How to clean your ear piercing

Ear piercings are an awesome way to express your personality and sense of style. With the wide variety of piercing types that are available, you have seemingly limitless choices when it comes to what piercings you should get. However, no matter what type of piercing you get, cleaning your ear piercing will be a vital part of the overall healing process.

Why Cleaning Is So Important

Cleaning your new ear piercing regularly is absolutely vital. Your piercing must be allowed to heal properly, which can take anywhere from weeks to months depending on the area where you get it done. The only way your piercing will heal properly is if you keep it clean at all times throughout the aftercare phase.

Failing to keep your piercing clean can mean infections, which will ultimately make it take even longer for your piercing to heal. Complications from infected piercings are no fun at all, so trust us when we tell you that you have to make every effort to maintain your cleaning regimen.

How To Clean Your Ear Piercing

1. Give it a Rest

First things first – do not attempt to clean your piercing right away when you get home. In fact, don’t touch your piercing or the area around it for the first 24 hours after you’ve had your piercing done. The area will still likely be painful, and you need to let the piercing settle down a bit.

2. Get Cleaning

Most of the time, your ear piercer will recommend sea salt soaks to keep your piercings clean. This can be very easy, as you can simply dip your lobe piercing in a cup of warm salt water (dissolve ¼ teaspoon of fine sea salt into 1 cup of warm water) or the solution provided by your ear piercer.

The best aftercare product I’ve personally used is the After Inked Piercing Aftercare Spray. Not only is it vegan, but it’s also completely alcohol and additive-free. The solution works well on all skin types including sensitive skin, and it comes in a generously-sized mist-spraying bottle for easy application. When using it from the very start of the healing process, the spray helps to decrease healing times and aims to eliminate any lingering pain or soreness.

Of course, if you have a cartilage piercing, it will be a little more difficult to do. Some ear piercers will recommend that you use a Q-tip or other cotton swab to probe the area around your piercing gently after dipping it into your approved cleaning solution.

You’ll also need to be aware that cleaning industrial piercings and other variations with multiple wounds will be a bit more important, as there are more areas for bacteria to enter.

Make note that you should never use harsh soaps or anti-bacterial products to clean your ear piercings. You should also avoid using healing ointments, which can actually impair airflow to the area and increase healing times.

3. Be Careful

While cleaning, you’re likely to occasionally notice crusty, clear, yellowish fluids come out of your piercing. This is completely normal. Don’t use your fingers to remove the crust. Instead, try to get them out using a cotton swab in a gentle sweeping motion.

In addition to your cleaning regimen, you have to make sure that your daily habits aren’t putting your piercing’s healing at risk. Keep your hands clean if you must touch anywhere around the area of your piercing. Do what you must to prevent dirt and oils from getting near the area, too.

Overall, avoid letting anything come in contact with your piercing whenever possible. This not only means your hands but anything else, too. For ear piercings, this may mean trying to sleep on the other side of your head from where your new piercing is.

Just in case, make sure your pillow and pillowcase are clean since they’ll probably come in contact with your ear piercing.

4. Expect (Some) Discomfort

Another important thing to note is not to be alarmed if you notice swelling, tenderness, or bruising early on in the healing process. This is normal when you’ve just had a piercing done, although you definitely shouldn’t be experiencing it weeks later. If this is the case, see a doctor as you could have an infection.

5. Don’t Twist

One more thing that you should know: Don’t follow the outdated advice that you should “twist” your starter jewelry regularly to avoid it somehow getting stuck in your piercing. This advice has long been given by inexperienced piercers at mall stores, but it can actually end up irritating your piercing.

Also, if you twist your jewelry, bacteria and crusty secretions that normally would work their way out of your piercing will instead get stuck inside. This can obviously lead to an infection in no time. If your jewelry feels “stuck,” it’s likely due to swelling, which will gradually decrease throughout the healing process.

A Quick Reference

  1. Wash your hands. Wash with lukewarm water and soap before touching your piercing to avoid transferring bacteria to the area.
  2. Clean with a clean cotton swab or pad, dipped in salt solution. Use this around the piercing area 2-4 times a day to remove any bacteria.
  3. Dab the piercing. Dab the area with a clean towel so you don’t damage the wound while it’s healing. Wiping instead of dabbing can cause further damage.

Important Ear Piercing Aftercare Steps You Must Ensure You Take

Some of our other awesomely-helpful guides:

How to clean your ear piercing

We’ve all heard the horror stories about ear piercings gone wrong.

Uneven piercings because you skimped on the cost of the procedure and went to the sketchy place down the street. Post-piercing infection because your new cleaning routine lasted all of five days.

And who hasn’t experienced the pain of using the pointy starter earring to basically re-pierce your ears because you took them out too soon?

We spoke to a few jewelers who offer ear piercing services in their stores, and they spilled the expert beans on 6 of the biggest ear piercing care mistakes.

Did you know? Mall kiosks and piercing salons aren’t your only options. Ask your local jeweler if they do piercings!

Common Ear Piercing Care Mistakes

Avoid the tragedy of ear piercing horror stories by steering clear of these 6 ear piercing care mistakes:

1. Dirty Hands

If you touch your new piercing with hands that haven’t recently been washed, germs will transfer and could lead to an infection. This may sound obvious, but it happens enough that it’s worth noting.

Always, always, always wash your hands before touching your newly pierced ears.

2. Hair Products

Your hair holds onto anything and everything it encounters throughout the day. It contains the shampoo, conditioner and product from this morning, plus all the bacteria and dirt that happened to be floating around in the air you walked through today.

To prevent bacteria from transferring from your hair to your piercings, try throwing your hair up at night – at least for the first month. Keeping it pulled back and away from your ears will not only reduce the risk of infection, but will also keep it from getting caught on your earrings while you sleep.

3. Wrong Solution

Everyone suggests different solutions to use, so it’s hard to know which is the right choice.

First, use the saline solution your piercer gave you, every day, twice a day. Apply it to the front and back of the piercing with a clean cotton ball, and then twist the earring a couple times while it is wet.

If that doesn’t seem to do the trick, jewelers suggest trying bactine or rubbing alcohol.

Warning: Rubbing alcohol may sting a bit when you use it. Also, if you find your skin is getting too dry, stop using it and switch to something gentler. Only you know your body and can judge what works best for you.

4. Premature Earring Removal

Don’t take your earrings out too early! They will close rather rapidly.

Leave earrings in for 6-8 weeks, giving your ears time to heal.

5. Leaving Earrings Out Too Long

Yes, you can take your earrings out after 6-8 weeks if they feel ready, but don’t leave them out! They will still close quickly since they’re relatively new.

Leave your earrings in as often as you can for roughly a year before going extended periods without them.

6. Cheap Earrings

You’ve done your time. The long two-month wait is over. Don’t ruin that progress by switching the possibly boring, but high quality, earrings out with those super cute $3 earrings you just scored!

Jewelers suggest wearing 14K yellow gold earrings consistently throughout the first year because yellow gold is more pure than most metals. They recommend not using white gold because it may be mixed with nickel, which could possibly lead to an infection depending on your skin sensitivity.

During the first year, your ears may be more sensitive, and the last thing you want is an allergic reaction.

Once you get your ears pierced, take care of them! Your beautifully pierced ears will thank you. If you’re looking for more insights on how to clean and care for your jewelry, check out our guide!

Interested in seeing how much it might cost your to insure your jewelry? Receive a quote in minutes without providing any personal information.

In this Article

  • Caring for Your Piercing
  • Caring for Ear Piercings
  • Caring for Children’s Ear Piercings
  • Caring for Cartilage Piercings
  • Caring for Oral Piercings
  • Caring for Body Piercings
  • Piercing Complications

Whether you’re thinking about adding a new piercing or just got one, you’ll need to know the proper care instructions. Keeping your new piercing clean and cared for lessens your risk for infection or other complications.В

Caring for Your Piercing

No matter what type of piercing you get, the same best practices apply:В

  • Wash your hands before touching your piercing for any reason.В
  • Clean the piercing with either a saline solution, a fragrance-free antimicrobial soap, or both once or twice per day.В
  • Rinse any soap from the piercing.В
  • Gently dry the piercing with a clean, disposable paper towel or tissue. Avoid drying with cloth since it may carry germs or catch on the jewelry.В

In order to keep piercings clean throughout the day, steer clear of:В

  • Touching the piercing unless necessary
  • Contact with bodily fluid including saliva
  • Contact with open water, including lakes, rivers, pools, and hot tubs. Showers are better than baths since bathtubs can hold onto bacteria.В
  • All makeup or beauty items including lotions, sprays, and powders.
  • Antibacterial ointments, as they can prevent the piercing from getting the air it needs to heal.В

If you decide you don’t want your piercing, you can take out the jewelry. But this can interfere with the healing process. If you do take out your jewelry, be sure to keep cleaning the wound daily until it’s fully healed. ‌

Tips for sleeping. If you have an ear or facial piercing, put your pillow into a clean t-shirt, changing the side of the shirt from back to front and inside to out daily. This gives you a clean surface for your piercing. For body piercings, go for loose, comfortable clothes at night.В

Caring for Ear Piercings

Earlobe piercings are the most common type of piercing. It’s typically a less risky part of your body to get pierced.В

What to expect. When you first get your ears pierced you may see some bleeding, bruising, redness, or experience mild soreness. You may also experience itching and see white-yellow fluid ooze from the wound or crust on the jewelry. This is a normal part of the healing process and isn’t pus.В

Caring for Children’s Ear Piercings

Getting your child’s ears pierced is pretty common, even for babies less than a year old. Some doctors suggest waiting until your child is 8 or older to keep the risk of infection down. Younger children are more likely to touch their earrings and less likely to always have clean hands. ‌

Concerns. Aside from infection, there’s little risk in piercing your child’s ears. You’ll just need to keep them clean and take good care of them. Common complications you should look for include:В

  • Allergy to metals or piercing material
  • Accidentally swallowing the piercingВ
  • Rejection of the piercing‌

When your child gets their ears pierced, you’ll want to choose a gold post if possible. This lessens the chance of an allergic reaction. Other metals can cause irritation and itchiness. This can cause your child to touch their ears more frequently.В

Caring for Cartilage Piercings

Cartilage piercings have become popular. But they’re riskier. Common cartilage piercings are along the upper ear and the septum, the inside of the nose. You may have more bleeding when you get your cartilage pierced.В

Concerns. It’s especially important to clean cartilage piercings because infections can turn into necrosis, or tissue death, in your cartilage wall. This is more common in your nose because of the mucus inside that can attract staphylococcus bacteria.В

To prevent these complications, stick to a steady cleaning routine. You should also avoid getting your septum pierced if you have a cold or allergies.

Caring for Oral Piercings

What to expect. When getting your tongue pierced, you should be ready for it to swell. This happens in the beginning, but your tongue also heals quickly.В

Cleaning tips. To keep your tongue or cheek piercing clean, you should use an antimicrobial or antibacterial alcohol-free mouthwash.В

As your oral piercing heals, rinse your mouth about 4 to 5 times a day. Swish the cleaning solution around for 30 to 60 seconds. You should do this after meals and at bedtime especially.

Concerns with eating. When you eat, slowly chew small bites of food. For a tongue piercing, try to keep your tongue level as you chew. With a cheek or lip piercing, you’ll want to avoid opening your mouth too wide. Avoid spicy, salty, acidic, or hot foods and beverages in the beginning. Cold foods and beverages can be good to eat, and they can help keep your swelling down.

Caring for Body Piercings

Common body piercings include:В

  • Belly button
  • Facial piercings
  • Nipples
  • Genitals

What to expect. When you get a body piercing, you can expect light bleeding, swelling and some bruising. You may be sensitive to touch.‌‌

Concerns with exercise. You can exercise while you’re healing from your new piercing. Just make sure you clean it afterward to get rid of any sweat buildup.В

Piercing Complications

Some possible new piercing risks include the following:В

Allergic reactions. In some cases, you may be allergic to the metal of the jewelry stud. Nickel is a common material that causes allergic reactions.В

Infections. When bacteria or dirt gets into your piercing, you may get an infection. Your piercing or surrounding area will be red, painful, swell, and have a pus-like discharge.‌

Oral problems. Tongue or cheek piercings can cause problems when you accidentally bite down on your new piercing. You could chip your teeth or hurt your gums. Since tongue swelling is common after the piercing, you may have trouble chewing and swallowing.В

Bloodborne diseases. If you don’t get your piercing done at a shop with a good reputation, you could get an infection from contaminated piercing tools. These include hepatitis B and C, tetanus, and HIV.В


‌American Academy of Pediatrics: “Avoiding Infection After Ear Piercing.”

‌American Family Physician: “Complications of Body Piercing.”


‌Center for Young Women’s Health: “Body Piercing.”

‌Mayo Clinic: “Piercings: How to prevent complications.”

‌Pediatrics in Review: “Ear Piercing.”

‌Seattle Children’s Hospital: “Ear Piercing Symptoms.”

How to care for pierced ears

Although ear piercings are more common and can be less risky than other body piercings, they can still cause complications if not handled safely. For anyone thinking about getting their ears pierced, dermatologists urge people to follow these steps to avoid infection.

Although ear piercings are more common and can be less risky than other body piercings, they can still cause complications if not handled safely. For anyone thinking about getting their ears pierced, dermatologists urge people to follow these steps to avoid infection:

Always wash your hands before touching newly pierced ears.

Leave the earrings in your ears for six weeks or more, even at night. Removing the starter earrings too early may cause the piercings to close.

Regularly wash your ears with soap and water. Carefully do this at least once a day to avoid infection.

Twist the earrings a few times daily. This will help keep the pierced holes open.

Put rubbing alcohol on your ears. Using a cotton ball or pad dipped in rubbing alcohol, gently clean the skin around the piercings twice a day to keep away germs and prevent scabbing. You may also apply a thin coat of petroleum jelly around the opening.

After piercing your ears, keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t get sore, red or puffy and that the holes don’t ooze yellowish liquid. If any of this occurs and doesn’t go away quickly, see a board-certified dermatologist, as you may have an infection.

EVERYONE makes the first one.

More is more when it comes to ear piercings this season. Gone are the days where getting two studs on one ear at Claire’s was as adventurous as it got. Now it’s all about layering studs, hoops and threads everywhere from your lobe to your helix (the rim of the ear).

Penny Burrows, piercer at the Maria Tash Studio at Liberty London, says, ‘t he big style at the moment is having more but less! This means having many piercings scattered around the ear, almost like a constellation, but using small discreet hoops or studs to keep the style classy and understated.’

Understandably, you don’t want any infections ruining the beautiful jewellery on your ear, so we thought we’d grill Penny on the biggest mistakes you make with new ear piercings, and you’ve definitely made at least one of them.

Getting pierced with a gun

‘ From a piercer’s point of view, the biggest and most often made mistake is getting pierced with a gun. They are extremely unhygienic and actually hurt a lot more than a proper piercing needle! I know we tend to rely our trust in practices of familiarity but trust me, it’s not ideal.’

Being impatient

‘ One other mistake people make is not being realistic with yourself. Piercings take time to heal and can be slightly swollen when healing, so piercing with that tiny little cuff hoop might not be doable initially. ‘

Touching your ear

‘A happy piercing is one that is admired, loved but is never touched or slept on. Also, never twist the bar in the ear while the piercing is healing, just let it do its thing. And if you’re finding it tricky not to sleep on the pierced side, use a travel pillow!’

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Not cleaning ear piercings properly

‘ Regular saline compresses help to keep infections at bay. I find often when customers tell me their piercings are infected, it’s actually a minor irritation that is easily treatable, so always consult your piercer before self-diagnosing.’

Using cotton buds to clean ear piercings

‘This is a mistake nearly everyone makes, using cotton buds or pads to clean their piercings. Residue gets stuck in the piercing and can actually make it worse, so instead, you should just soak kitchen roll in saline and gently press it to either side of the piercing.’

And to finish off, you’re going to love this nifty hack…

If only getting your ears pierced was as easy as shoving a needle through your skin and leaving it alone.

Unfortunately, that just isn ‘ t the case. Taking care of your piercings requires constant attention, however inconvenient that may be.

If you want to make sure your ears stay nice and healthy, keep scrolling for our tips on how to properly clean your ear piercings.

Always Clean Your Hands

Clean ears start with clean hands. When you ‘ re constantly taking your earrings on and off, it ‘ s easy to brush off the importance of washing your hands. Don ‘ t do it. When you touch your ears with dirty hands, you can easily spread dirt and germs to the sensitive hole in your ear, especially when your piercings are new. Take an extra second to clean your hands before you mess with your earring—your ears will thank you.

Wash Your Ears With Soap and Water

Taking care of your earrings should be a conscious thought, but it doesn ‘ t have to be difficult. At the very least, you should be washing your ears with soap and water at least once a day. Just like you have to clean the rest of your body, your ears deserve a little scrub, too. They might not be your first thought, but you should definitely add some conscious ear-scrubbing to your daily shower routine.

Try Rubbing Alcohol

Although soap and water are a good start for keeping your ears clean, sometimes you might need something a little stronger. If you have sensitive ears, you can try rubbing alcohol to keep the skin around your ears from becoming inflamed and irritated. As a disinfectant, rubbing alcohol should get rid of all those extra germs that can make your earrings uncomfortable. Just dip a cotton ball or swab in some rubbing alcohol and brush it over your pierced ears. Try it at least once a week, or however often you deem necessary.

Clean the Posts

While it ‘ s all well and good to keep your ears clean, you also have to disinfect the earrings themselves from time to time. When you take the earrings out for the evening, be sure to run some rubbing alcohol over the posts. That will kill all the excess germs and ensure that they ‘ re ready to wear without hurting your ears when you put them back in the next morning.

Try a Saltwater Soak

If you have extra-sensitive ears, soaking your piercings in salt water is an excellent way to get rid of germs without applying harsh chemicals to your skin. Fill a small cup with a saltwater mixture and gently dip your ear lobe in. Allow it to soak for a minute or two, and then move to the other side. It kills all those nasty germs, but it won ‘ t be too severe on your delicate skin.

Guidelines on How to Clean Ear Piercing

The types of ear piercings are quite popular and a style statement adapted by young women and men in today’s world. If you have recently gotten an ear piercing or planning to get one, it is essential to know how to clean ear piercing . Here is an article that shows guidelines on how to clean ear piercing. Though piercing of ear cartilage is less risky than other body piercings, it is important to maintain a thorough cleaning process. People can come with complications in their ears if they do not clean them regularly. Cleaning the area has many benefits and decreases the chance of getting an infection.

The regions where a person can pierce their ears are as follows.

  • Earlobe Piercing: This is the most common area for piercing. It is the fleshy area at the bottom of your ear. It is easy to take care of an earlobe piercing after getting pierced.

How to clean your ear piercing

  • Helix Piercing: Helix is the curvy tissue at the upper part of the ear. It falls into second place for its popularity after the earlobe.

How to clean your ear piercing

  • Tragus Piercing: Tragus is the middle region of the ear that is right above the earlobe. It can get a bit difficult to take care of it.

How to clean your ear piercing

Depending upon the area you have pierced, the techniques and the movements can be different but the process is the same. An ear complication such as an infection can be painful, and it might come in between your daily routine. Hence, we will tell you the easiest methods of cleaning your ear piercings.

Requirements for Cleaning Ear Piercings

  1. Cotton Balls or cotton swabs
  2. Cleaning solution: Take a bowl of sterile water and heat it in the microwave oven or over the stove until the water is just warm to the touch. Add a pinch of salt to the water, and use it to clean the area.
  3. Remember that using hydrogen peroxide or any other alcohol for cleaning your ear piercing is a bad idea for your skin.

Steps to clean your Ear Piercing

  1. Step 1: Thoroughly clean your hands with a high-quality soap, preferably with antibacterial soap. If you want to ensure that your ears don’t get exposed to germs or dirt, wash your hands before touching them. You can also use a sanitizer to clean your hands before touching your piercing.
  2. Step 2: Dip a cotton ball or a swab in a cleaning solution.
  3. Step 3: Swab the area surrounding the piercing with the solution. Do this two times a day to keep the area around the piercing clean.
  4. Step 4: If you have a new ear piercing, you will notice some buildup around the ear lobe. These can attract germs and infection. Make sure that use a new swab to clean the back of the ear in the same way.
  5. Step 5: Turn the earnings once or twice in both directions, clockwise and anticlockwise, twice each day. It will help to keep the skin from getting attached to your piercing.
  6. Step 6: Apply some coconut oil or an antibiotic ointment after cleaning your earlobes. You can apply it using a new swab or with clean fingers. After applying it, make a half-turn in each direction two times so that the ointment or coconut oil gets inside the skin and heals faster.
  7. Step 7: Clean your ears twice a day as long as it takes for the area to heal. Try to make it a part of your morning and bedtime routine so that you don’t forget to do it. It takes only a few minutes and goes a long way in preventing a nasty infection.
  8. Step 8: Keep your jewelry in your ear. Please don’t remove it until the area has healed completely. If you withdraw your earring for long periods, the piercing might close depending on how long your body takes to heal. If you have cartilage piercing, it can take longer to heal. For example, a standard ear piercing on the lobe will take around two months to heal, while a cartilage piercing can take up to four months to heal. Hence, it is best not to remove the jewelry too soon.

How to Maintain a Healthy Ear Piercing

  • After your ears have healed completely, remove your earrings every night before bed. It is best to take the posts out before sleeping because they won’t fall off while you sleep and get lost. Furthermore, it will allow air to contact the skin and keep your ears healthy.
  • When you remove your jewelry, clean them with a cotton swab that you have dipped in sterile water. Rub it over the earring posts at night. If you do this regularly, your ears will remain free of germs.
  • After your ear piercing has healed thoroughly, you can remove them and clean them regularly with sterile water of lukewarm water. If you do it regularly, your ear will remain infection-free.
  • If your ears begin to feel tender or sensitive, you might have an infection. In that case, remove the post and clean the lobes with some water. Then take a fresh swab and apply some ointment with it. Even if you don’t have an infection, doing it once a month can help keep complications at bay.

How to Clean Ear Piercings if you get an Infection

  • If you have developed an infection, you can take the jewelry out and clean them with a metal cleaning solution. You can repeat this step at least two or three times a day until the infection clears out.
  • Before putting them back on, apply some antibiotic ointment with the help of a cotton swab. You will require only a tiny amount of the balm each time, but it is highly effective.
  • If the symptoms persist and get out of hand, you can call your doctor. They will prescribe some antibiotics. These ointments and creams will help to keep it under control. In the meanwhile, you can continue to clean your ears and jewelry as frequently as required.

What Not To Eat After Ear Piercing

  • Spicy food items
  • Food that causes acidity
  • Salty food items
  • Hot drinks and beverages
  • Crunchy foods

People should ideally be aware of the risks they might face if they go through with an ear piercing. If you know these techniques, you will be ready to face any difficulty.

How to clean your ear piercing

Ear piercings are very common, with young children and adults having them at one point in their lives. There are many ways you can pierce your ears and show off your personality through the many awesome earrings available. Besides that, they are less risky to have compared to other body piercings.

But if you don’t care and clean for your ear piercings well, it can still cause complications. With that said, how long do you have to clean your ear piercing? Read on to find out!

How Long Do You Have to Clean Your Ear Piercing?

Beyond the usual cleaning of the ears during showers and baths, you’ll need to use a special ear piercing cleaning solution. This is different from typical soap, and you’ll need to keep your earrings on during the healing period and cleanse the pierced area at least thrice a day.

It’s crucial to clean your ear piercing properly, especially during the first few weeks of having it. This prevents it from incurring any infection, which will be painful and tougher to treat.

With that in mind, how long should you clean your ear piercing for?

I highly recommend that you clean your ear piercing for at least six weeks for earlobe piercings, and 12 weeks for cartilage piercings. This is how long the healing process is, which is why it’s crucial to keep them clean and free from infection during these times.

However, more time may be required, depending on your piercing and how your ears react to it. The cartilage location makes a difference in healing and cleaning times.

Even after the healing period, you still need to care for your ears and piercings properly with daily washing. It’s also recommended to use your ear care cleaning solution to keep both the earrings and piercings clean at all times. This is especially important if you have just exercised, swum, or have had exposure to any hair products and perfumes.

Basically, it’s crucial to clean your ear piercing daily for the long-term, focusing on cleaning and caring for it more during the healing period. Afterward, you can focus more on maintaining the ear piercing and cleaning it fewer times compared to when you first got them.

Do you want to learn more about cleaning and caring for your ear piercing? This helpful video can show you tips:

Wrapping It Up

Many people are getting their ears pierced, whether you children to adults! While it’s an awesome trend that definitely brings out personality and style, you have to make sure you care for your new piercings to avoid the consequences. Besides regular washing, make sure that you use the right ear piercing cleaning solution for at least 6-12 weeks until your piercing has completely healed.

I hope that this article answered your question, “how long do you have to clean your ear piercing?” Now that you know the answer, make sure to follow the appropriate steps when caring for your new ear piercings.