Spring cleaning is the best time of the year to begin with a clean slate - literally and figuratively. Take advantage of the season and learn how to clean hearing aids at home. As perhaps the smallest, yet pertinent, piece of technology used on a daily basis, hearing aids should be regularly cleaned and handled so that they can last for years.
Hearing aid cleaning should be done on a daily basis with a dry cloth or tissue to remove ear wax, oil and moisture that build up on the device during use. Proper tools used for cleaning hearing aids, like a wax pick and brush, should be used to clear the end of the aid where the sound comes out in case of wax blockage. Avoid using cleaning wipes with chemicals or alcohol, which can damage the hearing air. Daily cleaning is best at nighttime when the aid is removed for several hours.
ITE (in the ear) model
You'll want to concentrate on cleaning the holes in the device, as well as the microphone ports, with the use of a soft-bristle toothbrush and any other specific tools you have. Hold the device and vigorously clean the openings with the toothbrush. Angle the toothbrush downwards so any particles will fall on the ground instead of inside the holes. Then, use a wax pick or hook to get into the holes and then finish by wiping the device with a clean, dry tissue.
BTE (behind the ear) model
Cleaning this type of device is similar, but there are more components to be aware of. The earmold should be removed and cleaned in soapy water, and the battery should be taken out of its compartment. Then, you can use the same cleaning techniques as you would for the ITE model with a toothbrush and wax pick to clean the rest of the instrument.
Avoid contact with harsh products
You should avoid using any hair products while a hearing aid is in use, as this can create a sticky surface and increase accumulation of dust and debris buildup. These products can also cause damage to the plastic, volume control or program control of the hearing aid. Before using any body products, including face washes and creams, it's best to remove your hearing aid and place it in a safe, dry location. Hearing aids also need to stay out of contact with direct heat, so always take it out before drying your hair, using a flat iron or curling iron.
Keep the ears clean
Maintaining ear hygiene and regularly visiting a medical professional is equally as important as keeping a hearing aid clean. It's never a good idea to use a hairpin or cotton swab to clean out the ears as these items tend to push the ear wax further into the ear and can lead to a punctured ear drum. If you do have a damaged ear drum, you can use a medicine dropper with substances to soften the wax and leave the head tilted for about five minutes. Then, use a cloth over the ear and tilt the head the other direction to let the liquid drip out.