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Mask/tube cleaning

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  • Mask/tube cleaning

    Hi all
    Well, I am beginning to not loathe my machine quite as much after 8 weks of use!
    I have a cleaning question: At the hospital I was given a huge pack of clinimed skin care wipes by the resp nurse and told to wipe out my mask each day with those. I wasn't informed about cleaning the tubing or the humidifier, but having had a bad bout of pneumonia 19mths ago I've become very wary of breathing in bad bugs. So, I did some hunting around and read I should clean the tube once a month with white distilled vinegar 50:50. The humidifier chamber should be cleaned once weekly in warm, soapy water.
    Having done so, and hung the tube over the shower rail to dry all day, come evening I discovered it still reeked, and was making me heave when I turned on the machine, despite a good rinsing out.
    So, then a friend suggested using Milton as it is safe to use on baby's bottles etc. I bought some, washed my tube and mask as before. But that evening it stank like the local swimming pool! I got up and rinsed and rinsed but was still a bit freaked out about breathing in chlorine fumes.
    I am so fed up with all this palaver. I struggle to do a lot of physical stuff because of my paraplegia etc and this is just an added pressure...
    Can anyone tell me how often they clean their bits of equipment, what they use, how they dry parts etc? I'd be grateful for tips.
    Also, tell me if I sound paranoid. I try not to but when you only have 28% of your lung capacity available a straight forward chest infection can be the end of you...
    Last edited by iwant2sleep; 10th January 2013, 22:00.

  • #2
    When I used a mask I used a baby wipe to clean the mask and seal.
    Every week it was into warm soapy water with the liquid soap you clean your dishes with. Everything gets cleaned this way and warm clean water run through the tube and then hang it up ti dry. Check for mould growth around for vents in masks etc. and clean carefully with a soft toothbrush if you find any, just same soapy water. Humidifer vessel just clean the same way, I have had to use a white viniger mix to get rid of a slime growth we get up here which is pink or fawn coloured. Or if I don't have viniger I use bleach (not so strong a smell) then after leaving it soaking for a while I wash the humidifer into warm soapy water after a cold water rinse.
    Into your case I would give everything a quick wash into the middle of the week, but I would think a quick wash during the week and a big clean once a week would be enough. Mask daily with baby wipe (non-alchol if you can get) but I have not had any problems with normal baby wipes.
    Hope this is of help.
    S2S - Sleep2Snore


    • #3
      Others will have other ideas.

      I think milton will perish rubber/silicone seals on hose and mask. The mask seal might react to milton by going hard.
      S2S - Sleep2Snore


      • #4
        Don't forget the the "sponge" filter, this can quickly accumulate dust. I had the same question, and the consensus seems to be warm soapy water at least once a week. I find myself doing it every 2 or 3 days. That is

        Disassemble mask
        (including velcro straps)
        Detach tube
        Detach and disassemble humidifier section.
        Place everything into the sink (including velcro straps)
        Cover with warm/mildly hot soapy water
        Leave for 30-60 mins
        Rinse everything thoroughly
        Run a large amount of water through the tube
        Leave to air dry or use kitchen towels if I'm in a hurry
        Sniff test!
        ok - sleep
        not ok - repeat process (though this hasn't happened often)

        Its a chore, but a neccesary one.


        • #5
          I just came back to say remember keep your filter on the machine clean, not all are foam.
          Some filters like the white ones just about fall appart when they are cleaned.
          Keeping the machine off the floor will not attract so much dust into the machine.

          Gizmo beat me to it
          S2S - Sleep2Snore


          • #6
            Glad to hear you are getting on a bit better with your beast.

            The lil liquid soap things that i pinch from hotels belong to my machine (in their own basket). Once a week, med hot water with whatever one is in use, humidifier (comes apart), take all bits of mask apart or just dunk the sleepweaver, run soapy water through tube and use a damp cloth on the linking bits of the main machine. Then rinse with hotter water. Only clean the straps once a month as washing seems to murder velcro. For a while my humidifier chamber was an unopenable unit and I used milton or steradent followed by a hot rinse.

            Em , not meaning to be rude but the times I have had to clean my mask etc more often is when my breath has been rotten due to garlic or horrible green yuck stuff in my lungs when it was a do it everyday job. Either that or suffer from nightmares about rotting zombie hedgehogs (it's a personal foible) or my nose disintegrating (not sure where that one comes from either).

            THe filter doesn't seem to affect smells as it's just dust gets caught in it so doesn't seem to need as much care and attention, a vaccum with a bit of nylon over the end seems to suck a lot of gunge out of it.
            Last edited by martin; 10th January 2013, 23:46.


            • #7
              Though milton stinks, it is harmless as it breaks down into salt and water with just a residual smell. If you rinse it through with plain water you're defeating the object a little.

              I leave my nose to detect when the hose and humidfier need cleaning and do them with milton if I detect and smell. You can blow the smell of milton away by running your machine for 10-15 mins without the mask attached to your face.


              • #8
                I tend to be with the "clean the bits when they need cleaning" club - you don't change your pillowcase every night; why would you need to clean all the mask bits.

                When I do clean it all every couple of weeks or so I use warm water and a travel wash detergent in warm water. It tends to do a good job cleaning the bits, to rinse off easily and leave very little smell.

                On a more day to day basis, if I need to clean the silicon, wipe out the mask etc. I use Tesco Sensitive wipes; they are cheap, alcohol free so don't damage anything and most importantly, they do the job. At some times of year I do use them every night (if the weather is a bit warm and sweaty for instance), wiping the mask bits first then using the wipe on the bits of my face which the mask sits on. Make sure they are the alcohol free ones, a lot of wipes use alcohol.

                You can even use the wipes to clean the inside of the hose. Get a piece of string a bit longer than the hose. On one end tie something with a bit of weight that will fit through the hose and on the other end tie a wipe. Drop the weight through the hose and then use the string to pull the wipe though. It does a surprisingly good job, with no chemicals to damage the hose and no smelly residues.


                • #9
                  Thanks all.

                  You have really put my mind at rest. I was beginning to get a bit ocd imagining all these wee beasties getting into my lungs whiles I slept (thought not rotting zombie hedgehogs. Wow...)

                  I think I will use Milton occasionally on the tubing as that is hardest to get really clean. The mask I'll wipe each evening, and the rest can get done once a week.

                  One more question: Where is the filter on my machine and how do I access it to clean it? They never even mantioned this at the hospital and I've had it at home for nearly two months now. I have a Resmed Stellar 100 btw.


                  • #10
                    Just checked up - the air filter on that machine isn't washable, it just needs replacing every 6 months. On the back of your machine there is a big black(?) cover with vents in it; the air filter is under that.


                    • #11
                      Thanks for that Fred. I will ask my resp nurse on Monday when I need to do it, and how...


                      • #12

                        Daily wipes with alcohol-free cleansing wipes (Tesco own brand) for mask and face.

                        Infrequent deeper cleaning using a weak mixture of Baby bottle sterilising fluid (Tesco own brand, like Milton but cheaper); 1 capful to half a bowl full of water. Dismantle the mask and humidifier chamber first and then soak for about 5 minutes. Good rinse then quick wash in clean water with a dash of fairy liquid. Then a couple more rinses in clean tap water.

                        Hose cleaned by pouring each cleaning liquid in turn into the hose; covering each end and sloshing around for a few minutes.

                        Mask bits dried on the draining board before reassembly. Hose dried by hanging over the shower head.

                        Hope this helps.
                        ResMed S9 Autoset with humidifier and ClimateLine
                        ResMed Mirage Liberty and Quattro Air masks


                        • #13
                          cleaning hose

                          Hi guys i am stuck on this one , there has been many things said but , what is the proper way to clean your hose , all i do is soak it in luke warm fairy liquid for 30 mins and rinse it out , please tell me this is alright , as for my mask i use baby wet wipes that does the job !!! am i ok Dizzyqueen thankyou


                          • #14
                            Dizzyqueen - cleaning the hose like that is fine if it seems to do the job for you.

                            The baby wipes should be fine too, just make sure they are alcohol free (it should say on the packet). The Tesco sensitive wipes are pretty much the same thing, but probably cheaper as they don't say "baby" on the packet.


                            • #15
                              Dizzyqueen, that is all I have done with my hose for 18yrs and I am still alive so works for me
                              S2S - Sleep2Snore