How to Pierce Your Ear Lobe Safely at Home

Ear lobe piercings

Self piercing can be quite dangerous and is not as easy as you may think.

Many people pierce their own ears. Unfortunately a large amount of these people end up regretting it when they’re left with a nasty infection to deal with.

The reason these home piercings go wrong so often is because not enough people take the care to do the piercing properly.

I would like to show you the proper method for piercing your ears, used by professionals. To help you out I have written this guide on how to pierce your ear lobe safely.

Do yourself a favor and read this guide before performing your own ear piercing. Think your decision through very carefully.

If you come to the final decision that you will do the piercing yourself, follow these instructions very closely to decrease the chance of it going wrong.

What you will need

Piercing kitIn order to pierce your ear safely you will need to make sure that you have all the equipment you need.

You can purchase complete body piercing kits online, this would save you money.

What you need to pierce your ear safely:

  • A surgical grade stainless steel hollow piercing needle (18G or 16G)
  • Medical gloves – latex
  • Steel or titanium implantation stud, Ball Closure Ring or any other high quality jewelry
  • A skin marker
  • Stainless steel ear piercing forceps clamp
  • Aftercare supplies
  • Alcohol swabs (The aftercare kit above comes with swabs)

Do not use a safety pin, sewing needle or anything of the sort as it is not sterile!


Note: Before you pierce your ear your should wash your hands thoroughly.

Choose what type of jewelry you would like to wear in your ear after piercing it.

The jewelry you pick should be made of either steel or titanium. Barbells or Ball Closure Rings are best for new piercings.

The jewelry should be one gauge size smaller than the needle. So for example if you are using a 16G needle, you should go for a 17G, or failing that, an 18G piece of jewelry.

Sterilize your equipment

Before you pierce your ear, you should sterilize your piercing needle and chosen jewelry.

Yes, it was in a sterile package but it is a good practice to sterilize it yourself just to be sure.

  1. KettleTake your stainless steel hollow piercing needle out of the sterile package it came in.
  2. Boil some water and pour it in a bowl.
  3. Place your needle and jewelry in the boiling water.
  4. Leave to soak for 35 to 45 minutes.

There are many more techniques for cleaning your jewelry and equipment. You can view all the sterilization methods here.

Prep your ears

If you have long hair you should brush it right out of the way of the area you are piercing. Tie it back in a ponytail or use hair clips to secure it.

Now you need to clean your ear thoroughly using your sterile swabs. Be sure to clean both the front and back.

You receive swabs with most professional piercing kits. You can also get a pack of 20 swabs as part of the EasyPiercing Care Kit.

Mark the spot

Skin markerNow, using a mirror you need to draw a dot in the position you want your piercing. If you are doing both ears, make sure they are symmetrical.

You should use a surgical skin marker to do this.

If you have other piercings on your ear already, you do not want to place the dot too close to them. Your ear could end up over-crowded making cleansing difficult and leaving little room to wear jewelry in both piercings.

Piercing the ear

Once you have fully prepared your equipment and your ear you can proceed to doing the piercing.

There are a few safe methods of doing this. I will teach you the method used by professional piercers.

Note: You will need a mirror if you don’t have a friend who can help you out.

  1. Ear clamped with needle in placeClamp the forcep onto your ear. Position it over the dot marking the position you want your piercing in. The dot should be visible through the hole in the forcep clamp.
  2. With your ear secured in the forcep clamp, push the needle through the skin where the dot is located. The needle should emerge from the back of the ear. This should be a rapid movement so that the needle can get right the way through.
  3. Hold the clamp in place over your ear whilst you get your jewelry ready.
  4. Insert your jewelry into the end of the hollow needle (whilst the needle is still is your ear). Your chosen jewelry should be one or two gauge sizes smaller than the needle, so should fit perfectly. If it does not fit, then you must accurately line the jewelry up with the end of the needle.
  5. Push the needle right through ear. The jewelry still in the end of the needle.
  6. Keep pushing it through until the jewelry enters the ear piercing.
  7. Now pull the needle out from the back of your ear, leaving just the jewelry in the piercing.
  8. Secure the jewelry so it stays in place. This procedure will vary slightly between different types of jewelry.

Repeat the process for the other ear if necessary.

Take care when following these steps. Take your time and just push it through gently. It should go through fairly easily.


Once you have pierced your ears you should take very good care of your new piercings.

You will need to cleanse them two or three times daily for the next 6 to 8 weeks. This is the average healing time for an ear lobe piercing.

Cleansing your ear lobe piercing – the different methods

There are a couple of effective methods of cleaning ear piercings.

Use whichever one suits you best.

Aftercare products

EasyPiercing Care KitNeedless to say, professional piercing aftercare solutions and products are the number one most effective way of cleansing a new piercing.

There are several aftercare products on the market, each serving a different purpose.

I would suggest you buy yourself a complete aftercare kit.

More specifically, I recommend you use the EasyPiercing Care Kit. You can read my review and instructions on how to use it here.

In my opinion this would be the best way to keep your piercing in top condition and to prevent infection.

Saline solution

One the most convenient methods of cleansing your piercing is by using saline solution.

All you need is warm water and a teaspoon of sea salt.

Here’s some instructions:

  1. Make some saline solution. All you need to do is mix a quarter of a teaspoon of sea salt or a full teaspoon of table salt into a glass of warm water.
  2. Use a Q-tip to apply the salty water to each of your new piercings. Front and back of the ear.
  3. Rinse with running water.
  4. Dry your ear thoroughly. Don’t forget to dry the back of your ear.
Anti-bacterial soap
Antibacterial soap
Antibacterial soap

An effective and simple cleaning method.

The soap you use should be fragrance free and alcohol free.

All you need to do is apply the anti-bacterial soap to your ear piercing, give it a good wash and then rinse it off.

Be  sure to dry it thoroughly afterwards.

Again, remember to wash and to dry both the front and the back of the ear and the piercing itself


All I really have to say to you is take care if you decide to pierce your ear!

Purchase yourself a professional piercing kit.

If you’ve already done the piercing, I hope you found my guide helpful and haven’t experienced any problems.

Now all you need to do is stick at a strict aftercare routine for the next 6 to 8 weeks. Clean your piercings twice or three times a day.

I really hope you enjoyed this post!

If you have any questions, tips or problems related to this article, feel free to leave a comment below.

22 Comments on How to Pierce Your Ear Lobe Safely at Home

  1. Hey!

    I think this article is great. A lot of young people want piercings and some of them even try to do that by themselves.

    It is good that you point out the dangers and show how to pierce yourself in a save way!

    Thank you,


    • Hey Pierre.

      Self-piercing should be taken more seriously than it is. I really hope to get this point across to anyone who is thinking of doing a piercing at home.

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. Thanks for a great post. I had all my piercings (3 piercings in each ear, belly piercing and tongue piercing) done professionally. I would never be able to pierce myself or someone else.
    Your post caught my eye because there were girls when we were in school that did their own piercings and some of them went horribly wrong. It is great that you have shared this information to help people do things the right way!

  3. Hey Hannah,

    Thanks for this great post! Where I live people don’t usually go for piercings due to fear of not being able to get a job, but I do have friends who have considered home piercings. I will pass your advice to them. Thanks and keep up the great work!

    Do you also have advice on other types of piercings, eg. nose piercing at home?

    • Thanks very much Gin!

      Please do send your friends here. They’re more than welcome!

      I will be writing articles on other types of piercings very soon. I’m still not finished working on the site yet.

      Thanks again.

  4. hi Hannah
    Such great tips to pierce your own ears at home! It made me a bit queasy reading them though 🙂 lol. I would probably need a friend to help me with that one. But the method you describe basically replicates the method used in stores. The movement of piercing the ear would have to be a swift quick one. Like ripping a bandaid off. I used to be with a tattoo artist and I would help him sterilize his equipment and this is exactly how he would do it 🙂

    • Hey Emily.

      The hardest bit about self-piercing for most people is plucking up the courage to stick the needle through their own skin. I understand you wanting a friend to help you.

      I’m glad you find my post to be helpful.

      Thanks very much.

      • Exactly! It is just about taking the plunge and getting it done quickly! I re-read your post and it still makes me queasy 🙂 And God knows I can do pain as I have a lot of tattoos, some having been very painful to have done! But for some reason, piercing skin without any analgesic makes me shudder!

        • Hi Emily.

          The most difficult part of self piercing is plucking up the courage to stick the needle through the skin! Once it’s done the pain fades away really quickly. I’ve heard of people using analgesics but I don’t see the point to be honest.

          Thanks very much.

  5. Hi there
    Thanks so much for this read, lol l pierced my earlobes in the most crude way over 30 years ago.
    Was having a laugh and my little sisters dared me to *do it*
    Reading your post, l can’t stop thinking how not only crude but careless I was, it was a simple step of taking sterilized sewing needle and forcing it in my earlobes till it was done.
    Thanks for these tips, although im too old to pierce my own earlobes at home now, these tips are wonderful.

    • Hey Roamy.

      Glad you enjoyed my post! You must have very good luck to not have got an infection! Haha!

      You’re never too old old for piercings 😉

      Thanks for stopping by!

  6. It a good thing to have such detailed instructions on pierceing your own ears. I tried to pierce mine when I was young and it went pretty good. I made sure to keep it clean and used sterilized tools. My mom didn’t like it though and I had to take it out. I think I was 13 years old. I think keeping it clean before, during and after is key.

    • Thanks Debra!

      You’re 100% right, cleanliness is the key to a successful and safe piercing. As long as you take care of it there should be no problems.

      I;m glad you found my guide useful.

  7. Hi Hannah,

    It was nice to learn about ear piercing. Your expertise of the subject matter shows in your writing. The visuals contributed to the information you presented. I liked that you provided where to get the necessary equipment but also the health safety involved in piercing. Your resourcefulness and knowledge are contributing greatly to your site. Keep up the good work.


  8. This all looks great. However, I do have one question. What is the risk of getting an infection when you do it yourself? Also, how much does the average piercing cost?

    • Hi Garen.

      The risk of getting an infection when you pierce yourself is substantially higher than if you were to get pierced professionally. It’s hrd to put a number on it though. If extra care is taken the risk of infection is relatively low. A lobe piercing should be between £10 and £20 depending on the piercer, the jewelry and whether you are pierced with a needle or a gun.

      Thanks for commenting my post.

  9. One of my friends tried to pierce hÅŸs ear himself and got infected a few days later. It’s not something that everybody should do.

    But your method sems the most legit one. Actually the main principle behind piercing is the same for every body part. You must just apply simple logic.

    • I completely agree with everything you said there Tyler! Most people I would not recommend pierce any part o their body. Although if they do decide to do it, at least they will have access to instructions for the best technique!

      Thanks for your input.


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