Cleaning and Maintaining Your Oxygen Concentrator

Keeping your oxygen concentrator in top working condition not only ensures effective and safe oxygen delivery but it may also extend the lifespan of your unit. Cleaning and maintaining your portable oxygen concentrator is an important step in owning and caring for your unit. By following a few simple steps and guidelines you can easily keep your concentrator in pristine, "like-new" condition!

How to Clean The Outside of Your Oxygen Concentrator

Like all electronics, your oxygen concentrator is going to collect dirt, dust, and come in contact with substances that could make them sticky. Luckily, it’s easy to clean the outside of a portable concentrator, especially when you begin developing the habit of maintaining your unit early on in oxygen therapy!

When cleaning your unit, it’s important to avoid any harsh detergents, instead opt for a mild dish soap such as Dawn and a little bit of warm water. Harsh detergents can and will cause any protective outer coatings on the unit to wear and chip away.

Before you begin cleaning your oxygen concentrator you must unplug the unit from all power sources. Then dip a soft wash rag in a mixture of warm water and gentle soap. Make sure to squeeze out your rag, you’ll want it merely damp not soaking wet. Now, wipe down the concentrator, scrub if need be but take caution around the sensitive vents of the unit. When you’re satisfied, thoroughly rinse out the rag and wipe down the unit again to remove any soap residue. Finally, you can either wipe down the unit with a soft, dry, lint-free towel, or let it air dry on its own. Make sure your concentrator is completely free of moisture before turning it on and resuming use.

Cleaning and Maintaining Your Oxygen Concentrator"

How to Clean Your Gross Particle Filter

Maintaining Your Oxygen Concentrator

The "gross" particle filter is the filter that cleans the air coming into your oxygen concentrator. While this filter can very easily get dirty and gross, the "gross" describes the large particles it captures such as dust, dirt, pollen, mold, and any pollution that may be in the air. Because a portable oxygen unit takes the air around you and converts it into clean breathable oxygen, this filter may require frequent cleaning depending on your surroundings. As a general rule, we suggest cleaning your gross particle filter about once a month. Keeping your gross particle filter(s) clean can increase the longevity of your unit and may prevent you from needing a replacement unit in the future.

To begin cleaning your filter, turn off the oxygen concentrator and remove the filter from the machine. If you are unsure of where your gross particle filter is or how to remove it, refer to your owner's manual. Can’t find your manual? Please visit the oxygen concentrator manual page to download your owner's manual.

After removing your gross particle filter, fill a clean container such as a tub, sink, or bowl with mild water and gentle household detergent. Dip the filter into the water and scrub it with a washcloth to remove any small pieces of dirt or dust. Rinse it underwater to remove all soap residues. Finally, set the filter on a clean, dry towel to absorb any remaining liquid. Let the filter dry completely before reinserting and resuming use.

    Tips for Maintaining your Oxygen Concentrator

  • Use a traditional cotton swab for gentle and detailed cleaning
  • Keep dust off easily by traveling with a microfiber cloth
  • Use a travel case or backpack to decrease exposure to outside elements
  • Frequently clean any travel cases, straps, and backpacks to eliminate additional debris
  • Keep the area around the cannula nozzle free and clear of any contaminants
    The Don’ts of Oxygen Concentrator Maintenance

  • Use Hard Detergents or Soaps
  • Use Rough Cloths, Towels, etc.
  • Leave Water on the Unit
  • Submerge Your Unit in Water
  • Use Water Inside Your Unit
  • Turn on Your Unit Before It Is Completely Dry
  • Leaving Your Unit on While Cleaning
About Scott Ridl: Scott joined American Medical Sales and Rentals in 2008 as a Web Manager and Content Writer. He is a writer and designer. He is extensively trained on oxygen therapy products from leading manufacturers such as Inogen, Respironics, Chart, Invacare, ResMed and more. Scott works closely with respiratory therapists and oxygen specialists to educate the community about oxygen therapy products, COPD, asthma and lung diseases. He writes weekly columns and is passionate about educating the community on oxygen therapy and respiratory issues.

21 thoughts on “Cleaning and Maintaining Your Oxygen Concentrator”

  • Christine Moritz
    Christine Moritz November 8, 2017 at 10:07 am

    How often should the pleated filter be changed?

    • Danielle Jason

      Thank you for your comment, Christine. That question will depend on which oxygen concentrator you are referring to, how old it is, how often you use it, how you store it, your altitude, and your climate. Have you referred to your owners manual? Your owner's manual should detail the filters, how often and how to clean them. If you've misplaced your manual you can download an extra one here:

  • Abdu

    How is it possible that the oxygen that comes out of my concentrator is 100% dust free?
    Mine is Airsep nd it has final bacteria filter that i change every 6 months instead of 2 yrs as recommended by the manufacturer and cabin filter every 3 days. Note i live in a harsh environment but 4sure my device is indoor. My dad keeps getting pneumonia very very often and i think my device is the problem here. So what do u think

    • Danielle Jason

      Thank you for your inquiry, Abdu. May we ask in turn how often you are changing the cannula? Anytime you have an illness, it is important to thoroughly clean or, better yet, replace the tubing completely. This helps to ensure there are no germs or bacteria remaining to reinfect yourself with.

  • Abdu

    Yes i do that too. By the way do u recommend any soft sided cannula?
    Any ideas about the dust issue ?

    Thank you

    • Danielle Jason

      Feel free to give our Specialists a call to find the right cannula for you. You can reach them at 877-303-9289 or at [email protected] As for your dust comment, as we specified your concentrator will never be 100% free of other elements since it pulls in ambient air. If you have continued health concerns, we suggest speaking to your doctor.

  • Sara Bertram

    Can you clean the filter of a nebulizer safely

  • Martindop

    Hellow my name is Martindop. Wery capable post! Thx :)

  • tony royal

    shoudi leave the concentrator on even when not in use

  • william keck

    ''Hospital has provided an LINCARE Oxygen concentrator respironics everflo ..HOW LONG can you run it before its time to clean the filter? NEED TO KNOW. THANK YOU for your support .

  • Beth

    How do I clean the inside where the nasal canula plugs in? Can it get contaminated in there?

    • Margaret Goodman
      Margaret Goodman July 17, 2018 at 9:52 am

      Oxygen from the machine only flows in one direction. You should not have to worry about that getting contaminated. If you are worried about the nasal cannula getting contaminated it is recommended that you change them once a month.

  • Montgomery

    What do I do when the red light comes on

    • Ed Rodgers

      Hi. You should consult your manual as it can mean different things depending on the machine. If you do not have your manual, you can always call the manufacturer to help identify the issue. Sometimes it might be a filter change or a simple reset, but it can also be requiring a service checkup. But start with looking at your manual or calling the manufacturer of the concentrator.

  • Nina

    I have an Evenflo oxygen concentrator that I replaced the particle filter box and inside line filter and still have a yellow light on. Machine is clean and sitting in center of room. No obstructiin. What should I do next?

    • Scott Ridl

      We recommend you contact the company you purchased from for service. If you are interested in replacing your machine please give us a call at 877-644-4581.

  • BK

    If an O2 concentrator is being sold by a medical supplies company as "certified pre-owned" is it safe to use in the midst of the pandemic? Is there any way to disinfect the concentrator prior to use?

    • Sanket Jain

      It totally depends on the company you are dealing with and whether they are following proper cleaning procedures. We clean and test all of our gently-used units before selling. You can learn how we do it by watching this quick video:


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