Cleaning your CPAP Machine

Cleaning your CPAP Machine is essential to get the maximum benefits from your machine. It takes an hour or less, but you will definitely notice a difference when the parts of your machine are clean and fresh.

How Do I Clean My CPAP Machine?

  • Before you start, unplug your CPAP machine so you won’t get shocked.
  • Disconnect your mask from the CPAP tubing. If your mask has a headgear, detach it. If there are other pieces that are easily reattached, these also can be separated.
  • Remove the CPAP tubing from any connectors, the humidifier, or from the CPAP machine itself, if it connects directly.
  • If you have a humidifier unit, remove it from the CPAP machine, and separate it into pieces, if you can do it easily.
  • Wet a soft cloth with warm water. Gently wipe down the outer surface of the CPAP machine.
  • Fill a container with warm water. Add a small amount of gentle dish soap.
  • Submerge the mask, headgear, tubing, and connectors in the warm soapy water. Allow it to soak for about 30 minutes.
  • Then, wipe out the mask with a soft cloth and warm water, and swish soapy water through the tubing. Allow everything to air dry on a towel. These items should ideally be cleaned every day, or as often as possible.
  • The humidifier should be cleaned with hot water and mild soap. It should also be allowed to air dry. Remember to only put distilled water in the humidifier. If you don’t, there is an increased risk of illness as well as the probability that hard minerals will build up on your equipment. The humidifier should be cleaned weekly.
  • Some CPAP machines have filters. It’s important to review your manufacturer’s instructions or ask your equipment provider about how these should be maintained. Some can be rinsed but others must be replaced.
  • Finally, after everything has been allowed to air dry, reassemble the parts. Apply the headgear to your mask, hook the mask back onto the tubing and any connectors, and connect the tubing back to the humidifier or directly to the CPAP machine. Turn the machine on briefly and listen for any air leaks that weren’t there before.
  • If you find that your sleep apnea symptoms have returned or you feel like your machine isn’t working right, bring it in to your equipment provider and have things checked out.

Important Tips When Cleaning Your CPAP Machine

1. You must keep your equipment clean. You don’t want to breathe in dirt, bacteria or mold. If you have been sick, clean your equipment more often.
2. Remember to always follow the advice of your medical and equipment providers as well as the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning your CPAP.
3. Only use gentle soap on your equipment. Harsh cleaners or detergents can make you sick. Only use distilled water in your humidifier.
4. DO NOT wash your equipment in a dishwasher or washing machine.