How to prevent your stinky ears from stinking
Indigenous peoples have practiced ear stretching for hundreds of years for various rituals in countries such as Africa, Europe, and more recently the explosion in North America and Europe. Ear lift essentially consists of widening a healed hole in the earlobe and placing a plug or tunnel in the drilled hole. Choosing to stretch your ears gives you personal responsibility to properly care for your piercing. Stinky ear plugs, commonly known as ear cheese, are caused by dead skin cells that form inside the stretched earlobe and build up on the plug. Ear cheese is a combination of dead skin cells and shampoo / soap products that come together to form an unpleasant, smelly discharge. Once this happens, you will need to take the following steps to rid your ears of this horrible stench.
Step 1- Clean your plugs
Remove the plugs and wash them carefully in a sink with warm water. Use mild liquid soap to wash all sides and clean the jewelry thoroughly. When done, use a paper towel to dry and keep covered. Make sure not to leave it in the shower or sink, as possible recontamination can occur. For organic plugs like wood, specialty oils like JoJoba can help to properly clean specialty materials.
Step 2- Cleaning the earlobes
First, lather both hands with warm water and clean with antibacterial soap. Then, in a circular motion, use a finger to rub the inside of your stretched lobe. Make sure to scrub and clean all the dead skin cells from the earlobe with plenty of water and antibacterial soap. If your lobes aren’t big enough for your finger, try using a cotton swab to clean the inside. Make sure to completely dry the lobes inside and out with a new, clean paper towel to avoid trapping bacteria.
Step 3- Reinserting your plugs
Once the inside of the earlobes have been cleaned and dried, immediately insert the earplugs back into your stretched earlobes. Freshly cleaned earplugs and ear jewelry can easily pick up bacteria while air drying in sinks or showers, so it’s important to do it quickly. Wipe off any remaining water around your piercing with a clean cloth or paper towel. If your lobes need lubrication when reinserting the earplugs, try massaging them with vitamin E oil.
Many cleaning agents such as alcohol and hydrogen peroxide can be too harsh to pierce and stretch your ears. We recommend soaking piercings and plugs 1-2 times a day in a mild saline solution with warm water and non-iodized sea salt. Following these easy steps to do on a daily basis can prevent stink from stretched ears and stop ear cheese.