Cleaning wax from hearing aids

Do any of the readers have a recommendation for a device for removing wax from hearing aids. I saw one other post about this, but can’t find it now. I have seen ads fo Jodi Consumer. Anyone have experience with this (or any other recommendations )?

It depends on the style of aid you wear and the nature of the wax. I wipe my power domes down daily (and store my aids in a UV sanitizing unit at night). For my older ITE aids, I would occasionally run the looooong brush through the air vent to clean that out.

It’s also recommended to change the wax guards every month or so (so be sure you know how to do that!). If you’re close to your audi, you should be able to take them in for a 5-min cleaning. :slight_smile:

I have ear molds. The hole in my molds is very small, but Costco didn’t say anything about changing wax guards. This Jodi Consumer that I mentioned has a small needle with it. I am looking for alternatives to that device - or experience using it.

You gotta do BOTH: run the Jodi-C through the vent and change the wax guards periodically. In fact, most aids will be sold with a year’s supply of cleaning tools and wax guards.

I don’t mean to be a BUG, but it would irk me if Costco left that out of your kit. You could go back to them and ask how to use these tools.

I have earmolds so I use the end part of the Plackers to get the wax out of the vents.

Try searching on “Jodi-Vac” (without the quotes). You’ll find a number of threads and posts in which it’s discussed. I bought one on Amazon for about $99, cheaper than direct from manufacturer, who appears to be a successful “mom-and-pop” business - the website doesn’t have a shopping cart, for instance.

I’ve found that it works very well to clean domes and receivers for my ReSound Quattro RITE(RIC) HA’s. When I vacuum the speaker holes of the receivers/wax guards, I gently pinch the sides of the dome against the sides of the receiver that I’m working on to avoid loosening the dome on the receiver, as my audi advised me to do so. She assured me that the vacuum would not hurt the speaker holes. And I’ve been lightly passing the suction tip past the microphone openings on the HA bodies, too, without inserting the tip into the microphone opening to vacuum up any dandruff that might have fallen into the microphone opening(-I actually do the HA bodies 1st before moving on to cleaning the domes and receivers). No ill effects so far doing this for about a month, now. I let the HA’s dry overnight just in their open case before using the Jodi-Vac as another forum user gave me a great tip that it’s easier to clean the HA’s when the wax is dry as opposed to wet and sticky. I do the cleaning over a paper towel while using a large 2x magnifier on a stand and wearing an Energizer Brilliant Beam headlamp for very bright illumination (I can provide further info on that, if you want). If any sizeable piece of wax sticks in the tip, I just wipe the tip against the paper towel edge, far away from where the HA I’m working on is resting. I use the tip to vacuum up any dandruff or wax that I see anywhere on the HA body, wire, charger (HA) case, etc. Any wax buildup that resists the suction tip, I scrape a bit with the fine wire loop on the other end of the brush my audi gave me (from ReSound?) and then the loosened wax suctions up easily.

Although $100 bucks might seem a lot to pay for the device, it’s really great. Much more fun and less tedious than a brush, cloth, and scraping tools. It does an exceedingly thorough job with very little work. It basically seems like a sturdy fish pump to which a coiled plastic tube has been added, a cartridge window to hold a float ball to judge suction power, and a wire mesh filter to trap vacuumed debris (supposed to last 6 months before replacing), and a flat, fine syringe needle on the tip of the cartridge to give you fine control over what you vacuum. You can reorder replacement filters reasonably inexpensively direct from the manufacturer.

I noticed the device on Amazon while shopping for HA paraphernalia but it was the great and helpful posts on this forum that introduced me to how useful the device really is - so I would search and read as I’ve advised before you buy and decide for yourself as I did-don’t just take my word for it.

P.S. The (fish?) pump on the Jodi-Vac is reasonably quiet but having worked with too much noisy stuff in my life, I put on gun muffs just so I don’t have to listen to reasonably gentle putta-putta-putt close to my ears while I’m cleaning (I don’t try to stretch out the coiled tube very much).

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Basically, everything Jim said. I’m using the Jodi-Vac and love it. Use it in the morning when the wax is dry. I don’t use a magnifying glass, just my reading glasses. The manufacturer recommends using it every day and “what you miss today you will get tomorrow.” I use it about 3-4 times per week. I have access to microscopes at work, so I took a quick look at my aids one day and was pleasantly surprised at how clean they were.

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To add to the variety of cleaning approaches: I clean my (OPN1) domes and inspect the wax guards at least once a week, but sometimes more frequently (e.g., just before situations, like multi-generational Thanksgiving dinner today, where I anticipate hearing/understanding challenges). I have a variety of cleaning tools that came with various HAs over the years. The most useful one is a tool with about a 1.5" long and about 1/32" diameter bristle that is about right for poking any accumulated wax out of the dome vent holes and hearing ports. But before doing that, I use another critical tool: a magnifying glass. I pull the domes off of the speakers (been doing this for decades; never had a problem). With the magnifying glass, I look into the speakers at the wax guards. I replace them if there looks to be even slight wax on even one of the holes*. Then I wipe domes. speakers, and aids with a tissue. Next I look at domes with the magnifying glass and sometimes see that the two very small port holes are plugged. If the domes are a few months old, I replace them*. Otherwise I use the bristle tool to poke any wax out of the vent holes or hearing ports. Then I replace the domes and look at the HA microphone ports (which are never occluded). This sounds like a lot but it takes about two minutes.

*My audiologist charges top dollar for aids, but also provides free unlimited batteries, wax guards, domes, and follow-up services.

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This discussion is making me think of getting a set of magnifying goggles. I’ve been wanting them for some time for soldering work and such. Think I’ll head over to Amazon and find some…

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On switching from ReSound open, vented domes to ReSound small power domes, I’ve found generic Q-tips to be more useful for cleaning most of the outer convex dome surface as opposed to my Jodi-Vac. The Jodi-Vac is still used to vacuum the HA mics, the crevices around the HA switch areas and the dome openings for the receivers. I also use my Jodi-Vac to vacuum up where possible pieces of wax anywhere on the dome. But I’ve actually found for the small power domes that a double-ended generic Q-tip (it’s actually a brand name like Kleenex that has probably already entered the English language as a genericized trade name). I moisten one cotton swab with a bit of Oaktree aqueous-based HA cleaning solution, keep the other end dry. I wipe the outside of a power dome with the moist end, being careful not to press and leak any solution into the receiver openings. Any wetness on the dome surface dries quickly and if I see any wax residue remaining, I brush it with the dry end of the Q-tip, repeating damp/dry wiping as necessary. I avoid cleaning under the domes with the Q-tip unless I unfold the “umbrella.”

The wife pointed out to me that I can buy generic Q-tips at half a cent per stick ($.005) in the pharmacy section of our HEB grocery store (Hill Country Cotton Swabs, $2.48/500 ct). I got the ones with the sticks made of paper so when I’m done I can throw a stick into our organic recycling trash, creating no additional landfill, and the sticks are cheap enough that one can use a fresh one each day. The Q-tip works well to clean the charging case for my rechargeable ReSound Quattro 9 61’s. too. Don’t know how many people have tried Q-tips (cotton swabs) for HA dome/mold cleaning? - most of the posts about such on the forum seem to be about using them to clean one’s ear canals (which I don’t do).

I find the brush that came with the hearing aids works well to clean domes of wax for me. Glad Q-tips work for you.

I guess what anyone uses is one of those YMMV things. Interesting that if I look in my Resound Quick Guide and User Manual, ReSound only shows a brush being used on the HA body - emphasizing the use to brush away debris from the mic openings without pushing it down into the mics. In both guide and manual, they say to use a soft cloth on the domes and say the cloth may be damp. ReSound emphasizes staying away from alcohol (although I know a lot of people like to use alcohol wipes) and not having any free-flowing liquid that might get in HA body or the receivers.

Two things influenced my own preference. A lot of wax comes off pretty easily, especially when it has dried, but some, even after drying just seems to be glued on. Trying to pry it or scrape it off seemed labor-intensive and I wondered how the dome would hold up. I did try the brush but for lots of glued on stuff, that didn’t seem any more effective than the Jodi-Vac tip or the wire end of the brush tool. But a moistened Kleenex or Q-tip readily softened glued-on wax and made it easy to remove and rotating the Q-tip to use the other dry end made it quick and easy to sponge up the last little bit of any gooey residue left by the damp Q-tip end. The surface area of a small ReSound power dome is so minimal compared to other larger dome sizes that it’s easy to clean by whatever means. The upper dome on the receiver end essentially has no flap and its easy to clean under it. So if one had a LARGE power dome, just because of the real estate involved a brush or a cloth might be more effective than a Q-tip and one would have two flaps (upper and lower) to clean under as opposed to essentially just one small lower flap with a ReSound small power dome. The cleaning solution I happened to get has a low concentration of benzalkonium in it, supposed to act as a weak detergent as well as an antiseptic. I have yet to see how plain old water on the Q-tip works and it takes so little liquid to moisten a Q-tip, I’ll probably be using the 8 oz. bottle of stuff I got the rest of my life! :grinning:

BTW, ease of cleaning with whatever implement might be strongly affected by the dome material. I really liked the Sivantos (Phonak) dome material. Wax seemed to be much more easily removable from the Sivantos dome surfaces than from the ReSound dome material even when the wax was still gooey from coming right out of my ear. If Sivantos made power domes as small as ReSound’s smallest, I’d probably want to use those instead for ease of cleaning (on the basis of limited testing of one pair of each type of dome).

As an update, instead of domes, I am now wearing custom silicone molds on my receivers. I find that less wax actually comes out of my ears on the molds when I remove them but the wax is more “glued” on than ever.

Since the silicone is a somewhat soft material, I’m careful to use my Jodi-Vac needle mainly around the vent and receiver openings or on large gobs of stuff that can be easily pulled away without poking/scraping the smooth soft surface with a needle (silicone molds come in different degrees of softness and unfortunately I didn’t ask how soft my molds actually are on the rating scale-and what that means in terms of “abradability”).

For a very fine smear of glued-on wax, using a double-ended swab with one end moistened with HA cleaning solution works great to dissolve then absorb the wax - sometimes the wax easily disappears into the wetted, damp end or I can flip the swab around in my hand and use the dry end to wipe away the softened wax. A brush might work well on the silicone mold but I’m perhaps unnecessarily afraid that vigorous brushing might scar the smooth silicone surface and might take more effort/time that just softening/dissolving/wiping away glued on wax deposits. Just relating my experience and everyone should find out what works best for themselves.

I’ve been soaking my OPN domes in isopropyl alcohol for a few minutes to help in cleaning of that sticky wax feel.

I go to a smoke shop to buy pipe cleaner to remove moisture inside tubing and wax in earmold.

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My old aids had custom molds, and I used these on the vents. Worked pretty well.

Ha! Those look like a cross between SuperFloss that I use for cleaning dental bridges, and pipe cleaners that I buy to clean the openings in my pressure cooker! :eyes: :rofl:

Why pay $150 for Jodi-Vac when you can clean out HA vents with a thin plastic wire? And bottom HA opening is cleared out with small brush. Too many vendors here pumping useless devices when a thin plastic wire to clean wax from vents lasts a life time. Small brush also. HA dealer gives you both free.

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Pretty harsh words, don’t you think? Why use a vacuum cleaner when you could use a $10 broom? Why buy a car when you can get a bicycle for a couple hundred? Heck, what’s wrong with walking? It’s free! Why buy an electric mixer when you can use a whisk?

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Heck, why are we even spending thousands on hearing aids when you can just get these?

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