Please Share Misc Helpful Hints

General Discussion on any topic relating to CPAP and/or Sleep Apnea.
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Please Share Misc Helpful Hints

Post by Moogy » Mon Oct 30, 2006 6:55 pm

I would like to hear from any and all who have simple hints that simplify life as a hose-head.

I will start with something that has helped me (TupperwareTM ) :

I keep a TupperwareTM measuring cup with a good spout by the bathroom sink. The little Respironics funnel that came with my humidifier lives in the measuring cup, so I can always find it. The gallon bottle of distilled water stays under the bathroom sink.

I put the proper amount of water into the measuring cup, carry it and the funnel into the bedroom, and fill the humidifier. It is much easier to fill it this way than to carry the entire gallon bottle of distilled water, and I am less likely to spill it. And I dislike detaching the entire humidifier in order to fill it (just lazy, I guess).

I also keep a little square TupperwareTM container that is just the right size for my Activa seal. I use this as a little dish for soaking and washing the seal. That way I don't worry that my sink full of suds will be in my husband's way if he needs the sink. When I use a vinegar rinse, I fill this same little container with vinegar, soak the mask, then use my little funnel to return the vinegar to the bottle to save for reusing the next time.

I hope some of you might find one of these ideas helpful, too. Will some of you please share other little cpap techniques that have helped you?


P.S. I do not sell TupperwareTM, nor have I been paid for this endorsement .

started bipap therapy 3/8/2006
pre-treatment AHI 102.5;
Now on my third auto bipap machine, pressures 16-20.5

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Post by inacpapfog » Mon Oct 30, 2006 7:35 pm

Well, one little hint that comes to mind is buying one of the hose-to-hose connectors. ( sell 'um) So simple to wash/rinse my hoses using one of these little contraptions! Just fill the hose with solution, connect both ends to form a closed-end donut and swish to you hearts content!

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Post by rested gal » Tue Oct 31, 2006 5:03 am

Great topic, Moogy!

I guess the four main things that DME's probably would never think of (or, regarding the last two, EVER suggest) that make my cpapp'in' life easy are:

1. Using a leg cut off a pair of pantyhose tights as an extra homemade strap around the front of most any mask to help stabilize it.

2. Ponytail scrunchy on a swivel arm plant hanger on the wall above my head, to run the main airhose through; keeps the hose up and out of the way for toss n' turn sleeping underneath.

3. Simply adding more distilled water to the humidifier each night - rarely (like for months at a time) ever removing the water chamber or cleaning it.

4. Putting tape over my mouth to stop mouth air leaks -- lets me wear nasal pillows masks that are far more comfy for me than any full face mask.
S9 VPAP Auto - S9 Auto - BiPAP Auto - 420E auto - Everest 2. ResScan, EncPro & SL3.
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Post by ozij » Tue Oct 31, 2006 5:29 am

*Chpapstick on your lips before you tape - I keep tape and chapestick in a small box in a drawer in my night table.


Machine: S9 AutoSet™ CPAP Machine
Mask: Hybrid Full Face CPAP Mask with Nasal Pillows and Headgear
Humidifier: S9™ Series H5i™ Heated Humidifier with Climate Control
Additional Comments: Software: Updated version of ResScan. First machine (5 years) was PB420E. Tried others including Autoset S8 II

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Headgear adjustment

Post by northernlights » Tue Oct 31, 2006 7:27 am

Here's my helpful revelation. It just came to me this weekend when I was cleaning the headgear.
I realized that when I first started treatment 6 months ago, I was adjusting the headgear so that the straps were mirror images of each other re: length.
This was not always effective vis a vis comfort and leakage. When I started adjusting them while lying down with mask on, I discovered that they shouldn't always be the same length. Guess what, our heads are not perfectly symetrical!! I think it is easy for a rookie to think that the straps should be of equal length, but it isn't always so.
Anyways, that's my little helpful hint.


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Post by OwlCreekObserver » Tue Oct 31, 2006 7:52 am

Most of the above, plus:
  • I keep a separate scrubber (sponge with mesh on one side and cotton on the other side) for cleaning my masks and such.

    I keep the scrubber, along with my cleaning liquid, measuring cup, and funnel in a Tupperware-like container by the bathroom sink. I also use that container for washing and sterilizing the masks, hoses, etc.

    Gallon jugs of distilled water and white vinegar are under the sink.

    Whenever I travel, I fill a bottled water container with distilled water. A half-liter bottle will usually last me for at least a couple of nights.

    I use the velcro loop with the clip on the end that came with my ComfortCurve to secure the hose for whichever mask I'm using. Clipping it to the blanket keeps the hose in place and is usually enough to keep it from pulling the mask away from my face during the night. Making one of these would be fairly simple if this one ever broke.

    I hit the heat button for the humidifier a few minutes before bedtime so that the water temperature is just about right when I turn on the blower.

Mask: Zzz-Mask Full Face CPAP Mask with Headgear
Software: Encore Smart Card Reader - USB
Additional Comments: Premium Headgear with EZ Peel Tabs for Comfort Series Masks

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Post by tmaiberger » Tue Oct 31, 2006 8:25 am

I use a spray bottle with a water/vinegar solution to spray my mask cushion daily to clean it (I do this after using baby wash on the mask cushion, overkill maybe, but I have found this routine keeps the cushion tacky and in my experience extends the life of the cushion). I also shave at night right before bed, instead of the morning. I find that if I do not, my face gets itchy under the cushion which contacts my face. I also use a fleece hose cover for my hose (from offerocker), more for comfort than anything else as I do not use the HH very much.


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Post by Offerocker » Tue Oct 31, 2006 8:29 am

I keep a 'squirt-type' plastic container filled w/distilled water nearby, and use it to safely add water to my humidifier. The tip is small enough to enter the hole, so no spilling, and no funnel is required.

I think what I'm currently using is a (Pepsi) bottle with a purchased attachment - works GREAT!

I've also used the small detergent containers that have squirt lids.
Yes, it takes awhile to get those cleansed - don't want suds, you know! and vinegar removes the odor.

Another hint: When I was a 'newbie', I cleaned my hose, and found that adding a bit of mouthwash (one that TASTES GOOD) to the 'final rinse' was rewarding...that air smelled so much fresher!

northernlights: Truer words were never spoken! I was very surprised at how asymetrical my straps were after adjusting them in bed! I'm a side-sleeper, and that must be the reason, in addition to any
This tip was given to me by RedThunder94: In the first few months, it seemed that I was always getting 'itchy' places under my mask - very annoying, because you needed to 'sneak' a finger under the mask to scratch it! RT94 suggested, and it worked: rub your face vigorously before putting on your worked! I think my face is 'trained' now; rarely have that problem.

For anyone using the ACTIVA mask: Check the seal before putting it on! Several nights I've had a 747-like blowing in my face because the mask came loose from the framework. What an experience! Talk about major leaks!!

northernlights: Truer words were never spoken! I was very surprised at the asymetrical allignment of my straps after adjusting in bed also!
I'm a side-sleeper, which is probably part of the reason.

Last edited by Offerocker on Tue Oct 31, 2006 8:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
Respironics Auto C-Flex, HC-150, Activa, CL2 Simple Cushion, ComfortSleeve, Saline Snorter.

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another small hint

Post by Catnapper » Tue Oct 31, 2006 8:41 am

I often use my arm as a pillow. (Old habit. We were poor when I was a kid, and arms are free and handy.) Sometimes the exhaust from the mask will hit my hand or arm and be annoying, something like water torture over time. I keep a small hand towel by my pillow, and if the air flow wakes me up, I put the towel over my arm or hand and no longer can feel the blast from the mask. The towel is easy to find in the dark because it has that terry cloth texture. It is just the right size, too.

Great idea for a thread. I hope it continues for many hints.


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Post by Catnapper » Tue Oct 31, 2006 8:48 am

I just thought of another tip. I had trouble drying the hose after washing it. My new fix is to use a long cord, longer than the hose, and tie a weight on one end (a small bolt or washer would do) and a small piece of towel on the other. Drop the weighted end in the hose - I stand on the top step to do this so the hose hangs straight down - and then once the weight comes out the end of the hose you can pull the towel through. The towel will wipe out the big drops of water and the rest can air dry. Just be sure the towel is not something that will leave lint behind.

When you put the hose cover back on, put something slippery on the rubber end of the hose to help it slide through. Usually a plastic bag will work. You could use the cord method above to pull the hose through the cover.

Machine: PR System One REMStar 60 Series BiPAP Auto + Heated Tube Humidifier Core
Humidifier: PR System One 60 Series Heated Tube Humidifier with Heated Tube
Additional Comments: Encore Pro Analyzer, Padacheeks, ComfortSleeve

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Post by DreamStalker » Tue Oct 31, 2006 8:49 am

The best hint I can give is to visit and participate on this forum

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Post by needingu » Tue Oct 31, 2006 11:03 am

What a excellent idea! I have learned soooooo much from these people.
Now collect the ideas and do a book entiled " What every Cpap user needs to know."
My little bit would be the prints on your face after using face mask. I had to tighten the UMFF so tight to keep it from leaking that I looked like a bulldogface in the morning which stayed for 3-4 hrs. My eyes were swollen as well as my face. I switched to a Comfortgel Nasal and Polident to seal lips NOW after 9 months of Rx I do not have any marks on my face. I have already changed the way I fill my humidifier and have seen others don't wash and refill it everyday.


CPAPopedia Keywords Contained In This Post (Click For Definition): humidifier, CPAP, seal


CPAPopedia Keywords Contained In This Post (Click For Definition): humidifier, CPAP, seal

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Post by krousseau » Tue Oct 31, 2006 11:27 am

Keep a small "instant repair" kit by the bed, in its own container in the bathroom, or a tacklebox under the bed--customize it to your mask. That way you are not looking for a roll of electrical tape all over the house in the middle of the night. Things to consider: electrical tape, medical adhesive tape, safety pins, scissors, small pliers, screwdriver, any spare parts, rubber bands, precut stretch stocking leg, velcro strips, velstretch strap,

Get a pack of those thin/inexpensive washcloths-I keep one near the bed to dry inside of mask in case of rain-in the morning I take it with me to the sink to dry the mask after washing--put that one in the laundry-wrap the clean mask in a new washcloth-put it back by the bed.

Personal items in a bowl at the bedside--chapstick; your choice of vicks, unpetrolaum, badger sleep balm, Ayr Gel; nasal spray pump of saline; Bandaid Blister Ampoules,

Two covered hoses to alternate hoses nightly-this lets them dry completely before using again.


CPAPopedia Keywords Contained In This Post (Click For Definition): clean

Mask: Mirage Activa™ Nasal CPAP Mask with Headgear
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Post by tmaiberger » Tue Oct 31, 2006 11:35 am

Forgot to mention that after I wash the mask cushion I use a hair dryer on medium heat to quickly air dry the cushion.


Mask: Ultra Mirage™ II Nasal CPAP Mask with Headgear
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Post by birdshell » Tue Oct 31, 2006 11:35 am

I use many of the tips above, but here is my addition:

1. I use a Rubbermaid container to wash everything. It is just a bit smaller than a dishpan, and with the soapy waterit acts as a dishpan at first. I pump some dishwashing liquid into the hose, and then hold it to the faucet to fill the container. Then I rub anything that needs it, put on the water-tight top, and shake the whole thing just for good measure.

I repeat the process with clear water after draining off the soapy water. This is the first rinse. Then I drain the whole thing again, and repeat the rinse.

Next, I refill the container (again using the hose) and add the correct amount of vinegar (1:10). I carefully submerge the hose and put on the cover, shake the whole container to get rid of air bubbles, and let sit for ~1/2 hour.

Rinse again under hot water, shake the hot water off the pieces as much as possible, and let the pieces dry on the lid or in the container (except for the hose which is hung up).

2. I needed something to put the flow generator and humidifier onto below the bed, but just off the floor. I used a plastic storage bin and have it turned upside down. One could use a bin turned up the right way with the machine inside, to help prevent possible leaks. This has an added benefit: put the lid on top, with the electrical cord unplugged, and stowed inside, to keep children and small animals away from it! (My cats believe it is their mission in life to chew every string-like object into itty-bitty pieces.)

3. While travelling last weekend, I discovered a similar process with the bedside night stand. I put the machine inside the drawer, plugged it in, added the hose and put on the mask, and I was off the floor but way below the bed. In the morning, I unplugged the unit and put everything into the drawer to protect it from the cleaning person. It was easy and efficient.

I hope this helps someone. Great posting topic--thank you for thinking of it.

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