Survey sheds light on PAP cleaning habits


SoClean asked 302 patients, 250 general practitioners (GPs)s and 30 sleep specialists about their attitudes towards cleaning PAP equipment. The results revealed some big gaps in knowledge on both sides…

Are people cleaning as often as needed? Ineffective cleaning is a worry. Three quarters of GPs say more needs to be done to raise awareness of the need to clean.

Despite awareness of the need to clean, a quarter of PAP users surveyed admitted to not cleaning their machines regularly. And yet advice from healthcare professionals is clear, with 96% of GPs 90% of specialists surveyed agreeing PAP equipment should be cleaned regularly to avoid the harmful build up of bacteria.

Around 16% of people surveyed are using wet wipes, which cannot sufficiently clean every area of a PAP machine. Other interesting approaches were revealed, including using electric toothbrushes, denture cleaners and dishwashers. A standard PAP machine hose measures six feet in length – all of which needs to be thoroughly cleaned. To do so requires full disassembly, followed by reassembly when completely dry. And therein lies another problem. Even a small amount of water left in the mask or hose of your PAP machine can create the perfect moist environment for bacteria to grow in.[1]

So why is cleaning so important?

There are a variety of complications that can arise from poor cleaning habits, ranging from discomfort (dry mouth, sinus irritation and cough – all of which can hinder sleep) to more serious respiratory infections including bronchitis and pneumonia.[2]

One study found that people with sleep apnoea who used a PAP machine had a 32% higher risk of developing pneumonia than those who didn’t.[3] That’s not to say you should be concerned about using PAP. The therapy is the most effective treatment for moderate to severe SA[4] and has been shown to help prevent serious complications associated with the condition, including reducing the risk of stroke by 49%, cardiovascular events by 46%, and mortality by 25%.[5]

However, the study does suggest that full and effective cleaning is essential to reduce the build-up of bacteria and germs, which could lead to infections like pneumonia.

What is activated oxygen?

Our survey suggests most people don’t know about the benefits of activated oxygen as a sanitiser, with only 6% of people asked believing a special device to be the safest and most effective method of cleaning.

However, activated oxygen in the SoClean device has been proven to kill 99.9% of bacteria and germs in every part of the PAP mask, hose and reservoir.[6] The natural non-harsh chemical is pumped throughout every crevice of your mask, hose and reservoir to kill nearly all traces of bacteria. What’s more, the device does not use water, which can create a moist environment favoured by bacteria.

Activated oxygen has long been used in processes such as water purification, produce handling, hotel housekeeping and hospital sanitisation, where fool-proof and safe sanitisation is a necessity.

SoClean: so fast, so simple

Among those surveyed who do not clean their machines, 16% said lack of time or know-how were to blame. SoClean has been designed with its users in mind. It requires no disassembly or reassembly between uses, making daily cleaning effortless. It requires a simple one-time setup after which you can simply put your mask in the chamber, close the lid and walk away. Full sanitisation takes just 7-minutes and after a 2-hour rest period the PAP is ready to use again.



[1] Ofstead, et al, Residual moisture and waterborne pathogens inside flexible endoscopes: Evidence from a multisite study of endoscope drying effectiveness. American Journal of Infection Control 2018. 46: 689-96

[2] Advance Healthcare Network. CPAP Therapy Means Higher Pneumonia Risk. Available from: (Accessed March 2018)

[3] Su VY, Liu CJ, Wang HK, et al. Sleep apnea and risk of pneumonia: a nationwide population-based study. CMAJ. 2014;186(6):415-21.

[4] American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Sleep Apnoea - Overview & Facts. Available from: (Accessed March 2019)

[5] BLF OSA conference 2014. Available from:

(Accessed March 2019)

[6] Independently lab tested, data on file.