How to Remove Starter Earrings

Updated February 21, 2017

You should keep starter earrings in for several weeks so that the piercing won't close up. During these weeks, the skin may try to close around the earring or develop an infection. Even in the absence of infection, fluid sometimes collects and forms crust around the earring--this means that when you do go to take these earrings out for the first time, it can seem that they are stuck. You can remove them, however, it just takes some effort.

Wash your hands with water and antibacterial soap. Your hands should be clean to prevent introducing bacteria as you touch your ears.

Wet a cotton ball or swab in rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. Rub this around the back of the earring post close to the skin. This will disinfect the area and help remove some of the crust that may have formed.

Dab around the front of the earring with the cotton ball or swab. Now, grasp the earring, front and back.

Hold the back clasp of the earring firmly as you twist the front of the earring to loosen it in the ear. You may feel a little resistance--that is normal.

Keep a firm grasp on the front of the earring and pull on the back of the earring, if it is the kind of earring back that pushes on (most are). If it is the screw-on kind, twist it and start unscrewing it.

Wipe the front and back again with the cotton ball or swab if the earring seems stuck. Try to clean off as much crust around the earring as you can and then pull the back off firmly while grasping the front part of the earring.

Clean the earring and your ear lobe with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, on a clean cotton swab or ball, after you have removed the earring.


If your ear lobe is swollen, red and/or oozing pus, you probably have an infection, according to Kids Health. If this is the case, contact your doctor for advice. Often you can treat these at home with topical antibiotic ointment, but if the infection is serious, you may need oral antibiotics.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Cotton ball or swab
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