Archangle:Cleaning Equipment

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This is how I clean my CPAP equipment along with some of my opinions. I keep explaining it to people, so I decided to have one place to describe it.

This works well for me. It's not "manufacturer approved" or anything official, but I've been using it for over 10 years now.

General Cleanliness

Remember that CPAP is not surgery equipment. . Even though it is medical equipment, it's not operating room equipment. It's also not like equipment in a hospital or medical office that gets used by multiple people.

It only touches the outside of your body. You breathe unfiltered, unsterilized air most of the day when you're not sleeping, so you don't necessarily need excessively clean air to breathe, even if you are using CPAP.

Of course, you don't want your CPAP to be dirty. I feel better knowing my machine is clean.

Dishwashing

ResMed, in particular says not to wash masks in the dishwasher. I do wash my masks in the dishwasher and it seems to work for me.

I use normal dishwashing poweder. I do not mix dishes and CPAP in the same load.

My dishwasher has a "sanitize" cycle. I use that, but realize that "sanitize" does not mean "sterilize." In this case "sanitize" is related to NSF standards. NSF is an industry organization, not a government agency. It used to be the "National Sanitation Foundation," but now they just use "NSF."

I use the sanitize, heavy wash, and extra rinse settings on my dishwasher. I do not add any kind of rinse aid because they leave a film on the things you wash, but it's getting hard to find detergent without rinse aids these days.

My dishwasher gets things really clean. I'm less convinced that filling a tub with soapy water will get things clean.

Damage to Equipment

Most of this equipment needs to be replaced every so often anyway. Even if you do somehow shorten the life of your equipment. the equipment is not that expensive and you do have to replace it eventually anyway.

If you're concerned about damaging your equipment, you might want to wait until you have a spare mask before trying the dishwasher and then dishwash your old mask to try it out.

Drying

I have at least two sets of hoses, masks, and water tanks. Each week, I take the set I am using and replace them with my clean spare set of parts. I take the used set of parts and clean them. After cleaning, I set the clean set aside to dry out for a week. I'm hoping that helps keep germ growth down.

Masks

There are some masks that I would not wash in the dishwasher. I would not wash anything that had foam or cloth. You might not want to wash a mask in the dishwasher if you don't have a spare mask in case you damage it. I get good lifetimes from my mask parts.

I remove the fabric parts of headgear and don't wash it. I disassemble the mask as far as I can. Most masks can be disassembled quite a bit.

I have regularly washed my Swift FX and ComfortGel masks many times with no problems.

I can't guarantee your particular brand of mask will stand it.

Water Tank

I have washed Respironics and Respironics dishwashable tanks in the dishwasher many times.

ResMed makes a "standard" and a "cleanable" tank. I'm not confident that the latest version of the standard tank can take dishwasher temperatures. I use the "cleanable" tank, which is sometimes sold as the "dishwasher safe" tank.

I open the tank up, dump the water, and then dishwash it.

Hoses

I hook my hose up to the kitchen sink faucet and run hot water through it. I had to change the aerator on one sink to fit, but now it's fits on fine and lets me rinse it well.

It's more difficult to wash a hose in the dishwasher. The problem is that the water won't necessarily flow through the inside of the hose, so it may not get washed. Also, whatever water gets in will not drain out between cycles.