Maintaining Your CPAP Mask – Best Practices

CPAP Mask Care

Your CPAP mask is one of the most important aspects of your treatment, so learning proper CPAP mask care is essential. Dirt and oil from your skin can build up on the mask surface creating a breeding ground for bacteria. Eventually, these contaminants will begin to break down the silicone components of the mask, creating microscopic pits that can harbor dirt and bacteria. For the sake of your health, make sure you’re washing the mask daily and doing a deeper disinfecting wash once a week. In fact, in an ideal world, you should be cleaning your CPAP unit daily. Of course, some people skip daily mask and CPAP cleaning, which can cause health problems and also irritate sensitive facial skin. Here’s what you need to know about CPAP mask care.

CPAP Mask Care Best Practices

Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for care instructions. CPAP masks have a relatively short lifespan and should be replaced every 3-6  months, so be sure to check your insurance allowance to make sure you’re not paying more than you need to. 

Wash your CPAP mask using warm water and mild fragrance-free soap or unscented baby wipes. Rinse well and allow it to air dry out of direct sunlight. No time or need a shortcut? Use CPAP mask wipes to gently remove dirt and oil from your mask and equipment.

Facial oils and skincare products can break down the silicone in the mask faster, so wash your face well every night, and skip the moisturizers before turning in and putting on your CPAP mask. 

Each week, soak your CPAP mask in a mixture of 3 parts water to 1 part white vinegar to remove bacteria and grime. Rinse well and air dry.

Want to go for super clean? Control III is the same disinfectant trusted by hospitals and used in many sleep clinics. Control III is a great option for safely sanitizing your sleep mask, cushions, tubing, and humidifier chambers plus it also helps protect you from bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Be sure to follow the directions closely. The product must be diluted before use.

Don’t forget the headgear and chinstraps! When they’re starting to get dirty, wash them in warm, unscented soapy water. Clean these mask parts at least once per month, or as needed. While it might be tempting to toss them into the washing machine, don’t. Consider these items as delicates that must be hand-washed only.

Most manufacturers recommend replacing the mask cushions once or twice a month. 

Not a fan of the daily washing chore for CPAP mask care? Invest in a disinfection machine that does it for you without water or chemicals.

Using some form of CPAP mask storage can help protect your mask from dirt, dust, airborne contaminants, and even pet hair. A simple soft cotton bag will do the trick. Of course, there are a number of options available ranging from bedside CPAP caddies and containers to storage bags that fit the entire unit.

Not sure how to choose the cleaning products for your CPAP mask? Consult one of our specialists at Valley Sleep Therapy to find the right mask cleaners and accessories for you.