How to Clean Hearing Aids to Keep Them in Top Shape

Why Keep Hearing Aids Clean?


Understanding how to clean hearing aids is crucial for their longevity and sound quality, as well as your health. Just like any important device, hearing aids demand regular cleaning to maintain their performance. These intricate devices are your gateway to a world filled with rich sounds and conversations. They work relentlessly, amplifying sounds and connecting you to your environment. However, without proper care, they can succumb to everyday enemies like earwax, sweat, dust, and even crumbs. These can clog essential components, leading to muffled sound or malfunction.


Cleaning your hearing aids is not just about sound clarity; it’s also about your health. Regular cleaning shields against infections and prolongs the life of your devices. In warmer months, the importance of cleaning escalates as sweat, earwax, and body oils build up more quickly, potentially harboring bacteria. This accumulation not only dirties the aids but can also dampen their audio quality. Following the manufacturer’s cleaning guidelines is vital to avoid unintentional damage and warranty issues. Proper maintenance ensures that your hearing aids function correctly and last longer, letting you enjoy the world’s sounds without interruption.


Are you worried about your ear wax? Understand more about professional ear wax removal. 


An open pouch of hearing aid cleaning wipes. 


How to Clean a Hearing Aid: Start with the Right Cleaning Tools

When cleaning your hearing aids, having the right tools is essential. You can find a variety of products tailored to different types of hearing aids at your hearing center or American Hearing + Audiology’s online store. Let’s explore the most common tools you’ll need:


  1. Hearing Aid Brush: A staple in most hearing aid tool kits, this brush is designed to remove surface contaminants like wax and dirt. Its bristles are fine enough to clear small holes and crevices in your device.


  1. Slim Tube Cleaning Tool: Specially made to slide through hearing aid tubing, this tool effectively clears away dust, wax, and other particles.


  1. Wax Loops: Essential for removing earwax that blocks sound transmission, these loops clean the ear canal opening of the hearing aid. They often feature a brush or pick on the opposite end for added functionality.


  1. Earmold Tubing Blower: After cleaning, this device helps to blow out excess moisture and debris from the earmold, tubing, or vents.


  1. Hearing Aid Wipes: These alcohol-free towelettes are ideal for disinfecting your hearing aids and earmolds without causing damage.


  1. Microfiber Cloth: Post-cleaning, this soft, lint-free cloth is perfect for removing any residual wax and debris.


  1. Hearing Aid Dryers: To protect your hearing aids from moisture damage, consider using dehumidifiers or drying devices. Some even include a UV component for additional cleaning and disinfecting. 


  1. Multi-tool: These all-in-one tools contain both a brush and a wax loop for thorough cleaning.


Equipping yourself with these tools will ensure your hearing aids are clean and function at their best.


Hands clean a hearing aid with a microfiber cloth. 


How Do You Clean Hearing Aids? Try Every Day Routines


Knowing how to clean hearing aids is essential for their optimal performance. Here are some general tips on how to make daily and weekly cleaning a breeze:


Daily Routine:


  • Gentle Wipe: Start with a microfiber cloth. Gently polish the exterior of your hearing aids to remove fingerprints, dust, and surface earwax.
  • Nook and Cranny Ninja: Use a soft brush for tight spaces. Gently clean around the microphone and receiver openings.
  • Filter Patrol: If your hearing aids have filters, check them daily. Replace if you see any wax buildup.


How to Clean ITE (In-the-Ear) Hearing Aids: 

  • Remove the hearing aid and hold it face down.
  • Lightly brush the outer parts, focusing on the receiver, microphone covers, and ventilation areas.
  • Use a wax loop or pick for any remaining wax or debris.
  • Carefully clean the ventilation tube with a slim tube cleaning tool.
  • Wipe the entire hearing aid with a microfiber cloth.
  • Ensure it’s working properly post-cleaning and replace batteries if needed.
  • Store in a case or use a dryer or dehumidifier.


Cleaning BTE (Behind-the-Ear) Hearing Aids: 


  • Remove the hearing aid and its tubing.
  • Clean the device with a brush, focusing on the receiver and microphone covers.
  • Use a wax loop or pick for stubborn wax or debris.
  • Clean microphone openings and tubing.
  • Soak and clean the earmold as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Use an earmold tubing blower for moisture and debris.
  • Dry and reassemble all parts.
  • Test the hearing aid’s functionality and replace batteries if necessary.
  • Store in a case or use a dryer or dehumidifier.


How Do You Clean Hearing Aids Deeply? Weekly or Bi-Weekly Tips: 


  • Mix warm water and mild soap. Gently wipe hearing aids with a dipped soft cloth.
  • Dry thoroughly with a lint-free cloth.
  • Change the batteries if needed. 


Always check with your hearing care specialist and manufacturer’s guides for the specific steps for cleaning your hearing aids. The essential takeaway here is that you should develop both a daily and weekly cleaning routine to make sure your hearing aids work optimally and last as long as they can. 


Avoid Common Mistakes 


Maintaining the cleanliness of your hearing aids is vital, but it’s equally important to avoid common cleaning mistakes. Let’s explore some typical errors that could harm your valuable sound devices:


  • The Waterlogged Warrior: Never submerge your hearing aids in water or cleaning solutions. While a gentle, damp wipe is fine, total immersion can lead to severe damage.


  • The Scrubbing Samurai: Treat your hearing aids delicately. Harsh rubbing or scrubbing can harm sensitive components and scratch surfaces. Opt for gentle wiping with a soft, lint-free cloth.


  • The Heat Seeker: Keep your hearing aids away from direct heat sources. Using hair dryers or exposure to extreme heat can warp electronics and reduce their lifespan. Air drying is the safest method.


  • The Chemical Crusader: Stick to mild soap and water for cleaning. Harsh chemicals, alcohol-based cleaners, or household cleaning solutions can erode protective coatings and damage the internal components.


  • The Forgetful Forager: Avoid leaving your hearing aids in humid environments like bathrooms or sweaty gym bags. Excess moisture can clog filters and cause electronic corrosion. Store them in a cool, dry place when not in use.


  • The DIY Daredevil: For more complex issues like stubborn wax buildup or malfunctioning parts, seek professional help. Don’t try DIY repairs; your audiologist has the necessary skills and tools for proper maintenance.


Remember, regular cleaning is urgent for optimal hearing aid performance. By steering clear of these mistakes and practicing mindful cleaning techniques, you can guarantee your hearing aids continue to enhance your auditory experiences for many years.


An audiologist consults with a patient. 


 When to Seek Professional Help


It’s essential to remember the importance of professional cleaning. While daily maintenance and light home cleanings are beneficial, they don’t replace the need for a thorough, professional touch.

We generally recommend professional cleanings every six months, but this can vary. Consider scheduling more frequent appointments if you notice issues due to wax buildup or other problems.

The frequency of professional cleanings may differ based on your hearing aid style and how quickly earwax or sweat accumulates. Regular consultations with your hearing healthcare professional will help you determine the ideal schedule.


Discover more about unlimited cleaning visits in Our Concierge Service Plan. 


What to Expect During a Professional Cleaning:


Your specialist will use specialized tools to safely and completely remove earwax, sweat, dust, and debris without damaging your hearing aids. The cleaning includes meticulous care of the receivers, microphones, tubing, and outer housing of your hearing aids. Most professional cleaning appointments are quick and efficient, rarely requiring you to leave your hearing aids overnight.


To guarantee your hearing aids continue to function at their best, regular professional cleanings are indispensable. Don’t hesitate to contact your local American Hearing + Audiology center for expert help in cleaning hearing aids. Our professionals provide the deep cleaning and care your hearing aids need. If it’s time for professional cleaning or if you have any concerns about your hearing aids, contact your nearest American Hearing + Audiology center today. They’re ready to assist you with all your hearing needs!