09-03-2012, 04:12 AM
(This post was last modified: 09-03-2012, 04:13 AM by archangle.)
Disassemble the tank, wash in the dishwasher once a week or so. I use my longest, hottest wash cycle, extra rinse, regular dishwashing detergent, no dishes. I got a spare tank and let the cleaned one dry for a week when I use the other tank.
I also disassemble and wash my mask at the same time without the headgear. I would not wash a mask with foam parts this way. I have a spare mask and let it sit dry for a week as well.
I've done it this way since 2004. The tanks stay squeaky clean, and none of my tanks seem any worse for the wear. My masks eventually get a little grungy looking, but I probably get a couple of years before I need to replace the cushions on my ComfortGel masks.
You can get the ResMed cleanable tanks online for less than $40. I would expect them to last several years.
Many of us who use distilled water tend to top them off every morning with no obvious problems. I do disassemble and clean it weekly.
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If it's midnight and a DME tells you it's dark outside, go and check it yourself.
Half fill tank with 50/50 per cent white vinegar and clear water. Shake vigoursly,. Rinse out with clear water.
The red buildup you see in your humidifier tank is not rust. It is mold and you should clean the tank thoroughly immediately. You do not want mold spores being pushed into your lungs by your CPAP. Use strictly distilled water and washout and dry the tank regularly--weekly is best.
Are you using distilled water?
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My insurance (Medicare Supplemental Plan + private insurance) allows me a new humidifier chamber every six months.
I run distilled water in mine and do a clorox wipe wiping and rinse every couple of days (when I have to refill the tank). It also goes in the top rack of the dish washer every so often. I get a new tank every six months, so the old one will get a good cleaning, and put in reserve as a backup. I have never seen the mold in the tank, but in my old system, I would have the calcium buildup from using bottled water. Only use bottled water now when I take my system on the road.