Cleaning your CPAP Mask can improve your health by getting rid of debris and other residues that can cause allergies or sickness. Some of the items cleaning can remove include dead skin cells, oils, dirt, and bacteria. Keeping your CPAP Mask clean not only keeps you from getting sick, but it also helps extend the life of your mask and create a better seal for a more comfortable experience.
We can all agree that we prefer our CPAP Masks to be clean, but what are the best ways to do so? What are the best products to use?
CPAP Cleaner Must-Haves
What to use when cleaning your CPAP Mask:
- Mild Soap
- Washcloth or paper towel
What (NOT) to use when cleaning your CPAP Mask:
- Scented Soaps
- Oil-Based Products
- Hand Sanitizers
- Antibacterial Wipes
- Antibacterial Soaps
- Moisturizers and Lotions or Soaps Containing Them
What are the Best Cleaning Products for CPAP Therapy?
In addition to CPAP mask cleaning wipes, there are plenty of other products, including disinfecting cleaning solutions and mask cleansers, you can purchase to assist you in keeping your CPAP mask clean. You can even purchase travel size packages of CPAP cleaning wipes to help you keep your mask clean while on the road.
When buying CPAP mask cleaning products, make sure none of the products you purchase contain the ingredients listed above (ammonia, chlorine, bleach, vinegar, etc.). Using harmful ingredients may unintentionally damage your CPAP mask. Buying cleaning products from reputable organizations will help with that.
Best Soap to Use for Your CPAP Mask
The hardest part about cleaning a CPAP mask is finding the right soap for the job. Ideally, you want something odorless, colorless, and one that does not contain harsh chemicals. Mild detergents work best as do products specifically created to clean and disinfect CPAP masks and equipment.
It’s a bonus if you get something that’s gentle on the hands and skin and doesn’t contain moisturizers or lotions. Moisturizers and lotions can degrade silicone, so you will want to stay away from soaps that contain them.
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, which many CPAP users consider to be the best soap for your CPAP mask.
Sprays and Hospital-Grade Germicide
The following products work well for CPAP cleaning and take the place of mild soap, water, and vinegar:
- The Citrus II CPAP mask spray cleaner is a safe and effective spray cleaner with a citrus scent
- CPAP cleaning solutions, like Control III, disinfectant 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
There are some CPAP cleaners you can purchase if you don’t want to go to the hassle of daily cleaning and weekly washing, as described above. These machines do the sterilization work for you.
How do CPAP cleaners 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 them 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, like the Hurricane, use static warm air to dry CPAP parts and accessories in an enclosed cabinet.
The Best CPAP Mask Wipes
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 wipes were created as a convenient way to remove those pesky deposits and make your mask sparkle like new again.
Here are a few of our favorite mask wipes:
- Contour Lavender Mask Wipes: These mask wipes have been extremely popular among CPAP users, and they leave a light hint of lavender after you’re done cleaning your mask. They’re packaged like baby wipes and are great for doing your daily cleaning.
- Purdoux CPAP Mask Wipes: These wipes leave a hint of citrus scents behind, and are packaged like kitchen cleaning wipes. They’re safe and non-toxic— gentle on hands and skin.
- Unscented CPAP Mask Wipes: These mask wipes clean and disinfect, while not having any scent or distracting residue. They come in a count of 62 and do not contain alcohol or latex.
- Purdoux Travel CPAP Mask Wipes: These come in travel-sized pouches, and are permitted for air travel. Each box contains 12 of these pint-sized mask wipes, and each pack is small enough to easily fit inside a suitcase.
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
Daily cleaning involves the use of mild CPAP mask cleaners or a pre-moistened toilette designed specifically for CPAP masks to wipe down the interior of the mask as well as the area where it seals to your face.
This process removes oil, sweat, and bacteria from the mask, making it safer to use day after day. This will help prevent the introduction of unnecessary particles, spores, and bacteria into the mask or the air you’re breathing in through the mask. If you’ve been sick, in addition to washing your mask daily, you’ll need to wash 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 afterward in a position that ensures all water will clear out of your mask and the tubing.
CPAP Mask Cleaning Takeaways
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.