Lexie Lumen hearing aids on a table next to a red book and glasses.

The Guide on How to Properly Clean Hearing Aids

July 22, 2022

Keeping your hearing aids clean is essential for getting the best possible performance and lifespan out of your devices. And because hearing aids are often exposed to earwax and moisture, regular cleaning should be part of your routine.

Knowing how to properly clean your hearing aid can help avoid potential damage to the device, as well as ensure that the time spent cleaning is going to good use. Let’s dive into everything you need to know about cleaning hearing aids.

When to Clean Your Hearing Aids

As mentioned, cleaning should become routine for hearing aid wearers, but how often do the devices need to be cleaned? 

It’s best practice to clean your hearing aid daily. This can include simply removing any earwax that has accumulated and wiping the device with a soft cloth. This will keep the hearing aid free from wax and other particles and ensure that it’s in good condition each day. It’s helpful to clean the hearing aid nightly after a day of use, as the device will be cleaned and ready to go for the next day’s use.

Avoid using household cleaning or alcohol wipes as they may do more harm than good. A soft cloth will work well in most cases—otherwise, there are some wipes designed specifically for hearing aid use.

In terms of detailed cleaning, aim for weekly. Use the proper tools to thoroughly remove all buildup from the device. 

Tips for Cleaning Your Hearing Aids

Getting in a cleaning routine is a great way to keep your hearing aids in great shape. Now, let’s take a look at some best practices when cleaning your hearing aids.

Use Hearing Aid Cleaning Tools

To get the best results when cleaning your hearing aid, make sure you’re equipped with the right tools. There are specific hearing aid cleaning tools that can remove stubborn wax or buildup without damaging the hearing aids.

Two of the most essential tools are a hearing aid brush and a multitool. A soft-bristled brush will help wipe away dust or debris without scratching the hearing aid. A multitool is like a swiss-army knife for hearing aids, as they feature multiple helpful tools such as wax picks or vent cleaners. 

A good place to start is with a hearing aid cleaning kit. These kits often contain all the essential tools for properly cleaning hearing aids.

Use a Dehumidifier

Moisture can cause serious problems for hearing aids, so part of the cleaning process involves keeping your hearing aids dry. The best way to do this is with a hearing aid dehumidifier. Simply put your hearing aids in a dehumidifier when not in use to keep them free of moisture. If your hearing aid has a battery compartment, make sure it’s open when drying.

Turn the Hearing Aid Upside Down

When cleaning your hearing aids, turn them upside down. This will ensure that debris will fall out of any openings or compartments on the hearing aids.

Use Caution Around the Microphone

You should always be gentle when cleaning your hearing aids, but you should be specifically cautious around the microphone. It’s easy for dust and wax to build up in the openings, which can impact the hearing aid’s performance. When cleaning, always brush away from the device and never stick any tool into the microphone as this can cause damage.

Replace Wax Guards Regularly

If your hearing aid has wax guards, replacing them should be part of your cleaning routine. In general, wax guards should be replaced every 1-2 months. 

Wash Your Hands

Always wash your hands before cleaning your hearing aids. This will ensure that any dirt or bacteria on your hands doesn’t make it onto your device. 

Professional Cleaning

A daily and weekly cleaning routine can help keep your hearing aids fresh and working great. However, there are times where a professional cleaning may be needed. In fact, many professionals recommend having your hearing aids professionally cleaned regularly.

Hearing professionals have specialized cleaning tools designed to clean hard-to-reach areas and safely clean sensitive areas such as the microphone. Specifically, professional cleaning is great for removing wax buildup that may be unreachable with brushes or wax picks.

Work with your hearing care professional to establish the best professional cleaning routine for your devices, or reach out to them if you suspect your performance is suffering due to buildup.

The Importance of Cleaning Your Hearing Aids

While it can seem tedious, cleaning your hearing aids is an incredibly important factor in ensuring your devices are working properly and last a long time. Because hearing aids spend most of their time in the ear and ear canal, they will certainly get dirty—and it won’t take long for wax and dirt buildup to cause issues. 

Getting into a daily cleaning routine—including weekly deep cleans—can help reduce the effects of this buildup, and it can also extend the lifespan of your devices.

For more tips on caring for your hearing aids, check out Lexie’s blog

Image of post writer Marcellé Swanepoel.

Written by Marcellé Swanepoel

B. Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

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