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How To Clean A Piercing

So, you’ve just left a Blue Banana store with a brand new piercing. Pretty awesome, right? But what happens next? Well, a lot does, and maintaining a cool looking piercing, wherever it is on your body, requires a lot of care and attention if you want it to stay looking great.

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Piercings Require Constant Care

Cleaning piercings is an absolute must and whilst its a small chore to do, you should never forget to do it – especially when your piercing is brand new. All professional body piercers and health experts recommend simple cleaning techniques you can follow to avoid infection and trust us when we say you don’t want that!

Luckily here at Blue Banana we’re experts at piercings and if you follow these simple steps you can prevent your piercings from going nasty.

1. Always Wash Your Hands Before You Begin

This is a really easy thing to do, but also surprisingly easy to forget. Before cleaning of piercings and jewellery begins, wash your hands with warm water and soap. Your hands need to be thoroughly sterilised before touching anything. Only you know where those hands have been, so make sure they are perfectly clean to help avoid infection.

2. Buy The Right Cleaning Products

Piercings must be cleaned with a specific kind of solution that not only cleans the pierced area and jewellery but avoids irritation. Piercings are sensitive, so not just any old soap will do! The recommended cleaning mixture for piercings is a sterile saline solution or non-iodised sea salt. A cleaning spray also works too, but make sure its appropriate for piercings.  Make sure you always check the labels so that you have the correct cleaning products and if you’re really not sure, ask a professional body piercer or doctor for advice.

3. Make A Cleaning Solution Mix

If you’re using non-iodised sea salt to make your piercing cleaner add 1/4 of a teaspoon of the salt to a cup of warm, distilled and clean water. Boil the water first and then let it cool before you begin for the safest conditions. Stir the sea salt into water until it dissolves. Be careful to not make the solution too strong either as that can cause irritation.

4. Get Cleaning!

Salt Water Piercing Solution

Keep That Piercing Clean!

Once you have a salt water cleaning solution, soak your piercing in it for between five to ten minutes. This should be done at least once a day for several weeks whilst your piercing fully heals. When it comes to cleaning the actual wound, apply cleaning gauze or a sterilised and saturated cotton bud soaked in the saline solution to the pierced area, making sure to clean all around the area and in the hole. This is appropriate for most piercings such as ear, eyebrow or lips.

An alternative cleaning method, highly suitable for belly button or certain other body piercings, is by inverting the cup of saline solution so that it covers the pierced area completely. Do this so that it creates a vacuum and let it soak for several minutes. You may also use gentle soaps and warm clean water to wash piercings, but make sure you use the appropriate soap. Seek advice from a professional if you’re not sure if the soap you’re using is safe.

Whilst washing in the shower you can also clean your piercings. Use a small pea-sized amount of gentle soap or shower gel on the piercing and make sure to not leave it on the area for more than thirty seconds so as to not cause irritation.

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Sterilised Cotton Buds Are Perfect For Cleaning and Drying Piercings.

5. Rinse And Dry The Pierced Area

After cleaning your piercing carefully rinse away any residue and remaining soap with clean water. Once clear, dry the area with a sterilised cotton bud or paper towels but be very gentle. Avoid using a towel to dry your piercing as they can often be unclean and carry bacteria that may infect your piercing wound.

What Else Do You Need To Be Aware Of?

1. Don’t Overclean! It may be hard to resist but cleaning your piercing too much can impair the healing process. Once or twice a day is the most you’ll ever need to clean your piercing.

2. Avoid Taking Baths. This may be hard for some (baths are awesome) but baths should be avoided whilst your piercing is healing. Baths are a magnet for bacteria and submerging your piercing in dirty water is asking for trouble. Also, you should avoid swimming unless you wear a protective water tight bandage.

3. Sleep On Clean Bedding. This is especially important if you have a facial piercing. Make sure you sleep on regularly changed pillows and sheets and allow oxygen to reach the piercing to help it heal. A good tip is to sleep on a clean t-shirt and change that every few days to avoid excessive bedding changes.

4. Avoid Putting Skin Care Products and Make-up Near The Piercing. It may be tough to resist (a girl needs her make-up!) but cosmetics and lotions can cause infection, irritation and prevent healing.

5. No Heavy Petting! It’s not our business what you get up to in the bedroom – we’ll just say that you need to keep all bodily fluids away from your piercing to reduce the risk of infection.

If you’re unsure about anything or see signs of infection or irritation, always consult a doctor or professional body piercer! You are always welcome to pop in to a Blue Banana store for advice – so don’t be afraid to ask!

We hope our guide helps you to properly care for and clean your piercing. If you are looking for safe jewellery for your piercing, no matter how long you’ve had it, why not check out our body jewellery collection?

Body Jewellery

Written by Laura Swift

Laura Swift


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