How To Clean Your CPAP Equipment?

cleaning cpap machine

It is so important to keep CPAP equipment clean. Without proper and regular cleaning, your equipment can become covered with dirt, bacteria, mold and viruses.  Here are some quick pointers for cleaning the various parts of your machine:

  • Mask, Cushion or Nasal Pillow: It’s a good practice to wipe down your mask with a disinfectant towel every morning after you wake up. Additionally, every week be sure to clean your mask. You can do this by rinsing it in soapy water and leaving it out to air dry. 
  • Headgear: Don’t forget to wash your headgear every week as well. You can also clean your head gear in the same manner that you clean your mask. Use a little soapy water and a good rinse. It is important that you never use any chemicals on your headgear that can irritate your skin, such as bleach. The soft material will soak up these irritants and harm your skin. Air dry your headgear, and do NOT put in the dryer. 
  • Tubing: At a minimum, your CPAP tubing should be washed weekly. Ideally, it should be washed daily.  Like your mask and headgear, you can clean your tubing by filling a tub with soapy water and swirling the tube around for a few minutes. Be sure that the water makes its way the inside of the tubing to dislodge any dust or particles caught inside.
  • Air Filter: Change or clean your filters as frequently as necessary. So, filters can be washed and should be washed weekly.  Others should be changed when they are dirtily since this might inhibit clean air getting thought to the mask.  
  • Humidifier and Water Reservoirs: First and foremost, it is important to dump any remaining water from the previous night and replace with fresh distilled water before bedtime. Some humidifier chambers are dishwasher safe, which is a great convenience. If not, you can still wash your CPAP humidifier with soap and water. Be sure to dry the chamber as much as possible with a paper towel or cloth, and then leave it out to air dry the rest of the way. Once a week, it is also important to disinfect your humidifier by soaking it in a solution of one-part vinegar and three parts waters for 15-20 minutes. After disinfecting your humidifier, be sure to rinse it thoroughly. 

Sleep8 Portable CPAP Sanitizer

The Sleep8 CPAP Sanitizer is a handheld, portable unit that effectively cleans your CPAP equipment. It is lightweight and compact enough to use at home or on the road.

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Other Good Cleaning Practices: 

  • Get into the habit of using a disinfectant wipe to clean off your machine and parts every day.
  • Wash you face before bed to reduce the number of contaminants that can get onto your CPAP mask. Additionally, avoid using moisturizers or lotions that can rub off onto your CPAP device.
  • Set a calendar notification to remind you when it is time to give your equipment a more thorough clean or replace parts.
  • When possible, use distilled or sterile water for cleaning your CPAP machine and parts (the chemicals and minerals in tap water can damage your device).
  • Use products specifically manufactured for CPAP devices, as these products will take into consideration any chemicals that might harm your device and avoid them accordingly.
  • If you get sick, cleaning is even more important. Give a little extra attention to your cleaning routine if you’re feeling a bit under the weather. 
  • If you find it difficult to clean your CPAP machine manually, try investing in an automated sanitizer. The SoClean 2 or the Lumin will destroy germs and molds for you.

SoClean 2 CPAP Sanitizing Machine

• One of the most popular devices for sanitizing your CPAP equipment, using activated oxygen to kill 99% of germs and bacteria

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Chris Vasta is the president of The CPAP Shop and an expert in sleep and respiratory therapy. He often provides insights on product design and functionality on various manufacturers’ prototypes.

Chris Vasta


Chris Vasta

Over a 10+ year career at PHH Mortgage managing a $100 million portfolio, Chris Vasta learned the ins and outs of the business world. He learned how to establish business relationships, lead a multi-prong team, and implement strategies for long-term growth. In 2007, Vasta used that experience to transition his role into president of The CPAP Shop. Over his tenure, Vasta has been involved in everything from website design to warehouse layout. His hands-on approach with customers has evolved into an in-depth understanding of the challenges of beginning and adhering to sleep therapy. He often provides his insights on product…

16 Comments Leave new

  • Kathy Losse

    I used a cloox wipe on my face mask and cleaned it in the machine three times and washed the face mask with soap and water dryer it and put it back in the machine is it safe to use or will I get sick from it

    • Chris Vasta

      No, using a Clorox wipe or anything with strong chemicals is not advised. We carry the professional mask wipes and the citrussII mask wipes. Alternately you can wash the cushion in the sink with baby shampoo.

  • Jim

    With covid19 would I be able to set higher to help me breathe .
    What would be the recommended setting?

    • Chris Vasta

      Hello, Jim. The pressure setting of the machine is determined by my prescription. If you believe the pressure is insufficient, you would want to reach out to your treating physician to discuss raising the pressure.

  • Henry Killingsworth

    I found it helpful when you explained that it is important to clean the tubing in a CPAP machine at least once every week. I want to get a CPAP machine so that my wife won’t be kept up all night with my snoring. If I were to guess, I would imagine that it would be important to get the right kind of water to use for cleaning as well.

    • Chris Vasta

      Hello, Henry. Sleep apnea therapy is not intended to prevent snoring. In some cases, it helps but it is not guaranteed. You would want to use distilled water in the water chamber to prevent mineral build-up and extend the life span of the machine.

    • Bill Johnson

      In my opinion distilled water is distilled water unless it’s baby distilled water that has things added to it. I had sleep apnea so bad I would fall asleep at work in the car everywhere. The doctor ran every test in the book and never found anything. 20 years later they did a sleep study and I was lucky I hadn’t passed away in my sleep. Now I’m never tired and half the time I wake up early because I’m retired an not as active. The wife loves it because I never snore

  • Kate Brownell

    The content is very elaborative on the cleaning of each part of the CPAP mask. It is very important to know about different parts of CPAP and how to clean those. I am using SoClean 2 automated cleaner for cleaning of CPAP. I have read SoClean CPAP cleaner reviews before purchasing it. It is a good SoClean CPAP cleaner and now I have decided to buy CPAP mask wipes.

  • Amy Larson

    Hi Chris, after soaking my sleep apnea components in a solution of vinegar, dish soap (a few drops of each of 7th generation and Ultra Dawn plus baby shampoo), can I place these things on the top rack of the dishwasher and just run through the drying cycle? Or will the heat melt the plastic? Reason I ask is that the “Hurricane” does the same thing but costs $150. Can’t You just use the heat cycle on your dishwasher? Otherwise, if you don’t get to this early in the day, the components won’t be dry in time for bed. Thank you.

    • Chris Vasta

      Hello, Amy. You may want to shy away from using Dawn as it is intended to break down oils, which is what the cushions are comprised of. You would be fine just using the baby shampoo. The only piece you would be able to put in the dishwasher is the water chamber if it is the Dishwasher safe version. I would not be able to advise on if you can put your sleep apnea equipment in the dishwasher to dry, as it is not intended to be handled in that manner, or tested to my knowledge. I would suggest not putting anything aside from the dishwasher safe water chamber in the dishwasher.

  • Richelle Black

    I already know how to clean the nose pieces, hoses and chamber. What I need to know is how to take of the machine itself (i.e. where the button to turn it on). My husband thinks some chemicals may gotten onto it.

    • Chris Vasta

      Hi Richelle, we do not recommend trying to take the machine apart. This will void any warranty on the machine, if it’s damaged in the process. I recommend taking the machine back to the supplier or sleep clinic you received it from for cleaning and maintenance.


    Need to order a three months supply.

    • Chris Vasta

      Hi John! You can reach us at 866-414-9700 Monday – Friday 8:30 – 6:30pm EST. We are also open on Saturdays from 10 – 4pm EST. We do not accept insurance, however, we do provide you with a hard copy of the invoice that you may submit to your provider for possible reimbursement.

  • George Florit

    Appreciate the tips.


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