Simple Steps to Keep Your CPAP Machine Clean

This content was created by the National Sleep Foundation

CPAP machines are designed to help people who suffer from sleep apnea feel better. These machines increase airflow during the night, helping you breathe better so you can sleep without disruption. But for the machine to work well and keep you healthy, you do need to keep it clean. Your machine should come with specific instructions for care, but there are some basic tools and techniques that tend to work on most of them. Check out five products that might help.

  1. Mild, pure, liquid soap: CPAP machines have humidifier water chambers, which you need to clean every morning. Empty any unused water from the chamber and then let the chamber soak for 10 minutes in a mixture of water and mild, pure, liquid soap. Then rinse it and let it air dry. You can use the same soap for cleaning the masks and tubing. Make sure that you don’t use anything too harsh, chlorine, or alcohol-based cleaners.
  2. Mask cleaner: While mild, pure, liquid soap works well, there are also specialty cleaning fluids that are specifically designed for use on CPAP masks. This kind of cleaner is extra gentle, so it won’t break down the material of the mask—even if you use it every day.
  3. Tube-cleaning brushes: You’ll want to clean the tubes of your CPAP machine once a week. Soak them in the mixture of water and soap mentioned above, and then use a tube cleaning brush to get the inside of the tube clean.
  4. Sanitizing machines: Worried about bacteria and viruses living in your CPAP machine? You can buy specifically designed CPAP sanitizing machines that get rid of germs and mold. Just put the entire apparatus inside without taking it apart and turn it on.
  5. Mask wipes: For a quick cleaning in the morning, you can wipe off the mask with an unscented wipe, which is designed exactly for this use. It takes off any leftover dirt or grease that built up the night before (like from makeup or sweat that was on your face) and can keep it clean between more involved washings.