Why Do Earrings Smell Bad? Causes And Home Remedies

Ear piercing is the most common piercing type, and its possible areas comprise the cartilage curve at the ear top, folds outside an ear canal, and the earlobe. Even though these piercings are relatively safe and famous, you’ll still require taking care of your piercing and giving proper attention to prevent complications. An ideal method to disinfect earrings relies on the material type. Also, most department and jewelry shops present jewelry cleaning services; however, you may use the below home remedies to get rid of ear piercings stink.

While it is crucial to maintain all your jewelry pieces clean to appear new, this is more vital for things utilized in association with piercings like earrings. To prevent ear inflammation or infection, you’ve to know why do earrings smell so bad and try remedies to eliminate this issue.

Why Do Earrings Smell Bad? Causes And Home Remedies


Why do Earrings Smell Bad?

When you wipe a finger behind the ear, thereby smell it, you might get a different odor, very similar to that of sweat, cheese, or regular body odor. Nevertheless, do you want to know why does piercing smell unpleasant? Here is what might be the reason behind that odor in your earrings:

1. Physical barriers and pollution:

Various stuff may develop behind your ears or along your hairline, generating unpleasant smells. These kinds of stuff may include hair products, multiple types of smoke, automobile fumes, and different debris and pollution forms. Moreover, cosmetics, hats, long hair, earmuffs, hair accessory residues, and scarves may even trap body secretions or obstruct the back ear pores that develop an odor.

2. Infection:

Why do earrings smell? Ear infections often develop a cheese-like odor. Fungi, yeast, and bacteria are most likely to blame as they prefer moist and warm places. Fungi, yeast, and bacteria may develop behind your ears because of wearing eyeglasses constantly, scratching your ears with untidy hands, or infectious discharge coming out of your ear piercing. Moreover, Skin irritation and moist conditions can worsen this matter.

3. Hygiene:

It is easy to go for a shower, clean the most prominent and conspicuous body areas, and forget about those tiny parts behind your ears. But, above all, it doesn’t naturally appear like any area that gets dirty or sweats easily. Hence, neglecting to clean that part thoroughly can be why earring holes smell.

4. Secretion:

Sweat glands can be found on your entire body, comprising your ears. They discharge perspiration which begins smelling when it comes in touch with oxygen and bacteria. Sebaceous glands secrete foul-smelling fat and wax mixture sebum located wherever skin is. The ear’s overlay with grooves and folds behind it turns it simple for these things and the smells to develop and hide. This is exceptionally true in the case of overactive glands secreting a considerable quantity of sebum and sweat. People having acne have a greater probability of having overactive glands.

See Also: Ear Piercing for Weight Loss

Home Remedies to Get Rid of Ear Piercing Smell

Some home remedies to get rid of the ear-piercing smell are:

1. Tea tree oil:

This oil has antimicrobial and antibacterial features, treating and preventing ear-piercing smells. In addition, it has anti-inflammatory properties, which soothe irritated and inflamed skin. So, when you already have an infection in the pierced area, you may apply tea tree oil over that spot. However, it is advisable not to use this oil directly on your skin, so ensure diluting it ahead of its application.

How to Use:

  • Mix one tbsp. Distilled water with three to five tea tree oil drops in a bowl.
  • Soak a cotton swab into the mixture, thereby gently rubbing it over the pierced ear.
  • Keep it on for about half-hour.
  • Rinse off that part with warm water; next, dab it dry.

2. Aloe vera:

Aloe vera gel is renowned for its medicinal attributes soothes irritated and inflamed skin. In addition, aloe gels hold antibacterial features which hinder bacterial growth, preventing infection and foul odor in your ear holes. Furthermore, it owns analgesic and antiseptic traits offering pain relief and preventing bacterial growth. Thus, aloe vera can be a successful remedy for healing ear-piercing wounds, thus healing the piercing.

How to Use:

  • Take a bowl, add cold water, thereby dip aloe leaf for about fifteen minutes
  • Next, take this leaf out and pull out the leaf’s gel.
  • Apply this gel over the smelly area, which can be extremely useful for earrings stink.
  • Let it rest for thirty minutes, then wash it away using warm water. Dab dry that pierced part.
  • You may utilize this treatment two to three times every day.

3. Neem (Azadirachta indica):

Most individuals are aware of the neem plant benefits. You may either utilize a neem stick to the pierced part or apply neem paste over the infected spot. It holds antibacterial attributes, which removes dangerous bacteria, while its anti-inflammatory features soothe the infected location. Furthermore, neem even aids in draining the pus out of your piercing.

How to Use:

  • Take a cup, pour water, add some leaves and boil it.
  • Allow it to brew for around five minutes, turn off the flame and strain this solution.
  • Grind the neem leaves into a smooth paste.
  • Give a neem water rinse to your piercing, then apply that paste over the affected part.
  • Allow it to rest for thirty minutes, clean it with lukewarm water, and dab dry.
  • Moreover, you may take a thin neem tree’s stick and wear it in your pierced ear. Keep wearing it until the piercing is healed, and then your may wear any of your desirable jewelry.

4. Turmeric:

Do you want to know how to stop piercing from smelling? Use turmeric as it being utilized since long back due to its healing attributes. It contains a compound called curcumin, which holds antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial features for treating the infection. Moreover, turmeric has antiseptic properties, which shall heal your piercing, maintain it clean and prevent bad smells from developing.

How to Use:

  • Mix one teaspoon turmeric powder and enough water in a bowl until it forms a thick paste.
  • Now put on this paste over earring holes smell with clean hands. Avoid touching the part with dirty hands; else will worsen the condition.
  • Keep it on until the paste dries off completely. It might take some time.
  • Wash it away with lukewarm water, and then pat it dry.
  • It is advisable to follow this remedy two to three times per day.

5. Clove oil:

How to stop piercing from smelling? Clove oil is another fantastic remedy for removing the earring smell. It has antifungal and antibacterial features, which maintains the pathogen away. Moreover, this essential oil has anti-inflammatory attributes which soothe your skin, thereby alleviating your pierced ear eliminating bad smells. It even heals and treats the infected area to prevent foul odors in the future. Furthermore, it eliminates skin infection and swelling.

How to Use:

  • Mix ten clove oil drops and one tbsp. Coconut oil.
  • Next, immerse a cotton swab into the mixture and rub it throughout the affected spot.
  • Keep it that way for about fifteen minutes.
  • Finally, wash it away with lukewarm water, thereby dab dry.

6. Saltwater:

This is one of the best and easiest home remedies to get rid of the ear-piercing smell. Salt holds antimicrobial features inhibiting dangerous microbe growth. As a result, it prevents infection and eases the healing procedure. Moreover, salt has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory attributes, which soothes irritated and inflamed skin to keep your earholes clean to prevent bad smells.

How to Use:

  • Take a pan, pour enough water, and boil it.
  • Now half tsp. Salt into the boiling water; thus, stir it well.
  • Allow the mixture to cool down a little, or you might end up burning your ear.
  • Now immerse a cotton swab into the salt solution, thereby gently wiping the piercing with it.

Some Important Things to Keep in Mind

Following are some crucial things to keep in mind to avoid ear piercings stink:

  • Clean your pierced ear everyday very gently with clean hands
  • Avoid utilizing any alcohol over the infected area.
  • Ensure maintaining your ear and earrings dry
  • Allow the wound to heal with time.
  • Don’t try all of the above remedies in one go. Instead, it is advisable to pick the most comfortable one, thereby follow it.
  • It is advisable not to change your jewelry very frequently.
  • Avoid playing with your piercing.
  • Always ensure sterilizing the jewelry ahead of wearing it on your pierced part.


Q. Can my earring smell during healing?

Ans. It is best to continue with the cleaning schedule during the initial healing period. When a piercing isn’t cleaned regularly, it might smell bad; however, this doesn’t specify an issue. It is better not to move or rotate the jewelry in piercings before or after healing.

Q. Why does the earring hole smell unpleasant?

Ans. Infected piercing may sometimes smell poor. This is because dead akin, pus, and additional waste from infection might stick onto your earholes, earring backs, and posts. This may bring about an unpleasant smell to remain.

Q. How much time does ear piercing need for healing?

Ans. There are various tissue types in distinct ear parts; thus, the time for an ear piercing to heal relies on the body plus the piercing area. For example, earlobes generally take six to eight weeks, while cartilage piercing towards your ear’s side might take six months which may extend up to one year.

Q. Is it wrong to put on earrings all the time?

Ans. You can put on earrings all the time if you maintain proper hygiene, and there’s no such restriction regarding the time for wearing them. However, it is advisable to wear delicate metal earrings made of gold, silver, etc. Thus, you’ll ensure to avoid all unwanted reactions.


Human skin acts as a natural boundary to maximum disease and bacteria, yet an infection might arise when the pierced ear isn’t kept sterile and Clean. In addition, a smelly piercing may be potentially dangerous, painful, and unsightly; thus, it is crucial to look after earrings’ cleanliness to prevent earrings from stinking. Ear piercing is the most common piercing, but it is advisable to take consistent and proper care to avoid tissue damage infection and lose the piercing completely.