Your hearing aids are an investment, and, like many investments, maintenance and care are key to maximizing your dollar. Poorly maintained hearing devices can lead to poor sound quality or even devices that no longer function properly. But with just a little planning and diligence, you can handle most of the maintenance of your hearing aids at home, significantly increasing their usable life.

 

Home Hearing Aid Care Made Simple

Treating your hearing technology like a tiny computer — which is what it is — will help you keep in mind the best approach to its care and maintenance: like any computer, your hearing aids need to be protected from dust, debris, and moisture.

 

How often should I clean my hearing aids?

The materials you need to care for your hearing aids should be included when you first receive the devices from your hearing care professional.

You should clean your hearing aids at the end of every day, before you store them for the night. Your technology spends most of its time in the unique, distinct environment of your ears, where it is continuously subjected to moisture, warmth, skin acids, oils, and earwax.

Use a dry, soft cloth — do not use water or other cleaning agents — to wipe the devices free of moisture, oils, and earwax, taking care not to deposit debris and earwax into, for example, the microphone ports. After that, use a brush to remove debris from any ports and openings. However, never insert tools into the sound outlet. Doing so could damage the receiver.

What can I do at home to maintain my hearing aids?

There are several things you can do that will go a long way toward keeping your hearing devices in tip-top shape. Different styles of hearing aids will require different tools, and the components will not be in the same place from type to type. See the literature that came with your devices to locate the battery compartment, wax filter, and microphone.

  • Store your hearing aid in a safe place that’s dry and cool.
  • Change hearing aid batteries often so they don’t suddenly run out of power.
  • Turn off your hearing aid when you’re not using it. If you don’t use it for a long time, remove the battery.
  • Clean the battery contacts regularly. Use a cotton swab, taking care not to bend the contacts. Dirty battery contacts can cause improper device function.
  • Change filters often so they don’t collect wax or dirt.
  • Change the dome regularly on Receiver-in-Canal devices (RICs) so they don’t collect wax or dirt.
  • Have your ear canals cleaned by your doctor regularly. Accumulated earwax may prevent sounds from traveling from the hearing aid into the middle ear. Never remove the earwax from the ear yourself — doing so could damage your ear.
  • Remove your hearing aid before
    • Taking a shower
    • Swimming
    • Using a hair dryer, hair spray, or other types of spray

How do I know when my filter or dome needs to be changed?

You need to replace these items because eventually they get clogged with excess earwax and debris. This leads to ineffective protection of the internal components of your devices and can result in poor sound quality. Everyone produces a different amount of earwax; whereas one person will need to change their filters every week or two, another person may only need to change their filters once or twice a year.

It’s a good habit, however, to regularly inspect both components. If there is visible debris or wax, it’s time to change the component. You may start to notice a pattern in how long you go between changes. Consider deciding on a set time between changes, for example, every other month or every four months, to ensure you don’t suddenly experience poor sound quality from excess buildup on one of these components.
 

When should I have them cleaned by a professional?

You should have them professionally cleaned at minimum once a year. A good rule of thumb, however, is every three to six months, depending on the activities and environments your devices get exposed to. Fortunately, as part of our protection plan, clean and checks of your devices are complimentary for the first three years!
 

Should I use a dehumidifier? What other tools should I be using?

In a safe, dry place is the best way to store your hearing aids overnight (again, they are small computers), so a dehumidifier is an excellent way to ensure the longevity of your devices. Dehumidifiers use different methods to keep your devices dry: some use UV exposure, others passively dry using a dessicant, still others use a combination of heat, air movement, and a dessicant.

For dehumidifier options, and for products to use during daily cleaning, see our Cleaning and Care page.