Going home from your audiologist appointment with your first pair of hearing aids can be a transformative moment for many people. The change to your hearing is immediate, but you also have a new responsibility to ensure your devices work as best as possible. Keeping them clean will be your top priority. Here are the steps to cleaning your hearing aids so they have as little risk of malfunction as possible.

Make sure you have the right tools

Earwax is going to be your most common concern, so having the right tools to safely and effectively clean it off is key. A hearing aid cleaning brush is small enough to reach all of the body, faceplate, and sound port of the device with soft bristles. Wax picks and wire loops can safely reach inside the device’s openings to scoop out any wax or debris. MultiTools also offer both options in one. If you can’t find any of these at your local drug store, your audiologist can help you find them.

Cleaning in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids

Start by using the hearing aid cleaning brush to clean the openings and the microphone port of the device of any wax or debris. Hold it with the opening or port facing downward, so that any loose debris can fall out while cleaning. The wax pick or wire hook can then scoop out whatever the brush didn’t knock loose. Then, use a dry cloth or tissue to wipe off the surface of the device. Don’t use a wet cloth, as moisture can damage the hearing aid.

Cleaning behind-the-ear (BTE) devices

Start by looking around the surface of the device for wax or debris, which you can brush away the cleaning or brush or wipe with a dry cloth. For behind the ear devices, you need to remove the earmold from the hook. Besides wiping them clean with a cloth, you can soak them in warm, soapy to get rid of any discoloration. Ensure that they are completely dry before you reattach them. You should also use your bulb blower to ensure that there is no water left in the tubing and it can dry effectively.

Other maintenance tips

There are a few other habits to adopt to ensure that your hearing devices stay cleaner for longer and don’t sustain any damage. First of all, avoid keeping them in the bathroom when you are washing or going through your hygiene routines. Soap and water can cause damage. Clean them before bed, so that if you have to use any water, it has plenty of time to dry out. Make sure you take out the battery and leave the battery compartment open overnight as well.

If you still have any questions about cleaning your hearing aids or any other maintenance they might require, don’t be afraid to ask your audiologist. Besides helping with choosing and fitting the devices, they can act as a comprehensive information resource to ensure you get the very best out of your hearing aids.