The 10 Best CPAP Cleaners
Since the initial publication of this wiki in February of 2017, there have been 20 edits to this page. Apnea sufferers need to keep their CPAP equipment clean and sanitary for nightly use, so they can continue to use it safely on a regular basis. That can be a bit of a chore, so we've compiled this selection of cleaners that can streamline the process and eliminate grease, skin oils, dirt, and odor-causing bacteria. We've included wipes, brushes, soaks, and machines. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best cpap cleaner on Amazon.
June 03, 2019:
Cleaning a CPAP mask is vital to safe operation. Otherwise, the build up of germs and bacteria could potentially lead to an infection. The problem is, most people find doing so to be a hassle. We couldn't agree more, which is why we selected a variety of different types of cleaners, allowing you to choose the one that best fits into your hectic schedule. Generally, the best options are machine cleaners, since these handle the disinfecting process for you there is little chance of missing a spot or getting lazy and bailing midway through the job. Of the four machines on our list, the SoClean 2 is best for home use. Ozone is a tried and proven method for disinfecting CPAP components. Unfortunately, some people find that it irritates their lungs. If you are one of these people, your best option is the 3B Lumin, which utilizes germ-killing UVC light. This means you won't have to wait for the ozone to dissipate from your mask or tube, which can be very convenient if you have to clean your CPAP components right before going to bed. The VirtuClean Compact and SoClean 2 Go are both travel options. Of these two, the VirtuClean Compact is definitely smaller and more easily transported. Since it is just as effective, if not more so, than the SoClean 2 Go we don't see any reason why somebody wouldn't choose it. Of course not everybody wants to deal with the potential harmful effects of ozone in their home or has the money to buy a UVC sanitizer. Even some of those who do may just not want a large machine they have to leave on their nightstand or try and hide in the closet. For those people, we have included a nice selection of wipes and sprays, such as the RespLabs Wipes and GoodSleep Company, which are completely scentless, and the Contour Wipes, which are available in scented and unscented formulas.
Understanding The Importance Of CPAP Cleaners
Using a dirty CPAP machine can actually put the body at a greater risk for infection.
Sleep apnea is a hassle. It robs the body of physical energy and puts a person at a greater risk of death from any cause. CPAP machines help many people reduce or eliminate their symptoms, but they are not without their own drawbacks. CPAP machines require regular cleaning in order for them to be safe to use. Unfortunately, many people tend to neglect doing this vital step in the proper use of their machine. Using a dirty CPAP machine can actually put the body at a greater risk for infection. This is why many people are scolded by their doctors for not cleaning their devices regularly.
CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure, which is a simple therapy for treating sleep apnea. The airways in the throat of a person with sleep apnea have a difficult time staying open, whether due to obesity or conditions like enlarged adenoids, an overbite, or Down’s syndrome. To remedy this, CPAP machines increase the air pressure in the throat to help force the airways to stay open throughout the night. One downside to this continuous supply of air is that it may dry out the mucus in the throat and nose. For this reason CPAP machines have built in humidifiers, adding moisture to the air to keep the airways from drying out.
The downside to the complexity of CPAP machines themselves is that they provide a number of ideal areas for pathogens to procreate. Bacteria from the mouth, mold spores coming through the intake fan, or even viral strains captured from the air can all take up residence in the CPAP mask, tubing, or any of the countless crevices in a CPAP machine. This puts a person at higher risk of infection or respiratory distress. Regularly cleaning the machine is the best way to avoid this risk. As such, a CPAP cleaner should be seen as integral part of sleep apnea treatment.
Choosing The Best CPAP Cleaner
Deciding between CPAP cleaners can be difficult, yet there are a few simple considerations that may make the purchasing decision easier in the end. The first thing to consider is exactly how much effort will be required from the user to actually use their CPAP cleaner. Some people prefer a hands-on approach to cleaning. These people may find that wipes moistened with CPAP-safe chemicals are the best option. As thorough as modern methods are, nothing quite matches the certainty of cleaning something by hand. Other people vastly prefer less manually intensive CPAP cleaners. These users may enjoy soaking solutions, sprays, and various CPAP cleaning machines that require very little effort to keep a CPAP clean.
Many people consider these CPAP cleaners to be the easiest way to clean a machine, and they are completely hypoallergenic.
The active ingredients that the CPAP cleaner uses will also matter to many individuals. As users wear their CPAP mask for hours at a time, any chemicals in the mask can make it to the lungs. This can prove harmful if strong or particularly harsh chemicals are used, which is why it is very important to only use cleaners designed for CPAP machines. Cleansers designed for use with a CPAP have to be gentle enough for both the user and the plastic of the CPAP mask and machine. Still, some of the most sensitive users may not respond well to these gentle cleaners, and these options may not be right for them. Some companies use natural ingredients like antibacterial essential oils in their cleaning products. These volatile oils have an inhibitory effect on pathogens, yet will not harm the lungs as they are inhaled. Essential oils or compounds from them can easily be added to solid wipes or liquid sprays, making them an ideal choice for CPAP users who are sensitive to chemical cleaners.
Other CPAP cleaners forgo chemicals altogether and use ozone to eliminate harmful bacteria that come from the mouth and breed on the CPAP mask. Flushing a CPAP machine with ozone can also kill the mold spores that like to inhabit the tubing and crevices in the machine's humidifier. Many people consider these CPAP cleaners to be the easiest way to clean a machine, and they are completely hypoallergenic.
Benefits Of A CPAP Machine
Keeping a sleep apnea machine in good repair using a CPAP cleaner is not just a recommended practice, it is vital to keep the CPAP machine working properly. When a CPAP machine is in good repair, it can quite literally save lives. Using a CPAP machine can prevent or reverse the risks associated with obstructive sleep apnea. People who treat their sleep apnea with a CPAP machine may reduce their risk of heart problems.
There appears to be a connection between sleep apnea and glucose intolerance.
People with untreated obstructive sleep apnea have a higher rate of death from heart disease than people without the disorder. This is because sleep apnea stops a person’s breathing many times throughout the night. This can put stress on the heart, as it reduces the oxygen in the blood. Pauses in breathing also change the blood pressure over time. Using a CPAP machine prevents interruptions in breathing, greatly reducing these risks.
A CPAP machine may also be beneficial for people with diabetes. There appears to be a connection between sleep apnea and glucose intolerance. Sleep apnea may play a role in the body’s resistance to insulin in a person with type 2 diabetes. Leaving sleep apnea untreated increases the risk and symptoms of Type 2 diabetes, but using a CPAP machine actually improves symptoms and reduces that risk.
Aside from reducing the risks for major diseases, CPAP also has some direct benefits to the health of the body and mind. Many people who suffer from sleep apnea describe a number of similar symptoms for their doctor. These symptoms may include sleepiness during the day, morning headaches, and forgetfulness. They may often wake up with a dry mouth and sore throat, and may even wake many times during the night gasping for air. Many people find that their symptoms are completely reversed using a CPAP machine. CPAP machines allow the body to repair itself and return to its normal rhythms.
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