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How to Clean and Care for Your Hearing Aids

Regular care and cleanings will extend the life of your hearing aids and help keep them in top working condition. You wouldn’t buy a brand new car and then never wash it or change the oil, would you? Keeping your hearing aids in good working condition requires maintenance too. You’ve made a valuable investment; here are some tips on how to protect it.

Read Your Hearing Aid Manual and Visit Your Provider Regularly

Make sure to read your hearing aid manual and talk to your hearing healthcare provider before cleaning your hearing aids on your own, and never do anything to clean your hearing aids that the manual or your provider says not to do. Schedule a visit with your provider at least once every 6 months to a year for a thorough cleaning and check-up. If you have problems with wax buildup, you may need to schedule professional cleanings more often.

Hearing Aid Cleaning Tools

For regular at-home care, you need the right equipment. The most common tools used for cleaning hearing aids include:

  • Wax removal brush
  • Soft, clean, dry cloth
  • Wax pick/wire loop
  • Vent cleaner

Hearing aid cleaning kits that contain all of the tools listed above can be purchased from your provider, online, or in many stores. You can even buy multi-tools that combine many tools in one. Here are a few other items you can use to clean your hearing aids:

  • A soft-bristle child’s toothbrush can be used as a wax removal brush
  • Disinfectant wipes can be used instead of a cloth, but only if they are made for use with hearing aids
  • Alcohol-free cleaner can be used for cleaning the earmolds of in-the-ear models, but make sure you use one formulated especially for hearing aids

Be Careful

Some parts of your hearing aid are delicate, particularly the microphone and the receiver. Careful handling of your hearing aid while cleaning will help prevent accidental breakage or damage. If you are unsure of how to clean your specific hearing aid model, ask your provider to show you how to care for them safely. However, here are a few general tips to keep in mind:

  • Never get water on the hearing aid device; it can damage the sensitive electronics
  • Never use chemical solutions or wipes that are not made for use with hearing aids
  • Never insert anything into the microphone or receiver ports and be careful not to push wax or dirt into the opening

How Often to Clean your Hearing Aids

Some cleaning procedures should be done daily, while others may be done once a week.

Daily Basics
Do the following every morning. Morning is best because the hearing aid has had time to dry overnight, making wax and buildup easier to remove.

  1. Gently brush the microphone cover to remove wax or debris
  2. Wipe down the entire hearing aid gently with a soft cloth

Weekly Detail
Approximately once per week, spend a little more time carefully removing additional dirt and buildup.

  1. Use a wax pick/wire loop to gently remove any stubborn deposits or wax buildup; DO NOT use the pick around the microphone or receiver ports
  2. For models with wax guards, check and replace the wax guard as needed

How to Clean Your Hearing Aids

The following tips apply to all hearing aid models and styles:

  • Turn the hearing aid upside down while cleaning ports and openings; then any debris dislodged will fall out instead of in
  • Open the battery compartment at night; it will extend the life of the battery and allow the compartment to air out
  • When changing the battery, brush the battery compartment clean

How to Clean an ITE Hearing Aid

Follow the steps below to clean your in-the-ear (ITE) style hearing aid.

  1. Gently brush the microphone cover, receiver, and vent openings to remove wax or debris
  2. Use the wax pick/wire loop to remove stubborn material from the air vent
  3. For larger vents, run a vent cleaner carefully through the opening in each direction
  4. Wipe down the entire hearing aid gently with a soft cloth

Caution: Never use water, alcohol, or chemical wipes to clean an ITE hearing aid.

For a hands-on demonstration of how to clean your ITE hearing aids, watch this video:

How to Clean a BTE Hearing Aid

Follow the steps below to clean your behind-the-ear (BTE) style hearing aid.

  1. Gently brush the hearing aid clean
  2. Remove the earmold from the hook for cleaning
  3. Brush the earmold clean, then use the wax pick/wire loop to remove any stubborn debris
  4. Wipe down the hearing aid and earmold gently with a soft cloth

As needed, you can wash the earmold with warm water and soap. Be sure to allow the earmold and tubing to dry completely before reattaching to the hearing aid. DO NOT use chemical cleaners unless they are specially formulated for earmolds.

Tip: Use a bulb blower to force the water out of the tubing to promote quicker drying.

Click here for more on the care and cleaning of earmolds.

For a hands-on demonstration of how to clean your BTE hearing aids, watch this video:

How to Clean a RIC Hearing Aid

Follow the steps below to clean your receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) style hearing aid.

  1. Gently brush the hearing aid to remove any debris
  2. Use your thumbs to gently massage the dome tip to push out any stubborn material
  3. Wipe down the entire hearing aid gently with a soft cloth
  4. Replace the dome as needed when it becomes worn or misshapen or if there is a buildup or blockage that can’t be removed.

Caution: Never use water, alcohol, or chemical wipes to clean a RIC hearing aid.

For a hands-on demonstration of how to clean your RIC hearing aids, watch this video:

Regular care and cleaning can extend the life of your hearing aids and help keep them in top working condition. For more information on how to care for your hearing aids, visit the Care and Maintenance section on TruHearing.com.

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