How to Clean an Oxygen Concentrator Machine At Home?

woman on oxygen smiling

Regularly cleaning your oxygen concentrator is important and highly recommended. Just as cleaning your other household appliances reduces germ and bacteria buildup, cleaning your oxygen concentrator helps to prevent infection and helps maintain peak performance of your machine. Follow these simple steps to ensure you are taking proper care of your equipment.

How to Clean the Outside of the Oxygen Concentrator

  • Unplug the machine.
  • Wipe down the outside of your oxygen concentrator with a damp soapy cloth and warm water.
  • Rinse with a damp cloth and clean water.
  • Check the air vents for dust and debris. Use a cotton swab to clean the vents.
  • Let the oxygen concentrator air dry.

How to Clean an Oxygen Concentrator Filter

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for removing the filter.
  • Dip the filter into a bath of warm water and mild dish soap.
  • Use a damp cloth to thoroughly clean any excess dirt or dust.
  • Rinse the filter with clean water to remove excess soap.
  • Let the filter completely air dry before returning it to the machine.

How Often Should You Clean an Oxygen Concentrator Filter?

Most concentrator filters require routine inspection once a week. They can be brushed dry to remove any dirt or dust particles. If excessively dirty, wash with warm, soapy water and let dry completely before reinstalling.

Some devices may have multiple filters that require maintenance. For the most accurate cleaning and care tips for your oxygen concentrator filter, reference your device's user manual.

How to Clean Nasal Cannula

  • Soak the nasal cannula in a bath of warm, soapy water.
  • Rinse the cannula with a solution of water and white vinegar (a ratio of 10-1).
  • Let the nasal cannula air dry completely before using

How Often Should You Clean a Nasal Cannula?

Nasal cannulas, because of their close contact with the nose, are more likely to carry bacteria and germs. Keeping nasal cannulas clean helps minimize the possibility of sinus infections or other illnesses related to an unclean nasal cannula.

Keeping a nasal cannula clean can be simply done by following a scheduled cleaning routine and sticking to it.

During the typical lifespan, if kept clean, a nasal cannula will last about two months. We recommend washing your cannula once a week in a mixture of 10-parts water and one-part vinegar. Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry.

How To Clean Humidifier Bottle

Your humidifier bottle can be a breeding ground for germs. The moisture in a humidifier bottle creates a good place for germs to grow. That is why it is important to clean your humidifier bottle regularly. Most humidifier manufacturers recommend a weekly cleaning cadence. The Environmental Protection Agency suggests that you clean and disinfect a humidifier every three days.

  • Empty the bottle
  • Rinse all parts connected with the humidifier bottle
  • Wipe or scrub the tank and tray with vinegar
  • Disinfect the tank with a hydrogen peroxide solution

Spend about 20 to 30 minutes per week, plus drying time to clean your humidifier and humidifier bottle.

How To Clean Oxygen Tubing

Like a humidifier bottle, oxygen tubing can become a place where germs can hide. Breathing through an unclean oxygen tubing may make you sick. Cleaning the tubing is easy.

  1. Wash the tubing in a solution of vinegar and water about once a week. You can also use warm soapy water as well.
  2. Allow to air dry before reattaching.

While cleaning your oxygen tubing also take the time to inspect for cracks or damage. Openings in the tubing can allow air to escape and reduce pressure for less effective CPAP therapy. You should replace your tubing once every 6-12 months.

Other Good Cleaning Practices that can be used on an Oxygen Concentrator

  • Try not to use your oxygen concentrator in a dusty room. Dust will make the particle filter get dirtier sooner.
  • Clean your particle filter monthly.
  • Clean the outside of the oxygen concentrator weekly.
  • Use alcohol wipes to clean the outside of the tubing connecting the nasal cannula daily.
  • Replace your nasal cannulas and tubing monthly when using your your oxygen concentrator regularly.

Should I Clean My Portable Oxygen Concentrator More Often?

Because portable oxygen concentrators leave the home and may encounter dirtier outside environments, you may need to clean your portable machine more frequently. Try not to take your portable oxygen concentrator outside when there are high concentrations of pollen in the air or during air pollution alerts. The excessive particles in the air will put a strain on the filter and the machine. If you must venture out in these conditions, be sure to follow the same cleaning procedures as a home oxygen concentrator. 

How Often Should an Oxygen Concentrator Be Serviced?

Most oxygen concentrators have a service life of 2-3 years. After that, some models require replacement of certain component parts. These replacements can typically only be done by authorized repair centers or technicians. Attempting to service the oxygen concentrator yourself may void your device's warranty.

How Often Should You Clean the Outside of Your Concentrator?

Oxygen concentrators operate by drawing in ambient air to be converted into pure oxygen. If the ports on the machine are dirty, then that dirt can contaminate the air flow. For this reason, oxygen concentrators may require occasional cleaning. Wipe the outside cabinet down once a week or so with a damp cloth and mild dish soap. Never spray any kind of cleaner onto the machine.

If your concentrator has an external filter, this may need to be rinsed out weekly. Check with your oxygen concentrator manufacturer for the exact recommendations for your model. If filter cleaning is needed, it can be rinsed with warm water and mild liquid dish detergent. After that, dry the filter and inspect for fraying, crumbling, tears and holes. Replace the filter if you find any damage.

While you can follow a strict cleaning schedule, it is acceptable to simply inspect your oxygen concentrator and decide whether or not it needs cleaning.

Maintenance Rules for Oxygen Concentrator

Following regular maintenance guidelines can help you keep your oxygen concentrator running well and ensuring your oxygen supply is clean.

  • Using alcohol wipes to clean the exterior of your oxygen concentrator is an easy way to keep dust and dirt out of the ports.
  • Check your filters to ensure they are clean. Some filters can be cleaned by hand. If damaged, replace filters as needed. Some models may have more than one filter, so be sure to check them all.
  • Regular cleaning of your nasal cannula and oxygen tubing helps prevent infection. Inspect your cannula and oxygen tubing while cleaning for damage. Damaged parts should be replaced.
  • Humidifiers should be cleaned regularly to prevent bacteria from growing in the moist environment. Humidifier bottles should be cleaned with every use.
  • Follow the replacement guidelines provided by your oxygen concentrator manufacturer for when to replace filters, cannulas, and oxygen tubing.

For oxygen concentrator replacement supplies or questions about cleaning your machine, our knowledgeable staff is happy to help! Call us at 888-941-1688 or message us via email at

This post was originally published on March 7, 2020 and updated on November 9, 2023.

Chris Vasta

Chris Vasta is the president of The CPAP Shop and an expert in sleep and respiratory therapy. He often provides insights on product design and functionality on various manufacturers’ prototypes and is frequently tapped to provide reviews on new releases.