March 30, 2020

Top 3 Best CPAP Cleaning Systems for Sleep Apnea

Top 3 Best CPAP Cleaning Systems for Sleep Apnea

Do you wake up gasping in the middle of the night? You may be one of 22 million Americans who live with sleep apnea. Sleep apnea by itself is not a serious condition, but you may still want to seek treatment. 

Sleep apnea can combine with other medical factors to produce dangerous results, for example, it is known to worsen chronic illnesses like high blood pressure. 

For the average person with sleep apnea, though, the everyday problem is a sharply reduced quality of sleep. The common way to handle this is by using a CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) machine to gently hold open your airways in the middle of the night. Individuals with sleep apnea would not be able to rest easily without the use of a CPAP machine. 

What is a CPAP Cleaning System?

Many users choose to clean their CPAP automatically with cleaning systems that use O3 (Ozone) or UV light to kill bacteria and mold. They basically function as detox boxes for the medical products you want to be sterilized. They generally have two components, a pump that releases the anti-bacterial treatment and a bag/box to contain it.

Doctors may recommend that they wash the mask, hose, and humidification tank about once a week on the inside and about once every two weeks on the outside. 

Because of the humid nature of the CPAP device, it gets dirty often. In fact, if you do not buy a CPAP cleaning system or clean your CPAP weekly, the machine likely will have mold and bacteria in it. 

The body requires a delicate balance and even just two weeks of using an unwashed CPAP hose can easily lead to skin and eye irritation. Proper CPAP maintenance will change your life for the better in overall health as well as quality-of-sleep. This includes: 

  • Strengthened immune system
  • The air you breathe will be cleaner
  • Preventing yourself from getting sick again

Hand Washing Your CPAP Machine

For somebody who can invest time and energy into CPAP maintenance, the best way to wash your CPAP machine is with vinegar in a bathtub. Sleep doctors who recommend washing the CPAP hose this way say it is easier than with dish soap. Either disinfectant works equally well, though.

If you try to drip dish soap into the hose, you get too much or too little. Too little and you feel like you aren’t cleaning your hose right, and if you use too much it is hard to clean all the suds out. 

The last step is filling the hose with water and juggling both nozzles to get all the vinegar out. The humidification tank is a bit more complicated. Many CPAP machines use humidification tanks that do not even open. 

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.

How Often to Clean Your CPAP Accessories

Now that you’ve narrowed down your preferred method of cleaning your CPAP machine, here’s a quick and simple guide that shows you when to clean the most critical parts of your CPAP therapy equipment:

  • CPAP Mask: Daily
  • CPAP Mask Cushion or Pillows: Daily
  • Humidifier Chamber: Empty and dry daily; clean once a week
  • CPAP Reusable Filters – Clean Once a Week
  • CPAP Hose – Hang to dry daily, clean once a week

Of course, these are simply general ballpark numbers. We recommend you consult your equipment owner’s manual or a doctor for more specific cleaning routines. 

What are the Best CPAP Cleaning Systems?

If you are wondering what CPAP cleaning system you should get, the answer will depend on several factors. 

The most important factor will be your mobility. Even if your travel plans are limited to excursing from your home to a family member’s, any overnight stay is obviously that much more complicated when you are forced to carry bulky equipment. 

Other factors that you may want to consider include:

  • Size and weight
  • Warranty length
  • Portability
  • Compatibility with other CPAP machines

Backpacks and travel cases for CPAP machines are widely sold and can easily fit certain cleaning systems as well. The most popular CPAP machine cleaning system is the non-portable SoClean 2. If what you want is a cleaning system that you can take with you wherever you go, we’ve included some portable options listed below.

Here’s Sleeplay’s breakdown of the best CPAP cleaning systems, in order from most popular:

1. SoClean 2 CPAP Cleaner and Sanitizer

The SoClean 2 CPAP cleaning system is regarded as the most popular one. It is definitely not portable, which is what reviews list as the main downfall of the device. It must be plugged into an outlet. The SoClean 2 comes with wipes to clean the facemask with. 

SoClean 2 Machine.

Image Credit: SoClean

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

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

2. Sleep8 (Portable)

This system is reliable and universal. Online reviews say the Sleep8 is a good portable choice that can clean most CPAP kits. It is larger than the portable options, but smaller than the home option, fitting in right between the two uses. It can be considered either portable or home-use. It is also a silent device.

A man putting away his CPAP cleaning devices

Image Credit: Sleep8

Sleep8 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. VirtuCLEAN 1.0 and 2.0

Next up is VirtuCLEAN. Two versions are available; 1.0 and 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.

Virtuclean on desk.

Image Credit: VirtuCLEAN

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

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

Next Steps for Someone With Sleep Apnea

Woman wearing a CPAP mask while sleeping

There is a correlation between obesity and sleep apnea. Sleep apnea recommendations by WebMD include implementing simple self-care exercises into their routine such as taking up a sport, adopting a healthier diet, or ice showers. There are also surgeries available such as a Tonsillectomy, Adenoid removal, and Palatoplasty. 

While you implement more permanent solutions, you can count on finding the best CPAP cleaning systems with Sleeplay. We are proud to be partnered with American Homecare Equipment, Inc., a trusted member of the industry for over 30 years. Shop our curated selection of CPAP supplies and get started on a path towards better sleep!

Written by The Sleeplay Team

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