CPAP machine maintenance

CPAP Machine Maintenance: What to tell patients

If you’re at all familiar with the usage of CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines, you know how important they are to the patients who use them. They are often prescribed to people with sleep apnea or hypopnea, which means a slowness or total lack of breathing while sleeping. These machines effectively keep patients breathing, and at a normal pace. Left untreated, sleep apnea and hypopnea can cause a myriad of health issues, including sudden death. To ensure the patient is receiving the maximum benefit from using this device, CPAP machine maintenance should be done regularly.

equipment care

CPAP Machine Maintenance

Routine cleaning and maintenance can significantly improve the daily performance and effectiveness of these machines. Sleep apnea treatment is not nearly as complicated as it’s often made out to be. With a few common household items, your patients can keep their CPAP machines hygienic and safe to use.

Gentle Cleaning

Yes, it is that simple: gently wipe down the CPAP machine with a warm, wet washcloth. This removes dust and microbes from the machine housing. It may seem like a small step for CPAP machine maintenance, but it leads to fewer chances of malfunctioning and staves off drops in air quality. CPAP machines draw in air from outside the machine itself. More dust and bacteria on the machine’s surface could cause inhalation of these elements, and this, in turn, could cause airway irritation or illness.

Patients should find this step incredibly easy to keep up with. It is recommended to wipe down CPAP machines daily. It isn’t the most thorough cleaning you can do, but it is still an important step in CPAP machine maintenance. For a more thorough cleaning…


This is a great cleaning procedure for your patients’ CPAP machines. It effectively kills any bacteria on the most vital parts of the machine, particularly the parts directly connecting the machine to the patient. While this level of CPAP machine maintenance isn’t always necessary, it’s a good practice to do it at least once a week. It should be done more frequently when the patient is sick; an illness like an upper respiratory infection will cause germs to be more prevalent, so a more thorough soaking would be advisable.

Simply remove the mask, tubing, head-gear and any other water-safe connectors from the CPAP machine. Fill a sink or other type of wash basin with plenty of warm water. Add some mild antibacterial dish soap to the water. Place all of the pieces removed from the machine into the warm, soapy water and let soak for at least a half an hour. Make sure to thoroughly rinse all submerged equipment after draining the sink, taking care to flush any soap out of tubes and connectors, and let air dry before putting back on the machine.

dirty cpap


Problems with CPAP equipment can often be heard, even if they can’t be seen. As your patients will be using these machines regularly, they should get used to the rhythmic and repetitive sounds they make. Encourage them to report any new and unusual sounds their machine might be making to their direct care professional.

For instance, air leaks in tubing and other connectors can be spotted through an external hissing sound from tubing or other connectors. These abnormal sounds and many more could mean malfunctioning CPAP equipment and should be treated as serious issues. CPAP machine maintenance is incredibly important, as these machines can go from helpful to very harmful if they don’t operate properly.

Timely Servicing

Some CPAP machine maintenance issues are too big to solve with a simple wipe or rinse. If your patients are experiencing serious problems with their CPAP machines, it’s probably time to get them professionally serviced. Quality Medical Group offers pick-up and drop-off depot services in the mid-atlantic region near their facilities, where our biomedical equipment management professionals will work on your devices. You can also ship equipment to us and we’ll have it back to you as soon as possible. Contact us for your CPAP machine maintenance needs and the health of your biomedical equipment in general.

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