Cleaning Hearing Aids and Storage: Essential Tips for Extending the Life of Your Devices

An older woman sings, and an older man plays guitar in their living room.

Proper care and maintenance can significantly extend the life of your hearing aids. Whether you’re a first-time user with a brand-new hearing aid cleaning kit or a long-term owner focused on cleaning hearing aids, we’ve gathered essential tips to help you. Our expert advice will guide you through cleaning hearing aids, storage solutions, and best practices. Stay tuned for comprehensive guidance to make your devices last longer and function better.

 

Cleaning Hearing Aids: Why Regular Maintenance Matters

Taking care of your hearing aids isn’t just a good practice; it’s necessary for their longevity and performance. In fact, well-maintained hearing aids can serve you for up to 5-7 years. Here’s why regular cleaning matters:

  • Optimal Performance: Unclean hearing aids can accumulate earwax, dust, and debris, diminishing sound quality and making it harder to hear.
  • Extended Lifespan: Regular cleaning routines help prolong the life of these delicate devices.
  • Reduced Infection Risk: Dirty hearing aids can become breeding grounds for bacteria and fungi, heightening the risk of ear infections.
  • Enhanced Comfort: Clean devices are simply more comfortable to wear, avoiding irritation or discomfort.

Storage Tips for Maintaining Quality

When you’re not using your hearing aids, storing them correctly is equally crucial. Adhere to these best practices:

  • Dry Spaces: Keep them in a dry, clean area overnight.
  • Humidity Control: Consider a hearing aid dryer or dehumidifier if your home is humid to maintain optimal dryness.
  • Open Air and Battery Care: Leave them in open air and keep battery doors open to prevent moisture buildup.
  • Secure Location: Store your hearing aids where they’re safe from accidental damage, especially if you have pets or small children.

Routine maintenance aims to ensure your hearing aids function as well years down the line as they did the day you first got them. By following these tips, you can keep your devices in top condition for years to come.

Discover more about the benefits of hearing aids.

A hand uses a cloth to clean a Phonak hearing aid.

 

The Basics of Cleaning Hearing Aids: A Step-by-Step Guide

Consistent cleaning and maintenance are vital for the performance and longevity of your hearing aids. A well-planned weekly routine can help keep your devices in top condition.

Daily Cleaning Essentials

  • Wash Your Hands: Always start with clean hands to prevent germ transfer.
  • Remove Hearing Aids: Take them out of your ears and turn them off.
  • Surface Cleaning: Use a soft brush to remove debris, focusing on vents and openings that can clog.
  • Wiping Down: Gently wipe with a damp cloth and dry thoroughly before reinserting.
  • Specialized Tools: Utilize wax loops and brushes for tiny crevices and hard-to-reach areas.
  • Avoid Water and Harsh Chemicals: These can damage your hearing aids. Use specialized cleaning wipes or sprays instead.

Weekly Deep Cleaning and Storage Tips

  • Earmold and Tubing Care: Clean these parts with a mild soap and water solution and dry them thoroughly before reassembly.
  • Charging Contacts: Wipe down the charging contacts on the hearing aids and chargers with a soft, damp cloth.
  • Hearing Aid Kit: Use a hearing aid cleaning kit that comes with brushes, wipes, and solutions for thorough cleaning.
  • Charger Cleaning: Disconnect the charger from the power and wipe down the charger inserts with a lint-free cloth.
  • Filter Replacement: Regularly check and replace the earwax filter to protect internal components. Typically, you need to do this every 4-8 weeks.
Injoy Hearing’s Choice Hearing Aids sit in front of their charging case.

 

Special Considerations for Cleaning Phonak Hearing Aids
  • Remove your hearing aids before using hair spray or cosmetics, as these can damage your devices.
  • While some Phonak hearing aids are water, sweat, and dust resistant, they should still be cleaned and dried after exposure.
  • Consult your hearing care professional for intensive cleaning advice, as household cleaning agents are not recommended.

By adhering to this guide, you’ll not only extend the life of your Phonak hearing aids but also maintain their performance, ensuring they serve you well for years to come.

Learn more about water and sweat-resistant hearing aids

Essential Tools: An Overview of the Hearing Aid Cleaning Kit

Keeping your hearing aids clean and well-maintained is crucial for longevity and performance. A comprehensive hearing aid cleaning kit offers an all-in-one solution. Here’s what you typically find inside a basic kit:

  • Cleaning Brushes: Designed to remove debris, these brushes often come with soft bristles suitable for delicate hearing aid surfaces. Pay special attention to the vents and openings where earwax tends to accumulate.
  • Wipes: These are your go-to for quick cleans. Wipes are best for cleaning the surface of the hearing aids and earmolds.
  • Cleaning Solutions: These specialized solutions not only clean but may also disinfect your hearing aids. Always ensure they are compatible with your device.
  • Drying Cloth: This helps dry your hearing aids after cleaning, ensuring no moisture remains that could damage the electronics.
  • Storage Case: Offers a secure place for both your hearing aids and cleaning kit, keeping everything organized.

Bonus Tools in Advanced Hearing Aid Cleaning Kits

  • Magnifying Glass: Useful for closely inspecting your hearing aids for tiny debris or signs of damage.
  • Tweezers: Ideal for removing stubborn debris from small, hard-to-reach areas.
  • Multitool: A one-stop solution featuring wax picks, brushes, and vent cleaners. Some even have a magnetic pole to help with battery replacement.
  • Wax Guard/Filter: Primarily found in Behind-the-Ear models, these require periodic replacement. Wax guards protect the receiver end from earwax accumulation, affecting audio quality over time.
  • Drying Station: An advanced tool featuring moisture-absorbing silica gel balls or even UV technology to dry and sanitize your hearing aids.

The Importance of a Drying Station

A drying station serves multiple purposes:

  • Moisture Removal: Silica gel balls effectively remove moisture, prolonging the life of your hearing aids.
  • Sanitization: Models with UV technology kill harmful bacteria, offering an extra layer of protection.
  • Convenient Storage: It’s the ideal place to safely store your hearing aids, especially at night, ensuring they are ready for use the next day.

By investing in a comprehensive cleaning kit, you’re taking a crucial step to extend the lifespan and improve the performance of your hearing aids. Choose your tools wisely and consult your audiologist for any specific recommendations tailored to your needs.

Common Mistakes to Avoid: What Not to Do When Cleaning Hearing Aids

Proper maintenance of your hearing aids is essential for their optimal performance and longevity. However, even with the best intentions, people often make mistakes that can lead to damage. Here’s a guide on what not to do when cleaning your hearing aids.

  • Harsh Cleaning Agents: Avoid using chemical cleaners, solvents, or abrasive materials. They can scratch or damage the delicate exterior and internal components of your hearing aids.
  • Personal Care Products: Hairspray and perfumes can react adversely with your hearing aid materials. Always insert your hearing aids only after such products have completely dried.
  • Topical Medications: Oils and other substances in topical medications can compromise your device’s performance. Consult your healthcare provider before using any topical treatments.
  • Water Immersion: Never immerse your hearing aids in water; they are not waterproof. Water exposure can lead to irreversible damage.
  • Cotton Swabs: Avoid using cotton swabs for cleaning. They can push earwax deeper into the device and leave behind fibers, clogging up the aids.
  • Infrequent Cleaning: Neglecting regular cleaning allows debris and earwax to accumulate, reducing both performance and lifespan.
  • Ignoring Earmolds and Tubing: These can also get clogged by earwax or debris. A proper cleaning routine should include them.

By being mindful of these common errors and adhering to recommended ways of cleaning hearing aids, you’re not just prolonging the life of your hearing aids but also ensuring they function at their best.

An ear with visible ear wax showing.

 

Dealing with Wax and Moisture: Special Considerations for Ear Wax and Dampness

Keeping your hearing aids in optimal condition involves addressing two significant challenges: ear wax and moisture. Here are specialized guidelines to tackle these common issues effectively.

The Moisture Menace

  • Daily Wipe-Down: After exercise or exposure to humid conditions, wipe your hearing aids with a dry cloth to remove sweat and moisture.
  • Safe Storage: Always store your hearing aids in a cool, dry place. Avoid humid areas like bathrooms and sunlit windows.
  • Pre-Bath Routine: Always remove hearing aids before showering, swimming, or bathing. Water can damage the electronic components unless you have waterproof hearing aids.
  • Nightly Care: Open the battery compartment at night to allow any trapped moisture to evaporate.
  • Drying Systems: Invest in a specialized hearing aid dryer or dehumidifier, especially if you live in humid climates. These systems use warm air to dry out your device effectively.

Ear Wax Build-up

  • Daily Cleaning: Utilize a soft brush to gently remove earwax and debris from the hearing aids’ surface. You can also wipe them with a damp cloth, but ensure they are dry before re-inserting.
  • Earmold and Tubing Care: These can get clogged with earwax. Clean them with mild soap and water, and thoroughly dry them before re-attaching them to the hearing aids.
  • Avoid Cotton Swabs: They push earwax deeper into your ear canal and can damage the hearing aids.
  • Scheduled Breaks: Allow your ears to air out during the day to reduce earwax buildup.
  • Professional Cleaning: Visit a hearing professional regularly to thoroughly clean and inspect your hearing aids.

By following these guidelines, you not only prolong the life of your hearing aids but also ensure they continue to provide the best sound quality.

The Lasting Benefits of Cleaning Hearing Aids

Taking proper care of your hearing aids isn’t just a matter of routine; it’s a commitment to your overall hearing health. From daily cleanings to specialized tools, we’ve laid out comprehensive guidelines to help you keep your devices in top condition for years to come. Should you face issues that simple maintenance can’t fix, or if you have questions about cleaning your Injoy devices, we invite you to contact Injoy Hearing. Let’s work together to ensure your hearing aids offer you the optimal sound experience for many years.

 

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Injoy specializes in crafting custom Phonak hearing aid solutions tailored to the unique hearing needs of our patients. With a team recognized as the best in the business and decades of experience in helping people nationwide, we’re dedicated to improving your hearing and, consequently, enhancing your quality of life.

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