CPAP PARTS CLEANING and Change
Get in the habit of wiping down your interface(including areas that come in contact with your skin) using a damp towel with mild detergent and warm water. This will remove any oils, dead skin cells and sweat on the interface that can affect the quality of the seal. Gently rinse with a clean towel and let the interface air-dry.
You can also use pre-moistened towels designed specifically for cleaning CPAP interface, which are available at many sleep centers.
If you’ve been sick, it’s smart to wash your interface, tubing, humidifier and filter daily until your cold, flu or virus symptoms are gone. That can help reduce the amount of time you spend under the weather.
Your interface and tubing need a full bath once a week to keep it free of dust, bacteria and germs.
Clean the CPAP tubing, interface and headgear in a bathroom sink filled with warm water and a few drops of ammonia-free, mild dish detergent. Hang the tubing over the shower rod, on a towel rack or in the laundry room to ensure all the water drips out.
The interface and headgear can be air-dried on a towel or hung on a hook or hanger.
When a interface isn’t cleaned thoroughly, it can put you at risk of potential problems and dangers such as: Mold exposure, Bacteria exposure, Foul or musty odor, Allergy symptoms, Voiding the device warranty, Mineralization within the equipment, A potential risk of pneumonia or sinus infections and Premature equipment breakdown.
Keep in mind, if you don’t clean your interface properly, it can shorten the cushions’ lifespan. If you notice you have to pull the headgear tighter to compensate for the cushions’ wear, you not only need to replace the cushions, but you’re also shortening the headband’s life.
To obtain the optimal lifespan from your CPAP interface
- Ensure you wash your face every night before you put your interface on.
- Avoid using face cream right before bedtime.
- Wipe the cushion with a warm damp flannel cloth every morning to get rid of any facial oils.
- Wash your interface thoroughly once a week. Use original washing up liquid.
When cleaning your interface, don’t use any moisturizers, perfumes, bleaches or antibacterial agents. Use fresh water to rinse off and don’t dry your cushions and interfaceon a radiator or direct sunlight.
Change your CPAP Mask
No matter how well you maintain and clean your mask, you will still experience CPAP mask wear, There are certain signs you can look for to see if it’s time for a replacement.
Signs of CPAP mask wear include:
- If you hear grinding sounds while the machine is running.
- If you see warning lights that flash regularly.
- If you have facial redness, sores and discomfort.
These could be signs of worn seals or you have an old mask with brittle cushions or headgear. Any undue lights or sounds are typically an indication your machine is getting ready to stop working, so you’ll want to begin thinking about replacing it quickly. And, although CPAP mask liners can help with some of these issues, sometimes is much more than that — it could be a sign of CPAP mask wear and you need a replacement.
You really shouldn’t wait to until your machine reaches the last few months of its life to replace it, because you risk a lapse in compliance if there’s a miscalculation.
There have been a lot of advancements and improvements over the years in CPAP machines and masks. A machine that looks “old” might appear this way because it doesn’t have the latest comfort advancements, like a heated humidifier and improved user interface.
CPAP Mask Leaks
CPAP mask leaks are unfortunately a problem that can occur and can cause problems for sleep apnea patients. There are three primary reasons why a mask leak is a problem:
- Air escaping from your mask can cause noise that can disturb your or your partner’s sleep.
- The escaping air can irritate your eyes causing them to become swollen, bloodshot and dry.
- Excessive mask leaking can compromise your CPAP compliance because you lose the proper pressure you need to keep your airway open when air leaks from the mask. This can cause snoring at night and increased tiredness during the day.
Causes of CPAP Mask Leaks
An air leak can be due to an incorrectly fitted mask due to the headgear being adjusted incorrectly (too loose, over-tightened). When you change sleeping positions during the night, it can lead to your mask shifting position and causing a leak.
If you don’t clean your mask cushion sufficiently, it can retain facial oils, causing the mask to lift off your face as the pressure rises. The masks age also can affect the seal, cause the cushion to wear and cause the headgear to lose its complete elasticity.
Excessive mask leaking and not being able to obtain a good seal is often a first indication you need to replace the cushion.
Change CPAP Masks and Parts
- CPAP mask: Should be replaced every three months.
- CPAP mask cushion: Should replace your cushion or nasal pillows once or twice a month. Over time, dirt and oils from your skin can soften the cushion, making it so it doesn’t hold a tight seal anymore with your face. It also affects hygiene. This creates air leaks that can affect how effective your CPAP therapy is.
- CPAP mask headgear and chinstraps: Should be replaced every six months.
- CPAP tube: Replace your CPAP tube once every three months like you do with your mask. A CPAP tube can develop cracks and tears with frequent use that result in air leaks. You won’t receive proper treatment if air is escaping. Plus, the tube can harbor bacteria, particularly if there’s condensation inside.
- CPAP humidifier water chamber: Replace this every six months.