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Getting Your Zzzz: Simple Tips To Clean And Maintain Your CPAP Machine

by Faith Perkins

Sleep is essential for your physical and emotional well-being. However, certain disorders can reduce your ability to get a full, healthy night of sleep. Characterized by periodic lapses in your breathing while asleep, sleep apnea is a serious condition that affects an estimated 22 million Americans. Unfortunately, without a diagnosis and proper treatment, sleep apnea can be life threatening.   

CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, therapy is the most common treatment option for patients with sleep apnea. This treatment involves forcing air into the airway through a mask that is worn while you are sleeping. By keeping the airway open, fewer episodes of breathing lapses occur. Of course, the CPAP machine, hoses, and mask do require periodic maintenance to ensure they are healthy and functional. With these tips, you will learn how to maintain and repair your CPAP machine.


Over time, dirt, dust, and bacteria can build up in the water chamber, hoses, and mask of your CPAP machine. In addition, the moisture used in your humidifier chamber can lead to the growth of mold and mildew. Therefore, regular cleaning of your equipment is essential.

To get started, unplug your machine. This will reduce any risk of shock while you are dismantling the CPAP machine to clean it.

Disconnect the hose from the machine before removing the mask from the hose. You should also remove any headgear from your mask, since this will also need to be cleaned. Slide the water chamber of your humidifier out of the machine.

Fill your sink or tub with warm water and soap. Place all tubing, the mask, and the headgear into the soapy solution and allow it to soak. Use a cloth to wipe out any stubborn residue in the mask. Move the soapy water through the tubing to clean the interior.

Then, rinse all parts under warm water, making sure there is no soap left. Place the parts on a clean towel and allow them to air dry. Hang the tubing over your shower curtain bar to make sure it drains thoroughly.

Fill the humidifier chamber with hot water and soap. Allow it to soak for a few minutes before rinsing. If you notice any residue remaining, wipe the chamber down with a soapy towel before rinsing.

Once everything has been cleaned and dried, reassemble the CPAP machine. Make sure you add fresh distilled water to the humidifier chamber before sleeping.


Nothing is meant to last forever, and this statement applies to the components of your CPAP machine. Certain components will need to be replaced due to basic wear and tear.

For example, if you feel air leaking from your mask, the mask itself, pad, or headgear may need to be replaced. This air loss is reducing the effectiveness of your CPAP therapy. Most experts recommend replacing the mask every 3 months, but you should also replace the headgear every 6 months.  

Your CPAP machine contains a filter that traps dirt, dust, and mold spores, preventing these allergens from entering your airway. If this filter becomes clogged, you will most likely not receive the adequate amount of air pressure to treat your sleep apnea. Clogged filters will also cause your machine to make unusually loud noises during operation.

Your machine may have one or two filters, depending on the make and manufacturer. Contact your durable medical equipment supplier to determine the location of your filters. Replacing these filters every few months is an inexpensive way to maintain the function of your CPAP and the effectiveness of your sleep apnea therapy.

Living with sleep apnea is possible, but the right therapy is important to treat this disorder. By learning these simple tips to clean and maintain your CPAP machine, you can get a healthy night of sleep.

To learn more about medical equipment maintenance, contact a company like Ultimate Biomedical Solutions.