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Read before starting inner cannula care!

You should clearly understand the cleaning procedure before you proceed. Follow your doctor’s recommendations for the cleaning procedure and schedule. Use the listed procedure only if your doctor instructs you to.

The spare inner cannula should not be used as a replacement for the inner cannula provided with your tracheostomy tube.

To loosen dried-on mucus, use a mixture of equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and distilled water. Pour this mixture through the inner cannula. Do not soak. Rinse the inner cannula thoroughly with sterile normal saline or distilled water to remove all hydrogen peroxide.

Caution: Do not use cleaning agents such as alcohol, glutaraldehyde, or bleach. They will damage the inner cannula.

Cleaning Supply Checklist

  • Blunt-nose bandage scissors
  • Facial tissues
  • Container (for catheter rinse water)
  • Cotton swabs
  • Gloves (like your doctor uses)
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Syringe (if you have a cuffed tube)
  • Precut tracheostomy dressing
  • Replacement tracheostomy tubes (one the same size and one smaller)
  • Small wash basin
  • Sterile 4 x 4 in. gauze pads
  • Sterile normal saline or sterile water (to soften mucus so that it may be suctioned)
  • Suction catheter
  • Suction machine with connecting tubing
  • Tracheostomy tube mask (optional)
  • Twill tape or other tracheostomy tube holder (to secure the tube in place)
  • Water-soluble lubricant (K-Y™ Brand Jelly or similar)
Your home healthcare supplier will provide some of these items; you will need to buy the others at the store.

Reusable inner cannula care


Wash your hands.


Hold the neck flange steady with one hand.


Pull the inner cannula out of the tube, using a downward motion.


If you need to use a ventilator during this cleaning procedure, insert a clean spare inner cannula.


Place the soiled inner cannula in a small wash basin containing sterile normal saline, distilled water, a solution of water, and a mild detergent or a solution of half hydrogen peroxide and half water. Use a small, nonabrasive brush or pipe cleaner to gently remove mucus.


After cleaning, rinse the inner cannula thoroughly with sterile normal saline or distilled water to remove all hydrogen peroxide.


Air-dry the inner cannula by gently shaking it.


Hold the neck flange steady with one hand.


Remove the spare inner cannula, if you used one.


Reinsert the clean inner cannula into the tube.


Clean the spare inner cannula, air-dry and store in a safe place.

Always follow the Instructions For Use that came with your tracheostomy tube when cleaning your tracheostomy tube and inner cannula.

The information and guidance presented on this website is informational only and not intended to influence practice or supersede the instructions for use of any specific device.

We gratefully acknowledge the contribution of the following individuals to the production of this content: Marie Lemoine, M.S.N., RN, RCP, Rob St. John, M.S.N., RN, RRT, Paula Thompson, B.S., RRT, and Missy Toigo, M.A., CCC-SLP