Caring for Piercings

How to Clean a Belly Button Piercing

Elsie Goycoolea
By Elsie Goycoolea. Updated: January 20, 2017
How to Clean a Belly Button Piercing

One of the most common areas for a body piercing is the belly button. The fact that many people have one may trump you to believe that it is an easy and uneventful process. While it may not hurt that much to get a belly button piercing, if it is not taken care of properly by cleaning it often, it may become infected. As with any piercing, knowing how to clean your new piercing will help to ensure it heals completely without any major health scares.

In this OneHowTo article we explain how to clean a belly button piercing.

You'll need:

  • Saline solution
  • Cotton swabs or Q-tips
  • Paper towel
  • Warm water
  • Hand mirror
You may also be interested in: How Long do Piercings Take to Heal?

Steps to follow:


Depending on the area, the healing process for piercings may vary. A belly button piercing can take between 6 to 12 months to heal. During this time it is important that you learn how to clean it properly and that you don't fall for some of the most common mistakes.


Firstly, make sure that you have washed your hands with some soap and warm water. Next, clear up the area around your belly and sit down with your back lightly tilted backwards. You may be tempted to lean forward but that will only obstruct your view of the area.

How to Clean a Belly Button Piercing - Step 2

Use your hand mirror and place it at the bottom of your belly button to aid you in the search for any dirt or dried up discharge that may have built up around the area. Use a cotton swab or Q-tip lightly dipped in warm water to remove the dirt. Work slowly and don’t remove the ring at all during the cleaning process.


Then, grab your saline solution and pour a few squirts over your belly button. Allow it some time to work on the area. This solution will not be uncomfortable or irritating on your skin. Make sure that you buy pure saline solution or that you make your own at home using purified distilled water and non-iodized salt.

How to Clean a Belly Button Piercing - Step 4

Now, grab a clean cotton swab or Q-tip and using warm water remove the saline solution along with any excess dirt that might be released. Refrain from using your fingers as you may inadvertently scratch the area risking an infection. Finally, pat it dry with a clean paper towel and allow it to air dry completely.


In the shower, be careful not to rub it with your sponge and just allow the soap water to fall down your belly. Avoid excessive hot water showers and long baths to keep the area dry for as long as possible.



For the first few months it is recommended the usage of loose clothes that flow nicely over the belly. Wearing tight clothes risks the ring getting pulled into an open wound.


It is highly discouraged to use alcohol or hydrogen peroxide solution for cleaning a belly button as it can lead to irritation and scaring. The saline solution is gentle and protective enough to work as a sanitation substance.

Antibacterial creams and ointments are only suggested at times of infection. An infection is usually recognized by excessive redness, pain, irritation and fluid secretion.


If you want to read similar articles to How to Clean a Belly Button Piercing, we recommend you visit our Beauty & Personal Care category.

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How to Clean a Belly Button Piercing