Ever caught a whiff of your ear piercings and wonder why on earth they smell like stinky cheese? (Horrifying!)
Earrings can start to smell bad for a variety of reasons. It could be a build-up of oils and sweat from your skin, or it could be due to dead skin cells getting trapped in the crevices of the earring. Whatever the reason, there are ways to clean your earrings and prevent them from smelling bad in the future.
Should you worry if your earrings smell bad? Who gets the bad earrings smell? How do you keep the bad earring smell from recurring?
Here are my top 13 tips for keeping those lobes smelling fresh as daisies!
Clean your earrings
Cleaning your earrings regularly is an essential part of taking care of your jewelry. Not only will it help keep them looking shiny and new, but regular cleaning can also keep your ears from getting irritated and keep your earrings from starting to stink! No need to use harsh chemicals, using mild soap and warm water is the best way to keep your earrings in good shape. Just make sure that you're not holding them above a sink when cleaning them – the last thing you want is for your precious jewels to say goodbye as they clank down the drain (ask me how I know).
For sensitive skin
Nothing can ruin a beautiful day quite like an itchy skin reaction on your delicate earlobes. Thankfully, these reactions are often caused by something easily preventable - contact with irritating or allergenic substances. To avoid future unpleasantness, you should start by looking for hypoallergenic cleansers to keep your earrings clean and bacteria-free.
Are you allergic to nickel? Do you have a brass allergy? Then, it's important to make sure that you're wearing jewelry safe for sensitive skin - if you've been using harsh cleaning chemicals, this might also be a good time to switch them up and find some gentler products. If you do discover that you have an allergy, continue being vigilant about avoiding contact with the allergen for the sake of your well-being - and looking fabulous!
Earrings can start stinking after they have been used a few times, and this is an unpleasant experience that you don't want to go through. One way to prevent your earrings from stinking too soon is by taking the extra step of soaking them in warm water before cleaning them. This can help loosen dirt, body oils, sweat and any other residue that should be cleaned off the jewelry, allowing you to get a deeper clean and make your earrings last longer without having that unpleasant smell.
Soaking your earrings in warm water is easiest way to keep them smelling fresh for a longer period of time with minimal effort. Let the earrings soak for a few minutes before rinsing them off. This will ensure that any residual grime takes a hike.
Go au naturale
Avoid wearing your earrings for more than a few hours at a time. That is, at least until you can build up to wearing them for longer. But if you've got a real stink fest going on, only wear them for short periods of time to begin with. This will give your ears a chance to breathe and will help prevent build-up of oils and bacteria.
Try to choose materials that won't trap sweat and bacteria, like solid gold or gold filled. These are generally safe choices. However, just because your earrings are solid gold doesn't mean that they don't need cleaning! Your car cost a lot more than your earrings (I hope), but you still have to wash it. That heirloom diamond ring your grandmother passed down? It's exquisite and gorgeous and valuable - but you still have to clean it to keep it looking amazing. Solid gold is no different. Just because it's high quality metal doesn't mean you can ignore it. You still have to clean your solid gold earrings too!
Raise an imaginary forcefield
You can even yell 'raise the shield!' if you like, but expect your family to back away slowly. But in all seriousness, avoid getting makeup, hair products, or perfume on your earrings. None of these products will do you any favors if they're getting trapped in your piercings.
Think about how you felt that time that you didn't get all of the shampoo or conditioner washed out of your hair. [shudders] Now think about that residual grime stuck in your piercing [double shudder]. Keep those piercings clean!
This seems like an obvious one but take off your earrings before showering or swimming! When water mixes with the oils and sweat on your skin, it can cause a smelly reaction. That’s why you should always remove your earrings before getting them wet. Note that earrings can get wet, especially gold filled, sterling silver, or solid gold. But our goal here is to keep them from smelling.
Go Mohave Desert on them
Moisture is not your friend here. When earrings get wet, whether it's from sweat or water, bacteria can grow on them and cause them to stink. Dry your earrings thoroughly after cleaning them. Please.
Stay with the Mohave theme
Store your earrings in a clean, dry place. So don't keep them in your humid bathroom where you've got some rogue mold growing in the corner. (You know who you are. I still like you though.)
Change it up!
Don't wear the same pair of earrings every day. Why would you when there are so many amazing options out there?? I mean, just check out these cuties. Rotate between a few different pairs of earrings and that should keep the cheesy sitch at bay.
Don't become a germaphobe, but....
Disinfect your pierced ears and/or piercings regularly. Did you drop one of your earrings on that dank nightclub floor? Did one hit the floor of your car? Did you put it in your mouth to hold it for a sec? (Hopefully you did not do all three of those things in that order.) Any of these incidents can leave bacteria on your earrings. Clean them regularly.
See your doc
Obviously I'm not a medical doctor (though I have seen every episode of Nightwatch) and this post is in no way a substitute for real medical attention. Think you have an infection? Go to the doctor! How are you gonna wear cute earrings if you get gangrene in your lobes and they fall off? That ain't cute.
Don't sleep in your earrings
Let your ears rest and air out at night. Take our your earrings. Plus it helps to extend the life of them so really it's a win-win.
If your earrings are starting to smell bad, it's probably because of a build-up of oils and sweat from your skin, or dead skin cells getting trapped in the crevices of the earring. Whatever the reason, there are plenty of ways to clean your earrings and prevent them from smelling bad in the future.
Be sure to clean them regularly, let them soak for a few minutes before rinsing, and avoid wearing them for more than a few hours at a time if you really have a cheese fest going on.
Taking these steps will help keep your earrings smelling fresh and bacteria-free! And leave the stinky cheese smell for the fancy cheese section at Trader Joe's! (I do not recommend the stinky German cheese that you'll think seems like a good idea in the moment but you will come to regret this decision.)
How about checking out some of these cuties?
I mean, they're going to look great on you so why not make them yours?