How to Clean Hearing Aids

How to Clean Hearing Aids

Your hearing aid helps you to play an active role in conversations and social relationship. Regular hearing aid cleaning will provide years of reliable better hearing. Learning and knowing how to clean hearing aids at home regularly, are very good. Regularly cleaning your hearing aids keeps them working well, as the microphone inputs can be blocked by sweat, and the volume control can be obstructed by earwax.

Hearing aids are sophisticated, tiny marvels of technology which operate in conditions that are far from ideal: the inside of your ear canals where they are subjected to earwax and moisture. The hearing aid multi-tool has a wire loop, magnet and brush all in one. This is an important tool for hearing aid cleaning.

General Steps to CleanHearing Aids

  • Get a wax pick and brush; these are indispensable tools for at-home cleaning of hearing aids. Earwax can accumulate in the opening at the end of a hearing aid where the sound comes out causing muffled feedback. If left for a long time, it can damage the receiver. To clean the accumulated earwax use the pick and brush to gently clear wax away.
  • Keep your hearing aids away from the soap, water and all types of hair products and never immerse the hearing aid in water. Remove the hearing aids whenever you want to shower or wash your face or hair and put your hearing aids back in after you apply hair products like sprays or gels. Protect your hearing aids from creams, perfumes and hairspray!
  • Cleaning your hearing aids before bedtime gives them several hours to air out before you will put them in again, so clean your hearing aids at the end of every day. Remove the batteries and keep the battery compartment open to dry overnight. Brush the battery compartment with the cleaning brush. Remember to perform all cleaning and battery changes over a cloth to prevent accidental damage or loss of the battery. A cloth of a plain color will also make it easier to find small parts quickly.
  • Do not use wipes with chemicals or alcohol when cleaning hearing aids as they can damage the devices.
  • Make sure that your tools are always clean before working on your hearing aids with them.
  • Always ensure that your ears are quite dry before inserting hearing aids.
  • Always keep the hearing aids in a warm place. Avoid extreme heat or cold. It may be worthwhile to use a hearing aid dehumidifier, especially if you live in a humid climate, spend considerable time outdoors or perspire heavily.
  • Be careful when placing your hearing aids on hard surfaces  and  never use a sharp instrument to remove wax from your hearing aids
Care for Hearing Aids

How to Clean Hearing Aids Daily

  • Clean the earmold with a soft tissue or cloth each time it is removed from the ear. 
  • Locate the microphone and speaker ports of your hearing aids. The speaker port is oftentimes covered with a white wax filter. Check the opening for earwax build-up.  If the wax is present, gently remove it with a pipe cleaner, toothpick or wax tool.  Do not poke the earmold with sharp objects. 
  • Test the battery in the hearing aid (your audiologist will show you how at your child’s fitting) and change it if it is low.
  • Wipe off the hearing aid to prevent dirt or moisture from building up.
  • Turn the hearing aid off and open the battery compartment when it is not in use.
  • Locate the vent of the hearing aid. This is an opening that allows air to go from one side of the hearing aid to the other. Use a vent cleaner to clear out the vent of the hearing aid.
  • Store the hearing aid in a dry, cool place when not in use during the day, and place it in a dry-aid or dehumidifier overnight.

How to Clean and Care for Your Hearing Aids at the End of Each Week

  • Wash the earmold when needed.
  • Remove the earmold and tubing from the hearing aid.
  • Use warm water and mild soap to wash the earmold.
  • Carefully dry it and use an earmold air blower to remove moisture from the tubing. 
  • Allow it to dry overnight and reattach the earmold to the hearing aid the next morning,
  • Earmold air blowers, wax remover tools, hearing aid dehumidifiers and other supplies are available from your audiologist.

How to Clean ITE (In The Ear) Hearing Aids

To clean an ITE hearing aids, just follow the steps below;

  • Clean Built-up Ear Wax in your hearing aids – Focus your cleaning on the openings in the hearing aid including the microphone ports using a soft-bristle toothbrush or a brush provided by your hearing healthcare professional to clear away built-up wax. Hold the hearing aid with the opening you are cleaning facing downward so any loose particles will fall out of the hearing aid instead of staying lodged inside.
  • Next, use a wax pick or hook to clear anything out of the holes that didn’t come out with the brush.
  • Finish by wiping the entire device with a clean, dry cloth or tissue. This will remove debris from the case of the hearing aid.

How to Clean BTE (Behind The Ear) Hearing Aids

To clean a BTE hearing aid and an earmold, follow these steps:

  • Check the hearing aids for debris and remove it with a soft brush or a dry cloth.
  • Remove the earmold from the hook to clean it. Some earmolds, especially those made from soft materials, can become discolored and stained over time. Wiping them clean daily and soaking them in warm, soapy water each week will help.
  • Allow the molds to dry completely overnight before use, and do not use alcohol or other chemicals on them. Your earmolds may develop a slight odor over time, consult your hearing healthcare professional if you notice that your hearing aids has a strong odor, because it can be a sign of ear infection.
  • Use a bulb blower to force water out of the tubing and then allow it to dry completely.

How to clean the earmold of your hearing aids

It is most important to clean your earmold and change tubing regularly, otherwise, the quality of sound from your hearing aid will be poor. If the tube becomes blocked your hearing aid may appear to stop working altogether. The earmold of your hearing aid should be cleaned regularly and it’s not so hard. To clean simply follow the steps below;

  • Separate the earmold from the hearing aid and pull the tubing away from the elbow/ hook which is on the hearing aid.
  • Wash the earmold in warm soapy water. Any kind of gentle soap you use would be suitable. A nail brush, pin or cleaning wire may be used to help remove wax from the tubing and vent hole.
  • Rinse the earmold in clean water, shake the excess water out and leave in a warm dry place overnight.
  • The earmold should be re-attached to the hearing aid with the curve of the mold matching the curve of the aids.
  • You can also simply wash the earmold in warm soapy water.
  • Pull the aid and the soft tube and Soak both the earmold and the tube together for approximately 15 minutes in warm soapy water.
  • Rinse thoroughly under the tap, allowing the water to run through the tube.
  • Dry the outside of the earmold and tube. Shake firmly to remove any excess water from inside the tube. You may choose to leave it to dry overnight. This should be repeated regularly.

How to Deep Clean Your Hearing Aids

  • On a behind-the-ear hearing aid, remove the tubing from the hearing aid and use a vent cleaner to clear out the tubing and vent of the hearing aid. These work really well for this purpose.
  • On a hearing aid with a dome, replace the dome.
  • Replace the wax filter if your hearing aid has one.
  • Use a hearing aid vacuum cleaner to remove any additional debris from all the hearing aid openings.
  • Use a hearing aid disinfecting wipe or hearing aid spray to thoroughly disinfect your hearing aid and earmold.

Common Tools for Cleaning Hearing Aids

Hearing aid cleaning brush: The soft brush tip end cleans the body, faceplate or sound port of a hearing device. Some brushes have a magnetic battery removal tool to ease the daily cleaning of aids.

Hearing aid cleaning brush

Wax pick or wire loop: This tool is designed to help remove wax and other debris safely from hearing aid nooks and holes.

Multitool: These all-in-one tools are versatile because they contain both a brush and a wax loop for thorough cleaning.

Additional Tips to Clean Hearing aids

  • Ideally, you should inspect your hearing aid every day for visible soiling and wipe it off carefully using a soft, slightly damp cloth.
  • Never use alcohol or other aggressive cleaning agents or solvents, as you risk damaging the electronic parts.
  • Clean your hearing aid from top to bottom to avoid introducing any wax into the microphones of the device.
  • Never use pointed objects, such as scissors or needles, for cleaning. Use only specially designed cleaning brushes.
  • Avoid using tissues containing aloe or lotion to clean your hearing aids.
  • Don’t put any portion of your hearing aids in your mouth!
  • Do not try to repair your hearing aids. If you suspect that your hearing aid is broken or damaged, take it to your hearing healthcare provider for service.
  • While cleaning your hearing aid, make sure your hands are clean and dry.
  • Once you’ve cleaned your hearing aid, dry everything well before putting it back together. Moisture can cause damage and malfunctions and can shorten the service life of your hearing aid. If your hearing aid does get wet, never dry it using a hairdryer, heater, microwave, or similar device, as high heat can soften and distort the plastic parts and damage the internal technology.
  • Hearing aids are very sensitive to moisture, radiation and heat, they should always be stored in a clean, dry place. Don’t put them down in the kitchen or bathroom, or near a source of heat.
  • If using a designated cloth to clean your hearing aids, make sure the cloth is cleaned regularly to avoid re-depositing wax, oils, or debris back on to your hearing aids.

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