what is a cpap cleaner

What Is A CPAP Cleaner? All That You Need To Know

If you’ve found yourself asking the “what is a CPAP cleaner” question, then you’re in the right place. In this piece, we would walk you through how a CPAP cleaner works.

Not only that, we’d highlight the importance of these cleaning devices. Also, this article will calm your worries regarding the types of CPAP cleaners.

So, let’s get started.

The Relevance of CPAP Cleaner To Your PAP Therapy

In the routine use of your PAP therapy aids (machine and masks), they accumulate dirt. Such dirt could be from:

  • Dust,
  • Dead skins around your face,
  • Oily waste by-products,
  • Mucus along your airways, or
  • Deposit of minerals in the water chamber of your chamber

When these accumulations become excessive, they can block the tubes that lead to your airways.

Worse: the situation can even cause respiratory infections for you. Moist conditions generally enhance mold growth. Unfortunately, such conditions exist in your masks when you fail to clean it.

Imagine all the money you spent to treat sleep apnea only to self-generate new respiratory complications. That would be disastrous – wouldn’t it?

So, to avoid dirt accumulation, clogging of tubes, and respiratory infections, it is best to clean and sanitize your CPAP machine and masks. This point is where CPAP cleaners come in.

Baseline: a CPAP cleaner is an automated device that cleans and sanitizes your PAP therapy aids. With it, you don’t have to go through the rigors of manual cleaning.

Why Should You Use a CPAP Cleaner?


Using a CPAP cleaner brings instant ease like most technological innovations. If you were to use your hand, the process could be hectic. How so?

First, you’d get the cleaning supplies for the manual. Next, you’d disassemble your CPAP units and then reassemble them by hand. Imagine all the time you’ve wasted.

Worse case: your hand could even yet contain bacteria even after washing thoroughly. 

Another thing to consider is laziness. For manual cleaning, you’d hardly change the water because of the stress of moving around. Unfortunately, such an attitude could prove the whole maintenance routine futile.

On the other hand, CPAP cleaners don’t have such worries. All you need is a machine. You switch it on, and it does the work.

Enhanced Safety

With manual cleaning, the chances are that you’re handling chemicals without prior knowledge. Indeed, you’d read safety guides.

Be honest with yourself: when was the last time you read a safety guide longer than 2 mins tops. What most people do is skim through the contents.

In essence, you won’t read the crucial guidelines. In such conditions, you expose yourself to substances that could harm you in the long run.

How about CPAP cleaners?

With CPAP cleaners, you won’t face such health risks. Everything from the substance use to the sanitization process is automatic. As such, you stand at no risk.


The reason most sleep apnea patients consider manual cleaning is money. However, when you look at the stress and time spent on the so-called cheaper technique, you’d see that CPAP cleaner is a better choice.

Besides, the assurances of quality after the whole activity are not reassuring. Who knows, you could have mixed the chemicals wrongly. Say you only use soap and water; how effective would such be against bacteria and mold?

In essence, the CPAP cleaner is relatively cheaper than risky DIYs. It saves you time & money and with an assured result.

Now, you know the answer to your “what is a CPAP cleaner” question. Let’s see the usual types.

Types Of CPAP Cleaners Explained: Safety Worries and Alternatives

There are tons of CPAP cleaners – different brands and designs. However, the lot usually has either of two base technologies.

For that reason, we’d base this classification on the technology use.

Let’s get into the details:

Ozone-base (activation oxygen) CPAP Cleaners

Popular CPAP device with this technology: SoClean

Like the name suggests, cleaners with this technology use a naturally-occurring gas: ozone. With ozone, devices in this category can clean up to 99.9% of bacteria or germs.

The best part: ozone is a gas. In other words, there is zero moisture that could spur the growth of new microorganisms.

However, there are concerns about the use of ozone in treating sleep apnea. In particular, the regulations of The FDA (United States Food and Drug Administration) kick against ozone. According to the FDA, the gas is toxic and with no medical benefits.

Furthermore, FDA states that for ozone to clean CPAP machines as the producers claim, then its concentration would be harmful to human health. At such concentration, ozone could cause sleep apnea patients more complications – chiefly pulmonary edema.

What then is the way out?

Unfortunately, the producers of CPAP devices with the activated-oxygen technology fail to include the concentration in their product description. Perhaps you should leave your CPAP machine and masks for a few hours after cleaning (with the said technology) so that the effect could wear off.

But how safe is that?

UV-base CPAP Cleaners

Popular CPAP device with this technology: Lumin

The cleaning base for cleaners in this category is ultraviolet light. The particular UV in use here is the shortwave UVC.

So, how does this work?

UVC comes with undetectable ultraviolet radiation. Fortunately, those radiations have germicidal properties. As such, they eradicate any form of microorganisms instantaneously.

The best part: UVC doesn’t eradicate germs at the base level. Instead, it targets its core DNA. Meaning: you’ll get total eradication (up to 99.94%) of microorganisms off your CPAP machine and mask in a matter of minutes.

Are these UV-cleaners safe?

Unlike ozone cleaners, UV devices are not dangerous to your health.  Moreover, the light does not come in contact with your skin. For that reason, there is no risk of cancer.

However, there is a distinct after-smell to using UV-cleaners. Though not harmful, the smell can be unpleasant to you.

Lastly, due to the constant exposure to radioactive components, the plastics of your CPAP gadgets might age surprisingly fast. As such, you’d need to spend more money – for replacements sooner than you would without these UV aids.

Are There Alternatives To Ozone and UV Cleaner/Sanitizer?

Yes, you don’t have to use ozone or UV for cleaning your CPAP machine and masks. Unfortunately, the alternative is manual cleaning.

Meaning: you’d have to get water and soap (or any other cleaning agent) and get to work yourself.

Which Type Of Cleaner Should You Use: Manual, Ozone, or UV?

Any of the listed methods can be safe and efficient under the directive of a physician. So, seek your physician and decide on which of the aids to use.

That said, see more tips on how to get the best results from your CPAP therapy:

General Tips For Cleaning Your CPAP Devices

How Frequent Should You Clean Your CPAP Devices?

Ordinarily, you ought to be cleaning your CPAP machine and masks weekly. However, no one etched the rule on a stone.

If you noticed dirt accumulation on your devices, you should carry out routine maintenance. And that’s regardless of the last time you did the check.

Indeed, the processes can be quite hectic. Nonetheless, it’s your health, and no task can prove too difficult for your safety.

What Do You Need For A Manual Cleaning?

Note: this article doesn’t say you should do manual cleaning as a rule.

That said, let’s proceed:

If your machine developed a fault or you’d like to trickle  time with manual cleaning, see what to do:

Get The Supplies

First, you need the materials to set up your routine. Here they are:

  • Water – preferably warm; microorganisms rarely love hot environments.
  • Cleaning agent – soap (a gentle one with antibacterial qualities) or vinegar
  • Your tub (or whatever container you see fit) should be ready.
  • Lastly, get a soft wipe – preferably a clean pair of towels.

Know The Required Steps

Now that your supplies are ready, let’s get to work with these sequential steps:

  • Get your CPAP machine and masks – you should detach the units from the power source. Also, you would uncouple them to make the process easy for you.
  • Engage your wipe – now, get your towel and the warm water. Also, you should add the cleaning agents to the water.

Next, dip your towel in water; squeeze the water off, and wipe your CPAP machine gently. Do well to throw out the dirty water.

For your CPAP mask, first, soak it for about 30 minutes in your tub. After, wipe it gently like you did the machine. Now, place the wiped mask on the unused, dry towel (remember that you should have a clean pair).

Couple your CPAP units – after the cleaning is complete, fit the components (tubes, headgears, straps, and masks). You are good to go!

Bottom line

A CPAP cleaner is a fundamental unit for your PAP therapy. It ensures that your machine and mask stays clean and in optimal working condition.

Remember: in choosing what cleaner to use on your CPAP units, you should consult a physician.

We hope this article has been able to answer your questions and calm your worries.

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