Journal / How-To Guide
How to Clean Earrings
Earrings can become dirty, just like the rest of your jewelry, but since these are worn in a hole in your ear, you probably want to clean them more often. You may have read our article about how to clean your gold bonded chain or watched our video on how to clean your silver bracelet—and if you haven’t, you need to.
Cleaning earrings is important because not only does it keep the jewelry looking new, it can prevent your pierced ears from getting infected. In this article, we’ll explain how to clean different earring styles and why it’s so important.
How often do I clean my earrings?
You can clean your earrings similarly to your other jewelry, and while most jewelry can be shined or wiped daily with occasional deep cleaning, there are a few more things to consider when cleaning earrings.
If you switch out your earrings often, you can clean them about once a month unless it’s a pair you wear every day. Then you’ll want to clean those more often.
Do you wear your earrings in the shower? If you do, water, shampoo, and conditioner can build up behind the earring or reduce the shine of your diamond. Do you style your hair once your earrings are in? Hairspray, styling creams, and gels can all stick to your earrings. All that, plus your natural body oils and sweat, lead to dirt and grime on your earrings. Those of us who wear earrings probably never notice all that until we take our earrings out and look at them up close. We don’t want to gross you out—we just want to help you learn how to clean these tiny accessories that pack a style punch.
DIY Earring Cleaning
You can easily clean your earrings at home with a few simple methods. Here’s what you need to get started:
Mild dish soap
Soft bristle toothbrush
Cotton ball or cotton swab
Bowl or shot glass
Soap and Water
Good ol’ soap and water are one of the easiest and most inexpensive methods to clean jewelry. Mix a drop or two of mild dish soap and warm water in a bowl and soak your earrings for 10-20 minutes. Use a soft toothbrush to clean around the earring and backing. Rinse with clean water and let them dry on a paper towel. You don’t want them to attract lint or fibers from a soft cloth, so something lint-free is best. You can even use a strainer. Just remember, don’t do this next to a sink unless you plug the drain!
Hydrogen Peroxide and Rubbing Alcohol
If you don’t have a ton of time to clean your earrings or you just want to make sure they are sanitized, hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol are two great choices you most likely have in your medicine cabinet. Hydrogen peroxide is the best cleaning agent if you have sensitive ears because it kills bacteria quickly, and it can be used on a brass, gold, or silver earring. Soak a cotton ball with the cleaning solution and squeeze around your earrings, focusing on the post and the backing. Let dry for a few minutes if you can, but you can safely put these earrings back on right away. If you have more time, fill a shot glass with hydrogen peroxide and let them soak for 5-10 minutes. You may want to use a toothpick to poke any dirt and grime out of the tiny crevices in the setting or backing, especially if it’s a stud with a basket setting or a butterfly backing (the most commonly used one).
If you want to use rubbing alcohol, follow the same instructions as hydrogen peroxide. This cleaning solution sanitizes earrings and can be used on gold, sterling silver, and diamond earrings. If you don’t have a bowl or shot glass, you can use the cap of your rubbing alcohol bottle for a quick soak. We like to use this for new earrings as well as an extra sanitization measure, especially if you have sensitive skin. You may not want to use rubbing alcohol on earrings with glued-on embellishments, as it can loosen the glue. Rest assured, none of our men’s earrings at JAXXON use glue to hold the studs in place.
Earring Cleaning Kits
Jewelry cleaning kits are super easy to use and a travel-friendly accessory to clean jewelry, including earrings, on the go. Our kit comes with everything you need, including a microfiber cloth, which is a great tool to use for everyday cleaning to shine your studded earrings. If your diamond earrings look dull, the little brush is perfect for restoring that original sparkle.
Importance of Cleaning Your Earrings
Why is cleaning your earrings often and properly so important? We know earrings are another piece of jewelry in your collection, but these differ from your chains and bracelets because ear piercings start as open wounds. If your ears have been pierced for several years, you’re less likely to have a reaction to dirty earrings, but if your piercings are more recent, you may be wondering, “How long do ear piercings take to heal?” While the timing can vary, keeping guy ear piercings clean and bacteria-free will prevent infections and scarring, leading to a quicker recovery time. Aside from your skin health, cleaning your earrings often will keep them looking good for a long time, so you can enjoy them and switch them out as often as you like.