Nipple piercing sites, as with any other piercing, can become painful and infected if not cleaned properly. A salt water bath or soak will not fully clean a nipple piercing on its own. Using salt water to clean a nipple piercing after you've washed the area with soap, however, can help soothe any discomfort. Salt water soaks can also act as an additional way to prevent infections at or around the nipple piercing site.
Wash your hands. Use an antibacterial soap and thoroughly scrub for about 30 seconds before rinsing.
Remove the nipple ring if you can. You can still clean the area and ring if it isn't removed, but cleaning the area will be easier if the ring is out.
Wipe away the area with a dry cotton swab. This will remove debris that may have accumulated around the nipple piercing. Removing this debris will help to avoid an infection.
Add antibacterial soap to the tips of the fingers on one of your hands. Then, rub the tips of your finger along the tip of your thumb to spread the soap along all five fingers.
Wipe the nipple piercing and the surrounding area using your fingers and thumb. Wipe the entire ring if you left it in the piercing site. Wipe the area for about two minutes to ensure you have cleaned the area.
Rinse the area with distilled bottle water. Use bottle distilled water as this water will be free from any harmful bacteria. Dry the nipple piercing with a tissue or cloth towel.
Add warm water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt into a shot glass or small paper cup.
Place the cup around the nipple piercing site. Lay back on a couch or bed and hold the cup over the site to perform this soak. Leave the cup over the piercing site for 10 to 15 minutes.
Dry the nipple piercing site once more with a clean tissue or towel.
This cleaning method should be used twice a day for the first two to three months after the nipple piercing. Salt water soaks can then be used to wash nipple piercings three to four times a week.
Contact your doctor immediately if you feel your nipple piercing is infected--salt water will not remove this infection.