Tips for Cleaning Hearing Aids

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Because hearing aids are a significant and life changing investment, it’s good practice to learn how to clean and maintain them. These sophisticated tiny wonders of technology operate in conditions that are not always ideal. They are subjected to earwax and moisture from inside of your ear canals. Regularly cleaning the device yourself, combined with routine maintenance from your hearing care professional, will provide years of reliable and exceptional hearing.

Get the proper tools: A wax pick and brush are the perfect tools for cleaning at-home. Earwax can accumulate in the opening end of a hearing aid. If left long enough, wax can damage the receiver. Use your pick and brush to gently clear the wax away.

Establish good habits: During your hygiene routine, leave your hearing aids out.                 Make sure they are not in while showering and washing your face and hair, so water and soap can’t cause damage to them. Once you’ve applied hair products like sprays or gels, it is ok to put your aids in afterwards.

Clean your device at the end of the day: Cleaning your hearing aids before bedtime gives them several hours to air out before you need to put them in again. Avoid using wipes with chemicals or alcohol when cleaning your hearing aids, as they could cause damage to the devices.

How to clean ITE (in the ear) hearing aids

Focus your cleaning on the openings in the device. For the microphone ports, use a soft-bristle toothbrush or a brush provided by your hearing healthcare professional to clear away wax that has built up. Hold the device with the opening you are cleaning facing downward so that loose particles will fall out of the hearing aid rather than staying lodged inside.

Afterwards, use a wax pick or hook to clear debris out of the holes that didn’t come out when using the brush. To finish, wipe the entire device with a clean, dry cloth or tissue. This will remove debris from the hearing aid’s case.

How to clean BTE (behind the ear) hearing aids

First, examine the device for debris and remove it with a soft brush or a dry cloth.

To clean the earmold, remove it from the hook. Some earmolds, especially those made from softer material, will become discolored and stained over time. Making efforts to wipe them clean every day and soaking them in warm, soapy water once each week will help. Let the molds dry completely overnight prior to use, and do not use alcohol or other chemicals to clean them. Your earmolds may develop a slight odor over a period of time, but a strong odor could indicate an ear infection. If it has become noticeable, consult your hearing healthcare professional.

Use a bulb blower to force water out of the tubing, then allow it to dry completely overnight. An important tool for cleaning is the hearing aid multi-tool, which has a wire loop, magnet and brush all in one.

Additional considerations

For all types of hearing aids, it can be helpful to do the following at night:

  • Remove the batteries and keep the battery compartment open to dry
  • Use a cleaning brush to clean the battery compartment

Using a hearing aid dehumidifier may be worthwhile, especially if you live in a humid climate and spend considerable time outdoors or perspire heavily.

Proper cleaning and maintenance will help you get years of trouble-free wear with your hearing aids. Visit our website to find a hearing healthcare provider in your area that can assist you further towards a long life of healthy hearing.