May 27, 2021 · 6 minutes read
May 27, 2021

Top Ranked CPAP Cleaners And Why You Need Them

6 minutes read

If you are one of the 22 million Americans who live with sleep apnea, you've probably heard of CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) therapy, or maybe you’re already a CPAP user.

CPAP therapy is the most common treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and uses a machine to gently hold open your airways in the middle of the night so you can breathe more easily during sleep.

A CPAP machine increases air pressure in your throat so that your airway doesn't collapse when you breathe in. When you use CPAP, your bed partner may sleep better too.

As you start to use your CPAP, you'll experience major improvements in sleep and overall quality of life. This will only continue, though, if you properly clean and maintain your CPAP.

But, are you aware of the alarming and harmful effects of neglecting to clean your CPAP devices?

The Dirty Truth About CPAP Equipment

graphic showing that bacteria on your CPAP mask can affect your lungs

CPAP equipment is prone to growing bacteria, viruses, and mold as it is in constant contact with facial features and humid spaces. Over time, dirt can collect inside your CPAP, potentially causing you to get sick or your CPAP machine to break down faster.

Keep reading, it doesn’t get prettier.

Even just two weeks of using an unwashed CPAP hose can easily lead to skin and eye irritation, sinus infections, allergies, and smelly situations.

Spoiler alert: there’s good news!

Proper CPAP cleaning and maintenance can prevent all this and change your life for the better in overall health and quality of sleep.

A CPAP machine and its accessories involve a few upkeeping practices to keep it functioning at optimal conditions and keep your health in check. As CPAP equipment comprises many parts and accessories, we can use CPAP cleaners as the ultimate cleaning solution for all our sleep apnea gadgets, and in some cases, even personal use items.

Now that we have your attention, keep reading to find out all about:

    1. CPAP cleaning methods
    2. How often should you clean your CPAP equipment
    3. The signs of a dirty CPAP machine
    4. Top ranked CPAP cleaners

CPAP Cleaning Methods

Hand Washing Your CPAP Machine

For somebody who can invest time and energy into CPAP maintenance, a great way to wash your CPAP machine is using soap and hot water. If you wash your CPAP equipment by dripping dish soap into the hose, just make sure to use the right amount and clean all the suds out. Another effective way of cleaning your CPAP tubing is by filling the sink with hot soapy water then dipping one end of the hose into the water while covering the other end and sloshing the water around for a 20-30 seconds.

If you like to be thorough while cleaning your CPAP tubing you can also use a CPAP Tube and Mask Cleaning Brush Set. This brush set will help you reach deep down into the tubing to provide an extra layer of clean. It can also be used to clean your CPAP mask cushion as well.

Some suggest soaking the humidifier into a solution that is 20% vinegar and 80% water and letting it soak in this mixture for half an hour.

If you are hand washing your equipment, it is important to use hot soapy water. Dawn dish soap is recommended since it is a gentle cleaner. The hot soapy water will kill any bacteria that could damage the equipment over time.

Even though handwashing is a cost-effective way of maintaining your CPAP equipment clean, this cleaning standard may be an ideal that not everyone lives up to. Some patients never clean their equipment which may lead to significant problems, including:

  • Mineralization within the water chamber.
  • Bacteria exposure
  • Germs may settle in the tubing.
  • Mold exposure
  • Unpleasant smells.
  • Unhygienic appearance of the device
  • Allergy and sinus infections
  • Voiding device warranty

The potential risks with unclean equipment could raise the possibility of nasty colds, sinus infections, and even pneumonia.

Handwashing your CPAP device can become a chore. In addition, perhaps you suffer from other conditions that make it difficult to conduct daily tasks, such as arthritis. If you are opposed to cleaning your CPAP by hand every week, how can you keep your CPAP machine clean?

This is where a CPAP cleaning system comes in.

CPAP Cleaners

CPAP equipment is prone to growing bacteria, viruses, and mold as it is in constant contact with facial features and humid spaces.

Doctors and sleep specialists may recommend cleaning the mask, hose, and humidification tank about once a week inside and about once every two weeks outside. But washing by hand is time-consuming, making CPAP cleaners even more attractive, saving time, and helping you stay consistent with your CPAP cleaning habits.

CPAP cleaners are practical and efficient cleaning devices that rid your sleep apnea equipment, including CPAP machines, masks, tubing, and more, from harmful pathogens that can cause allergies, sickness and deteriorate your [expensive] CPAP equipment.  

Many CPAP users choose to clean their CPAP automatically with cleaning systems that use O3 (Ozone) or UV light to kill bacteria and mold. These convenient machines function as detox boxes for the medical products you want to sterilize and are generally preferred because they offer a one-step solution to effective sanitation.

They generally have two components, a pump that releases the anti-bacterial treatment and a bag/box to contain it.

Check out our top ranked CPAP cleaners

How Often Should you Clean your CPAP Equipment?

Now that you've learned the different cleaning methods for CPAP devices, here's a quick and simple guide that shows you when to clean the most critical parts of your CPAP therapy equipment:

These guidelines are approximate estimates. We recommend you consult your equipment owner's manual or a doctor for more specific cleaning routines.

Graphic showing how often you should clean your CPAP equipment

The Signs of a Dirty CPAP Machine

Here are some early warning signs of an unclean CPAP system. This is what happens if you don’t clean your CPAP machine. 

Smell. If you are getting a foul odor from your system, chances are that it is collecting bacteria, mold, or mildew inside.

Skin Irritation. If your device is dusty, your skin likely pays the price for it, acne or irritated skin are clear indications that it's time to clean your machine.

Frequent Illness. If you are sick more frequently than usual, you should check to see if a dirty CPAP is to blame. Sinus infections and pneumonia are frequent results of poorly cleaned machines.

Runny Nose. CPAP therapy works as you breathe through your nose and having an unstoppable allergy and a runny nose is a sign that it’s time to clean the device. 

If you experience other symptoms such as a sore throat, lung irritation, respiratory infection, or congestion, these could be signs that your system is dirty. Don’t delay in examining your equipment and giving it a thorough cleaning. 

Top ranked CPAP cleaners

CPAP Cleaner Weight Dims (Inches) Cleaning Method Portable Price Warranty
SoClean 2 7 lbs 11 x 11 x 13 Ozone No $298.00 2 Years
Sleep8 0.58 lbs 5.2 x 3.2 x 2.2  Ozone Yes $199.00 18 Months
Lumin 5 lbs 25 x 8.5 x 7.75 UV Light No $249.00 2 Years
Virtuclean 1.0 0.5 lbs 11 x 11 x 13 Ozone Yes $149.00 18 Months
Virtuclean 2.0 0.5 lbs 8 x 6 x 4.5 Ozone Yes $239.00 2 years

 

If you've realized that keeping up with a handwashing CPAP cleaning routine is inconvenient and not likely to be sustainable over time, don't be concerned. Take a look at our top-ranked CPAP cleaners, simplify your life, stay healthy, and enhance the lifespan of your CPAP equipment.

#1 Pick: SoClean 2 CPAP Cleaner and Sanitizer

The SoClean 2 CPAP cleaning system is regarded as the most popular CPAP cleaner. It is definitely not portable, due to its size, which is considered a main downfall of the device if you are usually on the go. It must be plugged into an outlet so it also makes it difficult to travel with, but it's a great CPAP home addition.

The SoClean 2 comes with a Neutralizing Pre-Wash. It is recommended to used this pre-wash on your equipment prior to your first use of the SoClean 2 machine to get rid of any stuck on dirt or facial oils that may be on your equipment.

The SoClean2 takes about 7 minutes to sanitize your CPAP. This CPAP cleaning system uses Ozone to eliminate mold and bacteria.

SoClean2 CPAP cleaning machine

Image Credit: SoClean

  • Compatible with all CPAP machines
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 11 x 13 inches (approx)
  • Weight: 7 lbs
  • Warranty: 2 years

It destroys 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, and mold of the CPAP mask, tubing, and CPAP unit making the unwanted reality of having to disinfect your equipment quickly and easily.

We love it because it packs a two-in-one punch: you don't need to take equipment apart every day, and it doesn’t require water. Plus, it does not use water, so your devices come out completely clean and dry, with no leftover moisture to encourage bacteria or mold growth.

 #2 Pick: Sleep8 CPAP Cleaning System (Portable)

The Sleep8 is a reliable, silent, and portable choice that can clean most CPAP devices. It is larger than the portable options, but smaller than the home option, fitting in right between the two categories, thus it can be considered either portable or home-use. It works by placing everything in the bag: mask, hose, water reservoir for ultimate quality and convenience.

 

Image Credit: Sleep8

Sleep8 cleaning system is simple to use and takes about one hour to sanitize your CPAP. This CPAP cleaning system uses Ozone to eliminate mold and bacteria.

  • Compatible with all CPAP machines
  • Weight: 0.58 lbs
  • Product Dimensions: 5.25 L x 3.25 W x 2.25 H inches
  • Warranty: 18 months for the device; 12 months for charger; 3 months for bag

#3 Pick: VirtuCLEAN 2.0

Next up is VirtuCLEAN. 2.0. The impressive 2.0 model uses activated oxygen to disinfect sleep equipment and can kill germs in a short amount of time (no soap and water needed). Plus, it includes a cleaning reminder and cleaning compliance feature to make your life easier.

 

Image Credit: VirtuCLEAN

  • Compatible with all CPAP and Bi-Level machines
  • Product Dimensions: 4.6 inches x 2.5 inches
  • Weight:  0.5 lbs
  • Warranty: 2 Years

    #4 Pick: Lumin CPAP Mask & Accessories Machine Cleaner

    The Lumin CPAP Mask & Accessories Machine Cleaner from 3B Medical uses a specialized UV Light, similar to those found in hospital operating rooms and sterile clean rooms, disinfects your sleep therapy equipment in just 5 min.

    It's a safe way to get your sleep unit and accessories germ-free without harmful chemicals for healthier and effective usage.

    • Compatible with all CPAP and Bi-Level machines
    • Product Dimensions: 25 x 8.5 x 7.75 in
    • Weight: 5lbs
    • Warranty: 2 years

     Lumin CPAP cleaning machine

    #5 Pick: VirtuClean 1.0

    The VirtuCLEAN 1.0 takes about 30 minutes to sanitize your CPAP. This CPAP cleaning system uses Ozone to eliminate mold and bacteria.

    Virtuclean 1.0 CPAP cleaning system

    • Compatible with all CPAP and Bi-Level machines
    • Product Dimensions: 11 x 11 x 13 inches (Approx)
    • Weight: 0.5 lbs
    • Warranty: 18 months

      Along with a CPAP cleaner, you should also count on handy disinfecting solutions such as CPAP mask wipes and specialized CPAP mask and hose soap.

      By now, you should have a fairly good idea on how to take care of your CPAP unit to make sure that it keeps working properly for a long time. If you need further assistance selecting your CPAP cleaner or have additional questions, you can make an appointment with our in-house respiratory therapist.

      Schedule your consultation.

      We are happy to help you get started on a path towards better and healthier sleep!

      Written by The Sleeplay Team

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