A CPAP machine helps those who struggle with sleep apnea or similar conditions to breathe easier and sleep better. Sleep apnea is a serious health condition known to cause frequent disturbances throughout the night, and people with this condition have to deal with frequent sleep disruptions. They can never achieve the full rest their bodies need.
With a CPAP machine, the user can receive a continuous supply of steady oxygen through their nose and mouth. This air supply alleviates many of the symptoms of sleep apnea as it keeps the airways open throughout the night. It can significantly assist sufferers in getting a full night’s sleep so they can greet the day with renewed energy and vigor.
However, owning one requires necessary maintenance. The true efficiency of CPAP machines is only possible if you clean them properly. It is not a complicated process, and there are even specialized CPAP wipes available designed for this very purpose. Interested? Keep reading for all the information you need!
What Does a CPAP Machine Do?
Specifically, the compressor associated with your CPAP machine works to create a continuous stream of pressurized air that travels through the necessary tubing. This system then supplies your airways with constant oxygen, allowing your airways to stay open for longer.
The airstream also works to move or prevent blockages, so you don’t have to wake up repeatedly to clear your throat. Your CPAP machine handles that for you. It directly combats sleep apnea symptoms and similar sleeping disorders that would otherwise disturb you throughout the night.
How to Take Care of Your CPAP Machine
As we mentioned above, maintenance is essential. Thankfully, we aren’t talking about complex engineering. All your CPAP machine requires is a little housekeeping. Listed below are some of the best ways to keep your machine in top condition.
Use CPAP Wipes
There are numerous CPAP wipes on the market designed specifically to clean your machine without damaging it in any way. They gently remove any build-up of dirt, oils, or any similar organic residue that may accumulate from general use. With the right wipes and CPAP cleaner, you can extend your machine’s longevity, which will save you money in the long term.
Some wipes have cleaning products in them. They aren’t harsh enough to damage the product but pack enough kick to ensure it stays in pristine condition.
CPAP wipes often come in easy-to-use dispensers, so you don’t need to worry about drying them out either. Simply pull one out each morning, gently cleanse your CPAP mask, and get on with your day!
Wash with Warm Water and Unscented Soap
If you don’t have access to CPAP wipes at the moment or need a quick fix between deliveries, there are other options available. A simple mixture of warm water and unscented soap or even vinegar can make for a great way to wash down your CPAP mask each morning.
Just try to make sure the soap is gentle or mild, as harsher soaps can cause the silicone fixings to erode faster.
Wash Your Face Before Use
While cleaning the machine itself is recommended, it is also ideal that you wash your face thoroughly before use!
Certain facial oils and moisturizers can prove harmful to CPAP masks. They can prevent the mask from gripping the face, which can allow air to escape.
If you have a complicated skincare routine, make sure to complete it earlier than you ordinarily would. It will give the oils chance to sink into the skin. Additionally, exfoliating every other day can prevent a build-up of natural oils and skin that would otherwise transfer to your mask.
Don’t Forget About the Tubing
It is not just the mask itself that you should be keeping clean. The tubing connecting the mask to the rest of the machine also requires adequate attention.
You can either use CPAP wipes or warm, soapy water for these parts. All you need to do afterward is leave them to air-dry without placing them in direct sunlight.
Never place either the tubing or the mask in a washer or drier, as this can cause permanent damage.
What You Should Never Use
Now we have covered what you should be doing with your CPAP machine, let’s cover some of the don’ts. This will help you avoid some potentially costly mistakes and improve your CPAP machine’s overall quality.
- Bleach: Not only will this harsh substance damage the silicone of your mask, but it will also potentially irritate your skin if not rinsed properly. It is safer to avoid it altogether.
- Hand Sanitizer: Though they have proven to be the savior in various situations, hand sanitizer is not as great for CPAP masks.
- Antibacterial Wipes: Like the two entries above, antibacterial wipes are simply too strong to use on your CPAP mask. There is a reason CPAP wipes exist—they contain the right ingredients. Don’t overdo it with your machine!
You should also be careful with where you place your machine too. Direct sunlight is a no-go, as the excess heat can cause engineering faults. Additionally, don’t place your machine near curtains or similar fabric obstructions. It can block the airflow and prevent it from reaching optimal function. Ideally, your machine should be in a shaded, level spot that is not too close to any other furniture.
Final Thoughts: Keeping Your CPAP Machine Healthy
By far, the easiest way to keep your machine clean and safe is through the use of CPAP wipes. They can arrive in various pack sizes, and you only need to use a singular wipe each morning. One pack could last you up to two months! Try to fit your mask-cleaning into your daily routine, and soon it will become second nature.