How to Sterilize Piercings

Updated April 17, 2017

Piercing sterilisation is important to do when getting and taking care of a piercing. When you get a piercing, ask your piercer if all his equipment has been sterilised in an autoclave. While he does the piercing make sure he changes his gloves often and he opens package containing the sterilised needle in front of you. Make sure the jewellery is either surgical steel, titanium or gold. Keeping your piercing sterilised afterward is simple.

Thoroughly wash your hands before cleaning your piercing. Piercings should be cleaned daily for the length of your healing time. This can also be added to your shower routine.

Wash your piercing with antimicrobial/germicidal medicated soap. Make sure your soap is mild and both fragrance and colour-free. Rinse with warm water, making sure there is no soapy residue left behind.

Soak your piercing in a sea salt soak directly after cleaning. Sea salt soaks are recommended once a day to aid in faster healing. A sea salt soak can be made by dissolving 1/4 tsp of sea salt in 236ml. of distilled water and soaking the area directly for several minutes.

Check your jewellery after each cleaning to make sure the balls of threaded jewellery are firmly attached. Balls can be changed at any time, but you must keep the original jewellery in for the full healing time.


Keep your jewellery in for the full healing time. This is usually about 3 months. Piercings should not be cleaned more than twice a day. Clean your bathtub with a bleach product thoroughly before bathing during the initial healing time after getting a piercing.


Professional piercers do not support the use of a piercing gun because it cannot be sterilised in an autoclave and does not adequately protect against the transmission of blood-born pathogens. In the event of pus drainage or infection, see your physician for treatment immediately. Leave the jewellery in during treatment to avoid the skin closing and sealing in bacteria.

Things You'll Need

  • Antimicrobial/germicidal medicated soap
  • Sea Salt
  • Distilled Water
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About the Author

Tiffany Barry is a freelance writer with a background in early childhood education. She has been in the childcare field for more than 10 years. Barry writes about education, parenting and motherhood.