How to clean a belly button

Written by caroline jackson
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How to clean a belly button
Practice good belly-button hygiene to avoid infections. (belly of a girl in a pink towel image by silviaantunes from

When it comes to matters of personal hygiene, having a clean belly button isn't necessarily the first thing most people consider, but they should: keeping the navel clean and dry can prevent skin problems, such as yeast infections, that affect the area. The University of Virginia Health System's website warns that a yeast-infected navel may develop a rash or pimples, cause burning and itching or ooze a clear-coloured fluid. You can prevent problems by paying a little extra attention to your belly button the next time you're in the shower.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Antibacterial soap
  • Cotton swabs
  • Astringent
  • Towel

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  1. 1

    Cleanse the area around your navel with a gentle, antibacterial soap. "Innie" belly buttons may require the use of a cotton swab to thoroughly remove built-up dirt, dead skin cells and oil.

  2. 2

    Towel-dry your belly button. Be sure not to leave it damp since candida (yeast) thrives in moist conditions.

  3. 3

    Dip a cotton swab into astringent. Sweep it softly around the outside of your navel. Use another cotton swab to clean the inside of your belly button with astringent. Let the area air-dry.

Tips and warnings

  • Use a hair dryer on a low, cool setting to dry your navel if you're in a hurry after showering.
  • Consult a doctor if your belly button has a persistent bad odour or is tender or sore. You might have a bacterial or yeast infection that requires special treatment to clear up.

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