How to Clean Hearing Aids

Did you know the average cost of a pair of hearing aids is $4,600? That’s a good chunk of cash. And did you know that not cleaning your hearing aids could damage your hearing aids or cause them to be less effective? Don’t let this fall on deaf ears. We don’t want your hearing aids to be unsafe or ineffective and we want them to last as long as possible (that’s up to seven years!). That’s why we’re sharing everything you need to know to clean and sanitize your hearing aids and stay safe, healthy, and all ears.

First things first, you got to have the right tools to clean your hearing aid.

  • Soft-bristled brush: We recommend this brush from HearingDirect.com because you get a pack of six brushes that come with a handy loop for digging out wax as well as a magnet to help insert and remove batteries.
  • Ventilation cleaner: Get this Multi Bristle Vent Cleaner that has multiple different sized bristles to clear debris. These are useful especially for in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids that have a vent.
  • Bulb blower: This is an important tool to have. We recommend purchasing your bulb blower from Acu-Life. You can use your blower to get rid of any remaining moisture in your hearing aid before and after cleaning as well as remove loose ear wax and debris.
  • Cleaning cloth: This is essential for cleaning anything. Make sure it’s a soft and clean cloth that you can use to wipe down your hearing aids. We recommend getting microfiber cloths.

There are three different types of hearing aids: behind the ear (BTE), in the ear (ITE), and receiver in the canal (RIC). Below are the cleaning guidelines for each.

There are different ways to clean different types of hearing aids

BTE:

  • Remove any debris or gunk using the soft-bristled brush. Be gentle and thorough.
  • Remove the ear mold. It’s good to let your ear mold soak weekly in warm, soapy water to help prevent discoloration and stain. You should soak your mold overnight and try to wipe it down daily. Avoid chemicals when cleaning or soaking.
  • Use your bulb blower to remove any moisture. Once you’ve done this, let your hearing aids dry overnight.

ITE:

  • Remove debris and ear wax using a soft-bristled brush. Make sure to focus on openings and vents (this is where your ventilation cleaner comes in handy!).
  • Using the loop on your bristled brush or a wax pick, clear out remaining wax.
  • Wipe down your hearing aid with a soft cloth.

RIC:

  • Clear wax and other gunk from all the crevices. Pay special attention to any buttons, microphone ports, and the battery area. Your device will be less effective if these get clogged.
  • Remove the dome from your device and wipe it down. Use your bulb blower or ventilation cleaner to push any debris out of your dome. To do this, insert your tool through the tip of the dome.
  • Thoroughly wipe down your entire device. Don’t forget to use your bulb blower to suck any moisture out. The moisture can help bacteria grow or allow stinky odors to develop.

Best Ways to Remove Wax

Our ears are constantly building up wax and that wax often transfers to the things we stick in our ears. This wax can clog up your hearing aid and make it less effective. So how can you remove that wax?

  • Use a bristle brush and loop. A lot of wax is just loosely sitting on your hearing aids and can be easily brushed off. A loop or pick can help dig into crevices, holes, and other hard-to-reach places.
  • Use a bulb blower. A bulb blower not only removes moisture but can also suck or blow out ear wax in any vents or canals of your hearing aid.
  • Soak in warm water. If there is remaining ear wax that you just cannot remove, you can try soaking it in warm water overnight. Once dry, you can brush the ear wax out or use a pick.

Can You Use Alcohol on Your Hearing Aids?

It’s best not to use any kind of alcohol or chemical cleaners on your hearing aids as they can damage your device.

Don’t Forget an Important Step

It’s important to sanitize your hearing aids as well as clean them. Cleaning can remove ear wax and buildup but doesn’t always guarantee the removal of harmful germs and bacteria. We have an easy solution that is chemical-free and won’t damage your hearing aids. Using our PhoneSoap UV sanitation devices, you can sanitize and kill 99.99% of bacteria and germs in 10 minutes or less. Sanitizing with PhoneSoap will extend the effectiveness and life of your hearing aids and keep you safe.

PhoneSoap's UV sanitation devices are a great way to kill 99.99% of bacteria on your hearing aids

How Often Should You Sanitize and Clean?

It’s easy and smart to sanitize and clean daily. The mobility of our PhoneSoap devices allows you to sanitize anywhere. We recommend you sanitize at night when you take out your hearing aids. If you clean your hearing aids every day, you’ll be able to avoid buildup of gunk and grime and avoid having to spend time doing a deep clean. Spending a little time each night to clean and sanitize your hearing aids will save you money and time in the future.

Taking Care of Your Hearing Aids

You’ve put a lot of money into your hearing aids and being able to hear clearly is important. To make sure your money lasts and your hearing aids continue to work as they should, follow these guidelines on how to care for your hearing aid.

  1. Be Gentle — Your hearing aid is small and fragile and when you are cleaning and handling it, you should do so with the utmost care. Use soft cloths and brushes when clearing out gunk and wiping down your hearing aids.
  2. Clean Often — Don’t neglect your hearing aids. Just like brushing and flossing your teeth, cleaning your hearing aid often may seem like a chore, but doing so every day will save you a headache later. The small amount of time you spend daily will avoid a situation that could result in hours of cleaning.
  3. Store Safely — Where and how you store your hearing aids plays a large role in their effectiveness and cleanliness. Consider purchasing a storage case or just make sure that you keep your aids in areas that are not exposed to extreme temperatures, sunlight, or near pets and children. We recommend purchasing this storage case from Acu-Life that is affordable, long-lasting, and helps reduce moisture buildup.
  4. Keep Your Ears Clean — If you take time to clean out your own ears with cotton swabs, then ear wax is less likely to end up on and inside your hearing aid.
  5. See a Professional — It’s not a bad idea to try to take your hearing aids to get professionally cleaned once or twice a year by a specialist or audiologist. This can ensure your device is working as it should.

A man helps adjusts another man's hearing aid

We want you to be able to hear as clearly as possible and stay safe while using your hearing aids. Cleaning and sanitizing these devices will help you live a healthier and happier life.

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