Hearing aid cleaning

Contributed by Natalina Raso, BSc (Hons)., CDA, Coordinator, Hearing Directory
This content was last reviewed on: June 8th, 2018 2018-06-08 00:00:00 Learn about how to keep your hearing aids clean with special cleaning tools and care tips for years of reliable better hearing. 2018 0 Cleaning

Learn about how to keep your hearing aids clean with precise cleaning tools and care tips for years of reliable better hearing.

Cleaning your hearing aids is an important
part of routine hearing aid care.

Now that you have invested in your new hearing aids, you will want to keep them clean and regularly serviced to extend their longevity and keep them working at their best.

Despite their small size, hearing aids are powerful devices that consist of several intricate parts. In order to perform their many advanced functions, hearing aids need to be cleaned and maintained on a daily basis.

Keeping your ears and hearing aids clean is an important first step to better hearing health.

Keep your ears clean

Earwax is a natural substance created by the ear to protect and lubricate it, but too much earwax can be problematic to your hearing and your hearing aids. Earwax can accumulate inside the ear and block sound and further clog up the microphone and sound ports in your hearing aids.

Keeping your ears clean is an important regular habit to practice when wearing hearing aids. When your ears are clean, you can ensure that your hearing aids will remain clean. Be sure to clean in and around your ears regularly with a wash cloth to prevent earwax buildup. Do not use Q-tips to clean your ears, as they can push earwax further into your ears making it harder to remove.

If your ears feel full or stuffy and you are experiencing decreased hearing, you may have earwax buildup. Refrain from using sharp objects to remove the earwax from your ear canals yourself, as this may result in injury to the eardrum. Contact your hearing healthcare professional who can assess if earwax buildup is the issue and provide treatment options for you.

Keep your hearing aids clean

Regular cleaning and maintenance of your hearing aids at home will ensure they are kept in pristine condition and will provide you with long-lasting use for reliable better hearing every day.

Get into the practice of cleaning your hearing aids at the end of every day. Wipe them down with a dry, soft cloth and allow them to air out before placing them in your ears again for the next day. Open the battery door and allow them to dry overnight.

Use the proper cleaning tools to clean your hearing aids daily and establish good hygiene habits.

 

Hearing aid cleaning tools

A cleaning tool is an accessory to assist you in regularly cleaning and maintaining your hearing aids. Be sure to consult with your hearing healthcare provider to find out which tools are best for your particular hearing aids.

Hearing aid cleaning toolbox

       These common cleaning tools keep your hearing aids clean and in good working condition:

  • Hearing aid cleaning brush: soft bristle tool that allows for gentle cleaning in and around the hearing aid. A magnet at the end of the brush allows for easy retrieval of the battery for changing. 
  • Wax pick and wire loop: tool used to safely pick out wax and debris in ports and openings in hearing aids.
  • Wax guards: filter system used to block earwax from entering the hearing aids and preventing damage to the electronics.

 

How to clean BTE (behind the ear) hearing aids

Important notice! There are two common types of earmolds – with or without a speaker/receiver – and should be cleaned differently. Do not immerse in water or wash earmolds with a speaker/receiver. If you are unsure which type of earmold you have, please ask your hearing care professional. Hearing aids must never be washed or immersed in water or any type of liquid.

 

    To clean a BTE hearing aid and earmold (with speaker) or RITE (receiver in the ear):

  1. Use a soft dry cloth or cleaning brush to rub off any earwax or debris on the hearing aid.
  2. Do not wash or immerse your customized earmold (with speaker) in water. Instead clean the ventilation opening by pushing the elongated cleaning brush through the hole, while twisting it slightly to clear any blocked vents or ports.
  3. If you have a disposable silicone dome on the end of your hearing aid, replace it every two to four weeks. 
  4. Remove the wax filter using the same type of wax filter system originally supplied with your hearing aids. Brush off any earwax remaining in the sound ports using your hearing aid cleaning brush and then replace it with a new filter.

    To clean a BTE hearing aid and earmold (without speaker):

  1. Use a soft dry cloth or cleaning brush to rub off any earwax or debris on the hearing aid.
  2. Remove the earmold from the hook, by holding the hook and pulling off the tube connected to the earmold.
  3. Wash the earmold (without speaker) and tube in warm soapy water. Some earmolds can become discolored over time and retain an odor. Be sure to regularly wipe the earmolds clean daily and wash them once a week.
  4. Rinse the earmold and use your earmold blower to remove any excess droplets of moisture remaining in the tubes.
  5. Allow the earmold to completely dry overnight before re-attaching to your hearing aid.

How to clean ITE (in the ear) hearing aids

  1. Use a soft dry cloth or cleaning brush to rub off any earwax or debris on the hearing aid.
  2. Use the cleaning tool provided with your hearing aids to remove any earwax buildup, dust or debris lodged in the tiny spaces and holes of the hearing aid.
  3. Remove the wax filter using the same type of wax filter system originally supplied with your hearing aids. Brush off any earwax remaining in the sound ports using your hearing aid cleaning brush and replace it with a new filter.

Hearing aid cleaning tips:

  • Clean your hearing aids with a soft, dry cloth.
  • Keep your hands clean and dry when handling hearing aids, as grease and dirt may clog up the ports.
  • Clean your hearing aids over a soft surface to avoid damage if you drop them.
  • Do not use water, cleaning fluids or alcohol, as these could damage your hearing aids.
  • Use the cleaning tool to clear blocked microphone and sound ports.
  • Open the hearing aid battery door at night or when not in use to prevent moisture buildup.
  • Place hearing aids in a dry dehumidifier container when not in use.
  • Establish regular good hearing aid cleaning habits.

 

When to seek a professional

Hearing aids should be professionally cleaned regularly as recommended by your hearing care provider. Your hearing healthcare provider has special tools and vacuums to safely remove earwax, debris and other stubborn particles that may have clogged your hearing aids.

Ask your hearing healthcare provider if you need assistance in cleaning your hearing aids.

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