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How to Clean Hearing Aids: Basic Tips You Need to Know

May 19, 2021 How to Clean Hearing Aids: Basic Tips You Need to Know

To get the best possible performance from your hearing aids and to prolong the life of your investment, you need to know how to perform general maintenance and cleaning of the devices. Fortunately, it’s not hard to learn how to clean hearing aids and won’t take much time once you get the hang of it. Here are some basics that will help ensure that your new hearing aids continue performing well both now and in the long run.

The realization that you need hearing aids may have come as a shock to you. But, now that you’ve been fitted for them and they’re working well, you’re likely pretty happy with being able to hear things once again. One thing is for sure, though, hearing aids aren’t cheap. You’ve got to protect your investment!


To ensure the best possible performance of the hearing aids and making sure they last a long time, learning how to perform the general maintenance and cleaning of the devices is key. Fortunately, it’s not hard to learn how to clean hearing aids and won’t take much time once you get the hang of it. Here are some basics that will help ensure that your new hearing aids continue performing well both now and in the long run.


How Often Do Hearing Aids Need Cleaning?

One of the first questions that people ask is how often they should clean their hearing aids. The most direct answer is every day, or at least every other day.  


Your goal is to prevent using anything that’s not clean. For this reason, do plan on cleaning the hearing aids at least once a day. If something out of the ordinary should occur such as heavy wax build up, you may need to clean them twice a day. Consider a morning clean to be essential and consider additional cleanings on an as-needed basis. Have them professionally cleaned by your ear doctor every 6 months.  


The Most Common Causes of Hearing Aid Issues

The art of cleaning hearing aids involves understanding what sort of issues are likely to arise. That helps you understand what type of cleaning supplies are needed to ensure the hearing aids remain in top working order. Some issues will apply to any type of hearing aid while others may be unique to the design that you’ve chosen. 

  • Earwax: One common issue that applies across the board is a buildup of earwax. The wax does serve helpful purposes in terms of ear health. Unfortunately, various situations may lead to increased production of earwax. To deal with this issue, you will need to remove any wax that accumulates on the parts of the aid that fit into the ear canal. Your hearing aid cleaning kit will include a tool to help you remove any residue that’s begun to harden.

    You can also use a mild cleansing agent and a soft cloth to remove the loose wax. Hydrogen peroxide will work fine for this. Don’t apply the peroxide directly; instead, moisten a soft cloth with the peroxide and use it to wipe down the hearing aid. You can then see if using the pick designed to remove hardened wax is needed.

  • Dirt & Grime: There’s also the potential for dirt and grime to build up around and on the device. This can be grime from living in the city, or it can have to do with the amount of dust and grime that is around while you work in different settings. The accumulation can lead to irritations and may interfere with the hearing aid’s functioning. You want to ensure any dirt or grime is removed regularly.

    Treat the dirt as if it were earwax and use a soft cloth moistened with a safe cleaning agent to remove the buildup. If anything has hardened on the surface, the wax pick should take care of it.

    Ideally, you should use a cloth and cleaning agents that are free from any type of alcohol and fabric softeners. Buying disposable cloths that are made specifically for cleaning hearing aids is usually recommended.

  • Perspiration: Perspiration also comes into account when it comes to cleaning your hearing aids. Perspiration and the accompanying body oils build up on hearing aids, which is a large contributor to how dirty your hearing aids become each day. Daily activities, type of work you do and the time of year should all be considered for the frequency at which you clean your devices. Be sure to clean the entire hearing aid, and not just the part that fits into the ear. 

Basic Hearing Aid Cleaning Supplies to Keep on Hand

The good news is that you don’t have to spend time trying to pick up a lot of individual supplies to manage the hearing aid cleaning. There are special kits that include all the hearing aid cleaning tools you’re likely to need. Kits of this type often come with cleaning agents as well as the required tools. You can typically purchase a kit at the same place where you got your hearing aids, or can be found easily online. 


The typical cleaning kit will include products that make it easy to remove water and wax from the device’s surface. There will also be wipes that help to dry the aid and ensure no residue from the cleaning agent is left on the surfaces. The goal is to clean your hearing aids and know that the body is sterile and clean before you place it back into your ear.


A good hearing aid cleaning kit should contain:


  • cleaning brush
  • soft cloth
  • tube and vent cleaner
  • pick to help remove ear wax
  • battery replacement magnet (that makes it easier to put the battery back in position once it’s been cleaned) 

Water and Hearing Aid Function

Water is not your friend when it comes to hearing aid function. For this reason, it’s not a good idea to wear hearing aids when bathing. You also want to take out your hearing aids when swimming or performing any task that involves a lot of water. 


Should you get any water on the hearing aid, it’s imperative to dry it as soon as possible. Use your cleaning kit to clear out any water that may have collected in the vents, tubing or around the battery door casing. Once that’s done, wipe down the entire aid to ensure there’s no water left.


To keep your hearing aids completely dry, you'll need a hearing aid dryer or dehumidifier. This will help to remove unwanted moisture from within the hearing aids. And lastly, you will want to use a clean, dry cloth to ensure there’s no water in the outer ear canal before you insert the hearing aid.


Don’t Forget to Clean Your Ears Before Inserting the Hearing Aid

Cleaning your hearing aids is only part of the job. You’ll also want to make sure your ear canal is relatively clean and dry before you insert the freshly-cleaned aid.  Large amounts of earwax can be problematic and obstruct your hearing. 


We recommend regular ear cleanings either at home or by a professional twice per year, and more if you have heavy wax buildup. Learn how to clean your ears at home or visit any of our locations for fast, effective and pain-free earwax removal using the Earigator. 

Remember to Store Your Hearing Aids in a Dry Place

When you’re not wearing the hearing aid, don’t leave it out on the counter or nightstand. Store them in a hard-sided case that will protect them until the next use. Something as simple as a lined decorative box with an airtight lid will do. You also want to store your hearing aid equipment so that it’s readily available for use whenever the need arises. Consider keeping one kit at home and have one tucked away in your travel bag or purse. If you work in an office, consider keeping one in a desk drawer or in your vehicle. 



Knowing When It’s Time to Seek Help From a Professional

While it’s necessary to know how to clean your hearing aids at home, issues may arise that require you to consult with a professional. For example, water may get into the aid. If so, it needs to be checked by someone who will know how to repair it. Accidental damage to the tubing or vents that you can’t seem to clean completely usually require help from a professional. Should the hearing aid not work properly after cleaning it, definitely seek help. 


Remember that taking proper care of the hearing aid, including consistent daily cleanings, will help to ensure better sound quality and performance. Establish a cleaning routine and never hesitate to ask for help if something isn’t quite right. You’ll be glad that you did. 


If you are in need of a hearing test, repair and servicing of your device, to purchase accessories, such as a cleaning kit, or for emergency after-hours help, visit HearingDoctors.com. You can learn about our award-winning practice with over 1,500 five-star reviews, the most advanced technology in the industry, and our experienced and caring providers. Get started today by taking our self-administered hearing test.

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