Like a lot of podcasters and radio people, I work in a tight space. My wife, a commercial photographer, also works in a small space with multiple people, including models who are always unmasked.
Like a lot of people during this time, we’re doing everything we can to stay safe and healthy and keep those with whom we work with safe and healthy as well. To help with this, a friend recommended I try an AirSoap air purifier.
Here’s how the company describes it:
AirSoap is a revolutionary new air purifier technology that kills and captures even the smallest viruses HEPA filters can't. Proven to kill 99.99% of airborne viruses, AirSoap uses washable and reusable collection plates instead of costly HEPA filters. AirSoap is the best choice for your health, your wallet, and the planet.
The retail price is $399.99, which a lot if people have commented is “pricey.” But what’s your health worth? If AirSoap works, it’s a bargain at that price.
I found a “coupon” online and purchased one. Total price was around $350 – a deal!
Not really. This happened after using the AirSoap less than six weeks...
The Story of the “Exploding” AirSoap
The friend who recommended AirSoap to me is also a podcaster and had been enjoying his. He said it was quiet and worked well in spaces where noise was a concern. It was based on this recommendation that I took a closer look.
I’d heard the ads for AirSoap’s other product, PhoneSoap, so I knew about the company. And it wasn’t difficult to find glowing reviews of both, although I was somewhat skeptical of how much everybody loved it as most of the “reviews” I found for AirSoap seemed to be either paid placements or contained affiliate links, giving the “reviewer” a huge incentive to sell the product more than actually review it.
In short, I knew the AirSoap “reviews” were biased. But as somebody trying to keep myself and others around me healthy, I decided to take the plunge and order one. This decision was made even easier when one of the sites mentioned a coupon that would take 20% off the $399.99 price.
The AirSoap arrived at my door nine days later. I plugged it in and everything was fine. It was quiet and seemed to work great.
But within the first month, I started noticing two things:
- The AirSoap fan would suddenly start going crazy and the “air quality” light at the bottom would turn red, meaning low-quality air around the unit. This would happen when nobody was around or even in the immediate area.
- There was a grey/black film on the outside of the AirSoap unit, which I first thought was moisture, because the AirSoap appeared to be “sweating” like a cold drink.
What I realized later was that the AirSoap was not doing a good job of trapping the particles it was removing from the air and possibly releasing some of what it had trapped earlier, making it work against itself. Unfortunately, as you can see from the photos above, this continued to happen with the AirSoap eventually “exploding” and releasing ionized particles everywhere, with these particles attaching themselves to everything throughout my wife’s studio – cameras, lenses, lighting rigs, tripods, and computers. These particles stuck to blinds, there is a grey/black film all over the walls, and the carpet is ruined.
The mess has been very difficult to clean up. It’s been almost a month since the AirSoap unit exploded and we’re still cleaning – the ionized particles are literally everywhere.
The good news is the AirSoap unit wasn’t in my podcasting studio when it exploded. Had that happened, because the space is so small, the situation would have been much worse – my equipment, especially microphones and acoustic panels, would have been permanently ruined.
The AirSoap Exploded – Now What?
Initially, I contacted AirSoap to see about getting a replacement. But after waiting five days for an email response, which only happened after I also reached out via Twitter and emailed a second time to an “escalation department” with a Gmail address, I was done.
I sent the AirSoap back (at my expense) and the company refunded my money.
Lesson learned. Still, given so many positive “reviews” of AirSoap online and given that we’re in a business where we work in very tight spaces that could be completely ruined by a faulty AirSoap unit, I’m posting this here, so you can make an informed decision about whether AirSoap is right for you.
Since posting my experience via Twitter, I’ve had a few people contact me with similar experiences as well as seen several comments from others who have also similar experiences. One guy on YouTube described the issue like this, “Our AirSoap seems to be attracting a fine black film on the outside of the unit, almost in a pattern. It sticks to the sides and the top. Does anyone else have this issue?”
Obviously, I’m not the only one who has had this issue.
Will AirSoap Work for You?
Maybe. Some people seem to be very happy with it. The friend who recommended AirSoap to me is very happy. If you take a chance on it though, I suggest you don’t use it in your studio and watch for it to collect grey/black dust that makes it look like it’s sweating, so you don’t have the same issue I had and end up with ionized particles everywhere.