Love your earrings? Well, you could be inadvertently wrecking them, and the health of your ears, simply because of your cleaning ritual (or lack thereof). Follow this easy guide to find out exactly what you should be doing to keep your studs, hoops, and dangly earrings clean and sanitized so that you never end up with a crusty, rusted pair again!
- Wash Hands
Before you do anything that involves your ears, or even just your face, you should be washing your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap. This helps kill any stray bacteria that could transfer to your unsuspecting earring holes, causing infection. Pat hands dry with paper towel.
- Remove Earrings
At this point, you can remove your earrings to be cleaned and set them down carefully on a dry, clean paper towel. If your piercing is still new, you should avoid removing the earrings unless they’re causing you pain. For newer piercings, you can clean the earrings while they’re still in your ear by simply using a Q-tip soaked in tea tree oil; this oil lubricates while sanitizing, leaving your earring hole feeling clean but not dried out or itchy.
- Wipe Earrings
If your earrings are safe to remove, you can quickly and easily clean them by wiping them down with a cotton pad soaked in rubbing alcohol or a specific jewellery cleaner that you were recommended. Make sure to rub earring backs, sides, and even the front of earrings to eliminate any pesky bacteria hiding in sneaky crevices. Once thoroughly wiped, let earrings air dry for a few minutes.
Properly storing your earrings can help protect them; invest in a jewellery box or case (great gifts for the special woman in your life!) and keep earrings pairs separate from each other. This will prevent scratching and transferring bacteria between ears, and make it so much easier to accessorize on date night.
- Watch for Possible Infections
Even if you clean your earrings every night, you’re still at risk for an infection—it’s just a fact of life when you have piercings! Watch out for tenderness, swelling, and redness around your earring hole and see a doctor if anything looks unusual.
- Clean Earrings After Each Use
Cleaning the earrings you’ve worn each day can help keep your precious earrings—and ears!—in tip-top shape. Make it a nightly ritual before bed, just like brushing your teeth and washing your face. Ears need self-care too!
- Professional Cleanings
These cleaning tips are great for most earrings, but if you have diamond and precious stone earrings, you might want to consider occasional professional cleanings to keep your baubles shining as bright as a diamond—er, a freshly cleaned diamond.