FAQs: how do I clean my mask?

how-to-clean-your-mask

A clean mask will last longer, provide a better seal, and give you a fresher, more comfortable therapy experience. The user guide for your mask provides full instructions on cleaning, but we've also provided answers to some frequently asked questions below. We hope you find them useful!

Why do I need to clean my mask?

There are lots of good reasons to clean your mask. Dirt, oils and residues from your skin and your surroundings can build up on your mask if they are not removed daily. These can irritate your skin and damage the materials used to make your mask.

Regularly cleaning your mask will help to maintain it in good condition, optimise the seal for better therapy, and help to protect your skin and the quality of the air you breathe.  

How often should I clean my mask and headgear? 

You should clean your mask every day, or after each use. You should clean your headgear every week.

You should hand wash your mask and headgear by gently rubbing in warm water (approximately 30°C/86°F) with mild soap. All components should be rinsed well with drinking-quality water and allowed to air dry out of direct sunlight. Please refer to your mask user guide, or the question below, for more detailed instructions.

You can also use CPAP Mask Cleansing Wipes. These 100% cotton wipes are a fast, easy and convenient way to clean your mask. Please note that they are not a substitute for regular cleaning: as noted above, you should hand wash your mask components and headgear in warm, soapy water every week.

How do I clean my mask?  

You should refer to your mask user guide for detailed instructions on cleaning your model of mask. In general, the following cleaning instructions apply to most masks:  

Every day, or after each use: 

  • Disassemble the mask components (see your mask user guide if you need instructions). If you use a nasal pillows mask, you should disassemble the pillows from the frame.
  • Thoroughly handwash the separated mask components (excluding headgear and soft sleeves) by gently rubbing in warm water (approximately 30°C/86°F) with mild soap. To optimise the mask seal, facial oils should be removed from the cushion after use.
  • Use a soft bristle brush to clean the vent, or any rotating parts on your mask such as the swivel, swivel ring or ball joint that require cleaning.
  • Inspect each component and, if required, repeat washing until visually clean.
  • Rinse all the components well with drinking-quality water and allow to air dry out of direct sunlight.
  • When all components including the vent are dry, reassemble your mask (see your mask user guide if you need instructions). 

Every week, you should:

  • Handwash the headgear, including the soft sleeves if these form part of your mask. Rinse well and allow to air dry out of direct sunlight.
  • Please note that the headgear can be washed without being disassembled and that the dye used in the headgear may run during the first wash. 

If any component remains unclean after cleaning, or if you notice visible deterioration of a system component (cracking, discolouration, tears, etc.), you should replace that component. 

Which products should I use to clean my mask? Are there any products I should avoid?  

You should always follow the cleaning instructions in your mask user guide and use mild soap. We recommend using ordinary washing up liquid or baby shampoo to wash your mask and headgear. You can also use CPAP Mask Cleansing Wipes. These 100% cotton wipes are a fast, easy and convenient way to clean your mask. Please note that they are not a substitute for regular cleaning: as noted above, you should hand wash your mask components and headgear in warm, soapy water every week.

You must not use aromatic-based solutions or scented oils (e.g., eucalyptus or essential oils), bleach, alcohol or products that smell strongly (e.g., citrus) to clean any of the mask components. Some cleaning products could damage the mask, its parts and their function, or leave harmful residual vapours that could be inhaled if not rinsed thoroughly. 

Can I wash my mask and headgear in the washing machine?

No, you should wash your mask and headgear by hand.

Always follow the cleaning instructions for your mask and use mild soap. Some cleaning products may damage the mask, its parts and their function, or leave harmful residual vapours that could be inhaled if not rinsed thoroughly.

Can you recommend sprays or wipes that will make it easier to clean my mask?

CPAP Mask Cleansing Wipes are a fast, easy and convenient way to clean your mask. These 100% cotton wipes contain an unscented cleaning agent and aloe vera and are free from alcohol and latex. They are available in a 62-wipe container for home use or in a box of 14 individually wrapped wipes for travel.

Please note that cleansing wipes are not a substitute for regular cleaning. As noted above, you should hand wash your mask components and headgear in warm, soapy water every week.

Can I disinfect my mask? 

If you are the only person who uses your mask, you do not need to disinfect your mask. Simply follow the detailed cleaning instructions given in your mask user guide. The FAQs above provide basic instructions.

We do not recommend sharing your mask with another person. If you share your mask, please ask your healthcare provider about obtaining another mask for your individual use.

Please remember that you must not use solutions containing vinegar, bleach, chlorine, alcohol, aromatics, moisturisers, antibacterial agents or scented oils to clean any part of the mask system or air tubing. These solutions could cause damage and reduce the life of the product. 

What else should I do to maintain my mask in good condition? 

As well as regularly cleaning your mask, you should keep your mask and components out of direct sunlight. Exposing any part of the system or tubing to direct sunlight could damage the materials and result in deterioration.

We recommend that you wash your face before bed, ideally with a pH neutral soap, to remove excess facial oils. You should also avoid using facial lotions and creams where your mask comes into contact with your face, as these products may interfere with mask seal and potentially degrade the quality of the cushion over time.

You should replace any part of your mask or device that has visible signs of deterioration, such as cracks, discolouration or tears.

It's easy to download the user guide for your mask. Choose your mask from the devices listed here, click on the “Support” button on that page, then go to the 'Download' section

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