Cleaning your hearing aids regularly is easy and can be done in only a few minutes. But if you don’t have the right tools, this simple act can cause hundreds of dollars worth of damage or may cause you to buy a new hearing aid altogether.
We’ll guide you on how to clean all types of hearing aids using safe techniques to minimize potential breakage and deterioration.
- The tools within a hearing aid cleaning kit can vary, but some all-in-one gadgets will have everything you’ll need.
- Moisture and earwax are the two most dangerous elements for a hearing aid’s durability and knowing how to remove them is crucial.
- Behind-the-ear hearing aids (BTE) require a different method of cleaning and maintenance than other models.
- Some hearing aid tools found in cleaning kits should not be used near the microphone and receiver of the hearing device.
- Never ever use alcohol or sanitizer wipes to clean a hearing aid.
What Can I Clean My Hearing Aids With?
In order to properly clean your hearing aid, you’ll need the right tool for the job. There are two routes to take when cleaning your hearing aid: DIY or ready kits.
Hearing Aid Cleaning Tools (DIY)
If you don’t have a kit immediately available to clean your hearing aids, there are a few do-it-yourself tools you can use that will clean your devices just as effectively.
- A soft-bristle toothbrush can replace the wax removal tool.
- Disinfectant wipes, intended to use with hearing aids, can replace the dry cloth.
- An alcohol-free/chemical-free cleaner can be used to clean the earmolds.
Hearing Aid Cleaning Kit
Cleaning kits contain the basic tools needed for cleaning your device—wax brush/pick, wire loop, cloth, vent cleaner, and carrying case to protect each item.
Some cleaning kits will include a screwdriver and a battery magnet to open the battery compartment and safely remove your hearing aid batteries.
Cleaning kits can be purchased online, at your local pharmacy or drugstore, at superstores like Target or Walmart, or visit any hearing aid center.
Disclaimer: Read Your Hearing Aid Manual First
All hearing aids will come with detailed instructions on how to keep your device in tip-top shape. Cleaning hearing aids is simple, but if you have any questions about a particular model, visit a hearing care center for more information.
How To Clean BTE Hearing Aids (Behind the Ear Hearing)
- Use the wax removal tool or bristled toothbrush to gently remove dirt and debris from the outside of the device.
- Carefully remove the plastic earmold from the hook. The earmold can be wiped down with a dry towel or you can soak the earmold in warm water and soap.
- Remove the earmold and use the wax pick tool if you notice any debris.
- Gently wipe down the body of the hearing aid with a soft cloth.
- Allow the earmold and tubing to dry completely, preferably overnight, before reattaching.
How To Clean ITE Hearing Aids (In the Ear Hearing)
- Use the wax removal tool to clean the microphone cover and receiver and remove wax and debris from the vent openings.
- Gently take the wax pick/wire loop to remove dirt and material from the air vent.
- If you have a vent cleaner, use that to vent air through the opening in both directions.
- Take a soft, dry towel to wipe down the whole hearing device.
Caution: Never use alcohol, chemical wipes, or water to clean an ITE device. This can damage the sensitive microphone and receiver which would prevent it from working properly once inside the ear canal.
How To Clean RIC Hearing Aids (Receiver in Canal)
- Carefully brush the hearing aid to remove any outside dirt and debris.
- Use your thumbs to apply gentle pressure to the dome tip to push out any material.
- Wipe down the whole hearing aid carefully with a dry, soft cloth.
- Replace the dome if there is a blockage or wax buildup that can’t be removed or if the dome becomes too worn or misshapen.
- If you’re still experiencing a distortion in sound, check the tube and use a bulb blower tool to move air through the device.
How Often Should a Hearing Aid Be Cleaned?
Once a day, preferably in the morning, examine your hearing aid for dirt, debris, or other material that might have gotten stuck in the ear molds, dome, or tubing. Use a brush to wipe the entire device.
Once a week, perform a more detailed inspection. Use the wax pick or wire loop to remove wax build-up. Be careful not to use the wax pick near the microphone or receiver. This is also a good time to replace the earmold or dome if needed.
Hearing Aid Care Tips
To extend the life of your hearing aid, batteries and prevent additional hearing loss, follow these care tips.
- Wash your hands before handling your hearing aids.
- Store your device in a safe, dry place.
- Keep your hearing aids away from children or pets.
- Turn off your hearing aids when you’re not wearing them.
- Clean your device at the end of the day to allow time for everything to dry.
- Consider investing in a hearing aid dehumidifier if your device collects a lot of moisture.
- Don’t wear your hearing aids while swimming, in the shower, or while using hairspray or a hairdryer.
- Every six months or so, schedule an appointment with your hearing care professional for a routine hearing test for more detailed cleanings.
If you notice additional hearing loss while using your device, even after cleaning, schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional or at a hearing center, or we can help you find the best online hearing tests here.
How To Clean Hearing Aids FAQ
Below are some of the most-asked questions on the proper way to clean hearing aids.
What Is the Best Way To Clean Hearing Aids?
Make sure you read the instruction manual before you start cleaning. Use a small brush to wipe down the hearing aid and remove any debris. Warm water can be used to clean the earmolds, dome, and tubing.
The best time to clean your hearing aid is at night, which will ensure that your device has enough time to completely dry before being used again.
Can You Clean Hearing Aids with Alcohol Wipes?
No. Avoid wipes with alcohol or other chemicals when cleaning your hearing aids. This can cause significant damage to the electronics in your device.
How Do I Clean the Wax Out of My Hearing Aid?
Wait till your hearing device is completely dry, then use a dry cloth to wipe away any excess earwax. If the wax is still visible, use the wax removal pick to gently dig out any build-up.
Most hearing aids come with built-in wax protection such as wax guards and filters. These parts are designed to be removed easily by the user and should be inspected daily for signs of dirt and debris. We have more information on earwax removal for you to explore.
It’s essential to take care of your hearing aids and perform cleanings regularly to extend the life of your device and keep it in top working condition. These methods are simple but they must be done routinely.
Get into the habit of inspecting your device each morning and cleaning it at night. This will promote good sound quality and ensure your hearing aid investment does not go to waste. If you want to learn how hearing aids work, this article will be a great start.