Cleaning is an essential part of aftercare so it has to be performed on a regular basis. Not everyone knows how to do it properly, so here are a few quick instructions you need to follow:
- Always wash your hands before you touch your piercing, jewelry or your skin. Make sure to wash them thoroughly and not just for a few moments. As a rule, you should spend at least 3 to 5 minutes washing your hands carefully.
- It’s also good to wash the body part near the piercing as much as you can. This might not always be possible because the new piercing may be painful and might restrict you in some ways, but it’s best to clean yourself as much as you can before handling your piercing in any way.
- Do not rush. While cleaning should not last for a long time, you should never do it in a hurry. You need to take your time to prepare everything properly.
Cleaning: Warnings and Precautions
- As a general rule, you should clean your new piercing at least twice per day. Depending on your piercing, you may need to perform this routine more. For example, fresh piercings typically require a more frequent cleaning than those that are a few weeks or months old. Also, some piercings, such as oral piercings, will require more frequent cleaning. As a general rule, you should clean your oral piercings (such as tongue piercing) after each meal.
- On the other hand, you must resist the urge to clean your piercing too often. This can bring more harm than good. Over cleaning is a bad practice that can lead to irritation and other problems. You should not clean your piercing more than 4 or 5 times per day.
- Always use only body-friendly cleaners suitable for cleaning new piercings. Your chosen cleaner has to be strong enough to clean the piercing but also mild enough not to hurt it. Typically, a sterile saline solution is the best cleaner for a new piercing, but you may use a mild anti-bacterial soap or a reliable commercial product (such as H2Ocean Piercing Aftercare Spray) if you know it’s effective and body-friendly.
- Never clean your piercing with alcohol or another harsh cleaner. Also, general cosmetic cleaners made to wash face and body are not suitable for this purpose.
- When cleaning, make sure to touch your piercing as little as possible. You should not touch the jewelry at all. Never twist or turn the jewelry during the healing process!
How to Clean
- You need to apply the cleaner for 5 to 10 minutes per cleaning. The cleaner has to be applied in such a way to reach your piercing but without disturbing the jewelry. The goal is to minimize the contact between your fingers and the piercing.
- Always use warm (not hot) solution for this purpose.
- A good method to clean is to invert a cup full of solution and place it over your piercing. Leave the cup for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Some piercings cannot use the cup method, so you may use clean gauze or a paper towel soaked in the solution. If using this method, make sure not to touch the piercing much.
- You will typically need to rinse your piercing a bit to remove any residue. When doing this, make sure not to disturb the jewelry or the piercing.
- Dry your piercing with clean paper towels. Make sure to do it by gently patting your piercing. Never apply too much pressure. Also, make sure not to use cloth towels: they can harbor bacteria and snag on jewelry.