How to clean a CPAP machine with vinegar

For those with sleep apnea disorders, a CPAP machine prescription is recommendable. The Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine ensures a steady supply into your nostrils and mouth as you sleep, keeping you breathing normally. It reverses the effects of sleep apnea disorders where some obstructions temporarily make the person stop inhaling involuntarily.

The CPAP machine, composed of a headgear, hose, and compressor machine, requires regular cleaning. Distilled white vinegar can be used to disinfect and keep crucial parts of your CPAP clean.

For something that gets attached to the nasal cavity, its crucial parts are the mask and hose. The headgear comes in contact with the face and can accumulate sweat, dust, and oils, developing a fertile ground for bacteria, germs, and mold to grow. Similarly, the hose can also fill up with air moisture. This may lead to respiratory illness causing more harm than treatment.

Luckily vinegar happens to be a versatile liquid. It is not only great for meals, but as a cleaning agent that also disinfects and sanitizes. This is thanks to acetic acid that makes it effective against bacteria, viruses, and germs. On the plus side, it is readily available and inexpensive. It is something accessible in a well-stocked kitchen

Cleaning a CPAP machine with vinegar

Before you start to clean your CPAP machine, it is advisable to read the manufacturer’s instructions about cleaning and disassembling parts. This will help with reassembling parts and avoiding damaging them.

Distilled white vinegar is preferred to other fermented-based counterparts as the lab-based vinegar has higher acidity, which makes it more effective in disinfecting and sanitizing. It is also good to note that using vinegar should not be a substitute for washing. It only cleans through disinfection and sanitizing. Washing requires guidance as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

You will need the following:

  • Distilled white vinegar
  • A clean source of water
  • A bucket
  • A clean towel
  • A mild soap or dishwashing detergent
  • Clean containers

Purified water is preferable as it contains no impurities, so it is recommended for cleaning a sensitive apparatus.

Using distilled white vinegar to clean a CPAP machine mask

The CPAP machine mask is sensitive as it covers the nasal cavity. Regular cleaning is advisable to avoid the accumulation of bacteria and germs.

To use distilled white vinegar to clean a CPAP machine mask, you will need the following:

  • A cup of distilled white vinegar
  • A cup of purified water
  • A container
  • A towel


  1. Disassemble the mask from the hose and the rest of the headgear.
  2. Prepare the distilled white vinegar solution by mixing the vinegar and water in a clean container.
  3. Place the mask parts in the solution. Submerge the mask parts in the mixture and stir a little to ensure they mix evenly.
  4. Allow the mask to sit in the solution for thirty minutes for the cleaning solution to act.
  5. Remove and rinse the mask parts in running water. Let the parts air dry before reassembling them.
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Simultaneously, you can clean the rest of the headgear with mild soap or dishwashing detergent and let them dry before assembling the rest of the mask parts.

Using distilled white vinegar to clean a CPAP machine hose

The CPAP machine hose is a hollow tubing that connects the headgear with the mask and the rest of the CPAP machine. It supplies air to the CPAP machine mask in the headgear. There are standard hoses and heated hoses. Heated hoses contain electrical heating coils for better air humidification.

Hoses are susceptible to air moisture, forming a potential breeding ground for bacteria and germs. Regular cleaning with disinfection and sanitization with distilled white vinegar is crucial to keep it clean.

To use distilled white vinegar to clean a CPAP machine mask, you will need the following:

  • 2 cups of distilled white vinegar
  • 2 cups of purified water
  • A bucket
  • A towel


  1. In a bucket, mix the distilled white vinegar and purified water evenly.
  2. Disassemble the hose from the rest of the CPAP machine. Ensure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding detaching the hose. This will be handy during reassembly.
  3. Dip the hose in the vinegar solution and let it sit for thirty minutes to an hour
  4. Remove the hose from the mixture and rinse with more distilled water.
  5. Let the hose air dry before reattaching it to the mask and the rest of the CPAP machine. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on reassembly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you clean the CPAP filter with vinegar?

Filters are sensitive, so it is not advisable to wash them with vinegar. Most manufacturers recommend replacing filters according to their replacing schedules. However, if they’re reusable, then wash filters in mild soapy water at least once a week. Vinegar can have a negative effect on the filter and ruin it.

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Can a CPAP machine with a humidifier get cleaned with vinegar?

You can use vinegar to clean a CPAP machine humidifier. However, it requires more water. You should use one part vinegar to five parts water and empty any water in its reservoir first. Pour the solution in and let it sit for thirty minutes, then rinse. Remember to use purified water to avoid mineral deposits in hard water.

How do you maintain the cleanliness of a CPAP machine?

Keeping the machine in a clean environment will prevent germs and contaminants from getting into the CPAP machine via the filter. Similarly, you should remove face oils and make-up before putting your CPAP mask on. That will prolong the life of the CPAP machine mask. Finally, regularly scheduled cleaning at least once a week is advisable.

Clean your CPAP regularly

The Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine is medical equipment that requires thorough and regular cleaning to keep it disinfected and sanitized. Being used on the nasal cavity makes it even more sensitive. If it’s not well cleaned, it would make treatment ineffective. Vinegar helps make that achievable as it is readily available. If the smell of vinegar is not welcoming, rinse the apparatus with mild soapy distilled water to clear the smell.

How to clean a CPAP machine with vinegar

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