Looking after your mask
Your mask is worn on your face daily, so a regular cleaning routine helps to keep it in good working order.
Your mask has several key parts: the soft cushion that stops air escaping; the hard plastic shell that keeps it in shape; and the straps (or headgear) that hold it in place when you are wearing it.
As you are wearing it daily and overnight, it can soon become dirty from sweat, saliva and oil from your skin and hair. By cleaning the different parts of it daily or once a week, you can keep your mask in good working order and help ensure the best and most comfortable seal.
Look at the Step by Step Guide for information on how to keep your mask clean and read our Top Tips section to hear from other NIV users.
Cleaning the mask cushion
The cushion on your mask will accumulate oils and sweat from your skin. Also, some saliva may gather and dry here. It is important to clean the cushion daily – use some slightly soapy warm water on a flannel. Ensure you rinse all the soap off to avoid skin irritation.
Cleaning the outer mask
Also wipe over the outside of the mask with a soapy flannel and rinse the soap off. Make sure the mask is fully dry – inside and out – before putting it back on. Allow it to air dry, as opposed to using any kind of heater.
Taking the mask apart
For a deeper clean you can remove the cushioned section from the hard shell of the mask. They click apart quite easily. The cushion itself can easily be replaced if need be and you could carry a spare with you if you are going away on holiday.
Check the cushion for wear
The cushion itself is quite tough, but over time it may wear out or become damaged accidentally, causing the mask to leak. Check the seal regularly when cleaning your mask. Feel around it with your fingers, and look closely for any signs of wear and tear.
Removing the headgear
The headgear or straps will also need regular cleaning, as they come into contact with your skin and hair. Wash them once a week, or more often if you prefer. Remove the straps by undoing the velcro at the key points on the mask.
Washing the headgear
You can wash the straps as you would your clothes – by hand, or in the washing machine with your normal load (not a hot wash). The velcro will stick to everything, so make sure all the straps are done up securely. Make sure they are thoroughly dry before wearing.