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Keeping you (and your CPAP therapy) healthy and bacteria free

2 May 2023 Categories: Better Sleep Tips Author: Katrina Stubbs
Sleep experts recommend regularly cleaning your CPAP equipment and replacing your mask every 6 months.


Most people don’t realize that after 3-6 months of usage, CPAP masks and tubing become covered in a bacteria film or growth from the heated air you breathe whenever you wear your CPAP.  This bacteria can damage your lungs and increase your risk for recurrent lung infections!


Research finds bacteria in CPAP masks

A 2009 study at Harvard University by Dr. Alex Horowitz showed that after 5 months, CPAP masks, even when carefully cleaned, contain high amounts of bacteria colonies and fungus.

The study looked at CPAP masks and hoses of 24 people – 16 men and 8 women – and concluded that nearly 48 percent of the CPAP masks tested contained more than 2000 bacteria colonies after 48 hours.

Swabs were taken from the mask’s interface, where the mask seals to your face, and at the base of the hose and humidifier. These swab samples were then tested for bacteria colony counts 24 and 48 hours later.

They found a correlation between older masks and higher amounts of bacteria, no matter how often or well the mask is cleaned. Yuck!

Because of this, Snore MD sleep clinics recommend replacing the mask and hose at least once every six months to guard against bacteria film and build up.


How do I clean my CPAP therapy equipment?

In between replacements, wash your humidifier chamber, tubing and mask weekly in hot soapy water. Rinse well and allow to air dry. If you are sick, wash in soapy water after each use.

Use a CPAP wipe daily on your mask to help prevent bacteria growth.

Read more CPAP cleaning tips from Harvard Health Publishing.


When do I need to replace my mask or tubing?

Speak to your friendly sleep expert at Snore MD to get your mask and tubing checked out for wear and tear!

As well, most insurance companies cover a new CPAP mask every six months, so a brand-new shiny mask may cost you little or nothing at all!

Snore MD has all varieties of masks in stock and can ship masks, hoses, and filters directly to your home, as well as offer curbside pickup at all locations throughout Western Canada! You can also opt to Subscribe for a new mask online and save 20% off your purchase while enjoying free doorstep delivery of a brand-new mask every 6 months! 

Katrina Stubbs Sleep Clinician
Katrina Stubbs

Katrina Stubbs is a Regional Manager and Sleep Clinician at Snore MD and brings over 15 years of experience in the medical field. She prides herself in providing exceptional patient care and education, not only to her patients but to the entire team at Snore MD.

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