How to Clean Belly Button Rings and Jewelry

  • Written By Dan Hunter on November 5, 2020
    Last Updated: November 27, 2020

When you first get your belly button pierced, it’s essential you clean the area and the jewelry daily until it is fully healed. A simple saline solution of distilled water and non-iodized sea salt should be used to rinse your piercing. 

However, once the piercing has fully healed and is no longer a part of your daily cleansing routine, it can be easy to forget to clean your belly button rings and jewelry – especially if you have had the piercing for a very long time. But you must remember that keeping your jewelry as clean as possible is a vital habit to maintain to ensure you don’t get a nasty infection that can permanently damage the look of your piercing.


Why Do You Need to Clean Belly Button Jewelry?

When you first receive your piercing, you’ll likely experience inflammation and possibly clear discharge. These symptoms should disappear after a while, but some piercings can take a full year to heal completely. This is why it is important to continue good hygiene habits. Not to mention, proper hygiene can in fact speed up the healing process.

Two common issues that may arise if you do not keep the wound and jewelry clean are:

  • Bacterial infection
  • Allergic reaction 

Symptoms to look for include:

  • Inflammation
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration
  • Discharge that is not clear
  • Fever
  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting

How to Sterilize Belly Button Jewelry

Regularly cleaning your belly button ring and jewelry is the best preventative measure to ensure you do not get an infection. Fortunately, keeping your belly button jewelry clean is very easy to do. 

First, always wash your hands before you touch, remove, or take off your belly button jewelry. It is a simple habit to start, though it is easy to forget. Just remember, dirty hands can introduce harmful bacteria to this sensitive area. 

The cleaning technique you may want to use with your belly button jewelry could depend upon the material it is made of. For example, if your jewelry is plastic, you may not want to use some chemicals, which could react to the plastic material or damage precious gemstones.

Boiling Water

One of the simplest cleaning methods is boiling water. Place your jewelry in a saucepan and bring the water to boil for about 15 to 20 minutes. Let the jewelry cool and dry thoroughly before reinserting.

Soapy Water

If you prefer not to use harsh chemicals, you could create a soapy water mixture with Castile or another gentle liquid soap. Use a soft brush or bristle to scrub away any dirt on the belly button ring or barbell. This could be a good method to use for jewelry that is organic ,such as a bone.

Antibacterial Soap

Alternatively, you can prepare a soapy mixture with antibacterial soap to soak your belly button jewelry. Similarly, you may want to use something like a clean, new toothbrush to scrub your jewelry. Rinse the jewelry and dry completely before putting it back on.

This cleaning technique works well for most jewelry materials, such as:

  • Metal
  • Glass
  • Silicone

Another option could be to take your jewelry to a shop to use an autoclave, a sterilizing machine that professional piercers use to heat the jewelry to a high temperature to remove bacteria and dirt. 

How Frequently to Clean Belly Button Jewelry

You can express yourself through your belly button jewelry selection, still, be careful with the material as you can have an adverse reaction when you wear it. For example, you could have an allergic reaction to the metal, especially if it is a metal that oxidizes when exposed to moisture. 

A good cleaning habit is to clean your piercing and jewelry regularly. You can clean as frequently as daily, although once fully healed, it is recommended that you clean at least every four to six weeks. 

Benefits of Clean Belly Button Rings, Barbells, and Jewelry 

When you clean your belly button piercing and jewelry often, you’ll feel confident that it is ready to show off in a crop top or bathing suit. 

Many cleaning methods use simple household items and don’t require a lot of time. Caring for your hardware doesn’t have to be a pain, yet avoiding potentially harmful germs is a must.

When you’re not wearing the pieces, be sure to store your belly button rings, barbells, and jewelry in a dry place. If your jewelry is brand new or from your own collection, it is recommended that you clean the jewelry before wearing to ensure it is sterile (and that it stays that way).