How to Clean Earrings & Ear Piercings

Written by morgan o'connor
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How to Clean Earrings & Ear Piercings
A new ear piercing needs frequent cleaning. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Approximately three-quarters to four-fifths of American women have pierced ears, according to a 2004 article from Medical News Today. This prevalence can make the procedure seem safe and harmless. The truth is that getting your ears pierced can pose a health risk. If you do not care for your new piercings properly -- or in some cases even if you do -- they may become infected. In mild cases, this infection clears up easily. For those less fortunate, however, a serious infection can lead to permanent disfiguration. Do your best to avoid infection by cleaning your piercings and earrings properly.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Anti-bacterial soap
  • Rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide or a saline solution
  • Cotton ball
  • Paper towel

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  1. 1

    Wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap in preparation. Touching your newly pierced ears with unclean hands can lead to infection.

  2. 2

    Apply rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide or a saline solution (as directed by your piercer) to a cotton ball.

  3. 3

    Wipe the piercing and the earring gently with the wet cotton ball. You do not need to scrub, and doing so may irritate the piercing.

  4. 4

    Rotate the earring gently in the ear. This helps keep the healing skin from sticking to it or forming scar tissue.

  5. 5

    Dry your ear carefully with a paper towel, taking care to avoid snagging the earring with the towel. Repeat this process twice daily for best results.

  6. 6

    Wash any earrings you wish to put into your ears with antibacterial hand soap and warm water. Wash the earrings for a full three minutes, making sure to scrub any hard-to-reach areas. Rinse the earrings thoroughly to remove any traces of soap.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not pick or scratch at your ear as it heals. There may be a crusty build-up; this is normal and will fall off naturally.

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