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Soap -- Mask Cleaning
#11
For my ComfortGel masks, I use the dishwasher with whatever dishwashing powder I'm currently using to wash the dishes. I don't see any problems I would blame on the dishwashing. I swap between 2 masks every weekly cleaning cycle and let the cleaned mask sit and dry out for a week. My one year old set looks pretty good,

I disassemble and wash the mask frame, cushion, flap, head cushion, and humidifier tank. I use the hottest, longest, "sanitize" cycle my dishwasher will do with "extra rinse." No food dishes in the machine at the same time.

I don't wash the headgear this way. There are some masks with parts like foam that I wouldn't wash this way.

If you're concerned, wait until your insurance will buy a spare mask and try dishwashing the old parts.
Get the free SleepyHead software here.
Useful links.
Click here for information on the main alternative to CPAP.
If it's midnight and a DME tells you it's dark outside, go and check it yourself.
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#12
Lately I've been washing the mask straps and chin straps in the clothes washer. I use the gentle cycle with Woolite, smallest setting, warm water, and wash no clothes or anything else with them. I then put them in the dryer at low heat for a few minutes, then hang up to finish drying.
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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#13
We have a pump thingy in the kitchen sink that you fill with soap. I use whatever dish washing soap my wife throws in it and I have never had any issues with any harm to my equipment. But then again, I just use one pump in a sink full of hot water. I don't go nuts with the soap.
As always, YMMV! You do not have to agree or disagree, I am not a professional so my mental meanderings are simply recollections of things from my own life.

PRS1 - Auto - A-Flex x2 - 12.50 - 20 - Humid x2 - Swift FX
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#14
As some of you know, I am an engineer of food processing equipment, a discipline that overlaps microbiology and material science....so I offer (humbly) some information that may be helpful relative to masks'n'microbes.

- Your mask (hard clear plastic) is made from polycarbonate.
- Your pillows and sealing surface (soft, flexible components) are made from silicone rubber.
- Both materials are considered "inert", meaning they won't chemically change or bond to other materials in a natural environment.
- Silicon is a dense, high molecular weight material which is resistant to absorption (non-porous with no way for water or microbes to permeate the material surface).
- Silicon will remain stable at temperatures higher than all microbes can withstand, without embrittlement or decomposition.
- Silicon is inert to most chemicals except hydrochloric acid (which does exist in stomach acid).
- Microbes are generally of two types: 1) food spoilage microbes, and, 2) pathogens.
- Food spoilage microbes exist in the trillions throughout your body, particularly your mouth and colon, they make up a stable community (microbiome) considered to be healthy.
- Pathogens are responsible for most diseases. They exist in your body, your bedroom, your mask, and everywhere else...in concentrations (colony forming units) too small to compete with all the other microbes for dominance. (If you successfully killed all the spoilage microbes, the pathogens would grow unchecked and overrun your body.)
- Consequently, obsessive cleaning and sterilization of CPAP equipment serves no purpose. A simple wash with hot soapy water will reduce the concentrations of microbes and pathogens below the levels that already exist in the body. Further cleaning is futile, your body will return the microbe level of the mask to that of the body.
- If your mask is breaking down, it is more likely to be caused by acid reflux from your stomach over time, than from soaps.

Understanding your body as a microbione is discussed here.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/articl...ome-survey

An exhaustive list of links and scientific resources discussing the existence and purpose of bacteria in your body is shown here.
http://phylogenomics.blogspot.com/2012/0...apers.html

The history and chemistry of the Medical Applications of Silicones are discussed here.
http://www.dowcorning.com/content/publis...069-01.pdf

The relationship between Silicon ( your mask) and Organics (your body) are discussed there
http://www.dowcorning.com/content/discov...ganic.aspx

I hope this information will arrest your fears if any, and focus your cleaning efforts toward the "concentration" of microbes rather than the "existence" of microbes.
--==<< old, experienced, but still curious >>==--
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#15
Scott,

Thank you very much for bringing some science to this discussion. Very interesting and informative!
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#16
Scott thank you for your highly informed educated reply! You have put my bacterial fears to rest while answering my harmful chemical concerns. I appreciate the information and am sure others also will!

As a retired electronics/computer engineer one of the first things I did was try retrieving information on my PAP hardware... wondering what kind of blower, axial flow vs centrifugal squire cage... What kind of control algorithms, sensors and dedicated processor hardware... I am truly amazed that based on simple flow rate and volume versus time the plethora of information displayed in Sleepyhead software.

Oh, and as a true professional you included technical references!

Again thank you sir
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#17
(06-24-2012, 02:52 PM)ScottBerglin Wrote: - Consequently, obsessive cleaning and sterilization of CPAP equipment serves no purpose. A simple wash with hot soapy water will reduce the concentrations of microbes and pathogens below the levels that already exist in the body. Further cleaning is futile, your body will return the microbe level of the mask to that of the body.

Thanks for the valuable info. By the way, I sometimes notice an odor when I first turn on the machine. I can't describe it as anything other than a CPAP odor. It goes away when I wash the hose, but then comes back again. Sometimes soon, sometimes not for a long time. And sometimes it just goes away on it's own. Do you have any idea what might be causing this?
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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#18
Gosh living in Houston I'm surprised you even need to add humidity? My son used to live in Clear Lake, Living in the desert I have my humidity setting at 3...If I experience any mask leakage I empty the entire water tank. Sad
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#19
Washing mask is to remove skin oil on the cushions otherwise it would leak like a sieve and I would think more chance to get germs and bacteria from my tooth brush than the mask Dont-know
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#20
(06-24-2012, 05:54 PM)312capri Wrote: Gosh living in Houston I'm surprised you even need to add humidity?

The indoor relative humidity is somewhere between 50% and 55%. That's during the summer months, of course, when the A/C runs 24/7.
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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