Cleaning your hearing aids regularly is necessary to protect the investment you made in them. Hearing aids that aren’t properly maintained usually don’t last as long as they should. Regular cleanings also reduce the need for repairs. Here’s our advice on cleaning your hearing aids.

What You Need to Get Started

When you first received your hearing aids, they may have come with manufacturer-provided cleaning tools. The most common tools are a hearing aid cleaning brush and a wax loop. You might have an all-in-one tool that has a cleaning brush on one end and a magnetic wax loop on the other. The magnet makes it easier to remove your batteries. Behind-the-ear hearing aid users may find a hearing aid air blower helpful.

If you don’t have these tools, you can purchase them from traditional and online retailers. Also, a soft toothbrush is an acceptable alternative to a cleaning brush. A couple of soft, dry cloths are useful too.

What You Don’t Need

Your hearing aids are delicate pieces of technology. Alcohol and chemical cleaners can damage your hearing aid. And yes, that means those popular antiseptic wipes should not be part of your hearing aid maintenance.

The Best Time for Cleaning

It’s a good idea to clean your hearing aids when you take them out for the night. That way they’ll be clean and ready for you in the morning.

Let’s Get Started

The first step is to put a soft cloth over the surface where you’re working. The cloth makes it easier to find anything you drop. It’s also serving as a cushion to lower the risk of damaging your device if you drop it.

Next, open the battery compartment and remove the batteries. You can use your cleaning brush to get debris out of the compartment. It’s best to leave the batteries out overnight in case there’s moisture in the compartment that needs to dry out.

Now, let’s look at the specifics for your hearing aid.

How to Clean an In-The-Ear (ITE) Hearing Aid

With your cleaning brush, gently remove debris from each opening. You can use your wax loop to carefully remove any remaining debris. Take your other soft, dry cloth and wipe off the entire hearing aid.

How to Clean a Behind-The-Ear (BTE) Hearing Aid

It’s time to brush off any debris with your cleaning brush. Then detach the tubing and earmold from the hook. Take your other soft, dry cloth to wipe off the earmold and tubing.

At least once a week, the disconnected earmold and tubing need to be washed with warm water and soap. Your hearing aid air blower can get excess moisture out of the tubing. The earmold and tubing must be dry when you reconnect them to the hearing aid in the morning.

The Final Step

Since our Louisiana climate is humid, we recommend storing your hearing aids at night in a hearing aid drying system. They go by various names such as dry box, hearing aid dryer, hearing aid dehumidifier, and dry storage kit.

Louisiana Doctors of Audiology

Do you have questions about taking care of your hearing aid? At SLENT Hearing & Balance Center, we’re available if you need assistance with hearing aid maintenance. Contact us to schedule an appointment.

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Dr. JJ Martinez, AuD, CCC-A, FAAA

Dr. JJ Martinez, AuD, CCC-A, FAAA

Dr. JJ Martinez served active duty in the United States Marine Corps before receiving his bachelor's degree from Southeastern Louisiana University in 2005 and his doctoral degree from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in 2010. Dr. Martinez is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology and a member of the American Speech Language and Hearing Association.