Imagine…You get in your pajamas, ready for a good night sleep. It’s been a long, exhausting day and you want nothing more than to crawl into bed, put on your CPAP mask, and start counting the sheep. Sounds fantastic doesn’t it? Now, imagine that same scenario, but with some bacteria, mold and germs that are catching some zzz’s with you inside your CPAP equipment. Yuck! Not as appealing anymore now is it? This is where the Soclean and VirtuCLEAN sanitizers come into play. No matter the time of year, CPAP masks and machines are playgrounds for such nasty things that can cause a panic to your immune system.
As a CPAP user, it is crucial that you stay up-to-date with the cleaning and maintenance of your machine, mask and other supplies. By doing so, you will help to prevent bacteria and mold from forming inside your equipment which could lead to infections such as upper respiratory infection. Having sleep apnea is enough of a hassle, the last thing you want to happen is a lovely respiratory infection to go along with your nightly struggle to breath while you sleep. Please, take my advice…be diligent in the care of your CPAP supplies…
There are a variety of products on the market that assist you in the cleaning and care your CPAP systems, but today I’ll go over a couple of them…
The SoClean and VirtuCLEAN by VirtuOX are two leading products in the CPAP world when it comes to cleaning your equipment. They use what is called “activated oxygen” or “ozone” to completely clean the inner-workings of your CPAP mask, hose, and reservoir. “Ozone” is a gas with 3 oxygen molecules that has natural oxidizing properties, which makes it a natural disinfectant. This process is also used in such things like water purification, produce handling, hotel housekeeping, and hospital sanitation. Above all, you no longer need to dump your mask, hose and water chamber into a sink-full of soapy water to clean them, a task I think every CPAP user can say was time-consuming and a pain in the rear. Each product has its perks, but both get the job done, and leave you with a freshly cleaned CPAP system.
The SoClean is the bigger of the two devices, but also comes in a travel size, the SoClean 2 Go (That is also bigger than the VirtuCLEAN). The full-size version requires a plug, whereas the SoClean 2 Go runs off AA batteries. The SoClean can clean your entire CPAP system at once, including the headgear for your mask! The unit connects with all types of PAP equipment. Adapters are sold for CPAP, Bi-PAP, BPAP, and VPAP machines. You place your mask inside the machine with the hose hooked up as if you were to use it, while also having the hose hooked up to your machine.
The SoClean pumps the ozone through the entire system, and in 5-15 minutes your mask is sanitized. They also require that you leave the set-up alone for an additional 2 hours to allow the entire process to complete. This allows the CPAP user to begin the cleaning process in the morning after waking up, and leave the SoClean to do its job while you go on with your day. Then, when you are ready for that rejuvenating night’s rest…your CPAP mask and water chamber are ready to go. Another cool feature is being able to “set” the SoClean to begin the cleaning process every day at the same time.
So, if you want your mask freshly sanitized before use, you can “set” the system to begin its process around 3 hours before your normal bedtime. The SoClean is very low-maintenance, only requiring you to replace the filter and check-valve assembly every 6 months. The SoClean is certainly a product anyone with a CPAP machine would be thrilled to own.
The VirtuCLEAN by VirtuOx is another high-quality CPAP cleanser, and is a much smaller device weighing only 1/2 a pound. This product has a port on its side that fits your CPAP hose that is either attached to your mask or water chamber. If you are wanting to clean your mask you would need to place the mask in the carry bag that the VirtuCLEAN comes in to allow the ozone to fill the inside of the bag and disinfect the mask. The cleaning cycle for the VirtuCLEAN is 30 minutes, which means that to clean both the machine and the mask would take around an hour.
So, the overall cleaning time is less than the SoClean, but the VirtuCLEAN cannot do it all at once and cannot be preset like the SoClean can. This device is perfect for home use or travel, and can also be effective in a hospital setting where multiple masks and machines are in use. The VirtuCLEAN requires no maintenance other than keeping any dust off it. The battery life claims to be 10 years, and has a charge time of 2 hours, which get you no less than 7 cleaning cycles before the device would need to be charged again. So, having no electricity doesn’t stop you from sanitizing your CPAP equipment.
As you can see, the two options above are top of the line for keeping your CPAP supplies sanitized, and in great working order. It appears ozone cleaning is the way to go. One, you will no longer be forced to waste more time than necessary to pile your mask, tube and chamber into a sink full of soapy water and start scrubbing; I’m sure you’ve done quite enough of that with the dishes! Two, the process is more efficient than soap and water. Instead of letting the supplies sit on the counter and dry, or drying them with a towel that may have more germs on it than the mask did before you started, you have freshly sanitized CPAP equipment, ready to use when you need them.
The Price of the VirtuCLEAN is marginally lower than the SoClean, but both products are more than worth their price tags for the comfort in knowing that your CPAP equipment will be sanitized and safe to use. Remember, when it comes to your health its always better to pay a little extra now, rather than pay an extraordinary amount more later.