Hearing aids are an investment and can seem like a complicated device to care for. Read on for our step-by-step hearing aid cleaning guide with videos. If your device needs a move thorough cleaning you can always drop it off or mail it to us and our audiologist can take a look at it. They have access to other tools that you may not have at home. All tools mentioned are available for purchase and should have come with your hearing aid when you first purchased it. Give us a call if you need any of these supplies or tools and we’d be happy to mail them to you!
How to Clean your Hearing Aid
Small Brush (a soft bristle, unused, toothbrush also works in a pinch)
Audio Wipes (or a dry or barely damp cloth)
Wipe down the entire device with an audio wipe or damp cloth. Make sure to include the earmold if you have one. This will remove debris from the hearing aid and help keep your earmold fresh.
For ITE hearing aids you’ll notice several small holes on the face plate of your device. These are your microphones. Debris such as earwax can build up here which will inhibit sound from entering. Start by brushing these holes with your brush tool. Make sure you’re holding the device facing downward so loose debris will fall out rather than get trapped inside.
For BTE and RIC hearing aids you’ll notice several small holes on the body of your device. These are your microphones. Debris such as earwax can build up here which will inhibit sound from entering. Start by brushing these holes with your brush tool. Make sure you’re holding the device facing downward so loose debris will fall out rather than get trapped inside.
Continue to use cleaning brush along the rest of the device. Focus particularly on the area of the device that sits directly in your ear and areas where debris and wax are visible. For any debris which cannot be brushed out of the hearing aid, use the hook tool to gently clear out anything which is deeper in the holes. The long flexible tool is also useful, especially for cleaning out earmolds.
Replace your wax guards. Depending on wax accumulation the frequency of this step may vary. Visually inspect the area of your device that is inserted deepest into your ear. If you see wax, replace the wax guard. You will also want to replace the wax guard if the volume of your hearing aid sounds like it has decreased. Remember that each stick is used both to remove the old wax guard and insert the new one. To remove the wax guard, use the empty side of the stick, align the tip with the center of the wax guard, press gently, and pull out. To replace the wax guard, flip the stick over, align the stick with tip of receiver, press gently, and pull out.
For RICs, replace domes if needed. Regular wax build up can often be removed with an audio wipe or damp cloth (see step 1). However, if you notice tears, discoloration, or that the dome is misshapen, replace with a fresh dome.
For BTE hearing aids with earmolds you may notice some discoloration, this is normal and can be cleaned in the same method as ITE hearing aids. You may also want to use an air blower to force debris out of your earmold. You should also remove the earmold from the hearing aid device and soak in mild soapy water once a week and wipe them down daily.
For non-rechargeable hearing aids, check your batteries. Use a batter tester to confirm whether your battery is dead or fully charged. If the batteries are dead, replace them with the appropriate size battery. Expected battery life varies depending on size. For size 10 batteries, expected life if 3-5 days. For sizes 12 and 13 batteries, expected life is 10-14 days. Remember to always leave your battery door open when you remove your hearing aids so that it can air out and doesn’t drain the battery unnecessarily.
If you live in an especially humid climate or know you struggle with moisture getting in your hearing aids you should consider using a dry caddy or dry dome to limit moisture in your devices.
If you have more questions or need help, call us to schedule a telehealth appointment, or drop them off at our contactless drop off Monday-Friday 9AM-2PM.