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How to Clean Your Belly Button Piercing: Dos and Don’ts

How to Clean Your Belly Button Piercing? Have you just gotten a new piercing?

Congratulations! You’re about to look so cool.

But do you know how to clean your belly button piercing? 

No matter how cute your piercing is, it will always be surrounded by the same old skin bacteria.

And that means you will get an infection if you don’t clean it regularly.

Do you know what happens when a piercing gets infected? It turns into an ugly, red-hot mass of pus and pain. Yikes!

So how do you keep your piercing clean? With a bit of help from us, of course. You can stay infection-free and beautiful with our tips and care guide.

close up belly button piercing
Image by Elementus via Pixabay

We promise not to bore you with too much science or too many details.

What is a Belly Button Piercing?

A navel piercing is a way to make a statement. It refers to piercing through the skin around your belly button to wear an ornament. 

Once upon a time, belly button piercings were only for people who wanted to appear edgy, dangerous or “not like the other girls or boys,” but now it’s becoming more and more common.

Piercings in that area have long been a symbol of self-expression, and with good reason: The navel is one of the most visible areas of the body, so why not make it your own?

Whether you’re rocking a two-piece bathing suit or want to show off a midriff-baring top, having your belly button pierced gives you an air of confidence and style.

Beyonce belly button piercing


Which Celebrities Rock a Belly Button Piercing?

Navel piercing has come a long way from its roots as the ultimate taboo.

Now, celebrities and regular people alike are rocking this style with pride.

From Miley Cyrus to Jessica Alba to Kim Kardashian and Beyoncé, belly button piercings are all the rage for stylish, fashion-forward people.

The above women are just some of the A-list celebs who have taken this unique form of self-expression to new heights.

Each individual has their unique way of rocking the belly button piercing look, whether with a feminine charm or a more hard-edged approach.

From Cyrus’ risqué, sexy stage shows to Alba’s casual presence and Beyoncé’s queen-like elegance, it looks good with everything.

Here is a list of celebrities who love their navel rings.

Piercing jewelry on violet background
Image by New Africa via Shutterstock

How to Choose Jewelry for Your Piercing 

Choosing jewelry for your new belly button piercing can be a challenge.

You’re not only thinking about what looks good but also what materials are safe for your skin after the piercing heals!

That’s why we have broken down the basics of choosing jewelry for your belly button piercing.

You first need to know that the metal has to be safe for the skin just after piercing. In other words, no nickel allowed! It’s best to choose surgical-grade stainless steel or titanium jewelry at first.

Once your piercing has fully healed (after 4-6 months), you can switch to pure gold or silver jewelry without any worries.

Even if your skin isn’t sensitive, you’ll want to avoid dangling jewelry for a few months until your piercing has healed.

belly button piercing close up
Image by Schrubi via Flickr

Dangling jewelry can catch on things (like clothing) and cause irritation or even pull out the jewelry altogether.

It’s best to choose simple, non-dangling jewelry to avoid skin irritation and preserve the piercing.

You can wear gorgeous navel rings occasionally when the piercing has healed completely.

Mix things up and do experiments with colors and patterns. But it’s good to keep the ornament simple most of the time.

A heavy ring might irritate your piercing.

Piercing shop front
Image by Dinazina

5 Tips to Choose Your Piercer

It is important not to go with an amateur piercer. Piercers should be trained professionals who are completely dedicated to their craft:

  1. Ask around. Talk to as many people as you can—your friends, family members, coworkers—and ask them if they know of any piercers that are particularly good at what they do.
  2. Look up other people’s experiences with their piercers online. Read Facebook reviews to get ideas about what others think of the person behind the needle. Reach out to some reviewers and ask how they feel about the service.
  3. Not all licensed piercers are equally skilled. If the recommendations don’t work, choose one from online searches or other sources and visit them personally. Ask them about their qualifications, experience and their safety procedures. A professional will never shy away from talking about all these details.
  4. The salon you choose should strictly maintain hygiene procedures. Piercing can expose you to infection and blood-borne diseases if the tools are septic or the surroundings are unclean. 
  5. Never choose a piercer based on price. Saving some money feels good but inexpensive services may compromise quality. 
Belly button piercing by piercer
Image by Vershinin89 via Shutterstock

How to clean your belly button piercing: How Often Should You Clean it?

You’ve got to be careful about how often you clean your navel piercing. It’s sensitive and gets infected without regular cleaning. 

But what should be the cleaning frequency? Let’s find out:

Before the healing

When the navel area is healing, experts recommend cleaning it two times a day.

A yellowish fluid may come out of the pierced spots and form a crusty material, which is normal. It may feel itchy, but you should not pick it.

Wash the area with lukewarm water and then clean with a sterile saline solution or a mild liquid soap.

It may take four weeks to 1 year to heal the piercing completely. It is essential to maintain this cleaning routine to avoid infection during this period.

How to clean your belly button piercing After healing

After recovery, you can clean your piercing whenever you clean your belly button (which could be every time you take a shower).

Rub the area with a cotton ball soaked in a saline solution. Then, dry it with a paper towel or something soft.

Moisture left in the belly button could promote bacterial growth.

Check this article to learn how to care for your innie or outie belly button.

How to Clean Your Belly Button Piercing: Total Care Solution

Is your belly button piercing looking a little crusty, and you’re wondering what to do?

Or maybe keeping it clean is your only concern.

Either way, there’s no need to panic. Just follow these guidelines:

Cleaning methods

How to clean your belly button piercing with cotton swab
Image by Yurakrasil via Shutterstock

1. How to clean your belly button piercing with antibacterial Soap and Water

Before applying soap, soak your navel area for a few minutes (do it during your shower for convenience). Lather your hand and gently rub the pierced area.

Then, rinse it with warm water until all traces of soap are gone. Take the water off with a paper towel or soft cloth (making sure to pat dry instead of rubbing). 

Always use a mild soap with no scent because a strong antibacterial soap can be too harsh on the sensitive tissue around your piercing.

Soap is effective for removing dirt cream residue and skin oils from that part of the body.

How to clean your belly button piercing with sterile saline solution
Image by Yurakrasil via Shutterstock

Cleaning belly button piercing with saline solution

2. How to clean your belly button piercing with a Saline Solution

A saline solution is the most effective remedy. Make it at home by combining 1 cup (or half a cup) of distilled water (or cold, boiled water) with two (one) teaspoons of sea salt.

Saline solutions are also available at the drugstore or supermarket.

Once the solution is ready, pour it into a bowl and dip a cotton swab. Gently rub the cotton swab around your piercing until the area is clean.

Instead of a cotton swab, you can also use a wet paper towel or a clean gauge.

You can also soak the navel area with saline water and wait for 10 minutes before washing with fresh water. Then, dry out the navel with a soft tissue.

Repeat this step twice a day, and voila! You’ve got yourself a clean piercing without the risk of irritation or infection.

A saline solution is the safest option to clean the navel area. There is no harm in it unless you use it repeatedly (more than two times a day). However, it does not remove dirt, cream residue or skin oils. 

cleaning belly button piercing with clinical needle
Image by Yurakrasil via Shutterstock

3. Cleaning Crusted Secretions

There’s nothing worse than getting a crusty old crumb stuck in there. So, how do you keep your belly button crumb-free? 

Well, crust-forming is a normal part of the healing process. You have to clean it regularly and not pick at it.

Soak the crusty area with a cotton bud that has been soaked in warm water. Wait a minute or two to allow the crust to turn soft.

Then, wipe it gently with a soft tissue or cotton bud. 

How to clean your belly button piercing with essential lavender oil
Image by Madeleine Steinbach via Shutterstock

4. How to clean belly button piercing using Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is not a substitute for antibacterial soap or saline water. It’s for occasional use to reduce irritation and inflammation. 

The best time to apply this oil is after washing the navel area. Put a few drops of lavender oil on a cotton bud and dab on your piercing hole.

Using a Q-tip or swab, gently wipe away any excess ointment or liquid from around your piercing hole. You mustn’t apply too much pressure when cleaning this area because it can irritate your piercing or cause infection.

Lavender oil has antibacterial properties that prevent infection. Use medicinal-grade oil to get the best results.

The only problem is some people may get skin irritation from lavender oil.

cleaning belly button piercing with cue tip
Image by Yurakrasil via Shutterstock

General Tips for Cleaning Your Navel Area

How to clean your belly button piercing: Avoid over-cleaning 

Regular cleaning of the wound is necessary for preventing infection and quickening recovery. However, over-cleaning can create a reverse effect and slow down the healing.

Washing the pierced hole and surrounding areas more than twice a day can dry up the skin oil. It will cause flaky skin, making the pierced holes smell very sour.

Substances You Should Avoid

Some standard cleaning and antibacterial solutions won’t work for navel piercing. 

For example, you should completely avoid rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide. These chemical compounds kill healthy new cells, extending the healing time.

cleaning belly button piercing with clinical needle
Image by Yurakrasil via Shutterstock

Also, these substances will dry out the skin, causing irritation.   

Also, avoid bacitracin antibiotics (primarily found in petroleum-based ointments).

These ointments clog the piercing holes, which works against the body’s healing mechanism. 

If the piercing is too itchy or dry, apply a piercing aftercare mist spray or wash the navel area with saline water.

In the saline solution, don’t use kosher, iodized or Epsom salt. 

infected belly button piercing
Image by JulieK2 via Shutterstock

How to clean your belly button piercing: Best tips to Avoid Infection 

In addition to the cleaning routine, follow these tips to avoid getting an infection in the first place. 

  • Don’t sleep on your stomach as it will put pressure on the pierced area. The navel ring may also get pulled on, which will scar the internal tissues. 
  • Don’t wear tight clothing around your belly button area. Tight dresses and tops may trap bacteria there.
  • Only touch the piercing if you have clean hands. Also, don’t touch the ring except for cleaning in the first 3 or 4 weeks. 
  • Don’t swim in lakes, pools or hot tubs because there could be bacteria in the water. 
  • Sweat will irritate the pierced holes. Cover the wound with a protective bandage when you exercise or do other sweaty activities. 
  • Don’t expose the wound to the sun, as it may cause sunburn.

How to Treat Infected Piercing

Infection in a belly button piercing is not uncommon. Don’t panic. Here’s how to tell if it’s infected and what to do next:

how to clean an infected belly button piercing
Image by Yurakrasil via Shutterstock

What are the signs of infection?

  • The navel area feels warm to the touch
  • You get a fever
  • Your piercing is red and swollen
  • Pain in the area
  • Pus oozing out of the piercing

How to treat the infection

For fever and chills, it’s essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

If it’s a pus infection, draw it out from the affected area and clean it with a wet cotton washcloth. Then, rinse with clean water and dry out the area. 

Your next step is to apply an antibacterial cream three or four times a day. If it does not improve after 24/48 hours, seek medical attention. 

Do not remove jewelry until the infection has cleared up. Its removal may close up the hole, keeping the untreated infection inside. 

belly button piercing
Image by Sharon McCutcheon via Unsplash

People Who Should Not Get a Piercing

A belly button piercing is beautiful, and it can be a great addition to your style. But some health issues can cause adverse effects and slow down the healing.

Take your doctor’s advice first if you have or are any of the following:

  • Diabetes. People with diabetes should avoid adding another source of infection to their bodies.
  • A heart condition or blood disorder that affects circulation.
  • Cirrhosis or other liver diseases. Getting tattoos or piercings with any of these conditions can cause infections in your weakened immune system.
  • Recovering from recent abdomen surgery. Avoid getting body piercing in that area until the doctor gives you the all-clear.
  • Allergies to metal and skin sensitivity to any foreign object.
  • A weak immune system.
  • Pregnant or overweight. The ring can move around with these conditions, causing internal scarring.
female model with belly button piercing
Image by Sharon McCutcheon via Pexels

FAQs about How to Clean Your Belly Button Piercing

Q. Are you supposed to clean your belly button piercing?

A. Of course you do. Daily cleaning is necessary from the beginning until the piercing has healed completely. Do it once or twice every day. Also, don’t forget to clean it every time you sweat. 

Q. How can I make my belly button piercing heal faster? How to speed up the Healing process?

A. Washing the pierced area with a saline mixture (half of a teaspoon of sea salt in one cup of water) will help it heal faster. If the doctor suggests, apply an antibacterial cream or take antibiotic pills.

Q. How can you tell if your belly button Ring is infected?

A. An infected belly button will be swollen with redness, and it will cause pain and produce smelly discharges—just like earrings. Other symptoms include feeling feverish, nauseous or dizzy. Consult a doctor if any of these symptoms occur.

Q. How to clean your belly button piercing if You don’t have sea salt?

A. Mild liquid or antibacterial soap works well if you don’t have sea salt at home. Remove the crusts gently with a wet cotton ball, and then use the liquid soap to wash the piercing area and navel ring.

Q. Can I clean my piercing with alcohol?

A. No. Rubbing alcohol slows down the recovery by killing new healthy cells in that area.

Tags: how to clean your belly button piercing, belly button ring, infected belly button piercing, tight fitting clothes, sensitive skin, wear loose clothing, body piercings, belly button piercing aftercare and healing