How to Keep a Belly Button Clean

Written by ehow fashion, style & personal care editor
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Let's face it, while it may not seem like a part of the body that needs intimate care or special hygiene tips, if you have ever stuck your finger in your belly button and noticed a sharp not-so-pleasant smell, you are not the only one. Yes, belly button odor is perfectly normal, and also preventable if you keep it clean.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Mild soap
  • Soft washcloth
  • Bath towel
  • Cotton balls
  • Soft tissue
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Antibacterial ointment

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  1. 1

    Pay special attention to your belly button every day in the shower, washing it with mild soap and water as you would any other part of your body. If you have long fingernails, keep your fingers out of your belly button at all times, cleaning with a soft washcloth instead.

  2. 2

    Dry your belly button thoroughly as soon as you leave the shower, as water and soap residue can build up inside where it is nearly impossible to dry, causing an unpleasant stink. Depending on the size and depth of your belly button, you can use your bath towel or a cotton ball to dry thoroughly; however, never use cotton swabs inside of your belly button.

  3. 3

    Keep your belly button dry throughout the day, especially if you struggle with weight and have a deeper than average belly button, wear tight clothing or sweat during the day. When you notice moisture build up you can use a piece of soft tissue or a cotton ball to dry things out.

  4. 4

    Clean your belly button again with a 50/50 solution of rubbing alcohol and water after showering if there are any signs of infection. If the mid-day moisture that you clean from your belly button is slightly yellow or you notice a crusty build-up around your belly button, you may have an infection. After cleaning with rubbing alcohol, dry your belly button and apply a light layer of antibacterial ointment.

Tips and warnings

  • See a doctor as well if you notice any odd lumps, swellings or pain around the belly button. A hernia or cyst near the navel can often irritate the belly button itself and requires immediate medical attention.

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