What Is The Best Way To Clean Hearing Aid Earpieces?

blue bte hearing aid in hand

Hearing aids can help you hear better and restore a sense of joy and independence to your life. There are many benefits of hearing aids, but these devices also require lots of care and attention. To make yours last as long as possible, you have to maintain them. A key element of the maintenance schedule will be regular cleaning of the hearing aid earpieces. 

When you receive your hearing aids for the first time, your audiologist will run through the general care tips. However, we’ve also compiled a list of tips in this post to teach you the best ways to clean the earpieces:

Ensure you have the correct cleaning tools

Firstly, to clean any type of hearing aid, you need the correct tools. We recommend that you have the following:

  • A wax pick
  • A soft cleaning brush
  • A soft cloth

These tools are available separately – and you may already have them in your house. If not, you can buy hearing aid cleaning kits that include everything you need. These kits may also have disinfectant wipes that are formulated for hearing aids – don’t use regular wipes as they might not be suitable, only use ones that have been approved for use with these hearing devices. 

Never use water

No matter how dirty your hearing aid is, never use water to clean it. If you’re using a cloth to wipe things down, make sure it is always dry and soft. The only time you can use something that’s slightly wet is if you have the hearing aid disinfectant wipes. Water can cause malfunctions with your device, so don’t take the risk – even if your hearing aid claims to be waterproof. 

Be gentle

Remember, hearing aids are small and delicate things! The microphone and receiver are particularly fragile and are prone to breaking. Take extra care when handling your device to avoid breaking any components.

Naturally, there are different types of hearing aids with slightly different structures and components. So, cleaning them can be very slightly different, and we’ll offer our tips on what you should do in the sections below:

Cleaning ITE & ITC hearing aids

In-the-ear (ITE) and in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids are both smaller options that are worn in the outer ear bowl or canal, being almost invisible from view. You won’t have as many components or pieces to worry about here, and the main issue is cleaning any openings in the device. This will include the microphone ports, and your wax removal brush will come in handy here. If the brush doesn’t dislodge everything, hold the device so gravity can help things fall out. If this still doesn’t clear the openings, use your pick to hook things out. 

Wipe the device clean, and be sure to wipe the case as well. Now, your ITC or ITE hearing aid is completely clean!

Cleaning BTE hearing aids

Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids are larger devices with some extra components. They sit behind the outer ear and include tubing that connects to an earmold in your ear. To clean this device, you need to detach the earmold from the hearing aid, brushing it clean with your tool. Again, if this doesn’t get the job done, use your pick to hook out any stubborn wax and debris. 

With the hearing aid itself, use your cloth or disinfectant wipes to wipe it down and ensure it is clean. You can then re-attach the earmold and your device is good to use once more. 

How often should you clean hearing aid earpieces?

Realistically, this is a maintenance task you should be doing pretty much every day. After all, these devices stay in your ear and can be exposed to wax for hours on end. Each morning, be sure to gently brush down your earpiece and stop debris from clogging up. The more frequently you do this, the less chance there is of wax getting stuck in openings and requiring a deeper clean. 

At the end of each week, you could opt for a more thorough clean to be sure there’s no wax or debris that’s rooted itself in the earpiece and gone undetected by your daily cleans. 

Contact us to learn more

There are additional ways an audiologist can help you keep your hearing aid cleaned and functioning optimally. Do you want to learn more about hearing aid maintenance and cleaning? Contact an audiologist today by calling Texas Professional Hearing Center on (281) 691-6633.