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10 Tips to Properly Clean & Maintain Oxygen Concentrators

10 Tips to Properly Clean & Maintain Oxygen Concentrators
Kevin Cleary

Key Takeaways:

  • Routine maintenance and cleaning of your oxygen concentrator ensures they operate properly and can extend the lifetime of the unit.
  • Oxygen concentrators help improve blood oxygen levels for those with respiratory conditions through oxygen therapy techniques.
  • An oxygen concentrator maintenance plan can be easy to follow.
  • Regular maintenance allows oxygen concentrators to work properly and efficiently.
  • Proper maintenance may seem daunting but familiarity and understanding will make cleaning and maintaining your oxygen concentrator easier and HPFY has all you need.


For those suffering from health conditions that affect their respiratory system, an oxygen concentrator can be a critical piece of equipment. An oxygen concentrator is a device that provides the user with supplemental oxygen. The air around us is made up of approximately 20% oxygen and an oxygen concentrator takes the air around us, filters it, and supplies the user with air that is 90%-95% oxygen. Properly cleaning and maintaining your oxygen concentrator means that it will work properly, reliably, and most importantly effectively. Following an oxygen concentrator maintenance checklist can help and I have 10 tips to help you clean and maintain your oxygen concentrator to achieve this.

Oxygen Concentrator vs. Oxygen Tank

Many respiratory patients who require supplemental oxygen are familiar with heavy, cumbersome oxygen tanks. These are far less portable and often cause patients to stay in their homes and negatively affect their quality of life. Oxygen concentrators can be portable as well as stationary, home units. An oxygen concentrator is great for conditions like:

  • COPD
  • Asthma
  • Lung cancer
  • Influenza/Covid-19
  • Pulmonary fibrosis

Over 1.5 million Americans utilize oxygen concentrators for supplemental oxygen therapy due to low blood oxygen levels. Depending on your condition your doctor may prescribe one for you if it’s appropriate.

10 Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

As with any other medical device, proper cleaning and regular maintenance can help your unit operate properly, and efficiently, and (most importantly) extend the life of the unit. 10 tips for oxygen concentrator maintenance can include:

1. Wipe outside of Unit

Dirt and dust can collect on the outside of your oxygen concentrator. Use a soft cloth damp with water and mild detergent wipe the outside of the unit firmly and be sure to concentrate around the vents. This keeps contaminants out of your machine.

2. Clean/Replace the Filter

First power off the unit, before changing/cleaning your filter. Consult your manual for filter location and remove the filter. Run your filter under running water and let the filter air dry. Don’t replace the filter or run the unit until installed and completely dry.

3. Nasal cannula cleaning

Your cannula can be cleaned by placing it in a tub with clean water and a few drops of mild detergent. Use a soft cloth or cotton swab to clean around the nozzle area to remove dirt and dust. Once clean, lay on a dry towel. After, use a 1:10 mixture of water and white vinegar to disinfect your nasal cannula. Soak and rinse, then allow the cannula to dry.

4. Keeping tubing clean

The tubing connects your cannula to your unit. This tubing can be cleaned but should be replaced regularly. To maintain your tubing properly don’t use tubing longer than 25 feet, inspect regularly for cracks, keep away from pets, and replace tubing every 6-12 months.

5. Cleaning humidifiers

Often humidifiers are used with home units to provide moisture to supplemental oxygen. To clean your external humidifier, empty any remaining water and wash with mild dish soap every six months. Be sure to rinse thoroughly and refill with distilled water.

6. Keep owner manuals/guides

Often when we buy equipment we quickly ignore the owner manual or set-up guides but these often can be great sources of information such as maintenance guidelines and even part numbers. Also, often they have troubleshooting guides that can help solve potential problems.

7. Utilize monitoring services

With connectivity in the home increasing, some manufacturers offer units with monitoring devices built-in. This can monitor the unit’s function by transmitting operational data and even error codes to the manufacturer.

8. Warranties

One crucial aspect that often gets overlooked is the warranty service of oxygen concentrator manufacturers. Yes, manufacturers offer extended warranties at additional cost but your oxygen concentrator is important and a warranty provides peace of mind. 

9. Utilize how-to videos or support hotlines

Nearly every manufacturer has a support line you can call to keep your oxygen concentrator running properly. Also, search the Internet for a video that can help you solve your possible issue. These can show you how to change/clean filters and other components of your oxygen concentrator.

10. Oxygen concentrator maintenance checklist

Develop a checklist that you can visually consult to ensure that your regularly scheduled maintenance is done to increase the lifetime of your oxygen concentrator. Also, be sure to have all your cleaning supplies, filters, and spare tubing available. Nothing worse than waiting for a delivery!!

When to Seek Medical Attention

Be sure to follow all safety precautions when using your oxygen concentrator and be sure to contact your physician if you develop symptoms of too much/little oxygen. These are:

Oxygen Poisoning (too much oxygen)

  • Dizziness
  • Confusion/memory loss
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Headaches

Hypoxia (too little oxygen)

  • Slow heart rate
  • Cyanosis (blue tint to the skin)
  • Restlessness
  • Confusion



Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics, and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our reviewed content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.


HPFY Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary has been a Health Products For You contributor for many years and has a degree in marketing. His health and wellness journey has a very personal meaning and has guided him in his content writing for HPFY.

In 2006, ...

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