Figuring out how to manage your sleep apnea can be stressful. If your doctor prescribed therapy, you might be struggling to get used to the sleep mask device. As if it weren’t odd enough to sleep with the mask on, you likely have another question. With so many parts, how do you manage your cleaning?
You could clean each part individually with soap and water, but that’s time-consuming and tends to leave a foul odor from how the water dries on the plastic. During the cold/flu season, it’s imperative to clean your sleep mask. A dirty mask can make you sick!
Ensure that all parts of your sleep mask device are clean and functional with a cleaning device. Here’s how to choose the best one for your needs.
Problems with Manual Cleaning
Experts recommend cleaning your water chamber daily, tubing every week, and the sleep mask and headgear as needed. You should never use harsh chemicals or strong detergents (e.g., dish soap), as these can leave harmful residues that you’ll later breathe in.
Some gentle soaps such as hand soap or Dawn are okay to use in small amounts. Many people use a simple vinegar-water solution to clean their accessories.
Mildew and germ build-up aren’t always visible to the naked eye like the above image. Occasionally, trapped water will breed soap-resistant pathogens that you later breathe in.
The problem is that most manual methods could still leave moisture and germs inside your machine’s parts. These can contribute to mold, mildew, odor, and infection. You also need to let the parts air-dry, which can be an issue on busy days if you clean the machine late and it isn’t dry in time for bed.
Special Cleaning Methods
If the soap-and-water approach doesn’t work for you or if you’d like a deeper clean, there are several options for sanitizing and maintaining your sleep mask.
Available at sleep centers and through online retailers, these pre-moistened wipes safely remove oils, dead skin cells, and dust from your. While these towels are great options for cleaning your mask, they’re a bit harder to use on the water chamber — and impossible to use when cleaning your tubing.
Some cleaning devices use ozone gas to neutralize pathogens from parts. These machines emit ozone into the. Unfortunately, ozone is highly toxic. Ozone tends to linger, which means you can only use an ozone cleaner hours before you go to bed. Otherwise, you risk inhaling the lingering ozone when you use your. This can actually worsen your breathing problems.
UV light is often used in laboratory environments to sterilize equipment. UV-based cleaners apply this technology to your’s parts.
When exposed to UV light, bacteria and viruses are disabled. Meaning you can more easily clean your sleep mask without needing to use soap and water. Note that it must be of a specific wavelength for UV light to clean equipment and operated for a particular duration. In other words, you cannot neutralize your sleep mask by holding a regular fluorescent light over it. Choose a UV-based cleaner specifically designed for this purpose, such as the 3B Lumin (which cleans the tub, mask, etc.) and the Lumin Bullet (which cleans the hose).
The Best Solution
Cleaning your sleep mask regularly is crucial to your overall health.
You will avoid getting sick from mold or mildew or reinfecting yourself with pathogens exhaled during sleep. Furthermore, you will also prolong the life of your and its parts. Traditional cleaning methods don’t always work. You need a water-free approach or deeper clean; make a UV-based cleaner part of your routine. Here’s to better sleep!