Take a look at your CPAP mask. You wear it every day, but have you ever thought about what it is made of? Generally, your mask cushion is made of silicon, which is a gentle material that usually does not irritate your skin. But that softer material also means that it has a shorter lifespan. With proper care and cleaning, you can extend that lifespan. Here are the suggested ways to clean your CPAP mask:
- Make sure you wash your mask every day to remove oil buildup, dust, and other residue. Use warm water and a mild, unscented soap. You can buy wipes and detergents made specifically for your CPAP mask.
- Rinse with warm water. Let your mask air dry either on a paper towel or a clean cloth. Do not place in direct sunlight because this will cause the silicone to break down faster. Do not wash in your dishwasher.
- Your mask also needs a heavy duty cleaning once a week. Soak in a solution of 3 parts water and 1 part vinegar. Rinse in distilled water and dry as specified above.
- Don’t forget about the other parts of your mask! Wash your head gear and chinstraps when needed in warm, unscented, soapy water. Rinse thoroughly, and air dry away from the sun. Never use the washing machine or dryer for cleaning these parts.
- To avoid excessive buildup of oils and residue and to minimize the breakdown of the silicone, wash your face well before using your mask, and do not apply moisturizers at night.
- Of course, at some point your mask will need to be replaced. Check the recommendations about the suggested replacement schedule, and keep an eye on the integrity of your mask for the actual need. Typically, you will need to replace the cushions once or twice a month, and your mask between 3 and 6 months.
Not only will following these tips make your mask last longer, it will also help keep it working as well as possible. If you have any questions about your overall sleep health, check in with your doctor. Be prepared, and stay he