How to Clean Your CPAP

It is important that your CPAP machine is cared for in a proper way in order to protect yourself as well as your device. There are certain things that you will need to do in order to clean and care for your CPAP.

You use your CPAP for eight hours per night. Room air goes in to the machine, filter, tube, mask and nose. Then exhaled air goes back into the mask, tube, and machine.

In that exhaled air is moisture from your body. Microorganisms thrive on moisture and particulate matter.

You might now know how to clean your CPAP yet. Fortunately, it is a relatively simple process.

The dangers of a dirty CPAP machine

If you don’t clean your CPAP,  and CPAP supplies (mask, tube, headgear), then your equipment could begin to grow colonies of bacteria. This could cause your equipment to acquire a foul odor and possibly lead to premature equipment breakdown.

With with inadequate cleaning of your cpap mask and equipment, nasty growth and smells will accumulate. A smelly mask and CPAP machine is less likely to be used.

Sleep Apnea CPAP Machine Cleaner and Sanitizer

There are a few mechanical devices that have recently been introduced that clean and/or sanitize CPAP machines and masks.  Some of these devices use activated oxygen or ozone as the method for killing bacteria in and around the equipment. You simply place the mask inside of the device and it cleans it without water or soap.

List of CPAP Cleaner Machines:

  • SoClean
  • 3B Lumin
  • VirtuCLEAN

Steps for cleaning your CPAP machine and mask

It is important to clean your mask, headgear, and tube regularly.

The most important part of cleaning is simply rinsing the equipment with water. You can use a faucet and run water over the equipment for a minute. There are some cleaning fluids that may be acceptable for your device. Check with your instruction manual before performing any of these tasks.

The 2nd most important part of cleaning your CPAP and CPAP supplies is letting the equipment dry properly. Make sure that standing water can drip out of the tube. You can hang your tube so that it drapes down to the grown allowing all water to drip out of it. Manually drying exterior surfaces will speed up the process.

Keep in mind that CPAP masks and CPAP tubes are not designed to last forever. Many sleep professionals recommend that CPAP masks and tubes be replaced yearly, if not sooner. The CPAP machine filter should be replaced even more frequently Some recommend that CPAP filters be replaced monthly.

CPAP Cleaner equipment
CPAP Cleaner equipment

CPAP cleaner products may help you to keep your equipment clean and/or sanitized for maximum performance. Check with your instruction manuals before using any products.


How to Clean Your CPAP Hose with Vinegar

There are some that recommend cleaning the CPAP hose with vinegar +/- soapy water half and half. Your product manual will mention which products you should use with your CPAP hose.

Remember that the CPAP filter has a specific purpose – to filter out particulate matter that you don’t want to breathe in. If you live in a dusty area, your filter will need to be replaced more frequently.

Summary for keeping you CPAP Machine , CPAP  Mask and hose clean

Keeping your CPAP equipment clean will help to maintain its longevity and possibly keep you healthier. Following your user manual recommendations and investing a little time and effort will save you money and improve outcomes.

11 Replies to “How to Clean Your CPAP”

  1. Deborah

    I plan on travelling and I understand there are more compact models of CPAP machines that are easier to transport. Are these models just as effective as regular models . What are the differences. and who has models available.

  2. Juel Caspersen

    You can clean the black filter that is handy to get at. Be sure to wash with soap and water, rinse real good, let it air dry before you replace it.
    The white filter must be replaced with a new one.

  3. Kent Smith

    Why can’t I find any independent scientific based research on the SoClean CPAP cleaning machine? I’m considering buying a unit but would like to be an informed consumer (particularly since the units cost $300).

  4. Maureen

    Does Medicare cover any part of the charges for the SoClean machine? Both my husband and I are retired and on a fixed income so the costs for the machine and supplies is a bit high.


    • Mel

      No insurance does not cover the SoClean machine at this time. The company doesn’t make it easy for people on a fixed income to buy this. Current price is over $300.00.

  5. Marti

    Reservoir. Cleaning the slime out of the crevices. I purchased a soft brush but still have difficulty getting it clean. What and how is it recommend to clean.

    • Anonymous

      I put a bit of vinegar in the reservoir and let it sit, then swap it out with a paper towel. While I am doing that, my tube, face mask, and removable reservoir are soaking in a vinegar/water solution. I let them dry and use my alternate set for a week or so.

  6. Sharon Brueck

    I just fill the reservoir with vinegar let it sit on the counter for a few hours and then I rinse it with a little dish soap and water. No need to use any brush, the vinegar cleans it all. Even the slime comes right out of the crevices.

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