How to Clean Pierced Ears

by Julia Estrela ; Updated July 18, 2017

Clean pierced ears with a saline solution.

silver earing image by Dumitrescu Ciprian from Fotolia.com

Knowing how to safely care for piercings is an important part of having pierced ears. This is especially true during the healing process, when ears are more susceptible to damage and infection. Proper maintenance begins with regular, daily cleanings of the piercing site with a saline solution. Saline is a gentle cleanser commonly used in the medical field, according to “The Piercing Bible.” It is mild but effective and will not harm healing tissue.


Heat the distilled water in a microwavable bowl. The temperature should be that of a warm, but comfortably drinkable, beverage.

Stir in the sea salt until it is completely dissolved.

Pour the solution into a shallow bowl. The container’s depth is important; when filled, the solution should be high enough that you can easily submerge the piercing.


Disinfect hands with soap and warm water. This will help prevent bacteria from spreading to the site.

Dip your ear in the saline solution for five to 10 minutes. Alternatively, saturate a gauze pad and gently wrap the piercing for the same amount of time.

Rinse ears with cool distilled water. Be thorough; dried salt crystals are sharp and can injure the healing skin, according to “The Piercing Bible.”

Use gauze to thoroughly dry the ears. If necessary, wipe away any lingering dirt or salt residue with a cotton swab.


  • Pierced ears should be cleaned once or twice a day during the first few weeks. Gradually reduce the frequency as the piercings begin to heal.

    If you opt to use a commercial saline solution, only buy products that are labeled “isotonic saline.” This ensures that the solution does not contain additives.


Photo Credits

  • silver earing image by Dumitrescu Ciprian from Fotolia.com

About the Author

Julia Estrela has been working as a freelance writer since 2008. Her work has appeared in various online publications. Estrela holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing from Connecticut College.