Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine is used to treat sleep apnea, and it helps you breathe better night, thus ensuring a good night’s sleep. However, one of the biggest factors when using the CPAP machine is to make sure that it is maintained and cleaned regularly. Proper maintenance can help it last longer, thus also saving you the trouble and money for replacement of parts. Here are some easy steps to maintain your CPAP machine:
- Cleaning the CPAP humidifier
Every morning, it is a good idea to fill your sink or bucket with warm water and mild liquid soap. Then, empty the water from the humidifier and let it soak for 10 minutes in the solution. Once the time is over, rinse it and let it dry in direct sunlight. After drying it, refill the humidifier with distilled water. Please do not use tap or water that is filtered, as both can introduce chemicals that might eventually damage the machine.
Apart from this everyday cleaning, soak the humidifier every week for 20 mins in a solution of warm water and white vinegar, in a ratio of 3:1. Make sure that you replace the humidifier at least twice a year.
- Cleaning the CPAP mask
The masks in CPAP machines are made from silicone for comfort. However, silicone breaks down very easily if it is not taken care of. It is wise to invest in special and gentle CPAP mask cleaning fluids that can clean your mask. You can also create your own mix of water and mild liquid soap. Once rinsed, let it dry in the sunlight. The masks can also be wiped everyday with the help of CPAP mask wipes. It is a good idea to clean your face daily and avoid moisturizing as it can negatively interact with silicone. Once a week, soak your mask in the same water-vinegar mix that you will soak your humidifier in.
- Cleaning CPAP tubes
The CPAP tubes are to be soaked every week in a mixture of water and mild pure liquid soap. Then, use a CPAP tube-cleaning brush to clean the tubes. Once done, the tubes should be left to dry out in sunlight.
- Cleaning CPAP filters
The CPAP machine has two types of filters: a grey filter which is non-disposable and a white filer which is disposable. The grey filter should be cleaned with water every week and should be dried before putting it back in the machine. They must be replaced every six months. The white ones, however, do not need to be cleaned, and should just be replaced every month.
- Cleaning CPAP chin straps and headgear
The CPAP chin straps and headgears should be cleaned regularly with warm soapy water and should then be air-dried. Do not use the washing machine or dryer to dry them.
- Sanitizing the CPAP machine
As it used often, there is a larger chance of bacteria growing in the machine. The best way to make sure that the CPAP machine is bacteria free is regularly sanitizing it with a special CPAP sanitizing machine. However, when enquiring about the prices of some of the best CPAP machines, like Philips CPAP machine cost in India, make sure you also find out the price of these sanitizing machines as they’re fairly expensive.
- Reviewing additional cleaning instructions
There are certain guidelines that come with CPAP machines. It is important to read these instructions well and follow them diligently. For instance, some humidifiers are dishwasher-safe, while others are not. So, to avoid any confusion and disaster later, we must be aware of all the guidelines.
Some other basic and general guidelines include:
- Never use bleach for the cleaning of the accessories
- When cleaning the components of the CPAP machine, always use distilled or sterile water
- Make sure you keep track of when to order for replacement parts so that you don’t skip even a day of the therapy
- Make CPAP equipment cleaning part of your morning routine so that there is plenty of time for the machine to dry in the day
Whether it is the Littmann stethoscope in India or the CPAP machine, everything needs to be taken care of and maintained. However, with the CPAP machine, the maintenance becomes more important because it is used so frequently and has such a major impact on the sleep and daily processes of a person.