Sleep Apnea causes interruptions or pauses in your breathing, frequently as your throat or clot temporarily collapses or something briefly blocks them. A constant positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is the most regularly prescribed apparatus for treating sleep apnea disorders. For people suffering from sleep apnea, a CPAP machine is an indispensable tool for sleeping every day.
The Importance of CPAP Machine Cleaning
All sorts of CPAP machines have to be cleaned regularly so that these contaminants and germs don’t grow inside your gear and make you ill. Germs from the lungs, throat, or mouth may get in the CPAP hose or mask as you breathe in and out through sleep, or germs in your skin can have transferred into the CPAP hose or mask. Dust, mold, or other allergens may also result in issues with the CPAP machine, making it prone to crack or require replacement.
3 Common Ways of CPAP Machine Cleaning
Generally, there are three common methods for cleaning CPAP machines. The most common one is to use warm water as a cleaning tool. After disassembling the CPAP machine, wash it by hand with water and soup. Although this method does not cost you extra money, it may not do a thoroughly cleaning inside hoses and masks, and the parts have to be hung to dry, which is not so convenient and time-consuming.
Compared with hand-washing, a CPAP cleaning machine may be a much convenient and effective way nowadays. There are two types of CPAP cleaners on the market. The first is to use activated oxygen technology to sanitize CPAP equipment, which kills 99.9% of germs located in CPAP masks, tubing, and water reservoirs; it does so by sending ozone into a sealed container and, by the mask through the tube, to the CPAP device’s inner chambers.
And another is to use UV light to clean and disinfect the CPAP equipment and other household stuff. The UV light kills 99 percent of bacteria as soon as it can.
Many people are confused about which type to choose. Let’s compare the advantages and disadvantages of these two types of cleaners.
Pros and Cons of Ozone CPAP Cleaner
Many of us may not be familiar with the word “ozone” (Activated oxygen). Actually, ozone sanitizing technology is widely used in medical and water treatment Industries.
There are three sterilization principles of ozone:
1. Ozone can oxidize and decompose the enzymes essential for germs’ inner glucose to inactivate and perish.
2. Directly interact with germs and viruses, ruin their organelles, DNA and RNA, ruin bacteria’s metabolism, and trigger germs’ death.
3. During the cell membrane tissues, invade the mobile and behave on the lipoprotein of the outer membrane and the lipopolysaccharide inside, causing the bacteria to experience permeability stimulation and flake out and die.
1. Activated oxygen can remove as much as 99% of bacteria, germs, and mold, reach every corner of the CPAP machine, and clean it thoroughly. O3 is a gas, which can quickly diffuse into the entire sterilization space, and sterilization has no dead ends.
2. There are no extra chemicals. The Ozone CPAP cleaning machine also does not need any water during the cleaning process. O3 will automatically transform into oxygen after 20/30 minutes and blow fresh air into the device and accessories, reducing the odor. There are no toxic residues and no secondary pollution of chemical residues. Therefore, O3 is a pollution-free disinfectant.
3. Safe and very easy to use – A controlled percent of ozone will not cause harm to your health. It would be better to use a damp cloth or paper to remove any residue from the skin. And It’s unnecessary to use the cleaner after dismantling your CPAP equipment; just putting the masks, hoses, and an empty water chamber in the cleaning bag and one-click to start.
4. Low maintenance costs – A quality ozone CPAP cleaner will work for more than one year. Following the user manual, making sure the cleaning machine works well will save much time and money. If you use the CPAP cleaner with carbon filters, you only need to replace the filter element every 3 or 4 months, no cleaning and maintenance are required, and the subsequent maintenance cost is low.
1. Some sensitive people may not tolerate the odor of ozone. If you are highly sensitive to some odors, it is recommended to buy a cleaning machine with a filter element.
2. High concentrations of ozone is a powerful oxidant, which may damage certain types of products. It can lead to green rust stains in the aluminum sheet, rubber aging, discoloration, and decreased elasticity, leading to brittleness, breakage, bleaching, and material fading. There, the color of the mask will turn yellow after long-term use.
Precautions for Ozone Cleaning
1. Regularly clean the mask and pipe with a wet disinfectant paper or towel to prevent bacteria’s further growth.
2. If you are pretty sensitive to smell, it is recommended to start the trial after half an hour to one hour after the machine is cleaned.
Pros and Cons of UV Light CPAP Cleaner
We have mentioned that CPAP users could smell the ozone after sanitizing, and long-term use will cause the mask to turn yellow, so many people prefer to choose UV sanitizer to clean the CPAP machines.
Ultraviolet light waves have higher energy, which can destroy the structure of proteins and genetic material nucleic acids, leading to cell destruction or death. Bacteria are single-celled organisms with simple forms. Generally, no biological system can protect against ultraviolet rays, so the ultraviolet sterilization effect is excellent.
1. Non-toxic and no smell. There are no harmful substances, and odor will be produced during the use.
2. Safe and Effective. Operation and management are relatively safe, and there are no potential safety hazards such as toxic, flammable, explosive, and corrosive. It can also disinfect non-CPAP items daily, from electronics to hearing aids, keys, cell phones, toothbrushes, or even children’s toys, Etc.
3. Ultraviolet has high efficiency and broad-spectrum inactivation of microorganisms, including microorganisms with high chlorine resistance such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium. UV disinfection can kill non-immune pathogens on the surface, damage the DNA of viruses and bacteria.
4. Easy to use, and you don’t have to touch the surfaces. It can be used immediately after disinfection, with no residue to wipe off or waiting period required.
5. Fast – The sterilization range is comprehensive and rapid, and the treatment time is short. Under a certain radiation intensity, the general pathogenic microorganisms can be killed in only a few seconds. It takes only 5 minutes to kill 99% of mold, bacteria, and fungus on your CPAP gear.
6. Environmentally friendly. Ultraviolet rays are physical sterilization; there will be no chemical residues and will not change air or water composition. Thus, it is especially suitable for sterilization treatment, with no remaining problems, safe, and environmentally friendly.
1. The places that are not exposed to light may not be disinfected. Thoroughly, UV light can’t get into nooks and crannies. Most UV sanitizers on the market are perfect for CPAP masks and water chamber sanitizing. It is not recommended to clean the CPAP hoses.
2. UV light is effective for microorganisms but not for chemicals.
3. UV light may accelerate the normal aging of CPAP equipment plastic. High humidity or dust will reduce the sterilization ability. Therefore, the sterilization environment needs to be kept clean and dry. The disinfection equipment needs to be wiped with alcohol every two weeks.
Precautions for UV Light Cleaning
1. Having UV sanitizer devices located in a separate room and away from kids.
2. Make sure the machine is fully enclosed when using.
3. Do not make any modifications to the equipment as the safety is then no longer guaranteed.
If you would like to buy a CPAP cleaner, decide on a budget for how much you can afford and are willing to cover a CPAP cleaner. It would be best if you also were confident that the manufacturer provides a guarantee on the item, which generally only covers manufacturing defects or mistakes, shipping damages, or structural flaws before it got to you. The warranty doesn’t cover ordinary wear or problems that came up due to utilizing the cleaner. Read the terms and conditions of the guarantee carefully before purchasing so you understand what to anticipate in case your cleaner stops functioning correctly.
All in all, choose the appropriate cleaning method according to your personal need.