How To Clean Your Hearing Aids — Basic Care & Maintenance

June 24, 2024

Regular cleaning of your hearing aids is recommended to make sure they continue working as intended. 

Hearing aids are designed to last anywhere from three to seven years – but they can last even longer for some if the devices are well-maintained. Caring for your hearing aid devices can ensure that they last longer – so let’s get into how you can clean, maintain, and take care of your hearing aids. 

Do I need to clean my hearing aids?

Yes. Hearing aids are specialised devices that require delicate care and regular maintenance. Earwax, oils, and moisture often build up in the ear canal, especially when hearing aids are worn for a long period of time. 

This build-up of contaminants can create blockages in the hearing aid device or even result in lasting damage to the electronics. Regular cleaning of the hearing aid device is necessary to remove the build-up of contaminants.

signs your hearing aids needs cleaning

How to clean different types of hearing aids

Hearing aid devices usually come in two main types; in-the-ear (ITE) and behind-the-ear (BTE). The cleaning process for each model can vary based on the parts, but there are some general steps that will be involved in the cleaning process. 

Cleaning ITE hearing aids

  1. Use a brush with soft bristles like a toothbrush and gently brush out debris from around the hearing aid device. 
  2. When brushing out the holes, hold the device upside down to allow loose debris to fall out of the holes.
  3. Debris that remains lodged after brushing should be carefully removed with a small picking tool.
  4. Remove and replace the wax filter. 
  5. Once all debris has been removed, wipe the surface of the device with a clean dry cloth. 
  6. Do not submerge the hearing aid device in any liquids. Cleaning fluids should be applied to a cloth before wiping any part of the device. 

Cleaning BTE hearing aids

  1. Using a soft brush or a dry cloth, remove any debris from the visible parts of the hearing aid device. 
  2. For devices with domes or buds that sit in the ear canal, remove and replace the existing domes with new ones. 
  3. For devices with ear moulds, remove the mould from the hook part of the device and use a wire loop tool to clean out the crevices. 
  4. The hook portion of the device can be wiped down using a cloth soaked in warm soapy water. 

Things to avoid when cleaning hearing aids

Most hearing aid devices are not built to withstand harsh handling or treatment. Even during cleaning, there are several key things to avoid to prevent unwanted damage to the device. 

  • Keep devices away from excessive moisture or chemicals. Liquids, especially, can seep through the speaker and microphone holes on the device and cause significant damage to the internal electronics. 
Do I need to Clean My Hearing Aids
  • Remove the battery when cleaning with a wet cloth. Hearing aid devices should be left to dry before reinserting a fresh battery. A wet battery in a hearing aid can potentially leak and cause damage to the device.
  • Do not use extreme heat when cleaning hearing aids. Let the device dry out at room temperature — try not to leave it out under the sun or use a hair dryer on it to avoid causing damage to the sensitive electronics inside. 

Signs that your hearing aid needs cleaning

Most hearing aid devices will benefit from a basic weekly cleaning as well as a thorough cleaning every few months. If you experience either of the following signs in your hearing aids, it may mean that it requires prompt cleaning or even repair work. 

  • Whistling sound – A whistling or screeching sound from the hearing aid device can indicate a blockage somewhere in the speaker hole.
  • No sound/sound is weak – Experiencing muffled sound quality or a complete lack of sound even on louder than normal settings could mean that there is a significant blockage in your hearing aid device. 

If any of these signs persist after cleaning your hearing aids, taking them to a hearing aid provider for repair and maintenance will be the next best course of action. 

As Perth’s leading provider of hearing aids, Harmony Hearing can guide you in taking proper care of your hearing aids, as well as resolve any troubleshooting issues you may have. 

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