How to Sanitize Earrings

Artem Kononenko/Demand Media

Whether you wear shiny hoops, dangling beads or glittering gemstone earrings, it's smart to keep your jewelry clean. Earrings spend all day in contact with your skin, and if they're not properly sanitized they can cause an infection. It's especially important to clean your earrings if your piercings are new. After getting your ears pierced, the holes need time to heal properly -- and that makes them vulnerable to infection-causing bacteria. It's easier to remove your earrings to disinfect them, but you can wipe them clean even if they're still in your ears.

Artem Kononenko/Demand Media

Wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap to prevent infection from bacteria that can spread to piercings.

Artem Kononenko/Demand Media

Remove your earrings from your ears, if possible. If you just got your ears pierced, you shouldn't remove the earrings for at least six weeks or the holes will close completely.

Artem Kononenko/Demand Media

Dip a cotton pad in rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide or antibiotic ointment. If the ear-piercing technician gave you a sanitizing solution to use, use that instead.

Artem Kononenko/Demand Media

Wipe the front and back of the earrings with the cotton pad. If the earrings are still in your ears, rotate them carefully as you wipe. If you have any other earrings you plan to wear, wipe them down too. You should even do this with new earrings just to stay safe.

Repeat this process every night before you go to bed.

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