This buying guide delves into all the considerations to weigh before you purchase a CPAP cleaner. The SoClean 2 buying guide explains why you need a CPAP cleaner and what happens if you don’t sanitize your mask. We’ll look at key features to examine and how to make sure you choose the correct product for your CPAP mask and lifestyle.
It’s also important to note that the original SoClean CPAP cleaner is no longer manufactured by the company. They discontinued that product line, and now the SoClean 2 and SoClean 2 Go are the only sanitizing products they sell. The SoClean 2 replaced the SoClean even though their website still lists the original product name.
CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines help with obstructive sleep apnea by keeping your airway from collapsing when you inhale. The machine forces air pressure into your throat so you can breathe more easily without obstruction and get a better night’s sleep. There are three types of masks:
- A full-face CPAP mask covers the nose and mouth
- A nasal CPAP mask covers only the nose
- A nasal pillow CPAP mask fits at the base of the nose and seals around nostrils
A BiPAP (bilevel positive airway pressure) machine also helps those with obstructive sleep apnea. It differs from a CPAP machine in the way it delivers oxygen with less pressure. It infuses oxygen during inhalation and exhalation with more O2 during inhalation than exhalation.
Because the masks cover your mouth (or mouth and nose) all night long while you breathe, moisture and germs accumulate in the mask and tubes. Several National Institutes of Health studies indicated an enhanced risk of upper respiratory infections associated with CPAP use.
Some studies suggest poor CPAP hygiene can be a contributing risk factor. The type of filtration in the machine and whether there’s a heated humidifier component can also affect infection risk, says some studies on obstructive sleep apnea, CPAP, and associated illness.
While you can hand-clean your CPAP machine, it’s time-consuming as you must take it apart to sanitize it by hand properly. Most experts recommend daily cleaning and opting for a machine that sanitizes it for you, like a SoClean CPAP cleaner, increases the odds that you will clean the machine as recommended.
To clean manually, you need distilled water, and a weekly vinegar clean is also recommended when cleaning by hand. Plus, there’s the inconvenience factor of disassembling and reassembling your CPAP daily. With a SoClean device, you don’t have to take the CPAP apart. It’s easy and fast.
Cleaning – Both the SoClean 2 and SoClean 2 Go use activated oxygen to sanitize CPAP masks. It is also known as Ozone or O3). It occurs in nature and is the go-to method used by hospitals to clean equipment, waste and water treatment facilities, and for sanitizing produce. SoClean provides independent lab reports on its website to substantiate the results when CPAP masks are sanitized with its machine. These results show that the SoClean process kills between 99.9-99.99% of bacteria. It has a higher level of success than you’ll likely achieve hand-cleaning your CPAP equipment.
Time – The SoClean 2 and SoClean 2 Go clean a CPAP mask rapidly but then it needs to remain in the device for two hours, so it’s best to get into the habit of cleaning it well before bedtime. The SoClean 2 has a preset for seven minutes, but you can vary timing based on needs. If you don’t have a humidifier on your CPAP (or don’t use it), you can reduce the cleaning time to 3-5 minutes. If your mask has an odor, you can bump up the cleaning time to 12 minutes until the smell subsides. However, the SoClean 2 Go does not feature a programmable timer.
Portability – The SoClean 2 is not well-suited for travel. It is significantly larger and weighs four times more than the SoClean 2 Go which was designed for use on-the-go. SoClean 2 requires AC power and weighs more than five pounds. The 2 Go option weighs just over one pound and runs on battery power. The portable version is about 4”x4”x5” while the full-size SoClean 2 is about 8”x7”x9”. It’s small enough that it doesn’t take up much space on your bedside table but would be more cumbersome to pack in a suitcase for travel. For those that travel often, the SoClean 2 Go is more convenient.
Compatibility – The SoClean 2 and SoClean 2 Go work with almost every CPAP mask. You can double check the compatibility guide before you buy for peace of mind. Some brands might require an adapter to work with SoClean 2 or 2 Go, but that is specified on the website. Typically, it is CPAP machines with a heated hose that require an adapter. The adapters are FREE – but you must specify at the time of purchase which adapter you need for it to be included.
Models that may need an adapter to work with SoClean 2 devices include:
- Some Fisher & Paykel models
- Some Philips Respironics
- Some ResMed models
- Transcend and Z1
Risk-Free Trial – Both SoClean 2 Go and SoClean 2 have a 30-day trial period where they offer a money back guarantee, but there are some caveats. First, you must initiate the return within 30 days of the date you purchased the machine (not the delivery date). Second, you must call their 800 number to get an RMA (return authorization) number. All must be done within the specified time-frame. You pay shipping to send it back to SoClean, and they will refund the cost of the machine, but not the shipping. It can take up to 30-60 days to get the refund posted back to your credit card.
Warranty – Both SoClean 2 and SoClean 2 Go feature a two-year limited warranty. However, this covers only manufacturing problems or defects in workmanship. It will not cover any satisfaction issues after the initial 30-day trial nor any breakdowns from normal wear and tear. Also, if you don’t properly maintain the machine or replace parts on schedule, the warranty may be voided. Although the warranty is for just two years, the company says most customers see a useful life of five years or longer for devices that are well-cared for by purchasers.
Financing – The SoClean 2 costs about $100 more than the portable SoClean 2 Go. The company uses Bread to finance their products for those interested. The SoClean 2 Go is not eligible for a financing arrangement. Interest rates run from 0-29.99% depending on your credit rating. Payments start at less than $30 a month and up for the SoClean 2 device under this one-year finance agreement.
Shipping – Currently, both SoClean 2 and SoClean 2 Go offer sales promotions with free shipping on the website. If you order and then change your mind and cancel the order after it has shipped, you will need to pay to return it to SoClean. Also, if you return your CPAP cleaner to SoClean 2, you must pay for the return shipping fee.