How To Clean Body Jewelry Properly So You Can Avoid Getting An Infection

When was the last time you cleaned your nose or belly button ring? If your answer is, "I can't remember," it's definitely time for you to learn how to clean body jewelry so you don't get an infection! Even if you clean your piercing, an unsterilized piece of jewelry could still cause trouble.

If you're new to the world of body piercing in general, I've broken down a quick refresher on how to clean your piercing itself. Bustle's Annie Crawford made a great list about the easiest ways to clean new piercings. She advised, "Soak it in a gentle saline bath, wash with gentle soap no more than twice a day, rinse thoroughly," and, most importantly, "keep your dirty mitts off!" Of course, if your piercer gave you specific alternative instructions, definitely follow them instead.

Depending on the piece of body jewelry you've got, you'll need to follow a slightly different cleaning strategy. For example, cleaning a septum piercing with antibacterial soap is fine, but cleaning a tongue piercing with it would taste, well, completely disgusting.

Scroll on below to see the most common body piercing methods, and find which one is right for your piece of jewelry.

1. Boiling Water

As shared on Painful Pleasures, "You can boil your body jewelry to sterilize it as long as there are NO electronic components, acrylic or jewels in it." Just place your piece in boiling water for five minutes and then let dry on a clean paper towel.

2. Mouthwash Soak

Tom's Fluoride Rinse (3 Count), $13, Amazon

BeautyHows suggested that for oral pieces only (i.e. tongue rings), you can soak them in non-alcohol mouthwash for one to two minutes to sterilize.

3. Antibacterial Soap And Water

Cetaphil Antibacterial Gentle Cleansing Bar (Pack of 3), $12, Amazon

Safe for all piercings except tongue rings, Livestrong advised, "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."

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Images: Fotolia (1, 2); Courtesy of Brands