It’s probably been a while since you pierced your ears. You have been through taking care of your pierced ears and carefully not touching the earrings with unclean hands, and now everything is healed. Not only can you change earrings as many times as you want, but you also do not have to bother with cleaning anymore, right?
Almost! But to be more specific…
In line with general recommendation, wounds after piercing can take up to 12 months to fully heal and be reasonably protected against infection and allergies - just like normal healthy skin. However, even after the piercing is completely healed, you should still have a good earring cleaning routine. Not cleaning your earrings often can lead to grimy, infected holes when the dirty earrings introduce bacteria into your piercing. Moreover, dirt and grime can cause your beautiful studs to lose their shine and become discoloured.
So, when should you clean your earrings?
1. Before wearing them
Most of the time, people remove the earrings after a long day and throw them in the jewellery box where they continue to collect dust, grime, and bacteria. Before you wear the earrings the following morning, cleanse your earrings with running water and uncoloured liquid soap.
For a deeper clean (for metal earrings not medical plastic), you may use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol on a tiny cotton ball and give the entire surface of the earrings a wipe. For Blomdahl medical plastic earrings, strong cleaning agents and alcohol are NOT a suitable as it may make the medical plastic brittle, discoloured and fragile.
2. Weekly cleaning
Whether you wear the earrings every day or not, keeping them clean will maintain the shine and keep bacteria off. Take off your earrings and soak them in a solution of warm water and uncoloured liquid soap for 20 minutes.
Use a soft toothbrush to clean them and rinse in clean water. Place them in a clean cotton cloth for drying. While hydrogen peroxide is the best for killing bacteria, it can also damage your earrings (especially for softer metals such as gold), so sticking to an uncoloured liquid soap may be a safer option.
3. Clean the earring holes too
Earring holes are such a small part of our anatomy that nobody remembers they exist. Unfortunately, like your face, ears get all the dirt action from the environment and everything that is in your hair. Cleaning the earrings is not enough if you forget to wipe off the bacteria on your holes. At minimum, you should thoroughly clean your ears once a week with liquid soap and running water during a shower.
For convenience, if you still have that Blomdahl Piercing Aftercare Swabs that your specialist gave you after the piercing, use it to wipe the holes before wearing the earrings.
That’s it! You’re well on your way to a healthy, infection-free jewellery wearing regime!
4. Clean fresh piercing
As a reminder, if your ears are freshly pierced, you should clean the holes and the earrings twice a day. A fresh wound is more susceptible to bacterial infection, so you have to keep it super clean. Thoroughly clean your ears with liquid soap and running water during a shower.
If you are afraid of touching the newly pierced holes when cleaning, we have Blomdahl Piercing Aftercare Swabs for easy application. The swabs will easily wipe off the bacteria and dirt from the hole surface and the earrings without introducing fresh bacteria from your hands. Don’t remove the piercing earrings until the holes are healed, which can take from six weeks to 12 weeks.
If after following these advice and you still find that your ears experience slight itchy, tenderness or discomfort, this may be the cause of nickel allergy which happens in about a quarter of the population.
Find out more about nickel allergies from our blog : https://blomdahl.com.au/blogs/blogs/are-your-earrings-causing-itchiness-pain-or-redness