In 2006, I was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, a sleeping disorder when left untreated causes excessive loud snoring and robs a person of REM sleep. The treatment option I chose involves a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine that keeps my airways open so I can sleep properly.
Initially, At home I cleaned my mask daily with Citrus II CPAP Mask Wipes and occasionally the humidifier reservoir, hose and mask with Control III Disinfectant CPAP Cleaning Solution. The wipes are easy to use. You just pull a sheet out of the plastic dispenser and rub down the mask. The disinfectant has to be mixed with water in a bucket. Then the parts soaked in the bucket, then rinsed and air dried. When traveling I wouldn’t clean at all.
Possibly because I wasn’t cleaning my CPAP equipment regularly, I kept getting colds and bronchitis. When SoClean came out with a machine to disinfect CPAP machines last year, I bought one for home use. In my unscientific and anecdotal use, I would say that I had fewer colds and no bronchitis. In January, during my sleep doctor annual visit, I asked the doctor about SoClean. He said there wasn’t any scientific study supporting their claims but their method of cleaning (using “activated oxygen” – ozone or O3) does kill most pathogens so it should work. He then gave anecdotal evidence from other patients’ experience to support SoClean effectiveness.
Once setup, the home SoClean model is easy to use. I just shove the mask into the top, put the hose into the slide slot and close the lid. The machine automatically turns itself on (when the lid is closed) at the same time each day. At night, when I’m ready to go to bed, I just open the top and take the mask and hose out. I’m ready for another night of restful sleep.
One problem with the original home SoClean model – It isn’t made for travel. Since I planned to travel more often than staying home, I needed a good travel solution.
Then SoClean came up with the SoClean 2 Go, a simpler, smaller battery powered version of the big home SoClean. I bought one at the beginning of September for our latest big trip. I didn’t try it out until we got to Sundermeier RV Park in St. Charles Missouri (blog post).
Our SoClean 2 Go came with 8 AA batteries. After setting up the SoClean, I put the batteries into the base. After turning the switch on, a red light came on. I hit the button and it ran for a while. The red light went out. Having no idea of what was or wasn’t normal, I left the batteries in the unit and turned it off. The next day, I setup to make another run. I turned on the switch. No lights. It wouldn’t run.
I opened the battery compartment. Overnight, the batteries had leaked battery goo inside the unit. I removed the battery holder to clean it out with water and pitched the batteries in the trash. Battery goo was also on the access door. I cleaned that as well. Washing to goo off ruined the printed information on the battery compartment access door.
Thinking that the batteries must have been old or defective, I bought 8 more AA batteries and tried it again the following night. Turn on power, red light on then hit the button. It ran again for a short time. I let it sit for a while. The new batteries were spent. Fortunately, these didn’t leak.
Key Learning: It takes 8 AA batteries for each night’s cleaning. BUY THE OPTIONAL POWER SUPPLY that works on both 12 Volt and 110 VAC power.
On our way home from our aborted trip, I ordered the optional SoClean 2 Go Power Kit. We have driven the car back to St. Louis for a week and I’m using the 110 VAC power supply with the SoClean 2 Go. Works great. I turn on the power. A green light comes on. I push the start button. Green goes to red while it runs. When it is done running, the lights turn out. This totally works for me.
Given how ineffective AA batteries are at powering the SoClean 2 Go, I’m surprised that they are the default power source. Without the Power Kit, I found the SoClean 2 Go unusable. With the Power Kit it is very useful.
Hope to see you on the road ahead!