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A10 cleaning
#1
I have read some contradicting (or at least unclear) information on cleaning. First of, I am using a strong vinegar solution to soak my hose, mask and nasal cushion in for an hour or so once a week or so. I read somewhere that vinegar is NOT recommended along with alcohol. Is that just for the humidifier?

Also I have the dishwasher safe humidifier. Does that mean that ALL 3 parts (the two shell parts and the diverter/seal) all top rack safe?

And one last question. What is the recommended replacement schedule for the filter, head gear, cushion, hose and tank? Not interested in how long you all get... okay maybe interested in that too, but really want to know what is recommended first.

Bob
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#2
Water tank every 6 months; mask, tubing, and filter every 3 months; cushion every 2-4 weeks.

Vinegar is good for cleaning mineral deposits that accumulate in the tank. I have a water softener so I never need to do that even if I make a tank last over 18 months, which I often do. This is one reason the manufacturers recommend distilled water, but in many parts of the world distilled water is too expensive. Not so here in the US. I use local bottled drinking water when I travel, or if I don't have any I just use the tap water.

My DME recommends washing the tubing once per week in warm soapy anti-bacterial soap that has no moisturizers in it.

I rinse my tank daily and also wash the cushion daily in warm soapy water using the recommended type of soap. I use a hose brush when I wash the tubing.
Sleepster
Apnea Board Moderator
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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#3
(05-07-2016, 09:30 AM)parrst Wrote: I have read some contradicting (or at least unclear) information on cleaning. First of, I am using a strong vinegar solution to soak my hose, mask and nasal cushion in for an hour or so once a week or so. I read somewhere that vinegar is NOT recommended along with alcohol. Is that just for the humidifier?

Also I have the dishwasher safe humidifier. Does that mean that ALL 3 parts (the two shell parts and the diverter/seal) all top rack safe?

And one last question. What is the recommended replacement schedule for the filter, head gear, cushion, hose and tank? Not interested in how long you all get... okay maybe interested in that too, but really want to know what is recommended first.

Bob

Vinegar - 1:8 or 1:10 solution depending on who you ask, but you can also use Dawn. I only use the strong solution on the very bottom of my humidifier when using tap water because the mineral coating is usually thickest there. I only use tap water when not at home; if you normally use distilled water, you won't get the mineral buildup.

Dishwasher safe humidifier - all parts are top rack safe.

Filter - replace as needed or once a month. I can go almost 2 months without replacement in the winter and now that I have the windows open, I have to replace about every 2-3 weeks. I have one backup tank - Resmed says the tank (and seals) have a life expectancy of 2.5 years. You can drop it and crack it, which is why I recommend a backup. Otherwise, no need to store more and certainly no need to replace unless you have a problem. Cushions - have 2 or 3 backups - replace when you start getting increased leaks, although boiling for 5 minutes CAN extend the life of a cushion. Mask and head gear - You can get anywhere from 6 months to 2.5 years, on average, for masks and headgear. Depends on what you have, how you use it (tight-loose), etc. If it's working for you, no need to replace - but do have at least one backup, two if you ever travel (always possible to leave behind).

The 'schedule' is what Medicare allows. DME's will push that it is due to hygiene, but that is nonsense. Most of us get way more use from our supplies than the schedule implies - it's just a moneymaker for the DME.

Work with your deductible. If you've already met it this year, get all the supplies you can until the end of the year. Then hold back until after you've met your deductible next year or the year after. Saves you money.

Note: I have never bothered with anti-bacterial soap. There is no evidence that it is more effective than Dawn (or soap and water) and there IS evidence that it causes problems in the environment and in the hormones of animals. My state has banned antibacterial soaps, which goes in effect in January.
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#4
If I am not mistaken, vinegar also kills germs because it is acidic. Is that not right? Should I NOT be soaking my hose and head gear?
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#5
I wouldn't continually use that acidic solution on these parts, especially the silicone used in mask parts. All that's needed for routine daily cleaning is warm soapy water.
Sleepster
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#6
(05-07-2016, 12:51 PM)Mosquitobait Wrote: The 'schedule' is what Medicare allows. DME's will push that it is due to hygiene, but that is nonsense. Most of us get way more use from our supplies than the schedule implies - it's just a moneymaker for the DME.

Work with your deductible. If you've already met it this year, get all the supplies you can until the end of the year. Then hold back until after you've met your deductible next year or the year after. Saves you money.

I am new to this, but my thoughts were close to this. I intend to make the parts last as long as possible, replacing them only when there is a reason and not because some arbitrary date has passed. But, I do intend to purchase as many parts/supplies as medicare will allow since I have no deductible and only pay 20% on the dollar via Humana.

I want to stock up with all the extras I can, you never know when the insurance coverage may change, and as I see it CPAP is not a cure, it is a life long treatment and the spares don't go bad (in any reasonable period of time.)
I am not a Medical professional and I don't play one on the internet.
Started CPAP Therapy April 5, 2016
I'd Rather Be Sleeping
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#7
(05-07-2016, 02:37 PM)parrst Wrote: If I am not mistaken, vinegar also kills germs because it is acidic. Is that not right? Should I NOT be soaking my hose and head gear?

some germs love acid.
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#8
My DME tech told me to wash the mask AND the humidifier AND the hose every day in soapy water. "Just put the whole thing in the sink, without disassembling" she said.

This sounded wrong to me. The manufactuerer's instructions say wash the mask (separating the frame from pillows in my case) and tank daily, and the hose weekly.

Some sources do not ever use alcohol or vinegar on the silicone parts. Others say ok to use diluted vinegar. I go by ResMed's instructions and just use soapy water,
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#9
as to silicone, if you spend a little time researching the effects of alcohol on silicone, you'll find that isopropyl alcohol has no effect on silicone, and ethyl alcohol just discolors it a bit... but doesn't harm it in any way.... I don't know where the 'alcohol is bad' thing came from.

I saw a rant from a dme/rt (something) on another board where they were saying 'but but but, alcohol dries out your skin and makes it something something'...

to which I replied 'well, as fast as alcohol evaporates, you'd have to be pretty quick to get your mask wet with it and then slap it on your fast quick enough to get any appreciable amount on your skin".... no response.
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#10
Everything I have been able to find says Silicone is inert to Isopropyl Alcohol. However what else is interesting are comments indicating it is also a poor media for bacterial growth, some even claiming it inhibits bacterial growth. Sadly I can only find marketing material making this claim and I tend to discount 99.9% of marketing material.
I am not a Medical professional and I don't play one on the internet.
Started CPAP Therapy April 5, 2016
I'd Rather Be Sleeping
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