How to Clean a Belly Button Piercing: Your Complete Guide

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Belly button piercings are cool and edgy, but they take a long time to heal and require diligent care to prevent infections. This guide shares tips on how to clean your belly button piercing at different stages. We’re also discussing how to detect, treat, and prevent belly button piercing infections.

How to clean your belly button piercing during the healing


A belly button traps sweat, dead skin, dirt, and lint. And unlike earlobe piercings that heal in about six to eight weeks, your belly button piercing may take up to one year to heal completely, so daily cleaning is essential. Here are a few tips for cleaning your belly button piercing while it’s healing:

1. Using salt water

Here’s how to use salt water (saline water) to clean your belly button piercing: 

Materials Needed

  • Salt water 
  • Q-tips or non-woven gauze 
  • Clean, disposable paper towel 


  1. Wash your hands to remove bacteria that may infect your piercing. 
  2. Dip the q-tips or non-woven gauze in the salt water and dab the area gently. 
  3. Gently pat dry the area with a clean and disposable paper towel. 
  4. Repeat this process twice daily until the piercing heals.  

2. Using sea salt soak 

Here’s how to use a sea salt soak to clean new your belly button piercing:

Materials Needed

  • Warm water
  • Distilled water
  • Sea salt
  • Sterile bandage
  • Cup, bowl, or shot glass
  • Paper towel


  1. Pour some warm water into a cup, bowl, or shot glass. 
  2. Add around a quarter teaspoon of sea salt into the water and let it dissolve. (Remember, too much salt can irritate your new piercing). 
  3. Dip clean gauze or bandage into the sea salt solution, letting it saturate.
  4. Gently apply the soaked gauze or bandage onto the piercing. 
  5. Rinse the area with distilled water to ensure no salt crystals are left behind. 
  6. Pat dry the area using a clean paper towel.

How to clean an infected belly button piercing 

Your belly button piercing might get infected. Knowing how to clean it will help with treating the infection. Here’s a step-by-step guide to cleaning an infected belly button piercing:

Materials Needed 

  • Saline solution 
  • Antibacterial soap 
  • Clean water
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Cotton swabs 
  • Clean towel 


  1. Using a cotton swab soaked in saline solution, gently clean the area and remove the crust. 
  2. Clean the piercing with antibacterial soap and a cotton cloth. 
  3. Rise thoroughly with clean water.
  4. Pat dry the area using a clean paper towel. 
  5. Apply an antibiotic cream on the clean wound. 

💡 Take Note: Consult a professional piercer and only use creams they recommend. Also, if the infection persists after following these tips, consult a doctor immediately. 

How to clean a belly button piercing after taking it out 

Before you take out your belly button piercing jewelry, make sure it’s completely healed. It would be best to clean it regularly after taking it out because the belly button traps dirt. Here’s how to do it:

Materials Needed

  • Soap
  • Water 
  • Clean paper towel 


  1. Wash your hands first. 
  2. Wash the area with soap and water. Lather the soap in your hands first and then apply the lather gently on the piercing. 
  3. Rinse it with clean water and dry it with a clean paper towel. 

Frequently asked questions

Belly button piercing - How to Clean Belly Button Piercing: A Complete Guide


You might still have questions about cleaning your belly button piercing. Fret not; we have you covered.

Should I clean the crust off my belly piercing?

You can and should clean the crust off your belly button piercing. Be gentle, use a damp cotton swab, and avoid picking at the area. Picking at the area with your hands will introduce bacteria and cause an infection. 

What should you not clean your belly button piercing with?

Avoid cleaning your belly button piercing with rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide because they can slow the healing process, dry out the skin, and even kill healthy new cells. Also, it would be best to use only the antibiotic creams your piercer recommends. 

How do you clean a belly button piercing without saline?

Although saline water is the most effective way to clean a belly button piercing and other body piercings, you can also use mild, antibacterial, and unscented soap and water to clean the site.  Be sure you don’t use the soap directly; only apply the lather to cleanse the area and rinse thoroughly with water gently.

How do you know when a belly piercing is infected?

Your belly button piercing might be infected if you notice redness, inflammation, yellow or green discharge, or experience pain or irritation on the piercing. It’s best to consult your piercer or a doctor when this happens.

How do I know if my belly button piercing is healing correctly?

Crusted secretions are a sign of a healing belly button piercing. Also, you should not experience much pain, discomfort, redness, rash, swelling, or unusual discharge if your piercing is healing properly. 

Keep your belly button piercing infection-free

Cleaning your belly button piercing daily is crucial to proper healing and preventing infections. However, avoid over-cleaning the site as the area may dry up and develop irritation. With these tips, you’re now equipped to properly clean your belly button piercing at any stage.

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