One of the first things my wife and I looked into when buying her CPAP machine was cleaning agents. We made sure that we got a bottle of Control-III and some citrus wipes along with our purchase. It quickly became obvious however that we needed a more rapid and consistent means of sanitizing her equipment. I stumbled upon the Soclean 2 CPAP Cleaner and Sanitizer while doing some research and I was pretty impressed. After all, who wants to be handwashing their CPAP mask, tubing and humidifier tub every day? Here’s some info for you on the Soclean 2, what it accomplishes and how you can know if it’s the correct fit for you. You can also skip all this and jump to the TL;DR section (Too Long, Didn’t Read) for a quick summary if you prefer.
What Does the Soclean 2 CPAP Cleaner & Sanitizer Do?
Soclean, maker of the Soclean 2 CPAP Cleaner and Sanitizer, claims to be able to kill up to 99.9% of all harmful germs and bacteria that may be thriving in your equipment. This would include your hose (even the heated ones), your mask, and your water reservoir, if you have one. This really isn’t surprising, after all we all live with microbes everyday. Most of them thrive in moist environments, and if the temperature is warm enough, will actually replicate very quickly. If you’re unlucky enough to have a small colony growing in your hosing, mask or humidifier apparatus, you could certainly get sick pretty easily. Recall as well that if you’re sick, and still using your equipment, you are at risk of reinfecting yourself–which is definitely a problem of your immune system is already compromised in some way! The value proposition for the SoClean 2 then is fairly clear in my opinion.
How’s Using the SoClean 2 Different From Just Washing My Equipment?
Washing your equipment using a gentle cleaner and disinfectant could possibly do the same thing so what’s the big deal? Well ask yourself this question: “Do you wash your mask, tubing and reservoir everyday?” If you do, kudos! You’re what most of us would aspire to be. But the sad reality is that most of us simply don’t have the time. And that means much of our CPAP equipment remains untouched for at least several days before a cleaning cycle (with the exception of the mask…maybe). That’s several days’ worth of opportunities for germs and bacteria to breed. In fact, simple droplets of water in your hosing (caused by condensation) could become home to mold and colonies of bacteria numbering in the millions. Pneumonia is no fun. You don’t have to take my word for it, please check the facts!
In a study released in the Journal of Clincal Sleep Medicine, it was observed that the water retained in humidifiers could be contaminated with germs. When this water is heated, evaporation occurs which results in water vapor containing microbes being transferred directly through the tubing and mask apparatus. This puts CPAP users at risk for developing respiratory infections…which certainly is bad considering that they’re already experiencing respiratory challenges by virtue of their airways collapsing at night.
So…you could just wash your equipment everyday…or have something automatically sanitize it for you. The SoClean is built to accept a daily cleaning schedule, and you can also kick off manual cycles. These cycles need not run any longer than 10 minutes tops, although the machine allows up to 12. From my perspective, this is simple convenience, and the time you regain and assurance of cleanliness makes this purchase value for money. If you washed everyday (which would probably take anywhere between 15 and 30 minutes), remember that you’d have to let the equipment air dry, which doesn’t necessarily get rid of all the moisture. On the flip side, and to your benefit, the SoClean 2 doesn’t use water or chemicals to do the cleaning. You don’t even have to disassemble your unit (although for some CPAPs you may need an adapter for your reservoir’s cover). This is due to the fact that the SoClean 2 utilises ozone (also known as activated oxygen) to kill microorganisms that could otherwise be detrimental to your health. If you’re not sure what ozone is, it’s the same stuff used to sterilise hospital rooms and equipment in order to reduce the risks of microbe growth and viral transmission. Doing this on a daily basis will keep your hosing, mask and reservoir free of potentially disease-causing microorganisms, which means you’ll be breathing clean air every night, rather than progressively polluted air between cleaning cycles. And yes, even if water is in your reservoir, ozone can still be used to clean it.
Having said what the SoClean 2 will do however, let’s talk about what it will not. The manufacturer is very specific: the device is intended to kill “germs and bacteria”. That’s all it will do. It will not remove dirt and oil–you will still need to wash your mask in order to ensure that those other factors are taken care of. While it will inhibit a buildup of oil with regular use, it may leave behind some inert residue nonetheless. It’s a solution to your daily sanization needs to ensure that your CPAP remains germ-free–nothing more, nothing less.
What Do I Get If I Decide to Buy?
The SoClean 2 usually comes with an 8oz pre-wash, a cartridge filter, a check valve assembly, slot plug and AC power adapter (around 7lbs of shipping weight, all told). You should also select an adapter for your reservoir kit based on your model. This applies in the case that you own any of the CPAP machine models listed below:
- ResMed S9
- ResMed Airsense 10
- Philips Respironics
- Fisher & Paykel ICON ™
- Fisher & Paykel 600
The pre-wash is also known as a neutralising agent. It’s intended to help get rid of any facial oils, fragrances and dirt that may remain on your mask/tubing. This is important since your apparatus should be clean prior to use with the SoClean 2. For future cycles it’s best to clean your mask (using wipes preferably) prior to popping it in for sanitisation.
The cartridge filter sits into its own slot within the unit’s body. You’ll also notice that the slot plug can fit on either side, so you can drop your hose in on whichever side you please. As a point of note, the device will NOT run without the plug being present.
A small check valve is also in place on the unit which prevents a backflow of water from your injection tube running into the reservoir. This is good since you wouldn’t want warer to get into the SoClean 2’s electronics. It’s usually recommended to replace both this and the cartridge filter every 6 months. And even if you don’t remember, the machine will actually remind you!
At the time of writing, SoClean is offering a risk-free 30-day trial so you can give it a shot to see if this is right for you. I should also mention that all purchases are backed by a 1-year warranty.
Will My Mask Fit In The SoClean 2?
Some users expressed concerns about whether or not their masks would fit inside the SoClean 2. This shouldn’t be an issue since the dimensions of the chamber are 7.5″ deep by 5.5″ x 5.5″. A full face mask should fit inside with no trouble at all.
Who Should Buy This?
Based on all the information surrounding this product, and feedback from its users, the following persons would greatly benefit:
- People who are extremely susceptible to respiratory infections but require CPAP treatment to function on a daily basis
- People who are interested generally in having clean equipment without the assurance of am (almost) microbe-free environment
- People who don’t have the time to clean their equipment every day but would definitely desire a rapid solution for sanitisation
Positive User Sentiment
In other words, anyone like this guy below would benefit:
You can also review other testimonials here.
Negative User Sentiment
On the other hand, it should be mentioned that the sanitisation process leaves behind a mild smell of ozone. SoClean describes this as being similar to how the air smells after rain has fallen, but not everyone can attest to this (naturally since smell is somewhat subjective). Most persons get rid of the smell by simply running their CPAP for a few minutes before fitting the mask, and that’s normally enough to restore normalcy. A small percentage of users however exhibit a high level of sensitivity to the odour so much so that they quit using the SoClean 2 altogether.
If you have a hypersensitive sense of smell, I’d say try the machine for 30 days risk-free and see if it works for you.
TL;DR, Just Tell Me The Pros and Cons!
Let’s wrap up with a capstone summary of the advantages and disadvantages of the SoClean 2.
- Works with all machines (CPAP, APAP, BIPAP, etc)
- Sanitises your mask, hosing and water tub by killing up to 99.9% of microbes (bacteria, germs, fungi and mold)
- Simple on-screen display makes the device very user friendly
- Operates on a user-set schedule but also permits manual cycles
- Functions without the need to disassemble your CPAP equipment (which means it can remain attached all the time)
- Can be placed on either side of your CPAP machine–a perfect bedside table companion
- Santisation takes place without water or chemical agents (this is done using ozone which is also used in hospitals, produce handling and water purification). This process does not require heat and as such will not deform your mask
- Accommodates masks of all sizes (pillows up to full face masks) and helps reduce facial oil buildup
- No moving parts and easy replacement process for filter and check valve
- Responsive manufacturer support
- 30-day risk free trial and a 1-year warranty
- Cartridge filter and check valve assemblies require replacement every 6 months
- The scent of ozone left behind may be a turn-off for some users
- Dust and grime still need to be removed by regular means (but you can now do this once a week rather than every day)
So…is the SoClean 2 CPAP Cleaner and Sanitizer worth the money? I would say YES. I also hope that you realise that despite the initial outlay necessary to acquire the device, the value that you derive in terms of saving time and decreasing the risk of respiratory infection is extremely high. This indicates that the SoClean 2 is a good investment, mainly because it’s a set-it-and-forget-it solution that you can utilise with minimal effort. If you’re interested in purchasing the device, please click the link below (free shipping available!):
Have you ever tried the SoClean 2 or any other alternate cleaning solutions for your CPAP equipment? What was your experience. Drop me a line below and do let me know your thoughts.
Sleep well until next time!
Hi Josh Interesting article. I really don’t think the price is all that bad. I know I would not be washing the hoses on a very regular bases and I think most people would be the same. Washing the mask would not be so bad but for the rest of the equipment I think the Soclean -2 cpap cleaner is a must. When it comes to your health spending a bit more now may save you a lot down the road.
Thanks for reading Maureen. I agree with you, the SoClean 2 represents value for money. Your health is ultimately your most important asset so paying a little more to protect it really shouldn’t be a big deal. I’d much rather have piece of mind about the quality of air flowing through my CPAP, than worry about spending a few bucks extra!
Germs are a big problem for everyone using any type of breathing system. Great to know someone’s first-hand knowledge has numerous positive results.Taking the systems apart and cleaning by hand can be time-consuming. No chemicals is a definite bonus. I am very sensitive to chemicals & unusual smells, so the 30-day trial is great.Thx for this information.
Thanks Allie. I agree, taking care of a CPAP the traditional way can be very time consuming. I’d rather go for convenience!
I never had sleep apnea but I know a few people who do. I am a freak when it comes to hand sanitizer and maybe I’m a bit of a germophobic. I’m sure other sleep apnea sufferers share my concerns. Let’s face it, a good solid night’s sleep is imperative for a healthy life, and taking care of your CPAP by keeping it clean is one very important contributing factor. How long does this product last and what is the warranty on it? Do you know the percentage of people with sleep problems who have ordered it?
Thanks Rob, those are good points. The product comes with 1-year’s warranty, and while I can’t speak to the number of persons who have used it, just by looking at positive reviews on Amazon (126+) I think we can verify that it has quite a following!
I’ve heard a lot about this sanitisation device. It really works and cleans all the bacteria out that may affect your sleeping pattern and breathing during sleep. We don’t realize how much bacteria around us messes up our sleep and how when it’s eliminated it makes a huge difference. Thanks for sharing!
Indeed Ariel, bacteria can cause all sorts of respiratory problems when left unchecked! It’s always best to be on guard when it comes to these things.
Really informative article, thanks for explaining and sharing others opinions on the product.
I’ve been going back and forth, trying to decide if the price is worth it but I recently came down with a bad cough, sore throat and chest congestion. Looking hard at my Resmed S9 CPAP, I’m wondering how many germs were building up in there. I use distilled water in my tank but when I take it apart for cleaning once a week, there’s a slippery feeling in the bottom of the tank. My guess, them are germs building themselves a colony!
After doing weeks of research I finally decided to pull the trigger and my SoClean 2 arrived today. Only took 5 minutes to set it up and I started a manual cleaning right away If it does what everyone says it does, I know I will be in better heath.
Here’s hoping for cleaner breathing!
Thanks Steve, I’m glad you took a step in the right direction! Do stop by again and let me know how it’s going. Blessings!
I’ve heard that ozone is so corrosive that it will eventually breaks down almost anything including your plastic /rubber hose and mask. Is that true?
Thanks for your question! Ozone has to be present in extremely high concentrations (and for long periods of time) for any kind of corrosive effects to take place. As a matter of fact, ozone is used in many other contexts for sanitisation, including hospitals, hotels, food handling scenarios and even
municipal water systems! So here are two reasons to get your SoClean: 1) SoClean uses ozone within a closed loop system, so it doesn’t pose a risk to the external environment…and 2) Any residual ozone reverts to regular oxygen in about 2 hours after use (remember ozone(O3) is just oxygen (O2) with an extra oxygen atom). You may still get a slight smell after a cleaning cycle but that blows off in a few minutes. Hope that helps!
I’m worried my SoClean this works….there is no odor at all and it is not that I am used to it…also, the “change filter” light has never come on though…I did just put in a new filter. How can I know for sure the machine is working? The smell didn’t bother me, it sort of reassured me and it was gone quickly after I put the cpap machine on for a couple of minutes…..is there a rest one can do to make sure it is working?
Hey! Thanks for reaching out. The smell should actually dissipate after a few minutes once you turn your CPAP on, so I wouldn’t worry. Your machine sounds as though it’s working fine! If you have any doubts, please reach out to SoClean directly at: https://www.soclean.com/about-us/contact-us/ .Do let me know if you need further assistance!
Your insurance company should periodically offer you a new water chamber, new tubing, new cushions and new masks. With all of these combined being replaced every so often the possibility of breakdown should be mitigated. The biggest complaint ive seen is that the clips on the machine lid sometimes break over time but i’ve heard of people simply placing a weight on top to hold the lid closed so it will operate.
I bought the SoClean2 within 3 months of getting my CPAP. What a pain to clean it properly! In fact, bought 2, one for each of us. Yes, the SoClean system is expensive and insurance doesn’t pay for it or the filters, but honestly, it’s been worth every cent for the peace of mind that comes from having a clean and sanitary mask and CPAP machine and tubing every night. I don’t mind the ozone scent-it’s a reminder the SoClean has worked and is ready for use. Odor gone in a couple of minutes anyway, within the time it takes to brush your teeth while you wait if the scent of ozone is that bothersome to you. We’ve never had an infection in the nearly 2 years using the SoClean system. That’s the best endorsement I can give.
Awesome, I’m so happy you found value in this!
After using the device daily for about 8 months I developed a skin iritation around my nose where my mask (Eson-2) fits during sleep.
After stopping use of the device the iritation went away. I can only assume that the ozone has a latent affect on the slicone mask or there a residual component remaining on the mask. Checking on the affects of skin contact with ozone, apparently prolonged contact can cause skin irritation. Now I wash the mask and hose for several days and then use the SoClean periodically to sanitise my equipment. This procedure has eliminated the skin irritation.
Thanks for sharing your experience Chuck. Skin sensitivity isn’t something that I had originally conceived of when I initially wrote the article. I’ll be updating based on your info!
The check valve looks like a standard aquarium valve, cheap to replace, but ought to last a lot longer than 6 months if not abused.
Likewise, the activated carbon filter can be replaced by cutting a piece to fit from a sheet of the material.
Replacing both at regular prices isn’t very cost effective.
Very useful article, however; liked all the info you researched.
Thanks a lot for the feedback Jim!
Consider the alternative to incomplete cleaning of mask, tubing and humidifer.
I awoke one morning with high fever, white blood cell count 50,000, pneumonia, could not stand or walk.
5 hrs sleep with CPAP almost killed me!
Continuous iv bags of antibiotics & fluids.
It is believed that my CPAP machine (or incomplete cleaning) caused the pneumonia.
Discussed use a CPAP cleaner with doc for my mask but he was were unaware of a cleaner that would clean the mask, tubing and humidifier all automatically at the same time.
Researched cleaning machines, found, purchased and been using the SoClean 2 for several weeks.
I know how it works – I use an ozone generator to deodorize interiors of automobiles and rooms. I like it and it seems to work for me.
I also quit using the humidifier on my machine although the reservoir remains attached.
Result: sleeping better with CPAP; no longer cough and hack throughout the day, and no longer have the significant amount of drainage I experienced previously.
Awesome story Greg! the health benefits of this utility can’t be underestimated, especially since sleep is so important!
Yes, the SoClean Cleaner and sanitizer is worth the money. The sleep apnea patients often get tired to clean the CPAP daily or weekly. It is the best option to them to maintain their CPAP equipment in a proper way. I will suggest checking the Soclean 2 reviews like this one first to verify your money value.
My nose mask turns a light blue-grey after 4 or 5 days of So Clean ing. Also, I get a horrid smell after the cleaning cycle. I blow into the cpap machine to make it run for a few secs and that flushes out the odor, but the ozone’s effect on the plastic mask shorten’s the life of the mask.
Hi Ronald, that’s interesting feedback. The smell of ozone is something that is just part of the process and is normally remedied as you say by allowing the machine to flush the tubing. What type of mask do you use?
1-you can purchase cloth type cut out patches to put over the mask. My daughter uses about one a week. TOTALLY got rid of the mask irritation on her face. We found hers on a website called silent night i believe.
2-EVERY time we run our so clean we continue to have very distinct ozone smell. My daughter ends up with a headache severely when wearing her mask in the evening following a so clean cycle. Any suggestions??
Hey Christine, good call on those comfort guards! My wife uses them too. As for your daughter has she tried allowing the machine to flush for a few minutes? Basically she can turn on the machine and allow it to blow out her tubing and mask so that she doesn’t have to deal with the smell of ozone each time.