Why Do My Earrings Smell?

Earrings can develop an odor over time for a few reasons: trapped sweat and oils provide food for bacteria growth inside piercings. Not cleaning earrings regularly allows debris and microbes to accumulate. Certain materials like some metals are prone to reacting with skin. It’s best to disinfect jewelry weekly to keep holes fresh and smelling nice.

Clean your earrings

Regular cleaning is key to preventing earring smell. Wash jewelry with mild soap and warm water at least once a week. Pay attention to nooks and crannies where debris can get trapped. Thorough drying is also important – lay earrings on a clean towel to air dry completely.

For sensitive skin

If you have sensitive or allergic skin, switch to earrings made from hypoallergenic materials like titanium. Precious metals like gold, silver and brass are common allergens. Avoid harsh chemicals which can irritate skin. Opt for fragrance-free, pH balanced cleansers.

Soak ’em!

Give earrings a deeper clean by soaking in a diluted bleach solution for 5 minutes. Rinse well and pat dry. Tea tree oil also works as a natural antimicrobial. Submerge jewelry in a few drops of oil and warm water for 15 minutes before washing as usual.

Go au naturale

Minimize hair and beauty products near piercings. Oils, perfumes and other chemicals can trap in earrings. Go for a simple shower and swap to a fragrance-free moisturizer or leave ears bare when possible.

Choose wisely

Select earrings with minimal crevices or attachments where gunk can build up. Simple studs are easier to keep fresh than dangling, shell-encrusted styles. Avoid non-precious materials like brass or sterling silver which may trigger reactions.

Raise an imaginary forcefield

Take earrings out for activities like swimming, exercise or nightclubbing. Chlorine, sweat and accidental knocks give germs more access to piercings. Replace jewelry after potential exposure to keep smellies at bay.

Remove them

Give piercings a break when scent starts developing. Switch to clear plastic retainers or don’t wear anything for a few days to let holes fully air out and heal. This starves odor-causing bacteria of their food source.

Go Mohave Desert on them

If you’re on a plane or train, simply remove earrings and store safely until reaching your destination. The driest environment possible is a natural deodorizer. Just be sure to reinsert jewelry as soon as reasonably possible.

Stay with the Mohave theme

On extra sweaty or humid days, ditch the metal and let piercings breathe. Better yet, rock your look with stud-free styles like bead bracelets or layered necklaces. Give holes the air con treatment.

Change it up!

Swap out earrings every few days so none have time to marinate in your ears. A rotating stable of cute and classic pairs from All Day Hoop Earrings to Pearl Hoop Earrings to Diamond Stud Earrings helps everything stay fresh!

Don’t become a germaphobe, but….

Clean jewelry before putting it on and after taking it out. Wash hands before fiddling with piercings too. A little hygiene vigilance goes a long way in preventing odor. Just don’t over-sanitize to the point of damaging skin microbiome balance.

See your doc

If smell persists or is accompanied by pain, redness or discharge, visit your doctor. Underlying issues like infection or allergy could require medicated treatment. They can also check piercings for signs of irritation from improper jewelry materials or placement.

Don’t sleep in your earrings

Don't sleep in your earrings

Letting piercings fully air out overnight without metal blocking air circulation is optimal for snooze-time. Moisture, body heat and disrupted airflow while shacking up for eight hours only breed mildew.

What Is Ear Cheese?

The technical term is otomycosis, an ear infection caused by a flaky, yellowish or black buildup of dead skin cells, oils and bacteria inside the ear canal. Risk factors include family history, humidity, and failing to dry ears after swimming or bathing. See a doctor for antifungal drops or creams if diagnosed. Prevention through regular ear cleaning is key.

But Why Me?

Hormonal changes, stress, genetics, lifestyle habits and skin/ear type all influence one’s scent-susceptibility. If body odor arises suddenly, see your doctor – sometimes it signals underlying health issues needing attention. Otherwise, a consistent cleansing-and-rotation routine usually does the trick.

How To Fix It

Establish a new skincare regimen focused on keeping piercings clean and dry. Try Mild Liquid Soap,sea salt soaks, tea tree oil, and diligent drying. Also swap jewelry materials, limit smelly products nearby, change pairs often and see a doctor for persistent issues. Adopting healthy lifestyle habits also optimizes skin health.

New Routine, Who Dis?

Incorporate regular jewelry cleaning and piercing care into your self-care rituals. Designate a day of the week for deep cleansing. Keep supplies like a mild cleanser, cotton balls and drying rack in your bathroom for easy access. Make it a habit to thoroughly sanitize before and after wearing earrings each day. Consistency is key!

Tender Lobe and Care (TLC)

Step One

Wash hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap before handling piercings.

Step Two

Use a fragrance-free, pH balanced soap or saline solution to gently massage pierced areas. Avoid overly abrasive scrubs.

Step Three

Rinse away all cleanser residue with warm water.

Step Four

Pat piercings completely dry with a clean paper or cotton ball.

Step Five

Inspect openings for signs of irritation like redness, swelling or discharge.

Step Six

Apply a small amount of fragrance-free moisturizer, being careful to avoid entering piercing if still new.

Step Seven

Insert clean, quality earrings rinsed in saline or alcohol beforehand. Finish with handwashing.


How do I stop my earrings from smelling?

Clean them at least once a week with mild soap and warm water. Rotate pairs, let holes thoroughly air out overnight without jewelry, and avoid strongly scented beauty products near piercings. See a doctor if necessary.

Why does the inside of my earring hole smell?

Dead skin cells, trapped sweat, bacteria and blocked air circulation inside piercings cause odor over time. Prevent it by cleaning openings and jewelry regularly, choosing quality materials, letting holes breathe when possible, and seeing a doctor for lingering issues.

How to get rid of piercing smell?

Give holes a rest from jewelry, use saline or tea tree oil soaks, establish a diligent cleaning routine, rotate earring pairs, dry thoroughly, see a doctor, and avoid potential irritants like fragrances and chlorine near openings long-term. Fresh piercings are also more susceptible until fully healed.

Why does it smell so bad behind my ears?

Moist areas like behind ears are havens for odor-causing bacteria growth if not kept clean and dry. Gently wiped down problem spots with antimicrobial soap or cleansing cloths daily.


By establishing a regular earring and piercing cleaning routine using gentle, fragrance-free cleansers; rotating between quality jewelry pairs letting holes fully air out when possible; avoiding strongly scented products nearby and seeing a doctor for persistent issues, you can absolutely banish stinky jewelry smells for fresh-from-the-shop sparkle! A few simple maintenance steps go a long way

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