Keep hearing aids clean & in good working order

Hearing aids open a new world to some people. However they must get daily attention to remain in top working order. Wax and moisture are common causes of hearing aid malfunction — wax accumulates on hearing aids that fit inside the ear, and moisture comes from perspiration on hearing aids worn outside the ear.

Keep hearing aids clean & in good working order

1. To clean an in-the-ear hearing aid

  • Start by washing your hands to avoid contaminating the device.
  • Then, using a brush (either one that your hearing care provider gave you or a clean toothbrush), remove any wax on the exterior of the hearing aid.
  • Do this daily if you get a lot of wax, or every other day if you don't.
  • Another option is to wipe the surface with a dry, cotton cloth (an old T-shirt works well) or a cloth lightly dampened with methylated spirits.
  • If you're using methylated spirits, wipe only the shell of the unit, not over the microphone or receiver, which can be damaged by moisture.

2. Cleaning a behind-the-ear hearing aid

  • This is a two-part operation. To clean the ear mould that fits inside the ear, use water and mild soap or an antibacterial liquid hand wash soap.
  • Put the soap on a cotton cloth dampened with lukewarm water.
  • Wipe the ear mould clean, giving it a good rub.
  • Rinse the mould with lukewarm water and dry with a towel.
  • To clean the hearing aid itself, use just a brush — a toothbrush is fine.

3. Take it to a pro

  • Every three months, take the hearing aid to your hearing care specialist for a thorough cleaning.
  • They should have the appropriate tools for cleaning more deeply into the interior of your hearing aid.

4. Special tools and accessories

  • Tools that you use in combination with your hearing aid need cleaning, too.
  • In-the-ear hearing aids have wax guards that protect the receiver from getting clogged with wax. Clean them with a brush.
  • Behind-the-ear hearing aids can be fitted with a sleeve jacket that covers the component behind the ear and protects it from moisture.
  • Wipe the sleeve clean with a cloth.

5. Beware of moisture

  • Like a computer, a hearing aid has an electronic chip in it. Water is its enemy, so watch the amount of liquid you use when cleaning.
  • It's also a good idea to keep your hearing aid in a dry place when you're not using it — for example, in the bedroom while you're taking a shower, instead of in the bathroom.

6. Special caution

  • If you need to wear a behind-the-ear hearing aid, apply hair spray before you put on your hearing aid. The spray could damage the microphone.
  • Don't wear your hearing aid when you're doing heavy work in the garden. Perspiration, hose water, dirt and grass clippings could damage it.
The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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