Tubetastic: Coloured tubes for your NHS aids

coloured hearing aid tubes

My continuing quest to find ways of turning beige NHS hearing aids into colourful objects of delight, which can be speedily converted back to boring beige for attending audiology appointments, has resulted in this perky pair of pink tubes.

They’re customised by simply winding sewing thread tightly round the tubes. Fiddly, yes. Totally unhygienic, yes. Costly when you accidentally snip the tube with your scissors because you didn’t put your glasses on, yes. But, hey, they look a bit nicer than a yellowing piece of pvc, and if you like to ring the changes you can have different colours any time you like.

Do be careful with the scissors, though, those tubes are much softer than they appear…

coloured hearing aid tubes2

10 Responses to “Tubetastic: Coloured tubes for your NHS aids”

  1. 1 Eloise February 16, 2013 at 9:18 am

    You should head over to the Facebook page ‘Pimp my Hearing Aids/ Cochlear Implants’ for some good ideas, Moira. Jut ask to join the page. Either that or they have a WordPress which you can Google, though it’s not updated much. 🙂

    • 2 moiradancer February 16, 2013 at 10:07 am

      Hi Eloise, seen the WordPress site and it’s got some fab stuff on there, not a hint of beige in sight! The CI pimpers definitely have the edge in the creativity stakes 🙂 I’ve just ordered a consignment of corda tubes online, and now there’s going to be no stopping me…just hope they turn out to be the right size!

  2. 3 Kim Marie Nicols February 28, 2013 at 6:10 am

    Hello Moira – I am employed in an audiologist’s office, which also dispenses hearing aids, in the USA. We have fallen in love with your Kookybite Battery Bot and chucked over your Innovations, but our favorite is the picture accompanying your August 6, 2010 blog. Are any of your images available to be used in advertisements?

    • 4 moiradancer March 2, 2013 at 2:35 pm

      Hi Kim Marie, sorry about the delay in replying, your comment had gone into the spam and I’ve only just looked in there. Battery Bot is delighted that he’s got a new fan across the Atlantic and sends his regards. Unfortunately, the images are only available for non-commercial use, but thanks for your interest, and glad you enjoyed reading the blog.

  3. 5 Sue Falkingham May 12, 2013 at 9:37 am

    I just shared the Battery Bot on the British Academy of Audiology Facebook page – liking your ideas

  4. 6 unsuspicious October 27, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Reblogged this on Unsuspicious. Unnoteworthy. Undetectable. and commented:
    Looks like tedious work, but could be worth it!

  5. 7 Samara July 25, 2014 at 1:45 am

    Hello, I just came across your hot tubes and I was wondering how you did them so well? I just got my first pair of hearing aids and I love how you’ve wrapped yours! Any tips?

    • 8 moiradancer July 25, 2014 at 8:33 am

      Hi Samara, wrapping the tubes is a bit fiddly, but there are a couple of things which make it easier. First, remove the tubes from the hearing aids to allow you to get a good grip, and start the wrapping at the end which attaches to the hearing aid.

      Cut your thread from the reel (a piece roughly the length of both your arms held out to the side ‘wingspan’ will be more than enough).To get going, tie a double knot as tightly as you can without breaking the thread, and leave a small tail which you can press under the thumb of the hand holding the tube, to keep the knot from slipping round for the first few turns. You can cut off the tail when you’re finished.

      You need to keep a decent tension on the thread as you wind, to avoid a loose, gappy finish. Easiest way I’ve found is to do a small amount of turns at a time (about 5 or so) any old how, then push them tight towards the bit you’ve already worked, using your fingernails. It takes a while, but is the easiest way to do it. if you do too many turns at a time, it’s impossible to slide them up the tube to compact the threads.

      To secure the thread once you triumphantly meet the dome end, just tie a single knot a couple of times and put a tiny dab of white PVA glue on it to hold it. Don’t pull the single knots too tight at the finish or they’ll start to unwind, and don’t use any glue other than PVA or it might melt your tubes. I’ll try and do a photo tutorial over the next couple of weeks.

      Good luck with the wrapping and enjoy your new hearing aids 🙂

      • 9 Samara July 26, 2014 at 1:15 am

        How would you recommend doing it if my tubes cannot be detached?

      • 10 moiradancer July 26, 2014 at 6:18 am

        If you’re not sure how to take the tubes off, you can still wrap them the same way, it’s just slightly easier without the hearing aid body in the way.

        All tubes are detachable for cleaning and replacing btw, but different types/ models have different ways of removing. My Oticon Spirit Zests in the photo have thin tubes which simply snap on and off, but my previous Siemens ones had a screw-on fitting. Not sure how thick tubes work, but either way, worth asking your audiologist to show you how to get them on and off if you need to clear them of wax…ah, the joys 😉 They’re meant to show you all these things when they first set you up, but I went away without even knowing how to switch mine on and off!

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