3 Effective Tips for Cleaning Your CPAP Mask

Keeping your CPAP machine clean is critical to protecting your health because the tool is inherently damp. Bacteria can build up over time and mold can also form. Cleaning, rinsing, and drying your mask on a daily basis will protect your health most effectively.

1. Use a Vinegar Solution

A simple way to deep clean your CPAP mask is with a vinegar and water solution. Equal parts water and vinegar are ideal. Use white vinegar; cider vinegar is more costly and you don’t want to use any vinegar that still contains the mother.

If you can build the habit, a simple way to keep your CPAP mask clean is to:

  • Use a large covered basin.
  • Add your vinegar and water solution before bed and seal it.
  • Soak your mask for no more than 30 minutes.
  • Rinse your mask and let it air dry.

You’ll also need to clean the hoses. For these, your vinegar mixture will need to be 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar. Again, cleaning these components can be a morning habit; you can actually make sure they’re clean and rinsed before you even dress for the day with a bit of planning.

2. Keep Cleaning Wipes Available

If you’re planning to travel or have a very tight schedule, cleaning wipes need to live with your CPAP machine. It’s still a good idea to remove the seals and other soft components of your CPAP mask, but you can give your mask a thorough cleaning with the right wipes.

Always rinse your mask after cleaning it and allow it to air dry. When the mask is completely dry, you can go ahead and reinstall all the seals and straps. Be sure to use cleaning wipes specific for CPAP masks so they won’t harm it.

3. Clean With Soap and Water

A simple, basic soap can be used to clean your mask, hoses, and humidifying tank. The key is to buy a very basic soap. You need a product that contains no fragrances and no moisturizers. Avoid antibacterial soaps; these can be quite harsh and may eventually be tough on the plastic components of your CPAP mask.

Follow manufacturer instructions regarding your tank to make sure that your weekly cleaning process will remove any risk of bacteria or mold. Use a basin of warm water and your mild soap to soak your mask and hoses for at least five minutes. Use a soft cloth to actively clean the components of your CPAP before rinsing them thoroughly and leaving them to dry.

If you leave your CPAP components on a towel or a drying mat to air dry, make sure this cloth is also washed in that mild soap and allowed to air dry. Dryer sheets and liquid fabric softeners can leave unhealthy chemicals in your linens and may have a negative impact on your health.

Your CPAP mask can extend your life and improve your quality of life, but it needs particular care to keep you safe. Making sure you have the soap, vinegar, and cleaning wipes available to address proper maintenance is key.



Alex is the co-author of 100 Greatest Plays, 100 Greatest Cricketers, 100 Greatest Films and 100 Greatest Moments. He has written for a wide variety of publications including The Observer, The Sunday Times, The Daily Mail, The Guardian and The Telegraph.

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