you can actually use the system again. This is why investing in an automated CPAP sanitizer might be a truly efficient solution because it allows you to clean your device without having to take apart the machine.
Remember that keeping your CPAP machine clean will ensure that it will work much longer and it will not compromise your oxygen therapy.