CPAP Maintenance Essentials

Follow Dr. Thomas’ instructions closely when using a CPAP device. Certain parts should be replaced regularly, and cleanliness is key.

Use Distilled Water

Distilled water prevents mineral build-up and calcification on your device. Water strained through Brita filters or similar filters are not sufficient to prevent build-up. For those who cannot use distilled water, clean the CPAP device and tubing once a week with a vinegar solution. Avoid using tap water if possible, as this can damage the various components of the device.


Keep your device away from direct sunlight. In general, store the device in a place where it will not get damaged unintentionally.

Cleaning Basics

Some parts of the CPAP machine might be dishwasher safe, but check carefully with our team and with the machine’s manual before using the dishwasher. Use an appropriate cleaning agent. Never use bleach to clean the device or its accessories. Always leave enough time for everything to dry before using the CPAP machine again.

Replacing Worn Parts

Always keep track of how long you’ve been using individual parts. Nasal masks should be replaced every 1-3 months, as should nasal pillows. The facial masks themselves also should be replaced every 1-3 months. The CPAP air filter should be changed every 6-12 months. Regularly check the other components for damage. Poorly functioning parts means a poorly functioning machine.


Protect yourself from mold and harmful bacteria.
Regular and thorough cleaning removes any potential for mold and harmful bacteria. Failure to clean can lead to respiratory illness and infections. Not paying close attention to maintenance can lead to the machine not working the way it should, which means you don’t sleep as well.

Cleaning Individual Components

Different parts should be cleaned differently. Some parts need to be cleaned more frequently than others.

The Machine (Monthly)

The CPAP machine itself can be cleaned with a damp cloth.

Humidifier & Water Chamber (Daily)

Rinse out the water chamber every day with warm, soapy water. Fill your sink with warm, distilled water, add some soap, and let it sit for 10 minutes. After rinsing, let it dry. Rinse with vinegar once per week to keep it clean.

Tubing (Weekly)

Soak the tubing in warm, soapy water for a few minutes every week.

Filters (Varies)

Filters can be either disposable or non-disposable. Simply replace the disposable ones with a new filter. For the non-disposable filters, rinse them in water every month and let them dry before replacing.

The Mask (Daily)

Masks today will often disassemble into a few parts. Wash the non-fabric parts every day in warm, soapy water, and lay them out to dry. The fabric sleeves can be washed weekly, also in warm, soapy water, by hand. Lay the fabric parts out to dry as well, and do not put them in a clothes dryer.