Body jewelry adorns not only your earlobes and navel, but sometimes some other, very private areas of your body. Thus, they must be kept clean to keep you healthy and free of infection. Rubbing alcohol is a common household sterilizing agent, but it might irritate the skin and discolor your jewelry. Simple washing is all you need to do in order to sterilize your body jewelry and maintain clean piercing sites.
Sterilize body jewelry that is not used for tongue piercings with antibacterial soap. Wash each piece in warm water and soap, sudsing and rinsing for at least three minutes to be sure that all debris has been removed.
MayoClinic.com suggests swabbing your jewelry with dampened cotton swabs to remove any crusted matter that remains during the washing process.
Clean tongue rings and other oral jewelry with mouthwash. Sanitize your mouth by swishing mouthwash for at least 30 seconds after each meal. Remove your jewelry and soak in a small cup of mouthwash for several minutes for a more thorough cleaning.
Antiseptic mouthwash is designed to kill germs and will sterilize metal jewelry as well. Use alcohol-free mouthwash to avoid discoloration of acrylic items.
Re-insert your body jewelry immediately after sterilization to reduce the risk of harboring bacteria. If you choose not to wear your ornamental pieces, dry them with a soft towel and store in a clean container after you have finished sterilization.
Erica Roth has been a writer since 2007. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and was a college reference librarian for eight years. Roth earned a Bachelor of Arts in French literature from Brandeis University and Master of Library Science from Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Her articles appear on various websites.