How to Clean Body Jewelry Without an Autoclave

How to Clean Body Jewelry Without an Autoclave

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If you have a lot of piercings or buy a lot of body jewelry then you know the importance of wearing clean, sterilized jewelry to avoid infection. While there are a lot of effective ways to clean body jewelry the best way is with an autoclave machine like the one your piercer uses, but they don’t tend to be the kind of thing you have sitting around the house. So, whether you need to sterilize your new body jewelry purchase or jewelry you already have so you can wear it again, we’ve got some tips for you. 


What is an Autoclave?

An autoclave machine is a piece of equipment used in professional piercing shops that uses steam to sterilize body jewelry by killing any germs and microorganism like bacteria before the piercer inserts jewelry into your piercing. Autoclaves are used for all different kinds of sterilization including medical and surgical equipment as well as dental equipment and even laboratory equipment and lab waste. For even more on this cleaning tool you can jump over to this blog post: The Autoclave and How it Works


Tips and Tricks for Sterilizing Your Body Jewelry

While the use of an autoclave is the best way to sterilize jewelry there are other methods you can use to make sure that your jewelry is safe to wear before you insert it into your piercing. 

Sterilize your jewelry with boiling water

One way to sterilize your jewelry is to immerse it in boiling water. Once the water is boiling most sources recommend boiling for 25-40 minutes to kill bacteria, viruses, and more. This method is safe to use on materials like:

  • Glass
  • Bioplast
  • Stainless steel
  • Titanium

This method is for use with jewelry that has NO acrylic parts like ball ends, no jewels, and accessories like nonmetal charms.


Sterilize your jewelry with antibacterial soap and water

Another safe method to use to sterilize your body jewelry is to use antibacterial soap and warm water. Mix the soap into the water and stir, then soak the jewelry to be sterilized in the mixture for a few minutes. Then remove, rinse, and dry. This method is safe for use on materials like: 

  • Stainless steel
  • Titanium
  • Glass
  • Acrylic
  • Plated jewelry (gold plated etc.)
  • Gold

If after you rinse there is still material to be cleaned from the jewelry, scrub gently with a soft material like a Q-tip then rinse and dry again. 

Sterilize your jewelry with saline solution

A third way to sterilize your body jewelry is to use saline solution as a soak or a spray. Simply soak the jewelry in saline solution for a few minutes and use a Q-tip to clean if necessary or spray the jewelry completely with a saline spray, then dry. This method is safe to use with most types of body jewelry. 


Remember that whether you are using new jewelry for the first time or are re-inserting a piece of jewelry you have had stored, sterilization is the best and only way to make sure that you aren’t exposed to bacteria and germs. Use one of these methods to sterilize your jewelry before you wear and before you store so it’s always as clean as it can be.