stinky stretched ears

Smelly Stretched Ears

We have all been there.  While we stretch our ears we notice a little bit of a stink.  Some are lucky to never have this problem, but this article is for the people with ear stank.

The stink in your ear comes from dead skin and oil produced by your skin called sebum.  The sebum and the dead skin get trapped in your piercings if you constantly keep your plugs/tunnels in.  It is a result of sebum and dead skin being trapped in your hole. 

How to fix the stinky stretched ears

The best way to fix this issue is to do the same thing that you do with the rest of your body.  Shower and clean.    You do not need to do this constantly.  Too much cleaning could lead to irritation and possible infection... so maybe just 2-3 times a week.  You might also want to let your ear breathe.  Take the plugs or hangers out of your ears and wash them. Wash with warm water and use soap (just like you do in a shower :)    Some type of moisturizer on your ears can also be helpful.

The odor will be stronger while you are stretching your ears.  This is because the ear is trying to heal and will produce more sebum and dead skin.  When you get to your desired ear gauge you will notice less of an odor.

The second half of stinky stretched ears
The other part of the smell is the plug itself.  The skin cells and sebum can also be collected on the actual plug.  This is also easily solved by keeping your plugs clean.  Use natural oils such as jojoba.

Wood plugs reduce ear odor?

The best material to use is organic material.  Use bone, horn, or wood plugs.  Wood plugs allow your piercings to breathe.  This allows your ears and plugs to collect less dead skin and sebum.  This means less odor.  Other materials will increase the odor of your ears.

swan stretched ear plugs

What is your story?  Do you have a good story about stinky ears?  Do you have a good remedy on how to reduce the smell?  Comment below.
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Try using a little triple antibiotic ointment this seems to help quite a bit the smell does return but a lot longer in between cleanings usually clean mine once a month with the ointment use hope this helps


Y’all should try chlorahexidine gluconate (brand name Hibiclens, but the generic works just as well and is often cheaper) to clean your ears! It’s the stuff surgeons use to scrub up with before surgery. The smells are caused by bacteria and this stuff will kill lingering bacteria that regular soap won’t touch.


My ears get goo and crust no matter what. If I take my plugs out my lobes are super red inside. I stretched my ears about 15 years ago. They are 9/16ths, so yeah nothing to do with hygiene or healing. Also, every time I take them out and clean my ears and my plugs they get really aggravated and are wet inside for a week or 2. They don’t stink unless I touch the inside and get some goo, then it mildly smells.


I have had 00 size in my ears for close to 20 years, using natural wood or bone is the only thing I have ever found that make that nasty smell stay at bay, upgrade your plugs

Levi sutton

My ears smell. No matter what i do. My current plugs are plastic so I’m going to try buying wood or something but I need help. It’s embarrassing and YES I’M A VERY CLEAN PERSON AND take hygiene seriously. Is there something I can do aside from cleaning?


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