CPAP machines are a necessity of life for millions of sleep apnea sufferers around the world. Not only does CPAP thwart off apnea spells from interrupting a night of precious sleep, but it also prevents excessive strain on the heart and lungs. Several studies have shown CPAP to have other positive health benefits in sleep apnea patients, such as reduced blood pressure and weight loss.
Sounds pretty important, right?
Despite all the obvious benefits that result from wearing a CPAP machine, many people are surprisingly naive when it comes to the importance of clean CPAP supplies.
What are the common components of a CPAP setup?
- Headgear/headgear clips
- Hoses (tubing)
There’s no specific recommendation on when to replace CPAP supplies. This advice may vary between manufacturers and physicians. Because you may not need to replace parts very often, it’s essential that your current supplies are cleaned well.
How do CPAP supplies get dirty?
Handling with unclean hands
Did you know a majority of illness-causing germs are spread by your hands? Germs can survive for hours on the surface of your hands, so transferring them unknowingly is fairly simple. Before you start handling your CPAP equipment, make sure you wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds! This will reduce the transmission of germs onto your equipment.
Contact with your face
If you stop and think about it, your CPAP mask has contact with your face for a large portion of the day (assuming you sleep 6-8 hours per night). Your face is covered in oils, dirt, and bacteria that ultimately get onto your mask. Saliva from your mouth is also transferred to your mask during sleep. It’s easy to see why your mask can harbor so many germs without proper sanitization!
CPAP machines provide humidity when you breathe by having the air run over a water reservoir. This humidity runs through the entire circuit, leaving moisture in the hose. Without regularly changing out the water and properly sanitizing the circuit, your CPAP setup commonly harbors bacteria, mold, and mildew.
These harmful organisms can cause illness and irritation, so it’s essential your CPAP supplies are cleaned regularly.
How to clean your CPAP supplies
- First, disconnect your machine from the power supply to prevent any chance of electrical shock.
- Disconnect the CPAP tubing from the machine and your mask. You can also remove any other washable parts if they easily disconnect (adapters, etc.). If your water reservoir is removable, you can disconnect this as well.
- Fill a basin with warm soapy water and submerge the mask, headgear, tubing, and other washable pieces. Allow the supplies to soak for 20-30 minutes. You can also add a small amount of white vinegar occasionally to aid in killing bacteria.
- Rinse the CPAP supplies with clean water and allow to completely air dry.
- Use a warm,damp(but not soaking) washcloth to wipe any dust off the outside of your machine.
NOTE: Always follow your manufacturer’s cleaning instructions. While these cleaning practices are generally acceptable, they may not be appropriate for every home CPAP or BiPAP device.
Is there a better way to clean CPAP supplies?
As the technology for home CPAP devices has advanced, so have cleaning methods. Additional cleaning systems have come into play during recent years and have many benefits.
The downside to using soap and water
Sure, soap and water will always be accessible and inexpensive, but there are some downsides to cleaning your CPAP supplies this way.
First of all, using soap and water each day is very time-consuming and tedious. On top of that, allowing your CPAP parts to adequately air-dry before the next use can be stressful if you’re unable to clean it first thing in the morning.
Additionally, without the ability to use friction on the inside of the tubing, soap doesn’t always adequately do the job.
Other ways to clean your CPAP supplies
Besides soap and water, an easier cleaning process can be accomplished with either ultraviolet light or ozone methods.
Ultraviolet light (UV) at specific wavelengths can kill harmful microorganisms, making it a useful cleaning agent for CPAP masks, but sometimes has trouble cleaning the inside of tubes.
Ozone, also known as activated oxygen, is a gas that can be used at higher concentrations to kill pathogens in your CPAP circuit and on the equipment.
What is Sleep8?
Sleep8 is a state of the art ozone cleaning system for your CPAP supplies. Using a simple and easy-to-use filter bag, you can conveniently place your equipment inside and have it sanitized without the laborious process of using soap and water. It’s as simple as pressing a button and walking away!
Sleep8 is convenient and affordable, with financing options available.
As crucial as clean CPAP supplies are, don’t use just any device to clean your equipment. With Sleep8, you can rest easy knowing your supplies are sanitized.
Visit our product page to start using Sleep8 immediately.
By: Amanda Peterson