It’s probably been at least a decade or two since you got your ears pierced, and your cleaning solution for your earring holes most likely hit the bottom of your trash can long ago. Nowadays, you wear your favorite pair of hoops all day, take them out at night and put them back with your ever-growing bling collection, and repeat. This routine is so second nature that you don’t even think twice about sanitizing your studs or drop earrings.
Earring holes make up such a tiny part of our bodies that they can get overlooked easily. But not cleaning your earrings, even with fine jewelry, can turn those tiny little holes into gross, red, infected holes. And nobody wants that. If you think about it, you’re literally sticking a piece of metal through you, so it makes sense that dirt and yucky earring germs could make their home in your earring holes and cause infections. Whether you’re wearing fine jewelry or something from Target, you need to clean your most-worn pairs of earrings frequently. Doing so can also help get rid of any stanky odors your earrings and/or earring holes might have unpleasantly developed. Here’s how:
- Wash your hands. You don’t want any more germs to wander into your earring holes.
- Grab the pair of earrings you wear the most. If you’re currently wearing them, take them out for the cleaning process.
- Pour rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide on a cotton ball or swab. If you also still happen to have earring cleaning solution (throwback to when you first got your ears pierced), this is a safe cleaner, too.
- Wipe the front and back of the entire earring thoroughly with the solution.
- You should also wipe the solution on your earring holes while you’re at it. This sounds super juvenile, but keeping your hole clean can help keep your earrings themselves clean and vice versa.
Aaaaaand repeat this on all your favorite earring accessories. Use this process on new earrings, too. You never know how many times they might have been tried on in the store before you bought them..aka massive germs.
For jewelry with gemstones, Burdeen’s Jewelry advises staying away from hot water. They recommend mild dish soap and cool water for most gemstones. Stick your jewels right in the solution and let them soak for a little while. This works on most gemstones, with the major exception of pearls. Water can actually damage the pearls themselves, so stick to the previous method above. Burdeen’s also suggests using microfiber cloths and lint-free towels to help clean and dry your precious gems, including pearls.
If your earring hole itself starts to look infected after you clean your earrings, you might be allergic to the material of the earring itself. Opt for hypoallergenic or nickel-free jewelry. If the infection stubbornly persists, you might need to consult your local doc. Also, make you sure you take off your earrings in the shower and before you go to sleep to let your holes breathe. No matter how much you might love your diamond studs, you two need a little distance every night.