10 tips to disinfect hearing aids correctly

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Headphones can accumulate traces of dust, earwax and other impurities that put hearing health at risk. How to disinfect them? In this space we detail it.

Last update: March 14, 2023

Learn how to disinfect hearing aids correctly It is key to extending its useful life and avoiding possible ear infections. These objects are often used on a daily basis, as they are often used to listen to music or to have conversations through mobile devices.

However, as with any electronic device, contact with water and cleaning products can permanently damage them. Therefore, you have to be very careful in the sanitization process.

Besides, These are objects that usually accumulate earwax due to contact with the ear. Damp cloths, swabs and soft brushes are the keys to cleaning. Next, we share 10 tips that you can implement.

Why is it important to apply these tips to disinfect hearing aids?

The frequency of use that headphones have, as well as direct contact with the ear, implies regular sanitization. Among the various reasons that exist, two main ones can be identified.

  • On the one hand, prevent infection from dirt, dust, or earwax on the earpiece. Especially if they are used on the street and in public spaces.
  • On the other hand, extend the life of the device. Various manufacturers ensure that keeping the headphones and charging cases clean —in the event that they are wireless— favors their operation and duration.

Of course, care and precision must be taken during the process, in order to avoid moistening them. These devices They tend to accumulate wax on the external rubbers and on the grilles, especially intraural models, that is, those that are placed inside the ear.

Although wax is a substance that protects and lubricates the ear canal, its excess is unhygienic and, if it hardens, can cause plugs.

According to a study in the Revista Pediatría de Atención Primaria, several factors favor the generation of wax plugs. Among them, age, since the glands that produce it atrophy and the substance becomes drier. Also the obstacles that hinder their expulsion, such as hearing aids.

Hearing aids accumulate traces of earwax, dust and other polluting agents. Hence the importance of cleaning them regularly.

10 tips for disinfecting hearing aids

Prolonged use of hearing aids is linked to ear hygiene problems and ear canal infections. Hence the importance of spending a few minutes cleaning it. Here are some recommendations.

1. Take into account the type of headset

The cleaning of the casings and external components is not the same as that of the internal grilles. To know what parts make up your personal hearing aid, you need to know the type of device you own.

  • Headphones in-ear. Intraurals are those that are placed inside the ear. Therefore, they have internal grids in which dirt and earwax usually accumulate. These are the most delicate hearing aids in their disinfection, due to their delicacy and close contact with the ear.
  • Headphones on-ear. Also known as supraural. These specimens rest on the ear without completely covering it, they are kept with a headband or headband and do not enter the ear.
  • Headphones over-ear. Circumaurals are like on-ears but larger, so they completely surround and cover the ear. In addition, they generate the cancellation of external sound.
  • wireless. There are wireless versions of all kinds, although the most common are the intraural ones, with the difference that they do not have cables that make use difficult. The cleaning process is similar, but the charging case must be included.

2. Have the right elements

To sanitize them correctly and without damaging the internal circuits, the following cleaning elements must be available. In some cases, you can opt for one of them, since they fulfill similar functions.

  • damp cloth
  • Soap and water.
  • Disinfectant towels.
  • Toothbrush.
  • Swabs or swabs.
  • Isopropyl alcohol.
  • Dry towel.
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3. Clean the external parts

For the superficial sectors of the device, it is possible to apply a cloth previously moistened in a container with soapy water. It is important that the cloth is damp and not wet.as the liquid can damage the hearing aids.

To remove dirt from holes and complex spaces you can use a toothbrush or any similar item with soft bristles. The surfaces are suitable for sanitizing with disinfectant towels or with cloths moistened with water and isopropyl alcohol.

4. Carry out the disinfection of grids carefully

In-ear headphones require extra care. As a first step, you have to remove the protective foam or rubber. Then, wipe the hull and the outside with a damp cloth dampened with soapy water. Always place the hearing aids facing down, so that no particles or water enter inside.

The internal grids—where earwax tends to adhere—are cleaned with a cotton swab or toothbrush. It is recommended that it be dry, since this part of the object is the most sensitive. Any remaining moisture can damage it. It is convenient to make smooth movements and, if there are still remains stuck, it is possible to help yourself with a needle for specific places.

5. Include charging cases

The wireless models include a case to charge the headset. It is an object that also accumulates dirt, which can affect the recharging circuit. It is important to keep them clean using a dry or slightly damp cloth.. We must avoid wetting the internal sector.

6. Disinfect the pads

The rubbers or pads that cover the hearing aid are suitable for soaking. In any case, it is always convenient to check the manufacturer’s instructions. To clean them, you must first remove them from the headset and then submerge them in a container with soapy water.

This way, the dirt will be moistened and will be much easier to remove with a soft-bristled brush. Then, you have to let them dry on a towel and do not put them back until they are dry.

7. Never submerge hearing aids

The ear cushions are the only component of the headphones suitable for submersion. On the contrary, the grids and the cables must never be wet. In general, they do not tolerate water or do it superficially, so it is very likely to cause permanent damage.

8. Have clean ears

Another aspect to take into account is to have the ears sanitized before putting on the hearing aids. In addition, it is important that they are dry. Otherwise, Moisture can get into the device and affect its operation.

9. Do frequent cleaning

Having constant use, cleaning the hearing aids should be frequent. Although it is recommended that it be daily, it can be done weekly. Do not let more than 15 days go by without sanitizing them.

It’s important to disinfect your hearing aids regularly to prevent them from collecting dirt and germs.

10. Let them dry

To finish, you have to leave the components on a towel so that they dry well and there is no trace of moisture. Then put the pads back on and use them again. They should never be used, assembled or loaded if they are still wet.

Applying the 10 tips to disinfect hearing aids extends their useful life

The reasons why this direct contact ear accessory should be cleaned go beyond general hygiene. It is a way of caring for the object, whose operation can be affected by the accumulation of earwax or dirt.

In general, each manufacturer exposes specific methods for cleaning, but all suggest avoiding bleaching products. With these 10 tips for disinfecting hearing aids, it is possible to complete the task effectively. Put them into practice!

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