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Cleaning CPAP machine: complete guide

Last Updated: 08 July 2021

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Cpap machines, or continuous positive airway pressure machines, are complicated pieces of kit. They can work wonders but they really need to be cleaned correctly. This guide looks at how to clean CPAP devices. No need to invest in a CPAP cleaning machine – you can do it yourself!

What are the symptoms of a dirty CPAP machine?


Take a good whiff to see if your machine’s mask and other parts smell. When we say take a smell, we really mean a strong smell. Get into all the nooks and crannies to smell any mold, mildew or bad signs that you have possible bacteria.

Visual aspects and Daily Cleaning

Look around at every part of the machine. If you notice dust forming, you’ll need to give it a thorough clean. Don’t forget to check out the filters, tubing, and humidifier too – looking dirty? Time to replace them.

Irritation of the skin

Using both CPAP sanitizer and CPAP cleaner can really help rid the body of irritation, so do a bit of CPAP disinfection and cleaning.

How to clean CPAP machine?

All supplies ought to be cleaned on a weekly basis according to the recommendations of the manufacturer. Weekly Cleaning ought to be a priority and if you can clean daily then this is even better.

Refer to these general rules when wondering how to clean CPAP:

How to clean CPAP machine
  • Clean out all of your cleaning cpap supplies and give everything enough time to dry.
  • Disassemble every part, including your water chamber.
  • Wipe all of the exterior.
  • Wash out your cleaning cpap mask, tubes and water chamber with soapy water.
  • Rinse all remaining parts with clean water and vinegar to provide added disinfection. You can soak any parts in water and vinegar before rinsing off.
  • Allow all parts and the machine to dry.

How often to clean CPAP?

Now that you know how to clean a CPAP machine, you’re probably wondering how often to clean it. The company that provides the machine or your physician will be the best approach to answer such a question. We would recommend cleaning it on a daily basis but obviously, people have busy schedules on their hands. In all honesty, the risk of infections from mold is very low.

Depending on your condition, you may want to do more frequent cleaning, for instance cleaning on a daily basis if you’ve got an upper respiratory infection. Make sure not to share your best cpap cleaner with anyone else to avoid any risk of infection.

What CPAP Cleaning Equipment Do you Need

There are a number of items we’d thoroughly recommend acquiring:

  • CPAP Wipes: use these to wipe down
  • CPAP Spray: a solution to remove mould and generally clean
  • CPAP Cleaners: make sure to get certified ones. If not, mix mild soap and water together.
  • Towels: used to dry out everything and prevent the growth of mould

Now let’s look at a detailed guide of steps to follow for cleaning.

Step 1# disassemble parts

What CPAP Cleaning Equipment Do you Need

Disassemble your machine and unplug it from the power mains. Disconnect the mask from all the tubes. If you have a mask with headgear, detach this too. If other parts exist that are easy to reattach, one can separate them. Remove the tubes from the connectors, the output of the humidifier or grom the machine itself. If there is a water chamber around, remove it from the humidifier part and separate everything into different pieces.

Step 2# Wiping and washing

A wet cloth plus warm water is great for wiping down any surfaces and removing dust. Do make sure that it is unplugged while you clean. Fill up a small basin, sink or tub with tepid water. Add some soap and vinegar diluted to a ratio of 1:1 with water. Submerge your mask, tubing, and headgear with the water solution and soak for around 30 minutes.

Step 3# Drying

Everything needs to dry in the air on a towel or somewhere where it can drip dry such as over a shower curtain rail. All these items need drying in the air and never in an oven or some very hot place. If you skip on proper drying, there is an increased chance of gaining mold and some hard minerals that can build up all over your equipment. This could cause illnesses in the future and even using a water ionizer when cleaning won’t help if parts haven’t been fully dried.

Step 4# Possible replacements

Possible replacements

A lot of machines contain filters. It’s vital that these are taken a good look at and reviewed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Don’t be afraid to call up your company to ask them if there’s anything wrong with parts. You should aim to remove your disposable filter once a month and if you can ideally every couple of weeks.

Step 5# Put it all together

After it’s all been cleaned, it’s time to put things back together again. Connect the headgear to the mask and then hook this mask onto tubes and other connectors. All of the tubings should connect up to your humidifier component or directly into the machine itself. You can turn the machine on to hear for leaks and any strange sounds.


Can you clean CPAP with vinegar?

Yes, absolutely, although it needs to be in a homemade CPAP cleaning solution. Usually, people like to give it a wash in warm soapy water and then dry it. After this, a solution of 2:3 of vinegar to water can be prepared. Wash again with the solution, rinse carefully and allow everything to air dry. Hey presto, it’s clean!

Can you use baby wipes to clean CPAP mask?

Cleaning cpap machine parts is not usually done with baby wipes, however, it’s possible to use wipes to remove outside casing dirt. Some cleaning chemicals from baby wipes could damage internal components so they do not make for the best way to clean CPAP parts. It’s much easier and better to stick to the guides we’ve provided earlier.

What happens if you don’t clean your CPAP?

What happens if you don't clean your CPAP

There are a number of different ailments that one could have as a result. As an example, if one doesn’t know how to clean CPAP hose then sinus infections could result. If you’re not sure about how to clean CPAP mask components, you could develop respiratory infections and a number of CPAP bacterial infection symptoms. From coughs to colds, there are all sorts of things that can ensue, so make sure you know how to clean CPAP machines properly!

How to clean cpap conclusion

Now you’ve heard from us, you’re well on your way to having a safe machine. The good people at HandyHomeMaster.com tell people to take cleaning steps seriously as not to get infections – good advice! Do you know how to disinfect a humidifier or clean CPAP equipment? Tell us in the comments section.

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