Iowa Sleep Blog

Spring Allergies and Cleaning Your CPAP

Monday, March 28, 2016

We are one week past the official first day of spring, which means (if they haven’t already) spring allergies will be in full effect as the grass begins to grow and the trees blossom. If you experience seasonal allergies, or even a spring cold or two, and also wear a CPAP at night to ease sleep apnea symptoms, it is important to maintain a clean machine to keep it operating at its highest level. To ensure the most effective therapy, a CPAP should be used every day, and therefore should be cleaned every day. We’ve put together some tips to follow for easy cleaning of your CPAP machine.

General CPAP maintenance tips

  • Each morning, dump out any excess water that remains from the overnight. Do not reuse water night-to-night, and use only distilled or sterile water to avoid bacteria or calcium build up in your machine.
  • Before using your mask at night, thoroughly wash your face and avoid using a moisturizer. Facial oils and lotions can break down the silicone faster.
  • We recommend never wiping down your supplies with alcohol or bleach, as this can cause skin irritations and damage the supplies.
  • Besides regular cleaning, it is important to replace some pieces on a regular schedule. Ask your CPAP provider for more information and keep detailed records of when you replace your mask and other accessories.

Daily CPAP cleaning

  • Each morning, gently wash the mask cushion of oils with warm water and a mild, pure, soap to reduce the chances of skin irritations and air leaks from the mask.
  • Remove the water chamber from the humidifier and wash out the chamber and your headgear cushion. Be sure to refill before turning in for bed.

Weekly CPAP cleaning

  • With a solution of one-part white vinegar and three-parts of water, disinfect all plastic equipment, such as the mask, tubing and water chamber by soaking these pieces in the solution for at least 30 minutes. Rinse with warm water and air dry away from direct sunlight.
  • In warm, soapy water, wash your headgear, chin strap, and non-disposable foam filters and air dry.

To keeping your machine operating well, get into the habit of cleaning your CPAP machine each day as part of your morning. If you notice your machine might not be operating at its highest level, we’d encourage you to talk to your supplier. Iowa Sleep partners with Iowa CPAP at both our Ankeny and Wes Des Moines locations to provide the best available equipment to sleepers. If you have other CPAP or sleep apnea questions, send them to the doctors at Iowa Sleep through our easy online form, or make an appointment with us.