Keeping your sleep apnea equipment clean is important for its effectiveness.
Sleep apnea equipment consists of a filter, humidifier and mask that need to be routinely cleaned. It is typically worn every night and can easily collect germs, pollutants, bacteria, viruses, and even develop mold.
Even if everything looks clean, it is likely to have invisible contaminants that collect over time. Any pollutants or germs you come in contact with during the day can come into contact with your mask when applying it at night. (1)
Also, since a humidifier is used, moisture sits in the machine tubing and mask, and this can develop fungi and dangerous molds that love to dwell in moist places (2).
It’s also important to mention that you need to air dry your equipment thoroughly every day to avoid the accumulation of moisture that can cause mold and fungi.
Cleaning your equipment daily can be time-consuming and many people fail to comply (4). Thankfully, there are now cleaners on the market that can make routine cleaning easier and even more effective.
How does it work?
Many cleaners avoid the use of water to clean your machine. Some cleaners use activated oxygen and others use ultra-violet light.
Cleaners that use activated oxygen have a generator that breaks down oxygen (O2) and recreate it by combining another O atom making O3, or an activated oxygen molecule. When the third O atom is added, it turns the molecule into an oxidant. An oxidant causes a substance to lose electrons, which in this case can kill germs and bacteria.
Ultra-violet light consists of three different bands known as UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C spectrums. Each spectrum varies in wavelength.
At certain wavelengths, ultra-violet light has the ability to break molecular bonds in the DNA of microorganisms.
Most Popular Cleaners
The SoClean 2 is the fast, easy way to clean CPAP equipment. SoClean uses activated oxygen, which kills germs and bacteria with no disassembly and no water.
Activated Oxygen Benefits:
- Kills germs, bacteria, and other pathogens in your equipment
- Peace-of-mind equipment sanitizing
- No need to take equipment apart on a daily basis
- No water or messy chemicals required
- Activated oxygen is used in water purification, hospitals, and produce handling
- Activated oxygen kills germs in minutes
- Cleaning cycle lasts 2 hours
- Risk-Free 30 day guarantee
- Does require annual replacement parts that cost around $30, less if you subscribe to their email
- According to their website, they offer payment plans for as little as $29 per month
Lumin Sanitizing Device
The 3B Lumin CPAP cleaner is a CPAP cleaning machine that uses ultra-violet light to disinfect your equipment.
Features of Lumin:
- No chemicals are used
- Easy to use, but equipment needs to be disconnected to be cleaned
- Free shipping
- Offers a 2-year warranty
- UV light does not “go around corners” . Bacteria shaded by the equipment will not be exposed to the UV light
Factors to consider when deciding on a cleaner
- The length of time it takes to clean. This could be anywhere from 5 minutes to a couple of hours, depending on the machine, so consider this factor if the length of time is important to you.
- Is it portable? If you are on the road or travel frequently you’ll want to make sure you can take your portable equipment and cleaning device with you.
- Is it compatible with your equipment? Most equipment should be compatible, but some may need an extra adapter to fit.
- How easy it is to use. Do you have to take your equipment apart to clean it or can it stay connected? How does it connect to the cleaner? These are questions to consider.
- Cost. If you need financing, some companies offer low monthly payments. Some also offer risk-free trials to let you test it out and make sure it’s the right fit for you.
- You also may want to make sure the manufacturer offers a warranty.