SLEEPER4088 wrote:I work in a sleep center and we recommend that our patients wash their equipment with warm soapy water. Do Not use Dawn because this breaks down the mask quicker, escpecially if you are using a gel mask. 2-3 times a week disinfect with a 1:3 mix of white vinegar and water. If you are sick, DISINFECT DAILY. Remember that your are breathing whatever may be growing in there and you CAN become sick due to improper cleaning.
In a hospital environment, where masks are 'multi user', ResMed instructions are as follows:http://www.resmed.com/assets/documents/service_support/mask_sterilization/row_mask_sterilization/608156r11_masks-sterilisation-guide_row_eng.pdf
In a home environment they recommend the following:
Cleaning your mask in the home
Your mask and headgear should only be handwashed by gently rubbing in
warm (approximately 30°C) water using mild soap. All components should
be rinsed well with drinking quality water and allowed to air dry out of direct
Daily/After each use:
•• To optimise the mask seal, facial oils should be removed from the cushion
•• Handwash the separated mask components (excluding headgear).
•• If the vent requires cleaning use a soft bristle brush.
•• Handwash the headgear. It may be washed without being disassembled.
•• Do not use aromatic-based solutions or scented oils (eg, eucalyptus
or essential oils), bleach, alcohol or products that smell strongly (eg,
citrus) to clean any of the mask components. Residual vapors from
these solutions can be inhaled if not rinsed thoroughly. They may also
damage the mask, causing cracks.
The link is:http://www.resmed.com/uk/assets/documents/product/mirage_activa_lt/user_guide/608308_mirage-activa-lt_user-guide_row_eng.pdf
In the case of Philips/Respironics, instructions are as follows:
Cleaning your mask every day is a very important part of mask maintenance. All of our masks can be cleaned in the same manner. Here are three easy steps to keeping a clean mask:
1.For best results, the mask should be disassembled per the Instructions for Use. Wash the mask components in warm water with mild soap and air dry. Avoid soap with moisturizers. Do not use bleach, alcohol, or cleaning solutions containing alcohol.
2.Wash your face thoroughly before using your mask.
3.Inspect your mask. Replace the mask if the cushion becomes hardened or if any parts become damaged.
Even by following these tips, the natural oils in your face will interact with the mask, and, over time, the mask will lose its seal. Tightening the mask will often cause irritation, pressure sores and additional leaks. Replace the cushion or mask instead of tightening repeatedly. Medicare allows masks to be replaced as often as every three months; most other insurance payers allow for replacement every three to six months. As an informed healthcare consumer, you should be aware of the mask replacement benefits under your healthcare plan. If your plan does not meet your mask replacement needs, talk to your home healthcare provider.
The link is: http://www.healthcare.philips.com/main/homehealth/sleep/comfortgelblue/maskcare.wpd
Always remember that you should follow the MANUFACTURERS instructions, otherwise any warranty will be voided.
There have been many reports on the forum (over the years) that DME suppliers are recommending patients to use a vinegar solution. These instructions are at complete variance with MANUFACTURERS instructions and will ensure that the mask will deteriorate and require replacement well ahead of their normal lifespan......obviously at the patients expense. The lifespan of masks has been greatly enhanced over the past 15 years. In the mid to late 90's, masks were only expected to last about 3 months with headgear not lasting much longer. Presently masks are lasting 6+ months and in some cases up to a year.
Cleaning and Disinfecting masks is a job to be carried out in a hospital environment. MANUFACTURERS give very clear instructions, which are geared towards the hospital's ability to complete.
Best advice is to stick to the MANUFACTURERS instructions.......of course, we are all adults, and can do whatever we want (within the law), if we so choose. But why on earth would we bypass clear instructions that will ensure that the mask will perform properly to the end of its expected lifespan.
The untreated Sleep Apnoea sufferer died quietly in his sleep..
Unlike his three passengers who died screaming !
The first 40 years of childhood are by far the hardest