For most sufferers of sleep apnea, the CPAP machine is heaven-sent in many ways. Basically, it works by delivering air pressure greater than that of the surrounding air from the device itself through the mask and into the nose. Of course, the air pressure itself is just sufficient to keep your upper airway passages constantly open. In turn, your sleep apnea episodes are controlled with the almost immediate effect of your snoring significantly lessened in severity, frequency and length.
Just like with all health devices, however, you must exert appropriate care in cleaning the CPAP machine. Keep in mind that bacteria, dirt and dust accumulate within the mask, the nosepiece and the machine itself. Thus, regular and proper cleaning will make the machine last longer and, more importantly, your health is safeguarded. CPAP Cleaning
Wash Your Hands
Our hands are the number carrier of bacteria, viruses and germs in our bodies. Thus, the number one advice of doctors in the prevention of the spread of diseases is always to vigorously wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. With that being the case, you should always wash your hands before cleaning the CPAP machine. This way, bacteria lurking in your hands will not be transferred into the device.
Use the Right Cleaner
You need not bring your pockets to the cleaners just to have the right kind of cleaner for the CPAP unit. Just be sure to use a non-lotion, fragrance-free, dye-free and mild dishwashing detergent or soap on the machine and you will do right by it. You may also use the recommended cleaner that comes with the CPAP machine. Just follow the directions on the cleaner, which often involves mixing the liquid with water. Usually, said cleaners combine the actions of a germicide and disinfectant used in hospitals and laboratories.
Wash According to Instructions
This is a no-brainer especially when the manufacturer has specific instructions on the what, why, when and how of cleaning the unit. After all, you are always advised to read the owner’s manual even before you put mask to nose. Most manufacturers recommend washing and rinsing the CPAP equipment, soaking them in a cleaning solution and then running tap water through them for at least 3 minutes. Instead of wiping down the equipment, air drying away from sunlight is strongly suggested.
After air drying, the CPAP machine and its accessories must be covered with a dry towel until these are ready for reassembly. Also, the wet tubing must not be allowed to dry using the CPAP unit as this may propel moisture into the machine and, hence, lead to short circuits.
Each of the accessories of the machine has their own cleaning schedules, the most common of which are:
* The CPAP unit itself must be wiped with a damp cloth and then a dry cloth at least once a week.
* The humidifier must be disinfected every day by washing it in warm soapy water. It must also be disinfected once a week by soaking in a mixture of disinfectant and water for 10 minutes.