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cleaning advice
#1
I am currently in Afghanistan and do not have access to any disinfectant solutions except for bleach. I always read not to use it. Is the main reason not to use it because it may have residual fumes? I need to clean it bad.

I was back in the US for vacation and made a serious mistake cleaning it since I was in a hurry. I soaked it in a vinegar and water solution in the kitchen sink but forgot to disinfect the sink with bleach prior to doing it. You can imagine the smell I have in it now. I have done my darnedest to wash it with soap and water but no luck. It's better, but not cured per se.

I'm thinking about soaking it in a 1 to 2% bleach and water solution and rinsing to heck out of it. The only other option is to breath in the horrible, mildew smell every night.

Any thoughts?
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#2
I don't think a bleach solution will hurt your reservoir plastic at all, as long as you rinse it out thoroughly and lay it aside to air out for a few hours before re-filling it.

Bleach is basically a chlorine solution, and is used to kill biological toxins in drinking water around the world. You could probably even use it full strength to clean out the tank, no problem, as long as you rinse well afterwards. Just make sure you use pure bleach and not the scented kind that has other additives.

Bleach is probably the best thing to get the mildew smell out of the humidifier tank. Vinegar can help somewhat, but is primarily for reducing calcium build-ups.

Whatever you do, DO NOT MIX cleaning solutions. For instance, ammonia and bleach mixed together create poisonous chlorine gas. I made that mistake over 20 years ago when cleaning my concrete basement floor. Got really sick and I believe it actually caused some brain damage - after that event, I could not seem to think as clearly/quickly any more and I believe it affected me to this day. Bad, bad, bad. Oh-jeez

Also, you can open up your H5i humidifier for a more thorough cleaning, as shown in this video:




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#3
I didn't think it would hurt but just wanted to get additional opinions or experiences from people who did the same thing. Pretty much everything but the rubber piece on the mask, the elastic head-strap, and the CPAP machine itself is going for the dunk. Thanks
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#4
(08-07-2013, 05:29 AM)jasonmac73 Wrote: I'm thinking about soaking it in a 1 to 2% bleach and water solution and rinsing to heck out of it. The only other option is to breath in the horrible, mildew smell every night.

Any thoughts?
I agree with SuperSleeper about the tank. I wash my tank in the dishwasher about once a month and rotate between two tanks. You have to disassemble the tank to wash it, top-rack only. There's bleach in the dishwasher detergent. I wouldn't go any higher than the 1 to 2% chlorine bleach, though.

I don't think I'd do it for the mask or hoses though. You could probably get away with it for the hoses and the hard parts of the mask, but the straps and silicone parts will likely suffer with continued exposure to bleach.

As a last ditch effort, I'd use borax on the headgear and silicone parts. (A tablespoon in a gallon of water.) Soak for a couple hours. Rinse off the borax solution in fresh water thoroughly. Then rinse in vinegar/water solution for half an hour to get rid of the white haze that borax puts on the silicone. Rinse in fresh water and dry. This will most definitely get rid of any smell without harming your mask parts.

You can also use an ionizer to remove odors with all of your equipment. Alternatively, letting your equipment sit in a shaded spot outdoors for several hours has worked for some people as well.

I'm going to suggest not soaking your equipment in a sink. Yes, you can bleach a sink, but the only thing between your equipment soaking in vinegar and that filthy P-Trap is a plug. Why not buy a large food-grade basin? Even a Tupperware container could do. Then it's just a case of washing and drying out the basin between soakings.

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#5
(08-07-2013, 10:30 AM)DreamDiver Wrote: I wash my tank in the dishwasher about once a month and rotate between two tanks. You have to disassemble the tank to wash it, top-rack only. There's bleach in the dishwasher detergent. I wouldn't go any higher than the 1 to 2% chlorine bleach, though.

Just a word of caution, the standard H5i tub has an aluminum base. It's only the dishwasher-safe tub with the stainless steel base that can be put in the washer.

Quote:I'm going to suggest not soaking your equipment in a sink. Yes, you can bleach a sink, but the only thing between your equipment soaking in vinegar and that filthy P-Trap is a plug. Why not buy a large food-grade basin? Even a Tupperware container could do. Then it's just a case of washing and drying out the basin between soakings.

This has been a concern of mine, too, and it's why I don't wash anything in the sink. I have been holding my CPAP equipment under the running water and using my hands to lather them up and rinse them off. The basin idea sounds like a good one.

Theoretically, soapy water should rinse things away and not allow anything to "stick," but I can't bring myself to do it knowing what lives in a sink and its piping.
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#6
Hi jasonmac73,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
What everyone has said so far.
Hang in there for more responses to your post.
trish6hundred
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#7
I wash every thing in dawn to remove face/skin oils , headgear every two weeks. dawn gets the oils out, don't mix it with the bleach, it has some ammonia in it . Dawn is used to get oil off wildlife during oil spills.
I disinfect mask, cushion,tank, hoses, pad a cheek liner with a cap-full of beach to a gallon of water and let it soak for 10 minutes every 3-4 days or whenever needed. The liner keeps the mask remarkably clean for days. I hand wash the liner first thing in the morning and wring it out several times by hand. Then I let it hang and air dry. It usually is good for 3-4 days of use. I have backup liner in case it doesn't dry. I hand-wash headgear whenever I think its time to get hair oil and bacteria out of it . Usually with the liner in the same tub. Don't let the liner/headgear soak in bleach solution very long and rinse it real good several times.
I wash everything in a 3-5 gallon plastic tub that I just use for cpap stuff.It is sturdy and has a nice lid.
Dry mask/ cushions with paper towels, I leave a dry paper towel in mask during day to absorb moisture.
I find that if I do the cleaning before shaving in the morning it will be done before I dress and will be ready / dry that night when I return .
I have not had any deterioration in 9 months of use.No mildew or anything, and I live in a high humidity area. But you should always have backup parts.
Long Hoses don't need cleaning as much but I have short hose(18 Inch) next to mask that I clean with the mask . I feel it gets more contamination from my breath. I don't use heated hose, those need to be cleaned carefully .
If you haven't tried a washable liner you are missing out -pad a cheeks are great.
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#8
Was wondering if maybe I should switch from cleaning with a baby shampoo to Dawn liquid dish detergent?

Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
Thanks
Coffee
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#9
Hi Bompa, If the cleaning method you are using is working for you, I wouldn't think you'd need to change it.
trish6hundred
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#10
(08-08-2013, 09:40 AM)Bompa Wrote: Was wondering if maybe I should switch from cleaning with a baby shampoo to Dawn liquid dish detergent?

Well there is that song about Dawn that I would probably take as a warning. :grin:
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