Learn How to Clean Your Valuable CPAP Equipment Using Vinegar

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Are you among millions of patients who suffer from sleep apnea? If so, you must be aware that one essential activity that involves your daily health plan is caring for your CPAP machine. If you maintain this device well, it will perform excellently. This will benefit your body and general health.

Of course, you know that your CPAP equipment should only be repaired by a trained professional. Regardless, there are a few vital tips that every sleep apnea patient should be familiar with.  Such maintenance tips can cushion you from needless expense on device repair.

One of these valuable tips involves using vinegar to clean your CPAP equipment.

How to Safely Clean Your CPAP Device Using Vinegar

Your CPAP machine is conveniently equipped with a mask and nosepiece, which helps it deliver steady air pressure. Note that using the CPAP equipment usually comes with some common problems for the patient. These include mouth dryness, a stuffy nose, trouble with sleep, and having to deal with a leaky mask.

Interestingly, these problems usually result from user negligence regarding cleaning and sanitizing the device in the recommended manner. Thus, always clean your CPAP machine as instructed in the product manual. Unless you do this, your sleep therapy will become ineffective. Your equipment may also get damaged. You can use vinegar to clean your device effectively. You only need to learn how to do so.

Here’s What You Need to Clean Your Device with Vinegar

You’ll need the following things to do the job:

  • White vinegar.
  • Cloth or wiping towels.
  • Space to dry the cleaned parts.
  • Warm and distilled water.
  • Mild soap (ivory or dawn), or non-corrosive cleaning agent.

Note that you must clean the different CPAP components separately and distinctly.

The Simple Procedure of Cleaning the CPAP Machine Using Vinegar

Follow this simple process to finish the job:

  • Wash the mask daily using warm soapy water (you may use mild dish soap or ivory liquid).
  • Rinse the mask thoroughly and allow it some time to air dry.
  • Disinfect the mask weekly, soaking it in a solution which is 2 parts white vinegar and 3 parts water (you can use 1 cup of white vinegar to 1½ cups of water).
  • Rinse the mask thoroughly and allow it time to air dry. After each use, pour out the vinegar/water solution.
  • Make sure to disinfect the mask daily if you have an upper respiratory infection, clear nasal drainage, or cold.
  • If you use sinus infection antibiotics with yellowish drainage, stop using the CPAP mask for a few nights. Wait until the drainage clears; until the infection resolves.
  • Never clean the mask using alcohol. Also, never place it in the dishwasher.

How to Clean CPAP Hose with Vinegar

how to clean cpap hose with vinegar

CPAP equipment in sink for cleaning with soap. Shows tubing and mask laying in soapy water.

Do this:

  • Soak your device every week for a half-an-hour in a solution composed of 3 parts water and 2 parts white vinegar (you may use 1 cup of vinegar and 1 ½ cup of water).
  • Rinse and allow it to dry.
  • After each use, discard the vinegar/water solution.

How to Use Vinegar to Clean the CPAP Humidifier Chamber

Follow these steps:

  • Discard unused water every day.
  • Wash the device in mild soapy water; ensure to rinse well.
  • Soak the device for 30 minutes in a solution composed of 3 parts water and 2 parts white vinegar (you may use 1½ cups water, and I cup vinegar). Do this once in a month before rinsing well in warm water.

Important Reminder: Please note that it’s always a great idea to clean the CPAP device using vinegar. While this is true, it’s still a better idea to use the CPAP cleaner for this vital job. Why? It’s a far much easier procedure than using vinegar. Moreover, it has proved to be much more effective. You’re, however, free to use what’s convenient for you.

Extra Tips: Beware of the Following Things

Here’s what you should completely avoid while cleaning your costly CPAP device:

  • Never put the CPAP machine, CPAP tubing, mask, or headgear into the dishwater- The temperatures inside the dishwater is often high. This can ruin the seal and inside the equipment. Instead, hand-rinse and air-dry your CPAP device. This helps to avoid complications.
  • Never place the headgear or other parts of the device into the washing machine for cleaning. This can stretch out the parts; thus, it won’t fit your face well.
  • Never use chemicals that are not recommended in the product manual. When cleaning the device, simply bleach or lay off the alcohol solution.
  • Never expose the CPAP humidifier to tap water. For cleaning, always use distilled water.
  • Never soak the device in vinegar and water for more than half- an -hour.
  • Never attempt to make your own cleaner for the CPAP. Avoid mixing chemicals like sanitizer, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide.

If you care for your CPAP equipment using these recommended instructions, you will keep safe and healthy.

Joanna Levin, Sleep Medicine Specialist

I graduated from the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine a while back. My previous work station was at the HFHS. The institution is better known as the Henry Ford Health System. While there, I served diligently, working as a professional sleep consultant.

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