Hearing aid batteries and maintenance

There are two main types of hearing aid.

  • Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids
  • In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids

It is important that you look after your hearing aid/s and clean them regularly. This will prolong their life and make sure they are in good working order when you come to use them.

Cleaning behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids

Ideally, you should wipe the ear mould with a soft dry cloth daily and remove and wash the ear mould and tubing (NOT the hearing aid itself!) in warm soapy water and then rinse them on a weekly basis. Leave the mould and tubing to dry before fitting them back onto your aid. If you do not know how to disconnect the tubing from your hearing aid consult the organisation who supplied it. If you have two hearing aids, make sure that you know which ear mould belongs to which hearing aid so that you can put them back together properly. If you cannot clean the hearing aid completely, it is best to contact your hearing health care professional (Hear-It, 2018).

In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids

This type of hearing aid has no ear mould to detach. The entire aid should be cleaned with a dry cloth. Make sure that it does not come into contact with any liquid. Often the aid comes with a wax pick, which is a small piece of equipment for removing wax from the opening at the end of the hearing aid. The instructions that come with the hearing aid should say in detail how to clean it.


  • It is a good idea to have spare hearing aid batteries to hand at home and to carry them with you if you're going out
  • If the sound from your hearing aid gets fainter, disappears, becomes crackly, fuzzy or distorted, you should change the battery
  • Some aids give a warning signal (a bleeping or 'fluttering' sound) when the battery is just about to run out
  • It a good idea to change the batteries often so that they do not suddenly run out of power
  • Switch your hearing aid off when it’s not in use
  • If you do not use it for a long period of time, you should remove the battery
  • The battery contacts should be cleaned regularly; use a cotton swab but be careful not to bend the contacts. Dirty battery contacts can cause the hearing aid to not function properly (Hear-it, 2018)
  • If you have an NHS hearing aid, new batteries may be supplied free of charge; check with the supplier for more details
  • Hearing aid battery testers and tools to help you extract and replace the battery are available.
  • Changing the battery

    Many hearing aids have the battery compartment at the bottom of the hearing aid. If you push a little ridge, then the battery swivels out into view. When replacing the battery follow the hearing aids instruction manual carefully. Many hearing aid batteries come with a paper tab stuck to the battery. This tab prevents the battery from draining while it is being stored. When you install the battery remove the paper tab.

    Further information


    Advice last checked: 02 February 2018 Next check due: 02 February 2021

    All advice is either supported by references (cited in the text) or is based upon peer reviewed professional opinion. Our advice is impartial and not influenced by sponsors or product suppliers listed on the site.
    Conflict of interest statement


    1. hear-it 2009  Use of batteries
      View reference   Last visited:  02/12/2016 Evidence type: 2