by Justin LaClair June 10, 2021

Why does my Nasal Cannula turn brown?

Have you noticed that your oxygen tubing or cannula are turning brown? Why is that?

Why can't you clean it off? Let's talk about that! Cannulas, Face Masks, Oxygen Tubing etc are generally made of a nylon or similar materials. As you wear your cannula or face mask, the oils of your skin will start to deteriorate the nylon. Even if you are the cleanest person in the world, you will still produce oils from your skin. Over time, they will absorb in the cannula and start to turn the cannulas brown. The once soft and pliable cannulas will also become firm and uncomfortable and may start to irritate your nostrils. This happens to the green tubing made for high flow oxygen sources as well.

You cannot avoid this, but you may be able to postpone it a little with cleaning. The best way to clean your oxygen tubing every couple days is to rinse it or soak it in the sink in distilled water. Once it soaks a bit, hang it up and let it air dry completely before using it. This may keep the tubing its natural color a little bit longer.

A lot of people recommend to change your cannula once a month. This is probably too long, and the cannula would be uncomfortable to wear. Once every two weeks is more like it. Cannulas are generally cheap, because they are a disposable good and don't cost much to produce. Replacing them a couple times a month will keep you healthier and more comfortable!

Justin LaClair
Justin LaClair

Justin has been working with OxygenPlus since their storefront start in 1993. In 2002 he earned the title of CEO and has been operating OxygenPlus ever since. Most of the time if you call, Justin will answer the phone. He tries to be extremely hands on with most every transaction that takes place. Raised with a very high quality standard, any work must meet his satisfaction before it is approved. He is a classic car enthusiast, loves traveling either for work or pleasure, and is a renewable energy advocate. As of 2015, he saw to it that his personal home, and OxygenPlus Medical run 100% off of solar power.


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