How to Clean Your Sleep Apnea Machine

Somnera System® equipment disassembled

Consistent care and cleaning of your sleep apnea device are just as important as using the machine to treat your Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). With the mask and the hose both delivering airflow throughout the night, it’s vital to keep each component clean in an effort to avoid any health concerns.

Somnera® is your source for all things sleep apnea. Learn more about how to clean a sleep apnea machine for the best night’s rest and a healthy future with your sleep apnea device.

The Difference Between CPAP and the Somnera System®

Before diving into proper cleaning techniques for your device, it’s important to note that each type of sleep apnea system has different components that should be cleaned. A Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device pumps air through your airway with a hose and a mask and circulates the air through the machine where it’s humidified and filtered prior to making it to your lungs. Those using a CPAP machine on a regular basis run the risk of infection and possible breathing issues if the machine is not cleaned properly, particularly linked to the CPAP’s use of a humidifier. If your humidifier water tank is not cleaned on a consistent basis, mold-related allergies have a greater possibility of arising.

When investing in the Somnera System, there is no need for a humidifier, leaving only the mask, the valve, the headset, and the hose to worry about when cleaning your device. Without the use of a humidifier, the risk of illness due to a dirty water reservoir is simply eliminated.

Why is Cleaning Your Sleep Apnea Machine Important

If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea and are currently using a machine or have just started looking into your options, you know that all machines also include a mask and a hose that allow you to sleep soundly throughout the night. As these machines increase the air pressure by preventing your airway from collapsing when breathing. It’s fair to say that constant inhalations and exhalations, as well as having the mask sitting on your face throughout the night, can make your device prone to bacteria buildup without proper and regular cleaning. In fact, Dr. Epstein at Harvard Health states, “the mask sits on the face, in contact with organisms on the skin. Over time, bacteria and oils on a dirty mask may give you a rash or infection on the skin”.

The Somnera® System functions without the use of a humidifier, and cleaning it is much simpler! The Somnera System provides the same therapeutic pressures as a CPAP device but does so with an innovative valve that requires much less airflow. This valve creates a natural humidified environment on every breath. With or without a humidifier, regular cleaning of your device is a top responsibility when it comes to improving your health.

Leading a healthier lifestyle goes hand in hand with a clean sleep apnea machine, but there are additional benefits that come along with it when you adapt to a regular cleaning schedule.

  1. Your mask and valve will have a better seal for longer. By cleaning off oil and dirt build up on your machine’s components, your Somnera System will be in better condition to stay in place on your face. An appropriate seal between your face and your mask is important in order to keep the airway open while you sleep.
  2. By developing a consistent cleaning cadence, you are reducing the amount of germ exposure to gather on your equipment, therefore, eliminating the risk of these germs making their way into your body.
  3. Cleaning your Somnera System on a regular basis will allow you to get optimal use out of your device before it is time to replace your components.

How to Clean A Sleep Apnea Machine

Manufacturers, doctors, and experts at the CPAP Shop recommend regular cleaning of your sleep apnea device components to avoid things such as respiratory infections, pneumonia, and asthma attacks. Postponing proper cleanings, not only could cause health issues, but also the lifespan of your device could shorten as well.

When it comes to cleaning your sleep apnea device, it’s important to have the appropriate supplies to get the job done right. Learn more about the proper steps of cleaning your Somnera System sleep apnea device so you can reclaim your night, every night.


How To Clean a Sleep Apnea Machine

Soap Recommendations

Choosing the right soap to mix into your water is just as important as cleaning your device on a regular basis. Below are a few tips that our experts recommend when choosing the proper cleaning materials for your Somnera System:

  • Find a mild soap that does not contain strong chemicals, preservatives, and dyes as these soaps may negatively affect your device as well as your lungs and airway.
  • Avoid scented soap and essential oils.   Residual vapors from these solutions can be inhaled if not rinsed thoroughly.  They may also damage the mask, causing cracks.
  • Here at Somnera, we recommend that patient interface components should only be hand washed in warm water using mild, unscented dishwashing soap and rinsed with quality drinking water.

Cleaning your sleep apnea device on a regular basis is an important step to achieving a good night’s rest, but there are things you can do while cleaning your device that actually cause harm to yourself and/or your machine. In light of that, Somnera System discourages the use of the following products when cleaning your machine:

  • Scented soaps and oils
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Bleach
  • Detergent as well as the washing machine or dryer
  • Dish detergent as well as the dishwasher  
  • Antibacterial soaps

Taking care of your sleep apnea machine is the first step toward improved sleep hygiene. Consider implementing a consistent sleep apnea component cleaning schedule to protect your respiratory health.

Learn more about some of our most frequently asked questions and take advantage of our sleep apnea resources today and get the rest you deserve, every single night.