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Used CPAP machine...what's involved in sterilizing it?
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Tacoma Droner Offline

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Posts: 52
Joined: Sep 2015

Machine: PR System One autoSV BiPap
Mask Type: Nasal pillows
Mask Make & Model: Optilife
Humidifier: PR System One
CPAP Pressure: 9-18
CPAP Software: SleepyHead

Other Comments: Became a hosehead in 2004-still going strong!

Sex: Male
Location: TACOMA WA

Post: #11
RE: Used CPAP machine...what's involved in sterilizing it?
This may not be helpful, but I'll throw it out there anyway. As the years go by, I've become more and more of the opposite of a germophobe. I don't give a whiff about germs anymore. Reason for this is because I've come to realize that I come into contact with so many germs every day and I have no control over it. Germs come to me on money, mail, door handles, shopping carts, the dog park gate latch, my dog's paws, items I buy in the supermarket, the pen on the card reader, my credit card when it is handed back to me at a restaurant, etc etc. Impossible to avoid germs in my environment.

I've stopped using antibacterial soap, I've thrown away the can of Lysol spray, and you won't find any latex gloves in my house. I never clean my CPAP except for the humidifier (which I clean when it gets grungy and replace when it gets super grungy.) I used to get sick pretty often (colds, flu, sore throats, and whatnot) and never went a year without using up all my sick days at work. Since becoming an anti-germophobe, I don't get sick anymore! Yeah, weird. Could it have anything to do with my immune system? You be the judge. But I've literally not been sick for a single day in the last 4 years.

When buying a used CPAP machine, which I've done several times, I do pretty much what Stiffdoc suggests. Change the filters, wash the humidifier, discard the old hose, and go with it. Now, as a qualifier, I will add that I don't have any medical problems like many of the folks on this forum. I'm generally robust and healthy, and other than orthopedic issues, and sleep apnea, and obesity, there's nothing wrong with me.
11-22-2015 09:42 PM
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DariaVader Offline
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Posts: 1,827
Joined: Nov 2014

Machine: Resmed S9 AutoSet
Mask Type: Nasal pillows
Mask Make & Model: Airfit P10 for Her
Humidifier: H5i humidifier with ClimateLine heated hose
CPAP Pressure: 8-15
CPAP Software: SleepyHead

Other Comments: diabetes II, Thyroidectomized, Primary Immune Deficiency, and the list goes on :P

Sex: Female
Location: Oregon

Post: #12
RE: Used CPAP machine...what's involved in sterilizing it?
Maybe the boost to your immune system comes from treating your apnea... Apnea is a known immune system killer Smile

هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه
Tongue Suck Technique for prevention of mouth breathing:
  • Place your tongue behind your front teeth on the roof of your mouth
  • let your tongue fill the space between the upper molars
  • gently suck to form a light vacuum
Practising during the day can help you to keep it at night

هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه
11-22-2015 09:59 PM
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zonk Offline

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Posts: 7,908
Joined: Feb 2012

Machine: A10 AutoSet
Mask Type: Nasal mask
Mask Make & Model: Activa LT
Humidifier: Integrated /ClimateLineAir
CPAP Pressure: 9/13
CPAP Software: ResScan

Other Comments: CPAP since Nov 2010

Sex: Male
Location: Australia

Post: #13
RE: Used CPAP machine...what's involved in sterilizing it?
(11-22-2015 08:15 PM)Stiffdoc Wrote:  Zonk: no offense, but I don't think that your rehab process actually achieves true sterilization. (I'm a pathologist and I taught Universal Precautions and sterilization methods for about 15 years).
No worries, the information from Supplier #2 website, they sell new and used machines
11-22-2015 10:00 PM
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archangle Offline
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Posts: 3,159
Joined: Feb 2012

Machine: ResMed S9 AutoSet
Mask Type: Nasal pillows
Mask Make & Model: ResMed Swift FX
Humidifier: ResMed S9 H5i
CPAP Pressure: 16-20
CPAP Software: ResScan SleepyHead EncoreBasic

Other Comments: Happy PAPper

Sex: Undisclosed
Location: USA

Post: #14
RE: Used CPAP machine...what's involved in sterilizing it?
Let's get the terminology correct here.

Machine - the thing that blows the air. Let's call it the "blower unit" to be clear.
Water tub
Hose and mask.

Machine/Blower unit. No sterilization or cleaning is necessary. Replace the filters.

Air flows from the machine to the patient, not the other way. Your exhaled air won't go up the tube far enough to get into the machine. The blower unit is not a good place to grow germs anyway. It's dry and there's nothing for them to feed on in there. Germs require moisture, and some sort of food in order to reproduce.

SoClean does NOT!!!! clean or sterilize the blower unit. The ozone from the SoClean only gets into the water tub, mask, and nose, NOT the blower unit. I'm skeptical about SoClean in general, but the ozone does not get into the machine itself.

Check the Useful Links in my signature line below for links to ResMed's sanitation guidelines for water tanks, hoses, and masks.

You can buy Control III disinfectant online and use it to help sanitize masks, hoses, and water tanks. READ THE INSTRUCTIONS. It's pretty benign once diluted, but the full strength solution is a strong chemical.

Depending on the mask, you may be able to disassemble it and drop the parts into a pot of boiling water and leave them there until the water cools down. Turn the heat off before you drop the parts in. Some water tubs do fine with the hot water treatment, some don't. Some masks may be damaged, but if you're about to throw it away anyway, it's worth a shot.

Even boiling water won't kill ALL germs, but it gets most of the ones that are likely to be a problem.

I also put my disassembled mask and water tank parts in the dishwasher, except for any cloth or foam parts like headgear. For foam or cloth on used masks, I wet them with rubbing alcohol and let them soak overnight in a sealed tupperware bowl so they stay wet for a while.

There's a hot water treatment guideline for hoses in the links below. Basically it involves a lower temperature for a longer period of time. Some hoses get "crunchy" if you put them in boiling temperature water. If it's not a heated hose, they're pretty cheap anyway, especially online or through e-bay.

What manufacturer and model of machine are we discussing? Tell us the manufacturer, and EVERYTHING it says on the front or top.

Also, how long has it been since the machine has been used? Most, but not all, of the nasty germs that could conceivably be lurking in the machine don't survive that long in a dry environment. Also turn it on and leave it on for a few minutes. You might also leave it in a reasonably hot car for a while in the sun.

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.
11-23-2015 06:25 AM
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Mosquitobait Offline

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Posts: 746
Joined: Apr 2015

Machine: Resmed AirSense 10 For Her
Mask Type: Nasal pillows
Mask Make & Model: Airfit P10
Humidifier: integrated, Climate line tube
CPAP Pressure: 9-12
CPAP Software: ResScan SleepyHead

Other Comments: RLS and Bradycardia

Sex: Female
Location: Minneapolis

Post: #15
RE: Used CPAP machine...what's involved in sterilizing it?
Suppliers 27 & 28 will take your machine apart and clean it. I think it's unnecessary, but if it bothers you, then go for it. If the former user was a smoker, they have to actually replace the insulation to eliminate that odor.

Hospitals don't sterilize the machines either. They wipe it down, replace the filter, and on to the next patient. The mask is sterilized the same as they do other equipment. Only the hose is replaced and they replace it with a really crappy piece of stiff plastic.

If you have germ phobia, which apparently you do, then best leave the machine to someone else. You'll just make yourself crazy.
(This post was last modified: 11-23-2015 02:35 PM by Mosquitobait.)
11-23-2015 02:30 PM
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OMyMyOHellYes Offline

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Posts: 915
Joined: Mar 2013

Machine: Respironics 560 Auto
Mask Type: Nasal mask
Mask Make & Model: Resmed Mirage FX
Humidifier: Respironics System One (no heated hose)
CPAP Pressure: 08.0-15.0 cm/H2O
CPAP Software: EncoreBasic

Other Comments:

Sex: Male
Location: Texas

Post: #16
RE: Used CPAP machine...what's involved in sterilizing it?
New filters, new tube, new mask (or your old tube and mask), and new water chamber/tank. Wash gaskets, and then I don't think there's that much more to do. I have had four used machines down through the years. Two from individuals, one from a pawn shop and one from Supplier #2. Never a problem. Just make sure not form a smoking house unless yours is already a smoking household.

You typically can't "back breathe" into a running machine, and if you could, it would not likely make it back down 6' of tube.

If you did a sleep study titration, I am betting that was a used machine that had not been "sterilized". Probably the tube and the mask had been cleaned in a sterilzing solution, but probably not much else.

And if that freaks somebody out, think about a hospital bed. Or the bed in the last hotel you stayed at. Or the fork you stick in your mouth at the restaurant. There is nothing inherently wrong with used stuff. Unless it's toilet paper or facial tissues, or needles, etc.

OMMOHY
11-23-2015 02:42 PM
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Sleeprider Online
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Posts: 3,379
Joined: Dec 2014

Machine: Resmed Aircurve 10 Vauto
Mask Type: Nasal pillows
Mask Make & Model: Resmed Airfit P10
Humidifier: Resmed Climateline
CPAP Pressure: Auto Bilevel 18/9, PS 3
CPAP Software: ResScan SleepyHead EncoreBasic

Other Comments:

Sex: Male
Location: Where they make Respironics

Post: #17
RE: Used CPAP machine...what's involved in sterilizing it?
SoClean is an ozone generator for home use. It is reported to be damaging to masks and other plastics and is very expensive.

I have purchased two used machine in the past year. I cleaned and sanitized them, changed filters and disinfected the humidifier tanks. I do not re-use hoses or masks from other people. Within the blower circuit, there is not much opportunity that these surfaces will support pathogens. I did use Ozium vapor to clean out one machine that had smoke odor.

I think the risk of using a used machine is negligible, but not zero and your tolerance to risk will probably determine if you can be comfortable with a used machine.

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11-23-2015 02:42 PM
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wrisleykl Offline

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Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2012

Machine: PR DreamStation Auto
Mask Type: Full face mask
Mask Make & Model: Amara View
Humidifier: PR DreamStation
CPAP Pressure: 8-14
CPAP Software: Other Software

Other Comments:

Sex: Male
Location:

Post: #18
RE: Used CPAP machine...what's involved in sterilizing it?
I use a SoClean. Don't know how "effective" it is, but I don't see or smell any growth. There is a distinct ozone smell for a while after cleaning, but it doesn't bother me. It dissipates after running the CPAP for awhile.
(This post was last modified: 12-27-2015 09:48 PM by wrisleykl.)
12-27-2015 09:41 PM
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wrisleykl Offline

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Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2012

Machine: PR DreamStation Auto
Mask Type: Full face mask
Mask Make & Model: Amara View
Humidifier: PR DreamStation
CPAP Pressure: 8-14
CPAP Software: Other Software

Other Comments:

Sex: Male
Location:

Post: #19
RE: Used CPAP machine...what's involved in sterilizing it?
(11-23-2015 02:42 PM)Sleeprider Wrote:  SoClean is an ozone generator for home use. It is reported to be damaging to masks and other plastics and is very expensive.

I haven't noticed any damage to the plastic. The silicone does oxidize faster than normal, but not appreciably if the mask is changed every 3 month as recommended. And just rinsing the mask with warm water and putting it in the SoClean is easier than cleaning mask tubing and tank on a regular basis. My humidifier tank has never become grungy since I have started using the SoClean.
12-27-2015 09:54 PM
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Doc J Offline

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Posts: 199
Joined: Dec 2013

Machine: ResMed S9 AutoSet
Mask Type: Nasal pillows
Mask Make & Model: ResMed AirFit P10
Humidifier: resMed H5i Dumped and dry daily
CPAP Pressure: 10-15
CPAP Software: ResScan SleepyHead

Other Comments: Knowledge is King and this is the place to find it! Thanks everyone.

Sex: Male
Location: Central Nebraska

Post: #20
RE: Used CPAP machine...what's involved in sterilizing it?
I wouldn't think twice about it, clean it up and go. I'm all about keeping the greed out of the supply line and taking care of my self but.... Is not the official standing of this site that it is a prescription only end of story? Maybe we should have another site for that subject, but this one needs to help people without suggesting otherwise. Don't ask don't tell?

Good Luck!

Doc J (despite my nickname I am not a doctor)

Remember to donate to the board if you can, it has helped a lot of people including myself.
12-30-2015 12:27 AM
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