Tuesday, August 28, 2012

How to Clean Your Cartilage Piercing!

After loafing around on the internet for days, I did my best to scrounge up a good cleaning routine for my helix piercing. I heard many things about using antibacterial soap, sea salt, or h2ocean spray. I had no idea which one worked best. Some people raved about one while other swore by another. It was pretty confusing :/

I finally came up with a routine for cleaning my ear that I think works best!

Products needed!!

  1. Colorless, odorless antibacterial soap. I went to CVS, a drugstore, and bought SoftSoap clear antibacterial soap. It had no scents or color. If your soap is scented and colorful, that makes it more harsh on your piercing. Think about it, your piercing is essentially a puncture in your ear. Would you want to put some fruity soap onto an open wound?! NO! 
  2. Sea Salt. When I got my piercing, I went with a friend who was getting her belly button pierced. She told me that she now cleans it with iodized salt (a.k.a. table salt). THIS IS A BIG NO-NO. At least as far as cartilage goes, iodized salt burns so bad. It stings and does not clean it properly. Trust me, just get some sea salt. You can get it at your local grocery store.
  3. H2Ocean Spray. I'm 99% sure that you can buy this spray at your piercing parlor. I recall that my parlor did have it. However, when I got my piercing, I was not aware of what it even was. So, I went home and learned the hard way that it is a godsend. It's also available at Hot Topic or your can go to their website :)
Cleaning piercing with H2Ocean Spray::
  • I do this usually at night, right before I go to bed.
  • Step 1 - WASH YOUR HANDS. The number one rule for handling your piercing is to NEVER touch it with dirty hands. Hence, wash your hands thoroughly please!
  • Step 2 - Use a q-tip. They may also be known as "cotton buds." It is the cardboard stick with cotton on each end. This will simply make cleaning your piercing much more convenient.
  • Step 3 - Spray one end of the q-tip with the H2Ocean spray until it is saturated.
  • Step 4 - Carefully clean the area around your piercing using the q-tip. If this is difficult, try using a mirror, or ask someone for help. I usually make my mom or a friend help me! Use the q-tip to wipe away any fluid drainage or any crust that has formed. Don't worry, both of these are normal!!
  • Step 5 - Spray the back of your piercing with the H2Ocean spray directly. Use a healthy amount, but not too much.
  • Step 6 - Repeat steps 3-5 for the front of the piercing. Although this is a lot easier to clean using the q-tip!
  • You can let this spray dry on your ear. Do not rinse it off!
Cleaning piercing with Colorless, Odorless Antibacterial Soap::

  • I do this usually in the morning, when I am in the shower. Although it can be done simply at a sink!
  • Step 1 - Get your ear and the piercing wet with fresh, running water.
  • Step 2 - Pump a little bit of the soap onto your (CLEAN) hands.
  • Step 3 - Rub your hands together until the soap reaches a nice lather.
  • Step 4 - Rub the lathered soap around the piercing area. You can use a q-tip if it would be more convenient. Make sure to get the front and back!
  • Step 5 - Rinse the soap thoroughly.
Cleaning piercing with Sea Salt Soaks::

  • I do this a few times a week. It's not a daily thing because I like the regime of the H2Ocean spray and the antibacterial soap. However, if your piercing is irritated or hurts, this reduces the pain!!
  • Step 1 - Fill a cup with 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt.
  • Step 2 - Add 8oz. of water.
  • Step 3 - Microwave until the salt dissolves.
  • Step 4 - Allow the water to cool.
  • Step 5 - Place your ear/piercing in the sea salt solution for about 10-15 minutes
  • Do not rinse your ear after you are done!
There we go! Simple as that. 

**Also, reccommendation, only rotate your hoop/ spin your stud when you are cleaning to help get the crust away. It is okay during cleaning, and only during cleaning!!**


  1. Thank you so much for your post!! I just got mine done today and have been super confused with all the different postings online about how to clean it. Your post is so helpful and it is step-by-step with everything in one spot! Thanks so much and I will be bookmarking this page and going along with your steps! :)

  2. Thankyou so much! I just got mine pierced and it hurt to much to mover it. I can only twirl ot not move it inside and out.

  3. is it okay to use bactine to clean a helix piercing? I have had the piercing for a little over two months and have only been using only bactine. Is that bad? if so what should i do to clean it and when can i change it?

    1. Your not supposed to it can clog the "airways" of the piercing and will be more likely to get infected.

  4. No no do not ever rotate or spin your jewelery! ! It can cause the crust to tear at the healing tissue causing infection or longer healing process.

    1. Every place I've ever been to for piercings tell you specifically in the instructions to rotate the piercing once daily to prevent the earring from getting attached to your ear during healing... I'm on my fourth piercing now and have always followed this instruction, no infections nor lengthened healing times. the key is to only do it when your hands are clean when you're cleaning the piercing, the directions I got with my cartilage piercing also said to move it in and out to spread the cleaning solution through the piercing...

    2. Hi. I was wondering is there any particular food that we are not allowed to eat ? As I've been told and had a helix piercing 2 days old, we should not eat eggs and seafood during the process of healing but I've checked through the website, I found nothing but only cleaning it. Is there anything that I should do ? Would love to learn it :) hope to hear from you !

  5. I use Soft Soap once daily and shuffle the stud ONLY when cleaning. Sea salt soaks occasionally are beneficial (1/4 tsp. Sea salt to 1 cup of warm water), but after cleaning I use a Qtip dipped in a sweet almond oil/essence of lavender oil blend (5 ml sweet almond oil to 10 drops of essential lavender oil) to wipe off the piercing. This helps clean any remaining crusty material an keeps the piercing from becoming too tight yet does not keep it overly wet as would ointments. Lavender is a natural anti-inflammatory as well as having natural antibacterial properties. I used this on my nose piercing with excellent results. It also reduces discomfort.

  6. How long do I need to wait untill I cam start cleaning the piercings because they said not to take them off untill a month has passed

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Quickly this site will indisputably be famous among all blogging people, because of its fastidious articles or reviews. thesteammop.club

  8. Yes! All of the instructions are correct! I been getting piercings for as long as I can remember. Please, no table salt and alcohol!

  9. Yes! All of the instructions are correct! I been getting piercings for as long as I can remember. Please, no table salt and alcohol!

  10. Yes! All of the instructions are correct! I been getting piercings for as long as I can remember. Please, no table salt and alcohol!

  11. Thank u sooooo much just got an industrial helix and was confused about how to care for it, your advice really helped! Also I found the H2Ocean spray on amazon!

  12. This is so helpful thank u! i have just got my helix pierced and the piercing parlour instructions say to do a salt water clean, then use a non-alcoholic mild antibacterial soap for sensitive skin, then wash out the soap with some water so there's no residue, but i can't find a good antibac soap in the UK to use!! there are too many options its so confusing. my friend who has 3 helix piercings says she just cleaned with salt water twice a day for 4-6 weeks and nothing else and hers was fine is this right?

  13. I don't understand what you mean by "Place your ear/piercing in the sea salt solution for about 10-15 minutes." Do I literally have to put my ear in a cap or bowl to clean it? Can I not just put a Q-tip in the solution and clean it like that?? And won't rotating the piercing have a chance of getting it dirty? My piercer said don"t touch it.

  14. Also it' s best not to sleep on the piercing for a few months, so you can make a donut with a rolled length wise hand towel and the wrap it with a piece of cotton cloth and then loop it into a donut with a rubber band. Then place your ear right in the middle. HAPPY DREAMS...

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. How long should I clean my piercing? As in months?