Household vinegar is dilute acetic acid, usually 3-9 % acetic acid. It is very mild and there is no danger is using it straight out of the bottle but that is not necessary, wasteful and smelly. (After all we eat it all the time straight in salads) It can be used as an antibacterial for many food born pathogens, like E. coli but mostly it is used in the CPAP world as a dissolver of hard water deposits. That is why you see it recommended for the humidifier chambers. You can wash your equipment using soap and water to remove oils and gunk but you should rinse before using the vinegar solution. If you mix the vinegar with things other than water you may degrade the acidic characteristic, the pH, and thus the deposit dissolving ability. I use distilled vinegar for this purpose as some of the other versions (like apple cider vinegar) have unwanted fruit solids.
A 1% solution is often recommended so depending on how strong your vinegar is that could mean adding anywhere from 2 parts water up to 8 parts water. I feel no need to be precise.
if you can't decide then you don't have enough data.
I lived in southern Utah when diagnosed and supplied with my equipment. The DME provider gave the boiler plate speech about cleaning with vinegar, but the sleep clinic staff gave far differing directions. The clinic supervisor said the local culinary water contained a red algae that loved and actually thrived in vinegar. She reported witnessing algae blooms in humidifier chambers when cleaned with vinegar. That explained the red staining on the bottom of our shower curtains and their annual replacement. The water was extremely hard as well, and doing without a water softener was out of the question. I have never used vinegar even-though I now reside in northern Utah. Maybe I'll experiment with vinegar and my old humidifier chamber after buying a new replacement.
Frogman, if the local algae loves vinegar, then you'd do better with some kind of base for cleaning. I think I used baking soda in that instance when cleaning fish tanks. However, dishwashing liquid should still work.
As far as washing these things, since I have to do my brother's as well, I moved from the bathroom sink to the kitchen sink rather than buy a special container. Handles the hoses way better anyway. I still hang the hoses in the bathroom to drip and dry.
Mosquito, I also use the kitchen sink for weekly cleaning, but use Lysol. I use hand soap for the daily mask cleaning, when I remember that is. I recently bought some Control III and will try that instead of the Lysol. If I don't get the Lysol/water ratio and soak time right, the scent bothers me for several nights. I've also considered making a batch of Star San mixed with distilled water. I use Star San to sterilize bottles and equipment during the honey harvest. Now if I could get a soap that smells like honey and beeswax, I'd be in heaven. The base (baking soda) idea to combat the algae sounds like a plan as well.
Kitchen sink for washing equipment may be risky depending on how you use your sink and clean it during the day. From other sources one gleans that there’s more E. coli in a kitchen sink than in a toilet after you flush it. The sink is a great place for E. coli to live and grow since it’s wet and moist. Bacteria feed on the food that people put down the drain and what’s left on dishes in the sink. That’s probably why dogs drink out of the toilet—because there’s less E. coli in it. Personally, i like the thought of a seperate dedicated plastic basin.
06-09-2015, 12:35 AM
(This post was last modified: 06-09-2015, 12:37 AM by me50.)
I have a separate plastic bin for cleaning my supplies. I can't let my hose drip dry in the bathroom though. Even if someone closes the toilet lid, water still travels outside the toilet bowl. I don't want what travels on the outside or inside of my hose