How to clean a cartilage piercing

Updated November 21, 2016

Cartilage piercings are like a coming of age when you're a teenager, but adults get them, too. While it might be stylish and unique, it's an uncomfortable place to get a piercing since you can't sleep on your ear until it heals. But like any other ear piercing, regular cleaning can help shorten the healing process.

Clean your cartilage piercing at least once a day before you go to bed. Many people find it easiest to clean the piercing while showering.

Wash your hands and wet the piercing with water. Twirl your stud while it's in the hole to loosen any seepage that has become crusted to your ear.

Lather up the antibacterial soap and apply it to the piercing with your hands or a cotton ball. You might have to bend the top of your ear over to get to the backside. Twirl the piercing again to make sure the soap covers the entire hole.

Let the piercing air dry to avoid getting any lint from a towel getting into the piercing.


Wash your bed sheets, especially your pillow case regularly and avoid sleeping on your ear until it has completely healed. Keep your hair pulled back while you sleep and sometimes during the day during the initial healing process. This will keep dirt and oil from your hair from contaminating your new piercing.


If your piercing stays red and becomes filled with puss, seek a doctor's advice because you might have an infection that requires antibiotics. If you clean it too much, your healing process might be prolonged.

Things You'll Need

  • Antibacterial soap
  • Cotton balls
  • Clean towels
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