How To Clean Ear Piercing With Salt Water

Getting your ears pierced is an exciting new experience, but it requires diligent aftercare to heal properly and avoid infection. One of the best things you can do for a new ear piercing is clean it regularly using a salt water solution. Salt water, also known as saline, helps flush out the piercing, removes discharge and dead skin cells, stimulates blood flow, and reduces irritation. By soaking your piercing in salt water several times a day, especially during the initial healing period, you can speed up healing and recovery.

Is Salt Water Good for Ear Piercings?

The single best thing you can do for your piercing is to keep up a regular regimen of salt water soaks. These flush out the piercing, help to draw out discharge, stimulate blood circulation, and soothe irritations. We strongly suggest soaking your piercing at least twice a day—more often if healing is difficult.

Salt water is a natural antiseptic, meaning it helps kill bacteria. It also helps reduce inflammation in the tissue surrounding a new piercing. Salt draws moisture out of the cells, which can help dry up excess lymph fluid and promote healing. In addition, the warm water from a salt soak will increase blood circulation to the piercing, delivering oxygen and nutrients to aid in the healing process.

How Long Should I Soak an Ear Piercing in Salt Water?

A good rule of thumb is to soak your piercing in salt water for 7 to 10 minutes, 2 to 3 times per day. Soaking for too long can lead to irritation, so you want to limit the time for each soak. Be sure to thoroughly rinse your piercing with clean water after soaking to remove any remaining salt residue. Pat the area dry with clean paper towels or gauze.

How to Make a Salt Water Solution for an Ear Piercing

To make a salt water solution, use the following recipe:

•1 cup warm distilled or bottled water
•1/4 teaspoon of sea salt

•Rinse your ear piercing to remove any crust or debris.
•Dissolve the sea salt in the warm water until no grains remain.
•Carefully immerse your ear in the solution, soaking the front and back of the piercing for 7 to 10 minutes.
•After soaking, rinse your ear thoroughly with clean water and pat dry with disposable paper products.
•Discard any leftover solution after use and make a fresh batch each time. Do not re-use solution.
•Use this salt water soak 2 to 3 times daily, preferably after cleaning your piercing.
Continue regular salt water soaks for at least 6 to 8 weeks or until the piercing has fully healed. The soaks can typically be discontinued once swelling has gone down, redness has faded, and you no longer notice any discharge or crusting around the piercing site.

How to Clean Your Ears After a Salt Water Soak

After soaking your piercing in a salt water solution, it’s important to properly clean the area to remove any bacteria or debris. Here are some tips for cleaning your ears after a salt water soak:

•Rinse your ear piercing with clean water to remove any excess salt residue or discharge from the soak. Use a gentle stream of water or fill a clean cup with water and slowly pour it over the front and back of your ear.

•Gently wipe or blot the piercing with sterile gauze or a clean cloth. Avoid rotating or twisting the jewelry, which can slow down healing. Be very gentle when cleaning piercings that pass through cartilage.

•Do not use cotton swabs, as these can leave tiny fibers behind and irritate a new piercing. They also do not effectively clean a piercing.

•Wash your hands thoroughly before cleaning or handling a new ear piercing. Always keep your hands and hair clean and avoid touching the piercing with dirty hands.

  • After cleaning, allow your piercing to air dry or gently pat dry with gauze or paper towels. Allowing moisture to collect around the piercing can lead to infection.
  • Never use alcohol, peroxide, creams, ointments or lotions on a new piercing unless specifically instructed by your piercer. These products can damage and irritate the piercing.

•Continue cleaning your ear piercing 2-3 times a day with sea salt soaks and by rinsing/blotting for 4 to 6 weeks. See your piercer immediately if you notice signs of infection like increasing pain, redness, swelling, or pus.

•Once healed, continue occasional sea salt soaks and daily rinsing to prevent irritation and infection. Properly cared for piercings can often last for many years.

•Never remove your jewelry before 6-8 weeks. Very serious risks are associated with removing jewelry before a piercing has healed. See your piercer for guidance on when you can change your initial piercing jewelry.

•Contact your piercing studio with any questions or concerns about your ear piercing or the healing process. Your piercer will have the experience and expertise to properly guide you through healing and aftercare.

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