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How to clean a lip piercing?

    Maybe you just got your lip pierced, or you are considering getting another one. Trust me- it is vital to know how to clean a lip piercing(s) to ensure that it heals well without any complications.

    In this article, we will teach you proper lip piercing aftercare and the different ways you can maintain your piercing so that it can last longer- as you would want.

     Cleaning procedure

    • Wash your hands with antibacterial soap and clean water before touching any part of your lip piercing. Washing your hands will prevent the piercing from getting contaminated.
    • When cleaning an old piercing, try to remove the jewelry and clean it. But if your lip piercing is still new, do not remove the jewelry before the skin is healed.
    • Saline soak your piercing for 4-5minutes once or twice a day. Using a clean gauze saturated with saline solution will do the trick if you cannot reach the piercing. The saline rinse also removes any debris on your lips.
    • When using soap, lather around the piercing and rinse with a lot of water. Avoid using soaps with dyes, triclosan, fragrances, and harsh soaps.
    • After lathering the piercing, rinse properly to remove all traces of soap around the pierced area.
    • Dry the piercing with a clean and disposable paper towel. Avoid using a cloth towel because it can transfer bacteria or snag the lip stud, causing injuries.
    • Remove the crusts/dried lymph by softening them with sea salt solution before wiping them with a paper towel or a piece of tissue.

    Bonus tip- Ensure that you clean both sides of the piercing. When doing so, avoid rotating the jewelry when cleaning your piercing as it will damage the inner healed tissues.

    How to care for a lip piercing 

    Like any other type of body piercing, there are some guidelines you should observe to help your new lip piercing heal. Eat nutritious meals, get plenty of sleep, drink a lot of water, and practice good hygiene. In simple terms, leave a healthy lifestyle.


    Most lip piercings take between 6-8weeks to heal. But, other types such as Monroe piercings and joker bites can take 3months or more to heal. Here are some of the things that you should avoid when your lip piercing is healing:

    • Avoid playing with your jewelry or changing the lip stud as it could damage your teeth, gums, and other areas in your lips. You may change the jewelry only if you have a lip piercing problem like excessive swelling.
    • Avoid unjustified trauma like excessive talking or playing with the lip stud during healing. Possible long-term effects would be migration, scars, and other unwanted complications.
    • Avoid alcohol-based mouthwash as it will dry out the piercing and delay its healing.
    • Don’t engage in oral sexual contacts like french kissing or sharing cups and other eating utensils. The mentioned things can introduce germs that may infect your piercing.
    • Avoid applying oils, ointments, balms, or creams on your lip piercing if you have dry skin. The skincare products could block your fistula and trap debris that may lead to an infection. It is advisable to use sea salt solution to moisturize your lips instead.
    • Try not to take aspirin or excess amounts of caffeine during the first week after your lip piercing. These substances reduce red blood cells activities in the body, therefore, making it harder for your blood to clot when your pierced hole is bleeding.
    • Avoid smoking as its systemic effect slows down your body’s healing ability. But if you must smoke, buy an e-cigarette that emits vapor instead of smoke.

    How to clean a lip piercing with saltwater 

    To make a sea salt solution at home, but sterile water or boil 1-2 cups of tap water for five minutes to sterilize it. Add 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt (not table salt) and stir to dissolve it. You can add 2-3 drops of tea tree oil for moisturizing purposes.

    Your saltwater is safe for use for the first few weeks, twice a day.

    Soaking method. Transfer the mixture into a small cup and let it cool before applying it around your lip piercing. If you have a Monroe piercing or any other type of lip piercing, do 3-5 minutes long soaks at least twice a day during the first 4-6 weeks of the healing stage.

    You can also use the sea salt solution as a mouth wash. Gaggle the mixture in your mouth and around your lip piercing for five minutes twice a day to dislodge food particles stuck in your fistula.

    Bonus Tip– Use a saline spray to moisturize your lips every time you soak and rinse your mouth with saltwater. Maintain regular oral hygiene by brushing and flossing your teeth before using the saltwater mouth wash and saline spray to achieve maximum results.

    Don’t forget that a lip piercing is also a wound. Protect the piercing, and allow it to heal before removing the jewelry.