How to clean CPAP accessories

We've got a CPAP machine in the household. This is a medical device that helps the wearer breath at night. Naturally, it involves a bunch of plastic parts, hoses, masks, etc. that need to be cleaned every so often. It can be difficult to get stubborn smells out, leading the user to be disinclined to wear the device, leading to lost sleep.

Here is a good cleaning solution.

Fill a small wash tub 2/3 full with water. Add a squirt of your favorite fragranced antibacterial soap (we use soaps from Bath and Body Works)...just make sure the fragrance isn't overbearing. Add about 1/2 cup of the secret ingredient, hydrogen peroxide.

Separate all of the plastic pieces that are meant to come apart. Don't force anything apart. Wash each in the solution, then rinse with water. Make sure that you completely immerse the hose by holding one end underwater, while slowly pushing the rest of the hose underwater inches at a time. This will fill the hose. Empty the hose and do this again two more times. Rinse with water. Make sure to clean the humidifier tank too.

The humidifier tank might need some special attention. Each night, you need to fill it with bottled, distilled water, not tap water or plain bottled water. I saw a humidifier that was growing algae from tap water, and you definitely don't want that. Anyway, if the humidifier tank isn't crystal clear, you'll need to get in there somehow to rub algae or other deposits/accretions off. Clean in the soap/peroxide solution, then rinse thoroughly.

There you go, everything is clean!

If you have a fabric hose cover, like a SnuggleHose, you'll need to get the hose back into it when you're done. This can be tricky if the hose ends are rubber, because they'll catch on the fabric and lead to much frustration. There's an easy way to make this work. Go to Home Depot and buy a bottle of silicone spray lubricant. Cut a 4" circle out of a plastic grocery bag, spray one side of it with silicone spray, rub it in then wipe it off. That sprayed side will glide through the hose cover easily, so just put it over the hose end and push it all the way through the cover.

Now you're ready for a night of fresh-smelling air!