When Can I Stop Cleaning My Ear Piercing?

Everyone loves getting a new piercing – there is something about wearing a new accessory that makes us feel confident. However, despite taking only two minutes to pierce, piercings can take ages to heal if they are not cleaned properly.

You can stop cleaning an earlobe piercing after around 6 to 8 weeks and at three months for a cartilage piercing. However, it is advisable to continue cleaning your piercing after the initial healing period, at least every few days, until it is fully healed.

A big problem with new piercings is that we stop the aftercare too soon and land up with infections. If you have a new piercing and may think it is time to stop the daily cleaning, then hold up and read on – you do not want to stop too early! Take the time to discover everything about new piercings and the best cleaning aftercare advice.

When Can I Stop Cleaning My Ear Piercing?

Cleaning an ear piercing every day can become such a hassle. This tedious but essential task is something you should do daily and can only stop once the initial healing period is over.

When you can stop cleaning a piercing depends mainly on what type of piercing it is. Earlobe piercings heal quickly and are very simple to take care of. For these types of piercings, you can stop cleaning daily between 6 and 8 weeks.

Cartilage piercings, on the other hand, need attention for an extended period. For any cartilage piercing, you should clean it daily for at least three months. Even if the piercing appears healed, it is best to carry on.

The reason why you should keep cleaning a piercing for the duration of its healing process is that piercings may look healed but, in fact, are not.

Piercings heal from the outside inwards – this means that while a piercing may appear healed on the outside, the inside is possibly still healing. For this reason, continuing the cleaning process after the outside has healed will ensure no infections arise. 

When Can I Clean My Ear Piercing Weekly?

After a certain period, you can stop cleaning your piercings daily and move on to a few cleans a week. It’s often a relief to reach this point as that daily cleaning can be a pain!

When it comes to cartilage piercings, the healing process is a long one. These piercings can take up to 1 year (12 months) to heal fully, so a daily clean is often just not on the cards long-term. After three months, you can stop cleaning your cartilage piercings. However, from that point onwards, it is best to move on to cleaning the piercing now and then – around three days a week.

Cleaning the piercing every few days helps remove any dead skin that may irritate the piercing and prevents infection. Doing this every few days will help your piercings heal faster.

When it comes to lobe piercing, it is not vital to keep cleaning every few days as the healing process is much quicker, and you may just be wasting your time. A lobe piercing typically takes 6 to 8 weeks to heal; therefore, after the eight weeks, there is no need to keep cleaning – unless the ear lobe appears red or inflamed.

How To Clean A New Ear Piercing

It is very important to keep a new piercing clean and to do the cleaning properly.

When you have a new piercing, be it a cartilage or lobe piercing, you should clean it twice daily in the initial healing stages.

The best thing to clean a piercing with is a saline solution – you can buy these from your local pharmacy or make your own solution at home. Take a cotton swab or earbud and soak it with the saline solution. The cotton must be well soaked so that there is enough solution to clean the piercing properly.

Once the cotton is soaked in the solution, clean the piercing gently and remove any dead skin using only the cotton. It’s best not to use your fingers as this can introduce new bacteria into the piercing. 

Should I Rotate My Ear Piercing While Cleaning?

Many years ago, the advice given by jewellers was to rotate your piercing – the idea that this will help your piercing heal properly. However, recently, this is no longer the advice.

Nowadays, the consensus is that you should not rotate or twist your new piercing. This rotation does nothing but irritate your piercing and can slow the healing process down. Turning your piercing can disrupt healing and lead to scarring or infection.

If you need to rotate your piercing, for example, to shift it, so the jewel is facing the right way, it is essential that this only happens when the piercing is wet.

When a piercing is wet, it moves smoothly around the ear. Dry piercings may have dead skin or crust around them, which can cause irritation or damage when you try to move them.

What Not To Do When Cleaning An Ear Piercing

There are many do’s and don’ts to cleaning a new piercing. It’s a good idea to note the things not to do so that you may have a smooth healing process for your piercing!

First and foremost, do not use any perfume soaps or cleaning products. Fragrances can irritate your piercing and hinder its healing. This is also why you should try to keep a piercing away from shampoo and conditioner, as these products can create problems, such as infections.

You must not wipe the piercing when cleaning it but rather dab it. Wiping the piercing will create too much movement and will irritate the piercing, which may lead to inflammation.

You should not sleep on the piercing for extended periods. Firstly, the constant pressure on the piercing may lead to inflammation; secondly, it can introduce bacteria from your pillow into the piercing.

Lastly, you should never attempt to clean your piercing without washing your hands first. Dirty hands are a no-go for piercing cleaning. Our hands pick up endless amounts of bacteria during the day – trust me, you do not want this getting into your new piercing!


In conclusion, you can stop cleaning your lobe piercing after 6 to 8 weeks, whereas you should only stop after three months minimum for a cartilage piercing. However, it is best to continue cleaning your piercing every few days, mainly for cartilage piercings, to ensure it heals well. 

It is best to clean your piercing with a cotton bud soaked in a saline solution twice daily. There are a few things you shouldn’t do when cleaning your new piercing so take the time to read through them to give your piercing the best chance of healing beautifully!

Some of my favorite designs, tattoo books, and aftercare products, selected for you

working on tattoo at my studio
Working at the studio on one of my projects

Thank you for reading my article, I hope that you have found it helpful. If you would have trouble finding ideas for your tattoo, wonder what is meaning of design that you have found or what to buy for aftercare, to make sure that your tattoo will be healing quickly and easily, here are some of my favorite products in one place, hope that this will also help.

Design and tattoo ideas

For some ideas you can have a look at those 3 books with hundreds of designs that I use with my clients, they are available on Amazon for Kindle or in classic, paper version (links below):

Tattoo meaning

If you would like to read more about the meaning of different tattoo styles and designs before you will decide what you would like to have, I can recommend a book that was really useful for me when I was starting my tattoo adventure – it’s “Conscious Ink: The Hidden Meaning of Tattoos” by Lisa Barretta (through the link you can find it on Amazon for around $10).

Tattoo aftercare

The skin at the tattoo site often dries out. To prevent it and speed up healing for my clients, I usually recommend one of those tattoo aftercare balms (you can find them on Amazon):


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