How to clean your hearing aids

Man putting a hearing aid in his ear

Investing in hearing aids is crucial as they are designed to be long-lasting and dependable. To ensure their longevity, it is important to clean hearing aids daily, as they are exposed to environmental factors as well as earwax and moisture. Consistent cleaning, in combination with professional maintenance, will result in improved hearing for years to come.

Utilise appropriate tools

Most hearing aid devices come with a cleaning tool and/or a cleaning cloth. To maintain them properly, it is essential to have a wax pick and brush, which are necessary tools for cleaning the devices at home.

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How to clean BTE hearing aids

"Behind the Ear" (BTE) hearing aids have two types of earmolds: one with a receiver (RIC - Receiver in Canal) and one without.

The cleaning process for these two types of earmolds differs.

BTE hearing aids without a receiver

Earmolds without receivers can be removed from the hearing aid and then you can follow the steps below to clean them:

  • Clean using a multitool.
  • Wipe it with a clean cloth to ensure the sound port remains clear of earwax.
  • Mild warm soapy water may also be used for additional cleaning.
  • Afterward, rinse and dry the earmold completely.
  • Reconnect it to the hearing aid.

BTE hearing aids with a receiver

When cleaning BTE hearing aids with a receiver (RIC), they either have a dome-type covering or are housed within an earmold. If unsure of the type, consult a hearing professional.

Follow the steps below to clean hearing aids with a receiver (RIC):

  • Use a clean dry cloth to clean the dome or the earmold
  • Brush the receiver carefully to remove earwax and other debris
  • Some receivers have a wax guard that can be removed or replaced. For details on how to exchange the wax guard, refer to your instruction book or contact your hearing care professional.

How to clean In-the-Ear hearing aids

Earwax can cause major problems for In-the-Ear (ITE) hearing aids.

Follow the instructions below to clean an ITE hearing aid:

  • Never use water or other fluids; they can damage hearing aids.
  • Clean the hearing aid using a soft, dry cloth.
  • Clean the microphone opening, sound outlet and vent using specialized brush and tool provided to clean.
  • If you let the wax dry overnight first, it makes it easier to remove.
  • Be sure to hold the device facing down to allow any loose particles to fall out.
  • Use the multitool to clean the vent.
  • Never insert anything into the microphone opening.

Your ITE hearing aid might have a wax guard that filters out dirt and wax from entering the sound channel. Hearing aids wax guards can be cleaned using a soft cloth or small brush. If you have doubts about removing or changing the filter, refer to the user manual or get in touch with a hearing care professional.

Hearing aid cleaning tips

Here are some tips on how to clean hearing aids:

  • Daily routine: Clean your hearing aids at the end of the day.
  • Use the proper tools: You will need a brush and a wax pick to clean your hearing aids at home.
  • Form good practices: Before handling your hearing aids, make certain to wash your hands. During your bath or shower routine, remove your hearing aids.
  • Avoid using wipes that contain alcohol or other chemicals that may harm the devices.
  • Avoid exposure to extreme temperatures: If you need to remove your hearing aids from your ears in extremely hot or cold circumstances, such as when shovelling snow or swimming, avoid leaving them outside. Keep them inside your home to shield them from water damage or excessive heat or cold.

How often should a hearing aid be cleaned?

Certain cleaning tasks should be done on a regular basis, with some requiring daily attention, while others may be performed once a week.

Daily Routine

Carry out the following steps each morning, as this is the optimal time due to the hearing aid being allowed to dry throughout the night, making it easier to eliminate debris and wax.

  • Brush the microphone cover to eliminate any wax or debris.
  • Wipe down the entire hearing aid using a soft cloth.

Weekly Deep Clean

On an approximately weekly basis, allocate a bit more time to meticulously erase additional build-up and dirt.

  • With a wax pick or wire loop, cautiously remove any stubborn deposits or wax accumulation.
  • For hearing aid models that come with wax guards, examine and replace the guard as required.

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