How to Clean Body Piercings: 11 Steps (with Pictures)

Table of contents:

How to Clean Body Piercings: 11 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Clean Body Piercings: 11 Steps (with Pictures)

Body piercing is a very popular trend in recent years. However, most people get their piercing without really knowing how to clean or care for it. The following tips will help you take good care of your piercing.


Clean a Body Piercing Step 1
Clean a Body Piercing Step 1

Step 1. Avoid touching the piercing or the area around it, for at least 24 hours after the piercing

Even after 24 hours, you should always clean your hands before touching your piercing. Foreign objects such as oil on the hands and dirt can interfere with the healing process of the piercing and cause infection. Never touch a piercing except to clean it.

Clean a Body Piercing Step 2
Clean a Body Piercing Step 2

Step 2. You should know the signs of normal healing

Although you should still be extra vigilant, knowing the signs of normal piercing healing will lighten the load on your mind about the infection and prevent you from over-cleaning it. Here are some symptoms of normal piercing healing:

  • The pierced skin area becomes sensitive, swollen, bleeds, and bruises. The newly pierced part is bound to bleed and swell. It also often causes the skin to become sensitive and bruised. The four symptoms above are normal if they occur in moderate intensity. However, you should contact the piercer who pierced you if the symptoms are excessive, or if the bleeding and bruising does not go away for more than a week after you have your piercing (you should know that genital piercings can cause bleeding freely for several days). first).
  • Discoloration and itching. Itching is a common symptom of the healing process, partly due to new skin growth. Often this discoloration is caused by a whitish yellow fluid (lymph) coming out of the piercing and you don't have to worry about it. However, you should contact your piercer immediately if you start to notice pus around the piercing hole.
Clean a Body Piercing Step 3
Clean a Body Piercing Step 3

Step 3. Choose the treatment habits that must be carried out after the piercing, with an approved method

Most professional piercers recommend using a sea salt solution to soak the piercing 1-2 times a day for a few weeks after the piercing. If your method starts to irritate the skin around the piercing, ask the piercer about using another method.

  • Saline (salt) solutions are easier to use with certain types of piercings. For earlobe piercings, all you have to do is dip the piercing in a cup of warm salt water. For belly button piercings, quickly flip a small cup of saline solution over it to create a vacuum to allow the piercing to soak. For most other types of piercing, an effective method is to soak gauze or clean paper towels in a saline solution and apply it to the piercing.
  • You have to make sure the solution goes all the way into the piercing, not just around the piercing. While it's best not to twist the earring on the piercing, you should spread the saline solution close enough to the earring to ensure that the solution enters the hole. Otherwise, there is a risk of infection in the piercing hole.
  • Use a saline solution that comes in a spray bottle. You can use this spray as a substitute or additional treatment with a saline bath. Ask the piercer the advantages of each method. There are several saline sprays on the market that you can buy at any pharmacy.
  • There are also some people who choose to clean their piercing with warm water and mild soap. If you choose to do this method, clean your piercing no more than 1-2 times a day. The best way to do this is to clean your piercing when you shower: pour in a drop of mild liquid soap and gently clean the piercing. Rinse off the soap after 15-30 seconds.
  • Avoid using dangerous products and methods. There are several ways to clean your piercing that you should avoid even if they seem effective.

    • Excessive cleaning. This is very likely to happen. Limit your piercing to twice a day to prevent dryness and irritation.
    • Use harsh soaps and antibacterial products such as Betadine and hydrogen peroxide. These products can damage cells that are recovering and dry out the piercing area, causing skin flakes to build up. For this reason you should also avoid using pure alcohol which is widely available in pharmacies.
    • Ointment. Ointment blocks the necessary airflow and will slow down the healing process of the piercing.
Clean a Body Piercing Step 4
Clean a Body Piercing Step 4

Step 4. Remove the build-up of scale

Clear, yellowish fluid will usually come out of the piercing as part of the healing process. However, if you don't clean it every day, this liquid will harden around the piercing, causing the hole to stiffen. Make sure you clean this liquid regularly and gradually. You can moisten a towel or cotton bud with saline solution and rub it on the area. NEVER descaling harshly.

If you use cotton buds, make sure the tip is completely submerged in the saline solution and that there are no lint sticking out. This is important to prevent the fibers from getting caught in the piercing. If the fiber gets stuck, remove the fiber immediately to prevent irritation. Never wear cotton. Also don't descaling around the piercing with your fingers - this kind of touch can lead to infection

Clean a Body Piercing Step 5
Clean a Body Piercing Step 5

Step 5. Take a shower under the shower to clean the piercing – a stream of water that is directed directly at the piercing can remove dirt/descale the piercing

Be careful around the piercing and talk to your piercer about the types of shampoos and soaps you can use in the shower.

Do not take baths in the first few weeks after the piercing is placed. Bathtubs tend to be a breeding ground for bacteria that can enter and become trapped in the piercing and cause infection. If you must do this, clean your bathtub well before submerging yourself in the water. Rinse and clean your piercing the next time you get out of the tub

Clean a Body Piercing Step 6
Clean a Body Piercing Step 6

Step 6. Treat trauma to the piercing area immediately

Never touch or play with your piercing unless you need to clean it. Also, don't rub or handle the piercing roughly and allow it to come into contact with other people's mouths or body fluids. If you have body piercings, wear loose-fitting clothing until the piercing heals. If you have ear piercings, tie your hair in such a way that the strands don't get caught in the piercing.

Clean a Body Piercing Step 7
Clean a Body Piercing Step 7

Step 7. Stay away from dirty water sources such as swimming pools, lakes, hot tubs, and other water sources that can be dangerous until the piercing heals

Just like the bathtub, places like this are a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause infection in the piercing. If you must swim, wear a waterproof tape.

Clean a Body Piercing Step 8
Clean a Body Piercing Step 8

Step 8. Be patient

Remember, the healing process for piercings starts from the outside in. Because of this, your piercing may look like it's healed even though it's not. Changing or removing your piercing can cause the hole to tear, and you'll be forced to start the healing process all over again.

Never move a piercing forcibly. If you don't clean your piercing infrequently, smelly secretions may build up inside the hole, making it difficult for you to move the earring. Instead of forcing the earring to slide and tearing through the healed skin, it's better to keep cleaning the piercing until it starts to come off easily

Clean a Body Piercing Step 9
Clean a Body Piercing Step 9

Step 9. Sleep on clean sheets

Diligently change sheets and pillowcases. Always wear clean and cool clothes when sleeping. Good airflow can help circulate oxygen in the piercing, so the wound can heal better and faster.

Clean a Body Piercing Step 10
Clean a Body Piercing Step 10

Step 10. Take care of your health

Just like any other type of wound, a new healing process can occur more quickly if the body is not working against infections and other health problems. So, maintaining the health and happiness of the body and mind also has a good effect on healing piercings.

  • Exercise. You can exercise while your piercing is healing (with a few exceptions). Make sure you wash away any sweat that may have accumulated on your piercing and pay attention to your body's needs.
  • Avoid consuming harmful chemicals for fun, including alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine.
  • Avoid stress, Stress levels that are too high in life will also have an impact on the body and slow down the healing process.
Clean a Body Piercing Step 11
Clean a Body Piercing Step 11

Step 11. Watch carefully for signs of an infected piercing

A piercing that heals properly shouldn't be a problem, unless the piercing is pushed, pulled, or otherwise experienced. If your piercing is painful, swollen, or leaking fluid, call your piercer. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing your piercing or damaging your body.


  • Do not clean the piercing excessively and irritate the skin. Cleaning your piercing 3 times a day is more than enough for most people.
  • If you have ear piercings or other facial piercings, use a T-shirt trick to keep your pillow clean. Cover the pillow with a clean, large t-shirt and change sides every night. It's important that a clean brush has some surface on which to sleep on.
  • Make your own saline solution if you can't afford it. Soak the piercing in warm water mixed with non-iodized sea salt (non-iodized sea salt is usually used as a supplement. Your piercer will provide you with this salt, but if not, you can buy it at the grocery store). Don't add more than a pinch of salt for 237 ml of water or your solution could dry out the piercing.
  • Treat piercings that are placed on the navel. Wear loose-fitting clothes. Besides being less painful than tight-fitting clothing, loose-fitting clothing can also reduce trauma to the piercing area and provide good ventilation.

    You might consider wearing an eye patch. If you must wear tight clothing, look for a tough eye patch at the pharmacy. You can wear them under nylon stockings. Or, you can also use tape to protect your piercing from rubbing against clothes

  • Never twist and twist your piercing. Some of the skin may stick to the earring used for piercing, which is normal. However, if rotated, the piercing area can tear and separate forcibly from the earring, causing trauma and slowing the wound healing process.
  • Do not use beauty and care products such as lotions, sprays, cosmetics, etc.
  • When a new piercing is made, it may be painful. Prepare a compress with a gauze pad or paper towel soaked in cold saline to help relieve the pain.
  • If you're worried about your piercing, you can talk to your piercer again. He can help you.
  • Treat mouth piercings. This type of piercing requires specific hygiene treatments that are slightly different from piercing treatments elsewhere. There are a few important things to remember:

    • Don't smoke, as smoking irritates the skin and causes buildup in and around the piercing, increasing the potential for infection.
    • Use a non-alcoholic mouthwash 2-3 times a day, especially after eating (and smoking, if you can't stop smoking). For an extra rinse, use water and sea salt or brush your teeth.
    • Avoid drinking alcohol and beer, because these drinks can cause bacterial infections and irritation in the mouth. You shouldn't have any problems drinking alcohol after 2 weeks, but you should continue to abstain from beer until the piercing heals.
  • Avoid attaching hangers to the piercing until the piercing heals.
  • If you can find one, look for a saline spray.


  • If the infection in your piercing gets worse, DO NOT remove it. Contact the piercer as soon as possible. Removing the piercing will block the only way out of the infection.
  • You should make sure that you know the proper care for your piercing. Treatment after piercing and how long it takes to heal varies, depending on the type of piercing. However, there are some general principles that apply to all types of piercings.
  • Do not use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol to clean your piercing. These ingredients will dry out the skin around the piercing.
  • If there is a large swelling and you feel pain, the hole starts to ooze gray/green pus or some other smelly discharge, visit the piercer as soon as possible.

Popular by topic