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Why do Ozone Cleaners Smell?


Products that use ozone to kill germs often leave behind a faint, harmless odor. The smell comes from ozone particles being formed and breaking apart and usually dissipates in less than an hour. People are remarkably sensitive to the smell of ozone, and often describe it as a “crisp, fresh scent.” Our noses can detect ozone in as little as 10 parts per billion, and you’ve almost certainly smelled it even if you’ve never used ozone to clean.

Where you’ve smelled ozone 

The most common place people encounter the smell of ozone is before a thunderstorm rolls in. Ever heard someone say they can smell a storm coming? They’re not lying. When lightning strikes up in the clouds, it splits nitrogen and oxygen molecules which then react with the air. Sometimes, three oxygen molecules come together to make O3, or ozone. The more lightning strikes there are, the more chances there are for ozone to form.


These ozone molecules are unstable by their very nature, so they don’t last long. The oxygen particles will break apart and recombine with other more stable elements to turn back into the air we breathe. This is why that smell after the storm is over doesn’t last very long after the rain has stopped.

Why use ozone?

Ozone is used in a lot of different industries to kill bacteria. It is used to purify water, in dental surgeries, and industrial cleaning services where a germ-free environment is essential — such as hospitals and surgery centers. The unstable nature of ozone also makes it effective at destroying germs. When exposed to a high enough concentration of ozone, most bacteria will literally come apart.


Ozone is also frequently used because it dissipates quickly. In most circumstances, a potentially dangerous level of ozone breaks down into safe air in less than an hour.

Ozone smell on your CPAP mask

When you use Sleep8 to maintain your mask and tubing, you may notice a residual ozone smell. This is completely normal and completely safe. The faint fresh scent on the equipment lets you know that the Sleep8 did its job, and should dissipate after a short time. 


We’re aware that some people are especially sensitive to the ozone smell, which is why Sleep8 is specifically designed to minimize the residual ozone left on your CPAP equipment. If you have any questions about using Sleep8 to maintain your CPAP mask and tubing, don’t hesitate to reach out.


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