Using a CPAP can be a two-edged sword. I love mine, but cleaning it is a pain. When I first read about the SoClean sanitizer, I was intrigued by the concept, so I bought one. I've had it for about six weeks as of this writing.
Ozone sanitizing is not new. You can find ozone generators in spas, pools, and water treatment plants around the world because it is a proven technology. Putting ozone to work in this application was a stroke of genius.
CPAP circuits are notorious breeding grounds for microbes, and blowing germs deep into your lungs can make you dead, or at least wishing you were. I have had 4 or 5 bouts of bronchitis since I started on CPAP ten years ago, and I have dislocated and fractured ribs by violent coughing; now I suspect (but cannot prove) that my CPAP was the culprit. Since I bought the unit, I have not had any respiratory issues, although I wasn't ill when I bought it.
Back to the review. The SoClean is a well-built device. The construction is quite solid and the finish is a durable black matte coating that keeps it from becoming an eyesore. There is a safety device built into the side that prevents operation unless the headgear is in the machine ( the hose actuates a pressure switch), so it will not blow a stream of ozone into your bedroom if you forget to prepare it in the morning. The timer is preset so you don't have to mess with it, but if you do, the included instructions will help you set it to your preference.
The S9 Heated Hose Adapter was tricky to install. When it is new, it is tight and hard to rotate into position. It is held in place by a tiny loop of plastic that goes around the ozone hose fitting, but mine broke because I used my thumb and pushed too hard. The functionality of the adapter was not impaired, though. The loop could be eliminated altogether without a problem. It just gets in the way.
When the machine is actually running, you may get a whiff of ozone, but it isn't obnoxious. The pump runs for about five minutes, and any ozone left in the chamber and CPAP circuit is slowly dissipated over time through a carbon sponge filter that eliminates any odor. The headgear, hose, and humidifier chamber are left germ-free and safe. Running the CPAP for about 20 seconds before you go to bed vents out the stale air so that you don't get a blast of it in the nose.
What it won't do: It doesn't get out the soap and water and scrub your unit! Unless you are sleeping in a Class 10,000 cleanroom, you still need to clean the humidifier chamber occasionally to get the mud out of the bottom. Dust gets through the CPAP filter and settles inside; the SoClean makes sure that it is germ-free dust, but it is still there, and it looks bad.
I have found that removing the mask seal and hand-washing it and then leaving it in the chamber keeps it from getting cloudy with facial oil. My first seal became coated with a film that was hard to remove; I had been placing it in the chamber without washing it first, and I think that the ozone altered the facial oils and created the film. The silicone of the mask was not deteriorated, but the mask slid around on my face and leaked. The second, washed seal is in much better shape.
I have read a few negative comments about the effects on the headgear straps, but I have not had any problems with mine. It is still elastic and has not stretched out at all.
The unit came packaged in a very sturdy box with rigid foam inserts to secure it. There was nary a mark on the unit due to shipping, which, by the way, was very fast.
I am quite pleased with my purchase, and I heartily recommend the SoClean Machine Sanitizer. It is simple and effective, an elegant solution to a difficult problem.