How to clean your CPAP equipment

Man using CPAP machine while sleeping in bed

Last updated on July 7th, 2023 at 11:14 am

Cleaning your CPAP equipment is a quick and simple way of making sure your therapy is comfortable and effective. A clean CPAP mask helps maintain a good seal during the night and reduce or prevent skin irritation – and it only takes a few minutes!

We also explain how to clean and sanitise your CPAP machine and tubing, too. It’s all very quick and simple – so read on to find out how!

Why is cleaning your CPAP important?

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is an effective treatment for Sleep Apnoea.

When using the equipment (mask, tubing, CPAP machine and humidifier chamber), the air is breathed in consistently throughout the night. As CPAP machines are humid and sometimes warm devices, this causes a build-up of bacteria, mould, viruses, odours and other harmful germs. 

What happens if you don’t clean your CPAP equipment?

If CPAP cleaning doesn’t occur, the microbes (germs) can cause you to develop:

  • Red facial marks
  • Skin irritation 
  • Chronic respiratory conditions

Without cleaning your CPAP equipment, you also run the risk of:

  • Mineral build-up in the filter
  • Premature wear and tear of your equipment
  • The possibility of voiding your machines warranty

Considering your CPAP hygiene will benefit your long-term health and support the longevity of your equipment. Each part of your CPAP equipment’s lifespan depends on your usage frequency, cleaning routine and whether the part makes direct contact with your face.

We are here to help you get the full benefits from your device. 

CPAP Cleaning Supplies

Please note you should always refer to your CPAP machine or mask product manual guide.

Here is a list of some basic supplies to clean your CPAP equipment that you likely already have:

  • Warm water
  • Antibacterial dish soap
  • A soft terry cloth
  • White vinegar
  • A towel

Once you have your cleaning equipment, you can begin your CPAP cleaning routine.

Daily Cleaning

You might be wondering how often should you wash your CPAP equipment?

CPAP manufacturers recommend cleaning your CPAP supplies (mask, tubing, CPAP machine and humidifier chamber) daily with mild water and mild detergent. Avoid using moisturising soaps, bleach, scented oils, chlorine, or alcohol-based solutions to clean your equipment – as these can irritate your skin and damage your equipment.

Adding daily morning CPAP cleaning to your routine might seem complicated, but these simple steps will help you break it down:

  • Begin by disconnecting all of your equipment before beginning your cleaning, e.g. unplug the device, take out the water chamber from your humidifier (if you have one), disconnect your mask and tubing, and disassemble your mask headgear, cushion and frame.
Image of CPAP cleaning – Don’t use harsh chemical cleaners

Soaking your mask and accessories

  • Fill your sink with warm soapy tap water and let your mask and accessories (mask partstubing and humidifier chamber) soak for about 30 minutes. Avoid getting velcro mask parts wet as this can ruin the lifespan.
  • You can also add a small amount of white vinegar into the water to clean minerals that have built up (ensure no fabrics are in the cleaning mixture when adding vinegar).
  • Rinse thoroughly with warm drinking quality water.
  • Allow your mask parts and humidifier to air dry on a towel- away from direct sunlight to avoid damage. 
  • You may find it easier to hang your tubing over a shower rail to dry. 
  • If your filters become discoloured, it is clear they need to be cleaned or replaced. To clean your reusable CPAP filters, remove them, rinse with warm water, squeeze all access water out and blot with a towel to dry. If your machine uses disposable filters, do not follow the cleaning process as they need to be replaced depending on their replacement schedule.
  • Ensure all equipment is dry before reconnecting them to your CPAP device.
  • Wipe down your CPAP device with a lightly damped cloth to avoid damaging your machine – to remove any dust particles or dirt. Make sure it is completely dry before plugging it back in.

We understand it can be hard to keep up with this daily cleaning routine, so doing it weekly will also benefit you. However, cleaning your mask cushion daily is essential. 

Remember – If you use a humidifier, empty the water (each morning after every use) and refill it with clean distilled water right before you sleep.

Before using your CPAP mask at night, ensure you clean your face to remove excess oils that could transfer onto your mask.

It is always beneficial to keep note of your CPAP equipment replacement schedule. As all parts have different duration periods, so keeping note will help you get the most out of your sleep therapy.

If you are unsure about cleaning parts of your CPAP, refer to the user manual, as this will help.

SoClean 2 CPAP Sanitiser
Inc’s SoClean sanitising device in use

CPAP Cleaning Solutions: 

SoClean 2

The SoClean 2 is an easy-to-use CPAP disinfector that automatically sanitises your equipment.

The fast and effective appliance kills 99% of germs with no water and no chemicals with a two-year warranty.

Simply place your mask, tubing and water reservoir into the SoClean and push the button. The sanitiser uses ozone gas to kill pathogens hiding in the dark, making your life much easier. 

The sleek SoClean removes the struggle of disassembling your equipment.

The sanitising device uses a universal fitting but depending on your device, you may need an adaptor.

However, you will still need to clean your CPAP equipment as SoClean 2 is a sanitiser. You can find out more about the device here.

Contour CPAP Cleaning Wipes

If you would like a quicker and easier way to clean your mask. You could consider CPAP cleaning wipes.

These handy wipes take away the hassle of using soap and water to clean your mask. They have been created using natural ingredients derived from citrus, coconut and other plant extracts.

You can choose between citrus scented or unscented wipes, each pack contains 75 wipes.

They are alcohol and latex-free.

These are also a great way to wipe down the outside of your CPAP machine.

If you are travelling with your CPAP these are a great source to pack with you, as they are efficient and small.

SinuPulse Elite Nasal Irrigator

The SinuPulse Elite optimises your upper airway health. Helping you this hayfever season with:

  • Colds
  • Blocked noses
  • Allergies
  • Sinusitis 
  • Post nasal drip

SinuPulse uses a proven pulsating technique to flush out your nasal passages, removing mucus and bacteria. Giving you instant pain relief. 

SinuPulse lets you control the gentle water flow or mist pressure – To deliver a natural drug-free saline solution to relieve unpleasant symptoms. The specially formulated salts help to draw out blockages and heal nasal tissue. 

You can contact us if you need help effectively cleaning your CPAP equipment.