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An important part of your CPAP success is taking proper care of your CPAP equipment. Most insurance providers “rent to own” your CPAP for 10-13 months. It is critical that you keep your equipment clean and in good working order during that rental period and beyond. Fortunately, caring for your equipment is quick and easy. It only takes a small adjustment to your regular morning routine.


Humidifier and Water Chamber


Your PAP device has a heated humidification system with a removable water chamber that helps reduce nasal dryness and congestion. It is recommended that you position your humidifier at least 6 inches below your head to prevent any water that may have condensed in your tubing from draining into your nose or mouth. The water chamber needs to be emptied daily to prevent bacteria build-up as well as calcification.


 When you wake up, carefully remove the water chamber and discard any unused water. Rinse out and let the chamber dry on a clean cloth or paper towel out of direct sunlight.

Before bed, fill the chamber with distilled or reverse osmosis water. Do not use tap, bottled, purified, or filtered water as it may contain minerals and chemicals that can damage the machine.

The chamber should be cleaned with a solution of 1 part white vinegar and 1 part water or soapy water at least once per week. Combine the solution inside your chamber, shake, and let it sit for approximately 30 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.

Water chambers should be replaced every 6 months.




Your filters are located on the back or side of the CPAP where the device draws air from the room that it compresses to your pressure settings. Most CPAPs have a disposable white filter and some have an additional reusable gray filter as well.


 You should clean the reusable grey filter at least once per week. You may have to clean it more often if you have pets, smoke inside your home, or if your home is especially dusty.

Rinse gray filters with warm water and let it dry completely before reinserting.

Reusable gray filters should be replaced every 6 months.


Disposable white filters should be discarded after use. Never wash or flip to the opposite side.

Disposable white filters should be replaced at least once per month. Most insurance companies allow two disposable filters per month for bimonthly replacement.






 Whether you are using heated or non-heated tubing, you should be cleaning it at least once per week.Put a couple drops of mild liquid soap directly inside the tubing with warm water, swish it back and forth, rinse well, and hang to dry out of direct sunlight.

Tubing should be replaced every 3 months.







Mask and Headgear


Most CPAP mask cushions and pillows are made of silicone which is a gentle, non-irritating material. While silicone is a very comfortable material for masks, it doesn't have a very long lifespan. Proper care is critical! Without it, the material will break down quicker than expected, resulting in leaks and irritation.



 Wash cushions or nasal pillows with warm water and mild liquid soap. Dish soap or baby shampoo works best. Soaps containing alcohol, bleach, moisturizers, or any antibacterial properties are not acceptable. Wipes that are specifically designed for CPAP masks are available for purchase.

Rinse well and let it air dry on a clean cloth or paper towel out of direct sunlight.

Before bed, wash your face and be sure to let any water based moisturizer fully absorb into your skin. Facial oils and oil based moisturizers break down the silicone faster.



 Wash mask frame, headgear, and chinstraps with warm water and mild liquid soap, rinse well, and air dry. DO NOT place headgear or chinstraps in washing machine or dryer.


Unfortunately, this equipment is not designed for long term use. The components of your mask will need to be replaced regularly, even if the recommended cleaning instructions are followed. It’s best to adhere to the following replacement schedule.


 Full face cushions should be replaced monthly.

Nasal cushions, oral cushions and pillows should be replaced bimonthly.

The mask frame should be replaced every 3 months.

Headgear and chinstraps should be replaced every 6 months.



General Maintenance & Cleaning Tips


 Make cleaning part of your morning routine and allow the equipment ample time to dry during the day.

Keep track of when you are due for replacement supplies so you always get the most out of your therapy.

Place machine on a level surface away from objects such as curtains that may interfere with the air intake.

Your CPAP machine itself does not need to be cleaned, but you may want to wipe it with a slightly damp cloth occasionally.


Following these simple instructions on cleaning and maintaining your CPAP equipment will help you have a much better CPAP therapy experience. 

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