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?
- 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!