Modern hearing aids are high-tech and, given what they go through, pretty darn tough. But like any machine, a little preventive maintenance will keep them performing as designed for a longer time.

This mostly involves regular cleaning and drying. Maybe you haven’t checked lately, but the inside of the human ear is not the most forgiving environment. There’s dirt, earwax, and moisture — and that’s what the ears of the hygienic are like.

Ultimately hearing aids are electronic devices, which have never been known to enjoy high moisture levels. That’s why getting into a routine of allowing your hearing aids to dry completely is important. Depending on your schedule and atmospheric conditions where you live, a dehumidifier is worth considering. A hearing aid can spend the night in one and come out the next morning as dry as can be.

Cleaning is important too, though it probably doesn’t need to happen every night. But investing in a kit with brushes and wax picks — an air blower comes in handy too — will allow you to do a pretty thorough cleaning on occasion. A buildup of earwax can be a real problem, so cleaning regularly enough to keep that at bay is the goal.

Don’t clean a hearing aid with treated wipes, rubbing alcohol, or any other liquid cleaning agent. They can actually do more damage than good.

When the time comes, a hearing aid provider can do a professional cleaning on your unit as well.

While you’re getting your cleaning kit, you might also want to pick up a magnet tool for getting batteries in and out of your hearing aids. Who needs to fumble with those over and over?