Salt soaks are an easy and effective way to treat a sore or irritated ear stretching. A salt soak essentially consists of submerging your ear stretching in a warm salt solution. This cleanses the piercing and draws out any infection or pus, giving it the best possible chance of healing. Ear stretchings are easily irritated e.g. by stretching too quickly, by cheap jewellery or a grain of dirt getting between your skin and the jewellery. In most cases, a few salt soaks will calm the irritation and leave your ear feeling much better. If the irritation is serious I recommend downsizing temporarily, continuing salt soaks and consulting a professional piercer if it does not improve.
How To Do A Salt Soak
Performing a salt soak on your ear stretching is both quick and easy. Ideally, try to use non-iodised sea salt and distilled water, as they have fewer impurities. You buy both from health food shops, but regular table salt and (ideally filtered) tap water will do. To perform your salt soak:
- Mix 1/4 teaspoon of salt with 250ml boiling water in a clean heat-resistant container such as a ceramic mug.
- Stir with a clean metal spoon until all the salt has dissolved.
- Allow to cool to a bearable temperature i.e. similar to a drinkable cup of tea.
- Fill a clean shot glass (or similar container) to the brim with the salt solution.
- Submerge your ear stretching in the solution for 5 to 10 minutes, or until it cools.
- Rinse with cold water to remove any residue. If there is a lot of lymph etc. use a clean cotton bud, taking care not to leave any fibres behind.
Step four is optional, but personally I find it easier to submerge my whole stretching in a small, full container like a shot glass as opposed to a mug. Salt soaks are great for any sore piercing, but you may have to get creative in order to submerge your piercing in the salt solution!
This post is part of our Ear Stretching Guide 101 series. Click on the link to see the whole series.