2 min read By: Anthony Florek, President and Founder, Soundwave Hearing Anthony brings 15 years of...
OTC Hearing Aid Cleaning, Maintenance, and Troubleshooting
5 min read
For individuals using over the counter (OTC) hearing aids, maintaining a routine for cleaning and upkeep is crucial to prolong their lifespan and guarantee optimal performance. Just as you practice oral hygiene, clean your face, or take a shower, your hearing aids are an integral part of your well-being and thrive with regular maintenance. Within this article, we will delve into the techniques for cleaning hearing aids, recommend effective hearing aid cleaners, and offer additional tips and troubleshooting guidance. Since you invested in this device to fulfill a specific purpose, consistent cleaning ensures that you can enjoy the highest possible quality of life.
What Hearing Aid Cleaners Do I Need?
To clean your hearing aid at home, you’ll need several simple tools. It’s a good idea to have the following items on hand. Luckily, all of these items come with a set of Soundwave’s Sontro® Self-Fitting OTC Hearing Aids.
- Wax removal brush
- Soft, dry cloth or a non-alcohol-based wipe
- Wax pick
- Vent cleaner
Don’t be afraid to invest in tools that make this job seamless so you’re able to clean your hearing aid quickly and with regularity.
How to Clean Hearing Aids
Be sure to read your hearing aid manual before attempting to clean your hearing aid on your own. If you’re unsure of what hearing aid cleaner to use or what to use to clean your hearing aid, consult your user manual before doing any trial and error on your own. It is not a requirement for OTC hearing aids, however, some like to schedule regular visits with your doctor for professional cleaning and inspection.
With that said, figuring out how to clean hearing aids at home is a straightforward process. Begin by establishing a cleaning routine. It's favorable to stick to a consistent schedule for hearing aid cleaning. Daily maintenance cleaning is recommended, supplemented by a more comprehensive weekly cleaning session. Through this consistent cleaning regimen, you can promptly detect any potential issues and address them in their early stages. For those who prefer a bit more structure, a cleaning and maintenance checklist is a great way to create the habit of daily and weekly cleaning until it seamlessly integrates into your routine.
The number one reason hearing aids are perceived as broken is that there is too much wax buildup. So, every day, pick a time to do some brief hearing aid cleaning. As a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to wash your hands before cleaning your hearing aids to make sure you don’t transfer any bacteria onto your devices. Remove the hearing aid from your ear before you begin cleaning. Brush the microphone softly to dislodge any way or dirt. Then, wipe down the entire hearing aid with a soft, dry cloth or a non-alcohol wipe. Doing this every day will prevent the need to spend longer cleaning your hearing aid in your weekly cleaning. Consider doing this cleaning in the evenings so the hearing aid will dry out overnight before reinsertion.
Every week, pick a day and time to do a more thorough hearing aid cleaning. At this time, you can use your wax pick to focus on removing any stubborn wax or debris that built up throughout the week and wasn’t easily removed during your daily cleaning. Turn the hearing aid upside down while you’re cleaning to ensure that any wax and debris will fall out instead of into your hearing aid. If your hearing aid has a wax guard, make sure to change your wax guard regularly, too.
Ensuring Wax Guards Are Replaced Properly
Seeing as wax build-up has such an impact on your hearing aids, it is crucial to keep them protected with wax guards Cerustop Wax Guards for the Sontro OTC Hearing Aids can be found on Amazon. Wax guards protect your hearing device and should be changed at least once per month. Let’s review how to replace your wax guard:
- Insert the pick end of the removal tool into the opening of the wax guard on the receiver
- Pull gently to remove the used wax guard
- Using the opposite side of the removal tool, place the new tip into the receiver
- Extract the removal tool and discard
- Press the new dome for your hearing aid over the receiver using your thumb and forefinger
Cleaning Hearing Aid Tips and Troubleshooting
Tips for Hearing Aid Storage
Choosing the correct storage for hearing aids will also lengthen their lifespan. It’s a good idea to open the battery compartment at night so that it will allow the compartment to dry out and also preserve some battery life. When you need to change the battery, brush the battery compartment before installing a new battery. It’s also a good idea to avoid storing your hearing aids in very hot or very cold temperatures when possible. Store your hearing aids in a designated safe place, away from dust, extreme temperatures, and moisture. Avoid storing them in the bathroom because the steam build-up could damage the electronics over time.
Things to Avoid
OTC hearing aids are delicate devices and should be cleaned with care. That being said, you should avoid the following:
- Never use water on your hearing device because this could damage the intrinsic electronics
- Never use harsh chemicals or cleaners on your hearing aid or anything that isn’t designed for hearing aid cleaning
- Never put anything into the receiving ports and be careful not to jam wax and debris into the open receiver or microphone
These actions are considered unsafe for hearing aids and should be avoided so your hearing aid stays in its best shape. If you’re not sure if something is hearing aid safe, consult your user manual before continuing.
Longevity for Hearing Aids
If you purchased an OTC hearing aid, you want to keep it clean and functional with your knowledge of how to clean hearing aids. Your hearing aids do so much for you on a daily basis to help you communicate, connect, and thrive. However, in the process, they are exposed to sweat, body oils, ear wax, debris, and dirt that comes with daily wear and tear. Because of this, regular cleaning and maintenance checks are important to ensure the functionality of your hearing aid. Inversely, this ensures the health of your hearing and your quality of life as a whole.
These hearing aid tips will help make your device last longer with a few simple daily and weekly actions. Chicago’s Soundwave Hearing is dedicated to helping your hearing be simple, affordable, and convenient. For a more in-depth dive on how to properly clean your hearing aid, check out How to Clean Sontro® Self-Fitting OTC Hearing Aid.