Saline Solution for Piercings

  • Written By Dan Hunter on December 21, 2019
    Last Updated: March 17, 2022

Saline solution is the go-to product for cleaning new piercings, as it helps them to heal and keeps them free of infection. There are some excellent saline solution products that you can buy from your local pharmacy or online. However, all the ingredients that you need to whip up a homemade saline solution are right there in your kitchen.

Saline solution is:

  • Used for cleaning piercings
  • Effective at helping new piercings to heal properly
  • Easily made at home using non-iodized salt and warm, bottled water
  • Applied either directly onto the piercing or using cotton pads or towels

How to Make and Apply Saline Solution

Saline solution is easy to make, so don’t be afraid if you’re not great in the kitchen. Our recipe for an effective homemade saline solution won’t have you running to the shops to buy any fancy products. You only have to reach into your kitchen cupboards for the perfect piercing aftercare solution.

What You Need

  • ⅛ to ¼ of a teaspoon of non-iodized sea salt
  • One cup — 250 ml — of warm bottled water
  • Paper towels or cotton pads

What To Do

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap and water
  2. Boil the bottled water and allow it to cool slightly
  3. Make sure the water isn’t too hot
  4. Dissolve the sea salt into the warm water
  5. Soak your piercing directly in the solution for five to ten minutes daily by inverting the cup over your piercing site to form a vacuum
  6. For some piercings, it may be easier to clean them using cotton pads or paper towels that have been dipped into the solution
  7. Dry your piercing site gently using clean paper towels
  8. Avoid using cloth towels as these can harbor bacteria and cause infection

It’s crucial that you stick to the exact measurements in this recipe. A common myth is that adding more sea salt to create a stronger saline solution can clean piercings more effectively. This isn’t the case. In fact, a saline solution that’s too strong can irritate your body piercings and hinder their ability to heal correctly.

What to Do If Saline Doesn’t Work?

A saline solution will have an immediate impact on your pierced area, in that it’ll clean straight away. However, if you suspect you have an infected piercing, don’t expect the symptoms to disappear instantly.

Some of us have experienced recovery within 24 hours, but it’s been days for some. If your suspected infection symptoms don’t die down or disappear within a couple of days, call for medical assistance.

Non-Iodized Salt or Regular Salt?

Make sure you use non-iodized salt instead of regular table salt to make your saline solution. Table salt contains iodine and other additives, which can irritate your piercings, even though iodine is a necessary mineral for the body to function.

When it comes to your health, using natural products is the best way to go. Processed products, such as table salt, will contain a manufactured blend, to which you don’t know how your skin will react.

Why Not Iodized Salt?

The main argument for not using iodized salt is that salt in its natural form isn’t iodized. Iodized salt is also known as table salt, which, as we’ve just seen, is processed.

Iodized salt became popular due to the need to get more iodine into the diet, and since many of us have used salt for flavoring for decades, it became a solution to combat goiter. Despite this benefit, cleaning your piercing with iodized salt won’t mean that you’re inputting more iodine into your diet.


A saline solution helps keep piercings clean, aids their healing process and prevents them from becoming infected. Saline solution can be made at home using a small amount of non-iodized salt dissolved in warm bottled water. It can be applied to the piercing site directly or using paper towels or cotton pads soaked in the solution.

Be mindful of how much salt you’re using to make your saline solution, ensuring that you don’t use too much. Too strong a saline solution can irritate your piercings and hinder their ability to heal. Table salt shouldn’t be used to make saline solution, as it contains iodine and other additives, which can irritate piercings.

If you want to ensure your piercing heals as best as it possibly can, it’s imperative that you follow your piercer’s aftercare advice closely, and be sure to invest in a high-quality aftercare solution to aid recovery.

The best piercing aftercare product I’ve ever had the pleasure of using up to this point is the After Inked Piercing Aftercare Spray. Not only is it vegan-friendly, 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.​ Click here to buy from Amazon

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