How Do I Clean Hearing Aids?

Written by the Nano Hearing Aids Team
Reviewed for Accuracy by Lindsay Roberts, AuD.

Lindsay Roberts
How Do I Clean Hearing Aids?

In order to keep your hearing aids in good working condition it's important to keep them clean. But cleaning your hearing aids can be a delicate matter since they're manufactured from a variety of intricate components that can be easily damaged if not cleaned carefully. Your hearing aids are a considerable financial investment that should be properly maintained. If you fail to clean them on a regular basis, you could find yourself without your hearing aids and that could put you at a serious disadvantage when you need them most. 

Your hearing aids can lose their efficacy and even suffer damage as a result of moisture, earwax buildup, and dust that can impact their performance. That's why it's vital to clean your hearing aids and keep them working correctly. 

Word of Warning

Whether you use BTE hearing aids, CIC hearing aids, or RIC hearing aids, you need to be careful when handling and cleaning the various parts of your hearing aid devices or they could become damaged. Always read your owner's manual before attempting to clean your hearing aids so you are aware which components are most vulnerable and should be treated with the utmost care.

Take caution at all times when cleaning and NEVER EVER run your hearing aids under water and never use abrasive chemicals or harsh cleaning wipes that are not intended for use with hearing aids or other electronic devices. 

What You Need

The types of cleansers that are suitable for use with hearing aid devices should be alcohol-free and contain disinfectants that are specially formulated for the cleaning of hearing aids. For daily cleaning, a dry, soft cloth should be suitable to remove debris. 

For weekly cleanings and deeper cleaning to remove extended buildup, you can use wax removal brushes and wax picks to get into those nooks and crannies. A good hearing aid cleaning kit will supply you with all of the necessary accessories you need. Even a child’s soft bristle toothbrush is a reliable substitute for a wax removal brush. 

Important Steps

When cleaning your hearing aids on either a daily or weekly basis, keep the following steps in mind as you perform the necessary routine maintenance to prevent your hearing aid devices from becoming damaged and less effective.

Always Be Gentle

Never wipe or poke any of the components with too much force. This can damage the delicate elements of the devices. Refrain from inserting any cleaning tools or wax picks directly into the microphone or receiver ports as you risk damaging the device and driving wax or debris into these sensitive areas.

Turn Hearing Aids Off Before Cleaning

You should always switch your hearing aids off before cleaning them. It helps to avoid any damage or unnecessary feedback when you are performing maintenance on them. Be sure you know how to turn off the hearing aid devices before you attempt to clean them and, if you are not sure what to do, check your manual first. In most instances, you can turn the hearing aids off by opening the battery drawer.  

Cleaning the Surface of the Devices

Removing dust or dirt from the exterior surface of the hearing aid device can be accomplished with a dry, soft cloth. A daily wipe of the surface of your devices can keep them clean and ready for use any time. Cleaning on a weekly basis can be done with a disinfectant wipe that has been specially created for use with these types of electronic devices. 

Removing Earwax

Any hearing aid device that is inserted into the ear canal on a daily basis is at risk of accumulating earwax buildup both on the surface and inside the various openings of the device. Earwax doesn't just look unappealing it can also interfere with the working condition of the device. Routine cleaning of the ear canal and the hearing aid are the best ways to prevent earwax buildup. To remove earwax from the device, you can use a wax pick to clear it away from the surface and receiver ports. Always refrain from using sharp objects when cleaning any part of the device.  

Brush Away Debris

Every port on a hearing aid is a sensitive opening that can be easily damaged if not cleaned carefully. Debris and earwax can easily clog these openings and they need to be cleared away on a regular basis. Doing this requires the use of a soft brush. There are wax removal brushes designed specifically for use with hearing aids but you can also use a child's soft-bristle toothbrush. Always brush away dirt, debris, and earwax. Never scrape or poke at the ports of your device with sharp objects like paper clips, toothpicks, or pen tips (you would be surprised by what some people will use!) You run the risk of damaging your hearing aid device with these poor substitutes for a wax removal brush.

Don't Forget to Clean the Tubing

BTE (Behind the Ear) hearing aid models will use tubing to help carry sound from the hearing aid device into the ear canal. Since this tubing is such an important component for keeping your device working correctly, it's important to clean this part of the device just as thoroughly as you would any other and replace as needed. Buildup inside of the tubing can lead to blockage and reduced volume of sound. A soft brush can be effective at clearing away buildup or dislodging it with a blower will work just as well. Tubing that has an unpleasant odor or showing signs of discoloration should be replaced instead of cleaned.  

Proper Storage

When not using your hearing aids, it's best to store them away in a cool, dry place for safekeeping. Allowing your hearing aids to be exposed to dust, moisture, or direct sunlight when not in use can reduce the lifespan of the devices. Always be aware of the methods by which your hearing aids are being stored and clean them prior to storage.

People who are hard of hearing should not be without their hearing aids for extended periods of time. If you take good care of your hearing aid devices, they will always be ready for use when you need them and will help you get the most out of them. 

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