How to clean EPOC FLEX Gel Sensors and Cap?
Under most circumstances, cleaning of caps and electrodes in mild detergent with a toothbrush suffices. Note: Dish-detergents often leave a film. Children’s shampoo will be a good choice. Afterward, rinse the cap with water and the electrodes with distilled water. Finally, the moisture is taken away by wrapping in a towel. The rest can dry in the air.
Best: Rinse the cap with the electrodes directly after each usage.
Clean the electrodes immediately after each use, best before the electrolyte gel or paste starts drying. Rinse off all rests of the gel under a running tap.
In case of dried gels, please soak the electrodes shortly (half a minute) and rinse again, or use a soft toothbrush. In case of more persistent or greasy stains you may use mild detergents, pure soap or baby shampoo, and clean your cap and electrodes in luke-warm soap water. Please do not use dish detergents, as they may alter the electrode surface. Disinfectants will increase premature aging. Please always rinse with water after cleaning. Dry the electrodes quickly with a tissue or towel. Please note: Dried gel may reduce the capacity of the sensor to transduce signals and is a very frequent reason for bad impedances and bad signals.
In addition to the above, the cap itself (without electrodes) can be cleaned in a washing machine at 30° Celsius, using a mild detergent. Please do not put in dryer nor iron, best let it air-dry.
Best is to store the cap and electrodes in a dry and dark place.
Handling and Maintenance
The lifespan of electrodes depends on the handling. The most critical spot of an electrode is where the elastic cable goes into the solid electrode housing, and into the plug – please do never overstretch or overbend this section.
The electrode manufacturer explicitly warns:
– Not to soak electrodes in saline solution or chloride them, as corrosion of connections will result.
– Not to autoclave or use other hot sterilization methods as the wire insulation can be damaged.
Note: You can clean the FLEX cap by soaking or rinsing in warm water as above (including the toothbrush) but (1) unplug and remove the FLEX amplifier from the cap and (2) make sure the connectors do not get wet (eg push them into a zip lock bag, seal with a rubber band to avoid splashing, and hold them out of the water) while cleaning the cap and sensors. This way you can keep the electrode arrangement the same without having to remove and re-install the sensors