Using a CPAP device to mitigate symptoms of sleep apnea can go a long way in improving energy levels and your overall wellbeing. However, getting the best results from your device requires that you provide the necessary care for the machine and its components — especially the mask, tubing, and humidifier chamber.
While the machine itself only requires the occasional wipe down, masks and tubing should be cleaned and sanitized on a daily basis. Humidifier chambers should be cleaned at least weekly. Without proper cleaning, using your CPAP machine can easily create just as many health problems as it tries to prevent.
Here is a closer look at why using the SoClean 2 Automated CPAP Cleaner and Sanitizer on a daily basis should become a key part of your CPAP maintenance routine.
What Happens If You Don’t Clean Your CPAP Mask?
Under normal circumstances, the germs and bacteria that enter the mask and tubing when you exhale shouldn’t cause any immediate health problems. These are germs that were already inside your body, and as such, they don’t pose a risk for causing new infections. Over time, however, they can cause the mask and tubing to develop a musty, unpleasant odor.
When you are sick, however, this exhaled bacteria is another issue. If the mask and tubing aren’t sanitized, the bacteria will linger inside this moist, humid environment — particularly if mucus gets into the tubing. As a result, subsequently using the CPAP device without cleaning the mask and tubes will cause continued exposure to the bacteria. This could make it harder to get over your illness, or even worsen a current infection.
The oils from your skin can also create problems for your CPAP mask. Exposure to these natural oils will cause the mask to get greasy, which can make it feel uncomfortable and even keep it from sealing properly against your face. Not only will this reduce the effectiveness of your therapy, but it could also cause irritation or acne around the areas where the mask touches the skin.
However, the biggest risk of not cleaning your CPAP equipment is the potential for exposure to mold and mildew. This is most common among patients who use a heated humidifier and/or heated tubing to improve the comfort of their therapy. While these components can make breathing more comfortable during treatment and reduce the risk of throat irritation, a humid environment creates the perfect breeding ground for mold, fungus, and yeast.
When CPAP equipment is not cleaned and dried properly, the mask, tubing, and humidifier chamber remain nearly constantly moist. Mold growth won’t just cause the equipment to smell bad — it can also lead to significant breathing issues. Exposure to mold has been linked with several respiratory tract issues, ranging from worsening asthma symptoms to more severe infections like bronchitis and pneumonia.
While the risk of such severe infections is relatively rare, it illustrates the importance of cleaning your CPAP equipment on a regular basis. Proper care for your device will eliminate these risks entirely, keeping you healthy and ensuring that you receive the highest quality sleep apnea therapy.
Standard Cleaning Practices
Whether you wish to avoid a respiratory infection or funky smells in your CPAP mask, following a daily cleaning schedule is essential. The problem, of course, is that CPAP cleaning tends to be a lot more involved than most people have time for.
The mask and tubing should be cleaned on a daily basis. Chin supports and headgear are typically cleaned with warm water and mild detergent, as are the hard plastic mask, humidifier chamber, and tubing. Each of these components will need to be disconnected from each other for effective cleaning.
For best results, these components generally need to be gently hand washed, soaked for up to twenty minutes, and then allowed to air dry. Unfortunately, placing them in a dishwasher (which may seem more convenient) could actually cause significant damage to the mask and tubing.
Though this process seems fairly straightforward, there is no denying that it is not without its disadvantages. Most people don’t have time to soak their CPAP mask and tubing, and it can be all too easy to forget about placing them in an appropriate location to air dry. This is especially true of the tubing, which needs to be hung in a position so that both ends allow water to drain out. Failure to adequately dry the tubing will create the ideal breeding ground for mold and bacteria — the exact situation you are trying to avoid.
Another issue stems from which cleaning supplies can be used to clean a CPAP mask or tube. Most mild dish soaps are scented. Even though the odor is meant to be pleasant, it can prove to be too intense when breathing through the mask later, which could disrupt your treatment. Similarly, while vinegar serves as a safe yet powerful disinfectant, its strong odors can quickly turn using your CPAP mask into an unpleasant experience.
Water quality can also make your cleaning efforts less effective than they should be. Hard water is notorious for leaving behind limescale residue. If the scale buildup isn’t dissolved with vinegar, it can actually encourage mold growth, especially in the humidifier chamber.
Because of this, it is often recommended that CPAP users use only distilled water to clean their equipment — the same water that is meant for use in a heated humidifier. However, this will cause you to go through your supply of distilled water much more quickly, which can cause this recurring expense to add up over time.
How the SoClean 2 Automated CPAP Cleaner and Sanitizer Makes a Difference
There is no denying that remembering to properly clean your CPAP equipment each day can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you have a busy schedule. This is where the SoClean 2 Automated CPAP Cleaner and Sanitizer comes in. You won’t have to worry about taking time out of your day to clean everything, nor will you need to wonder whether you are doing a good job of cleaning.
The SoClean 2 makes cleaning your CPAP device a simple, set it and forget it process. When you wake up in the morning, all you have to do is put your mask inside your SoClean 2 device. You don’t have to remove the mask or disconnect it from the tubing or humidifier chamber. Once you close the lid, the device will activate and begin the process of cleaning your entire system using activated oxygen. The chamber is large enough to support all types of CPAP masks, from nasal pillows to full face masks.
Because the SoClean 2 cleans your equipment using activated oxygen, it sends sanitizing blasts of air through your mask and into the CPAP tubing and humidifier reservoir. There are no chemicals or water used, keeping your equipment dry and eliminating the risk of mold growth.
The use of activated oxygen also makes the SoClean 2’s sanitizing process far more efficient than basic hand washing, naturally eliminating 99.9 percent of viruses, mold, and other contaminants. This is actually the same cleaning process used for hospital sanitizing and produce handling, so you can have confidence that the system is getting the job done.
Best of all, the SoClean 2 doesn’t require any additional input on your end after it has been set up. The process begins automatically, and a cycle lights indicator on the machine’s exterior lets you know when the cleaning and sanitization process is complete. The preset cleaning cycle starts at 10 AM and runs for seven minutes, followed by a two-hour disinfecting period. However, you can adjust the cycle start time and cleaning length to better suit your schedule.
Once your device is set up, all you will need to do is put your mask in the SoClean 2 in the morning and take it out in the evening after the cycle light has turned green. No disassembly, hand washing, drying, or reassembly required! Convenience and effectiveness make this the best way to clean your CPAP equipment.
If you do need to hand wash your equipment (such as when excess mucus residue has built up inside the mask or tubing), you can use the neutralizing pre-wash that comes included with the SoClean 2 device. This fragrance free, hypoallergenic liquid is mixed with water to provide an effective rinsing prior to placing your mask and equipment in the SoClean 2 sanitizing chamber.
Adapters & Filters
Though the SoClean 2 Automated CPAP Cleaner and Sanitizer is naturally compatible with most CPAP equipment, devices from some manufacturers require additional adapters due to their proprietary inputs. Adapters are needed for the Philips Respironics DreamStation and System One, the ResMed S9, and the ResMed AirSense and AirCurve. These adapters are compatible with all SoClean equipment, and are necessary to ensure a proper connection between the SoClean 2 and the CPAP device.
In addition, while the SoClean 2 device doesn’t require much regular maintenance other than the occasional wipe down with a clean damp cloth, its check valve assembly and cartridge filter need to be replaced every six months. The cartridge filter converts activated oxygen to regular oxygen before it exits the SoClean 2’s sanitizing chamber, while the check valve protects the CPAP device’s electronic equipment from potential water damage.
The SoClean 2’s digital display will actually provide a reminder when these components need to be replaced, and are available at a low cost through Help Medical Supplies.
In addition, you should continue to follow the recommended replacement schedule for your CPAP mask, tubing, and other components. The SoClean 2’s sanitization process may leave your equipment germ-free, but it doesn’t reverse the continuous impact of aging and wear and tear. Replace other CPAP components as needed to ensure effective treatment.
Other than these considerations, the SoClean 2 will offer an easy to use, stress-free experience. Best of all, the equipment is backed by a two-year limited warranty that will provide repair or replacement of your device due to any manufacturing or workmanship defects. You can have confidence that your equipment will continue to operate like it should for several years to come.
Cleaning and maintaining a CPAP device isn’t always easy — but doing your part each day to keep your system sanitary will make all the difference for avoiding negative outcomes in your sleep apnea treatment. With the help of the SoClean 2 Automated CPAP Cleaner and Sanitizer, you will have one less thing to worry about as you adapt to a new sleep routine.
Here at Help Medical Supplies, we understand that purchasing sanitizing devices like the SoClean 2 — as well as the other CPAP equipment you need for a good night’s sleep — can be difficult, especially when your insurance does not provide adequate coverage for your therapy. The SoClean 2 is not covered by insurance or Medicare, despite its usefulness to CPAP users. That’s why we provide a wide range of solutions to help you better afford your treatment.
It starts by offering the SoClean 2 and other products at significant discounts off MSRP, reducing the barrier to entry for purchasing these devices. You can save even more by purchasing your SoClean 2 as part of a bundle with the Respironics Dreamstation or the ResMed AirSense S10! These bundles also include the necessary adapters. We also offer free shipping on all orders over $89 for additional savings.
If that’s not enough, we also offer financing through CareCredit for qualifying purchases of $200 or more. Breaking your purchase into more affordable monthly payments will reduce the burden of purchasing CPAP equipment without the help of insurance, and if you completely pay off your loan within six months of your purchase, you won’t have to pay any interest whatsoever.
Enjoying quality sleep — and the streamlined cleaning solutions available through the SoClean 2 — shouldn’t be derailed by financial worries. Thanks to our generous discounts and financing options, you will be able to receive the treatment you need at a price you can afford. Place your order today to see how the right equipment can completely transform your sleep routine!