How to clean EPOC FLEX Gel Sensors and Cap?
Under most circumstances, clean the caps and electrodes in mild detergent with a toothbrush.
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. Note that Dried gel may reduce the capacity of the sensor to transduce signals and it is a very frequent reason for bad impedances and bad signals.
The cap (without electrodes) can be cleaned in a washing machine at 30° Celsius, using a mild detergent and left to air dry. Please do not put in dryer or iron as this will reduce the life of the cap.
Under most circumstances, cleaning of caps and electrodes in mild detergent (such as children’s shampoo) with a toothbrush will suffice. Afterward, rinse the cap with water and the electrodes with distilled water. Finally, remove the excess moisture with a paper towel and leave to air dry.
It is not recommended to use disinfectants with high than 20% alcohol, strong oxidizers, or bleaching agents as they will reduce the life of the cap.
Note: Dishwasher detergents often leave a film and alter the electrode surface and disinfectants will react with the sensor material. Children’s shampoo is a good choice for cleaning caps and electrodes.
Best is to store the cap and electrodes in a dry and dark place.
Handling and Maintenance
The lifespan of electrodes is dependent 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 over-bend this section.
The electrode manufacturer explicitly warns:
– Not to soak electrodes in a saline solution or chloride, 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. In this way, you can keep the electrode arrangements as is without having to remove and re-install the sensors.