Do's & Don'ts When Cleaning Your CPAP Mask
Just like a really nice leather jacket, you spent a lot of money on, CPAP masks also require a certain level of care. You wouldn't just throw that jacket in the wash, would you? CPAP masks wouldn't survive the spin cycle either. There are specific care instructions you have to follow to make sure you get the most life out of your CPAP mask. Most are made from silicone - which makes them comfortable but also incredibly delicate, so here are some tips to keep your CPAP mask squeaky clean and lasting longer.
- Clean your mask in the morning, right after waking up. This ensures enough time for your equipment to completely air dry during the day and be ready to go before bed.
- Let your CPAP mask air dry on a clean cloth - away from direct sunlight (that stuff will deteriorate silicone).
- Wash your face and avoid heavy moisturizers prior to wearing your CPAP mask. Oils from our face and heavy moisturizers can decrease the lifespan of the mask's silicone.
- Soak and wash your CPAP frame and cushion with unscented mild soapy warm water and rinse thoroughly by hand. This process ensures the removal of skin debris and oils which overtime can breakdown the silicone.
- Headgear can be hand washed weekly (air dry that, too).
- For a deeper clean, soak your CPAP mask with 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water and a thorough rinse every few weeks.
- Use CPAP-specific wipes for a timesaving swift clean or during travel for a few days, but resume washing with soap and water as soon as possible.
- Inspect your mask and replace parts every 1-3 months or when you see discolouration or detect an odour. This is a sure sign your silicone has expired. CPAP experts recommend replacing your entire mask every 6 months to maximize your therapy's efficacy.
- CPAP sanitizers, like the SoClean or Lumin, are great for killing germs but do not replace washing. Sanitizers alone, won't keep your mask in tip-top shape.
- Avoid using liquid soaps with heavy perfumes. These chemicals will surely speed up the deterioration of the silicone.
- Avoid using scented baby wipes on your CPAP mask. Use CPAP mask cleansing wipes to avoid any perfume, dye or added ingredients like moisturizers that'll leave residue on your equipment.
- Do not machine wash your headgear or chin straps! Wash as needed by hand with warm unscented soapy water, then rinse thoroughly and let them air dry.
- Bleach or other harsh chemicals will not get rid of the discolouration on your CPAP mask. But they will ruin it.
- Hastily ripping off your mask in the morning when the alarm sounds should also be avoided! This aggressive behaviour will prematurely stretch out your headgear and increases the risks of ripping your silicone.
Though it seems silly we had to mention some of these tips, but you'll be surprised to hear the way some people clean their masks if proper care instructions are not outlined. Follow these simple but crucial mask cleaning tips and you'll see a difference in your mask's longevity and your overall therapy.
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