How to Clean a Helix Piercing: 3 Proven Methods

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A helix piercing is popular, with lots of options for an aesthetic look. However, if you don’t clean it properly, it will become swollen, red, and infection-prone, losing its beauty and delaying your styling. 

If you’re considering getting a helix piercing or just got one and need guidance on cleaning it properly, this guide is for you. In this guide, you’ll learn how to clean a helix piercing with three proven methods. These methods work for all kinds of helix piercings.

How to clean a helix piercing using three different methods

Piercing infections can be uncomfortable and make the healing process take longer. The right aftercare practices for your new helix piercing will prepare you to change your studs in about six months. 

How to clean a helix piercing with salt water

Here’s how to clean a helix piercing with salt water (saline water):

Materials needed 

  • Salt 
  • Warm water
  • Non-woven gauze or Q-tip
  • Disposable paper towel


  1. Pour 1 cup of warm distilled water into a clean bottle and add 1/8 teaspoon of salt.
  2. Mix the salt and water well.
  3. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to eliminate bacteria that may infect your piercing.
  4. Dip the non-woven gauze or Q-tip in your DIY salt water solution and dab the piercing site.
  5. Pat the area dry with a clean and disposable paper towel. 
  6. Repeat this process 2-3 times daily.

💡 Take Note: Salt water has antibacterial properties; however, we recommend sticking to the salt measurement above since a stronger solution may irritate your piercing.

How to clean your helix piercing with soap and water

Here’s how to clean your piercing with soap and water:

Materials needed

  • Fragrance-free soap
  • Clean water
  • Disposable paper towel


  1. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  2. Lather around your piercing and gently rub on it.
  3. Rinse thoroughly with plenty of clean water.
  4. Pat dry with a clean and disposable paper towel.

How to clean a helix piercing with saline spray

Here’s how to clean a helix piercing with a saline spray:

Materials needed 

  • Saline spray
  • Non-woven gauze
  • Disposable paper towel


  1. Spray saline on your piercing without letting the spray nozzle touch your piercing directly.
  2. Use non-woven gauze to wipe away softened crusts gently.
  3. Rinse thoroughly with clean water.
  4. Pat dry with a clean disposable paper towel.

FAQs about cleaning helix piercings

We’ve covered some of the most frequently asked questions on cleaning helix piercings.

Do helix piercings get infected?

Yes, helix piercings can get infected like every other piercing. When this happens, the piercing may start to reject. The causes can range from getting your piercing done by an inexperienced piercer who uses a piercing gun to poor aftercare practices. Asides from getting an infection, a piercing gun also puts you at risk of a shattered cartilage.

Should I clean the crust of my helix piercing?

Yes, you should. Crusties harbor bacteria and block air from the piercing site, slowing the healing. Soften the crust with a saline soak or saline solution spray, then use a non-woven gauze to wipe it off.

Should I move my helix piercing when cleaning?

No, avoid moving your helix piercing jewelry when cleaning it. Moving your jewelry before your piercing fully heals can cause mild irritation of the piercing site.

Should I clean my helix piercing every day?

Yes, you should. Clean your helix piercing at least 2-3 times daily to prevent bacterial infection and skin irritation. 

Should I clean my helix piercing with alcohol?

Avoid cleaning your helix piercing with alcohol. It’s a drying agent that dries the skin (and may cause cracks). It will irritate the piercing site and delay healing. 

Can you overclean a piercing?

Yes, you can over-clean a piercing. Cleaning your piercing more than three times daily is as bad as under-cleaning it, as it can also cause the piercing site to be infected, irritate the skin, and cause scarring.

Why is my helix piercing throbbing after cleaning?

It’s a normal part of the healing process for your helix piercing to throb mildly after cleaning. If you experience severe throbbing, consult a professional piercer or physician, as you may have an infection. 

For the love of a helix piercing 

The importance of knowing how to clean a helix piercing can’t be overemphasized. A new helix piercing is sensitive and must be properly handled to prevent infection and foster healing. Remember to clean your piercing at least twice daily, and while at it, be gentle and avoid using harsh products.

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