Cleaning your CPAP mask can improve your health by eliminating debris and other residues that can cause allergies or illness. Some residues and irritants that can be removed with CPAP mask wipes and a regular cleaning schedule include dead skin cells, oils, dirt, and harmful bacteria.
Keeping your CPAP Mask clean not only keeps you from getting sick, but can also help extend the life of your mask and create a better seal for a more comfortable CPAP therapy experience.
Today we’ll be discussing the best ways to clean your CPAP mask, including using CPAP mask wipes, products for regular maintenance, CPAP cleaning and sanitizing machines, and our favorite cleaning sprays and germicides.
We’ll also be answering some questions regarding the products and chemicals you should use (and avoid) when cleaning your CPAP mask. Let’s get right into it with the best CPAP wipes.
The Best CPAP Mask Cleaning Wipes in 2021
Over time, CPAP masks collect a lot of residue and bodily fluids and are the perfect environment for germs and other bacteria to grow and thrive. CPAP mask wipes are a convenient way to remove those pesky deposits and make your mask sparkle like new again.
While there are special machines and formulated solutions you can use to clean your equipment as well, CPAP cleaning wipes are always going to be the easiest, most no-fuss solution to keeping your mask cushion clean and functional.
CPAP mask wipes can be scented or unscented and typically use gentle ingredients that don’t damage the silicone of your mask cushion. Here are 6 of the best CPAP mask wipes we stock at CPAP.com:
Best Alcohol-Free CPAP Mask Wipes: Citrus II CPAP Mask Wipes
While most CPAP mask wipes are already alcohol-free, Citrus II CPAP Mask Wipes are the most popular and best-reviewed of any of the mask wipes we carry. This pack of 62 wipes comes with a tamper-evident seal in an easy-to-use cylindrical container.
User reviews praise Citrus II CPAP Mask Wipes for being easy to use with a non-intrusive scent. These wipes use a formula of plant-derived, gentle ingredients that are safe for skin and silicone. Reports of mild allergic reactions from users are very few and far between.
For added convenience, Citrus II CPAP Mask Wipes are also available as a 12-pack of travel wipes.
Best Value CPAP Mask Wipes: AG Industries Unscented CPAP Mask Wipes
At a price of $7.99 for a canister of 62 unscented mask wipes, this product from AG Industries is the best value pack we offer. These mask wipes are 100% cotton, use plant-derived oils, and do not contain harsh chemicals. They’re also latex-free and biodegradable.
Customer reviews report that these wipes have no lingering smell and while nobody seems to be particularly blown away by these wipes, most reviews seem to agree they’re a good value for the price.
Best Unscented CPAP Mask Wipes: Republic of Sleep CPAP Mask Wipes
ROS Mask Wipes are safe to use on any surface your mask has, including silicone, urethane gel, polycarbonate, polyurethane, and nylon. At 75 sheets for $9.99, it’s also the largest quantity of CPAP mask wipes that we offer in one container.
Customer reviews describe a simple and straightforward product that does what you expect without leaving an unpleasant or overpowering smell on your equipment. Some users report having difficulty getting wipes out of the container from time to time, but most people are satisfied by the quantity and cleaning capability of these wipes.
Best Scented CPAP Mask Wipes: Purdoux Grapefruit and Lemon CPAP Mask Wipes
Not only is the scent of your mask wipe important, but the strength of the scent that is left behind is too. These grapefruit and lemon wipes from Purdoux consistently impress customers with both the pleasant fragrance and the present-yet-not-overpowering smell left behind after cleaning, making these the best-scented CPAP mask wipes we offer in 2021.
These wipes are 100% cotton, are alcohol, solvent, and latex-free, and are made with natural ingredients.
Best Travel CPAP Mask Wipes: Purdoux Travel CPAP Mask Wipes
Need mask wipes to take on the go with you? Purdoux has you covered! While the Control II travel wipes come in a 12-pack of individually-wrapped mask wipes, Purdoux offers a 12-pack of smaller containers holding 10 wipes each.
Just one of these 10-packs will be enough to get most people through a standard vacation or business trip and takes up almost no space in your luggage or carry-on. Even if you elect to use these for home use, you’re getting a 4-month supply of daily cleaning for just $12, assuming they’re not on sale (which they almost always are).
What further sets these wipes apart is that they are infused with aloe vera to help moisturize the skin and create a better seal. While you’ll want to typically avoid petroleum-based moisturizers in cleaning products for your CPAP mask, Aloe Vera is silicone-safe and won’t harm your equipment.
CPAP Mask Cleaning: Soaps, Sprays and Sanitizers
In addition to CPAP mask cleaning wipes, there are plenty of other products, including disinfecting cleaning solutions and mask cleansers, that you can purchase to assist you in keeping your CPAP mask clean.
When buying CPAP mask cleaning products, you’ll want to avoid products containing ammonia, chlorine, or bleach. It’s also best not to use things like scented soap, antibacterial soaps, lotions, or petroleum-based products as these can break down your mask cushion over time.
Best Soap to Clean a CPAP Mask
The hardest part about cleaning a CPAP mask is finding the best soap for the job. Ideally, you want something odorless, colorless, and one that does not contain harmful chemicals or moisturizing lotion. Mild detergents work best but you can’t go wrong with products specifically created to clean and disinfect CPAP masks and equipment.
In a pinch, here are two soaps that you can find in your local grocery store:
- 7th Generation Liquid Dish Soap (Fragrance-Free)
- Dawn Free & Gentle Liquid Dish Soap
For a more traditional CPAP soap, try Purdoux Mask and Hose Soap, as many CPAP users consider it to be the best soap for your CPAP mask.
CPAP Cleaning Sprays and Hospital-Grade Germicide
The following products work well for CPAP cleaning and take the place of mild soap, water, and vinegar:
- Citrus II CPAP mask spray cleaner is a safe and effective spray cleaner with a citrus scent
- CPAP cleaning solutions, like Control III, disinfect pre-cleaned surfaces
- CleanSmart Spray cleans and disinfects without scrubbing and breaks down to simple saline (saltwater) after it’s done cleaning
CPAP Cleaning Machines
If you’re not fond of repeated cleanings and constant upkeep, you might consider purchasing a CPAP cleaning machine to reduce the time you spend maintaining your equipment every day. While nothing will substitute for elbow grease in terms of cleaning your equipment, a cleaning machine will sanitize your equipment for you, helping prevent the buildup of bacteria in your CPAP mask.
How does a CPAP cleaner work? It’s simple! You’ll place your mask, humidifier, and tubing inside the device, and then the device does the work for you. Once the cycle is complete, you can remove your supplies from the machine, clean and disinfected.
A few of the CPAP cleaners that help speed up sanitization are:
- CPAP sanitizing machines, like the Lumin, kill 99% of bacteria known to thrive in untreated CPAP masks and water chambers
- Take the power of sanitizing UV light and use it inside your hose with the Lumin Bullet
- CPAP tube cleaning wands and pads keep your hose free of dust and debris
- CPAP equipment dryers, such as the Hurricane, use static warm air to dry CPAP parts and accessories in an enclosed cabinet.
Cleaning Your CPAP Mask With Household Items
While the products we’ve covered are specially formulated and designed to keep your CPAP mask and equipment clean and functional, many people prefer DIY solutions over purchasing another specific-use product to keep around the house.
Let’s go over some cleaning agents you may already have at your disposal and which ones are safe for your CPAP mask:
What To Use When Cleaning Your CPAP Mask:
- Mild Soap
- Washcloth or Paper Towel
In order to increase the longevity of your CPAP mask and equipment, you’ll want to use cleaning agents with very mild ingredients, as harmful chemicals will break down the delicate parts of your CPAP mask with repeated exposure.
What Not To Use When Cleaning Your CPAP Mask:
- Scented Soaps
- Oil-Based Products
- Hand Sanitizers
- Antibacterial Wipes/Soaps
- Moisturizers and Lotions or Soaps Containing Them
If you accidentally use one of the above ingredients to clean your equipment, don’t worry! It’s typically only through repeated exposure that your mask cushion may start to degrade.
It is worth noting, however, that whatever you use to clean your mask is likely going to leave behind vapors that you inhale for several hours each night; another good reason to avoid products with harsher chemicals. Also worth considering is that any product with an oil base will compromise the strength and reliability of your seal, especially if you’re an active sleeper.
Now we’ll go over some frequently asked questions about CPAP mask cleaning.
Can You Use Baby Wipes, Lysol, and Other Household Items?
Can I Use Baby Wipes To Clean My CPAP Mask?
Yes. Baby wipes are an affordable and effective solution for regularly cleaning and maintaining your CPAP mask and cushion. Wipes that claim to be unscented will often have a fragrance added, but “fragrance-free” wipes should be safe for those with fragrance allergies. Be sure to avoid wipes that contain lanolin or lotion, however, as these can leave a greasy residue that will affect the quality of your seal.
Can I Use Lysol Wipes on My CPAP Mask?
While it isn’t recommended to regularly use Lysol wipes to clean your CPAP mask, doing so in a pinch is perfectly safe assuming you have no allergies to any of the ingredients. Keep in mind that you’ll be breathing in whatever residue is left behind for several hours a night, so you’ll typically want to avoid products that use harsh chemicals to disinfect.
Can I Use Alcohol Wipes on My CPAP Mask?
Alcohol wipes will disinfect and clean your equipment in a pinch, but we don’t recommend them for long-term use. Your mask cushion may begin to dry out and crack more quickly if regularly cleaned with alcohol wipes.
Can I Use Clorox Wipes on My CPAP Mask?
Just like Lysol wipes, you’ll be breathing in whatever residue is left behind for several hours each night. Clorox wipes won’t damage your mask in a pinch, but we don’t recommend them over CPAP wipes for regular cleaning.
Tips for Cleaning Your CPAP Mask
To properly maintain, clean, and extend the life of your mask, there are two different types of cleaning that need to take place: daily cleaning and weekly cleaning
Just like daily vs. weekly cleaning of your house, each one involves a few different steps and result in different levels of clean. The better you understand the differences, the cleaner you can keep your mask, helping to extend its life, quality, and usefulness.
Daily Cleaning for Your CPAP Mask
Using your preferred CPAP mask wipes or a moist towel and your choice of cleaning solution, you’ll want to wipe down every surface, corner, and crevice of your mask and mask cushion. Be sure to give extra attention to any parts of the mask that make direct contact with your skin. This regular maintenance should only take 1-2 minutes of your morning routine.
This process removes oil, sweat, and bacteria from the mask, making your equipment safer to use day after day. Daily cleaning will help prevent the introduction of harmful particles, spores, and bacteria into your mask or the air you’re breathing in through it. If you’ve been sick, you’ll need to also wash and disinfect your tubing, filters, and humidifier.
Weekly Cleaning for Your CPAP Mask
Weekly cleaning for your CPAP mask is a little more involved than the traditional daily cleaning process. Instead of merely wiping your mask and tubing with cleansers, you will want to run a sink of warm water with antibacterial cleansers and soak the mask in the water for at least five minutes before cleaning and rinsing the mask and tubing. Allow them to air dry out of direct sunlight afterward in a position that ensures all water will clear out of your mask and the tubing.
The Bottom Line
Regularly cleaning your CPAP masks offers a host of benefits. One of the primary benefits being that there are no buildups of unpleasant odors within your mask. Germs, bacteria, sweat, and oils can create a foul and unpleasant smell combination if not cleaned often. Daily cleaning helps avoid this type of buildup.
Additionally, cleaning can extend the life of your mask and your overall good health. The cleaning tips mentioned above will help you accomplish more with your cleaning time, so you can keep your CPAP mask in outstanding working order longer.
This saves you money, time, poor health, and more along the way. Now is the perfect time to start changing your CPAP mask cleaning habits, allowing you to get much more pleasure and benefit from your sleep experience.Here at CPAP.com, we have an extensive inventory of CPAP mask and equipment cleaning products. Take a look today.
David Repasky has been using CPAP treatment since 2017 and has first-hand experience with what it’s like to live with Sleep Apnea. He brings the patient’s perspective to the CPAP.com blog and has received formal training in CPAP machines, masks, and equipment.