Fashion

Why Your Ear Piercings Suddenly Smell Putrid

Before we get into the best way to clean earrings, let’s take a look at the problem. For those of you who didn’t attend law school, piercing is a medical procedure. That means that most of us need to have our ears stitched back together so we don’t get infected. In order for your piercing to heal properly, it needs to get the surface dry, which it won’t do if you leave old earrings in your ear all day. To get rid of the nasty smell, you’ll need to soak the piercing tunnel, from the inside to the outside, for about five minutes.

If you’re unsure if your piercing is ready to soak, it’s a good idea to squeeze it a little bit and make sure that the piercing isn’t too sensitive or swollen to take a dip. “Make sure to leave it in the shower,” says Tash. “Don’t put it under the running water to soak.

Never touch your piercing with dirty hands

We don’t know about you, but we’re kind of grossed out by touching our ears. That is, until you remember that skin cells can get all yucky inside your ears when you have hair. Tash also says to make sure to clean the piercing tunnel regularly and to not wash your hair in the shower. (Though, it’s okay to clean it with just water or do what we do and make a paste of baking soda and water.)

Talk to your jewelry designer if you notice a strong odor or itching

If the smelly ears aren’t going away on their own, Tash says to talk to your jeweler about what’s up. There are different oils in your skin that will get mixed in with your jewelry, and it’s up to the designer to make sure the holes will not smell funky.

Change your bed sheets frequently

The earring holes are just a small part of your ear canal, so the earring smell might linger longer if the other parts of your ear canal aren’t getting cleaned, Tash explains. If you’re experiencing a really bad, and definitely undesirable, odor, do a complete change of sheets for you, your husband, and your child’s bedroom. “I have very high standards for my clients and anyone I see. If you don’t smell good, I am not going to do my best to make you,” says Tash.

Clean the jewelry regularly

Since we don’t typically regularly clean our earrings, they tend to accumulate all sorts of sweat and secretions that build up around the metal, especially the oxidative pandora earrings of sterling silver. So, just like you’d do with any other jewelry, it’s a good idea to use a jewelry cleaning cloth regularly. Sterling silver brands like Pandora or Tiffany will provide such jewelry cleaning cloth when you shop jewelry from them.

Don’t overdo it with cleaning

Don’t scrub or get excessive pressure on the piercing tunnel area, Tash adds. “Do not squeeze and pinch as this will push earrings into the piercing tunnel and cause more leakage.” Just gently wipe with warm water and massage into the tunnel (without squeezing or pinching)—that should take care of the odor.

Try popping some wax

If the smell persists, gently remove the earrings—but leave any dust and other debris behind, Tash advises. Pop the earring back into your ear, and put the wax earrings in. “This will temporarily take the earring off and allow you to clean the piercing tunnel without accidentally picking the dirt and other earring pieces back up.”

After a few days of wearing the new, clean-feeling earrings, you’ll be free of the yucky earring smell once and for all.

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