Belly rings come in a variety of materials, shapes, styles and sizes. This guide shows you the best ways to maintain your new jewellery to keep it looking shiny and new for longer. Caring for your body jewellery also helps eliminate the chances of infection.
NOTE: Always wash your hands, clean your piercing and your jewellery with a disinfectant hand soap before changing (this applies to BOTH old jewellery and new jewellery straight out of the pack. For a guide on how and when to change your navel piercing jewellery, click here.
Having a full understanding of the materials used in your belly rings and the particular care required for each type will allow you to get a much longer life span out of your body jewellery and help you to keep it looking shiny and brand new. By educating yourself on this topic you will spend less on body jewellery and get more wear and more value from your dollar. Spend less, buy right. In addition to the extensive information below, we also have a blog that goes into further detail about the various choices available when selecting the right jewellery for your navel piercing.
IMPORTANT! Belly Bar Storage
We recommend that you AVOID storing your jewellery in anything made of oak or cardboard as these are often treated with a sulfur which may release fumes and cause your jewellery to tarnish or age. We also recommend that you avoid storing your jewellery in the bathroom or anywhere that has high levels of moisture or humidity in the air. Plastic and designated jewellery boxes work best. Store them in a dry cool area that is away from direct sunlight. TIP: Tackle boxes are fantastic for storing your belly rings!
Maintaining, Using and Cleaning TummyToys® Belly Rings
The TummyToys® clasps all come with a lifetime guarantee, they will not fade, flake or peel with age. The clasp tightness is also fully adjustable, so if your clasp is too tight or becomes too loose you can easily fix this by following our online video tutorial guide.
For full instructions on maintaining, cleaning and using the TummyToys® clasps visit our online tutorials here. You can also read about cleaning 925 Silver and Solid Gold further below.
Gold Plated Body Jewellery
Gold plated is an excellent choice if you want the look of gold without the hefty price tag. It allows you to save money and buy more belly rings! However, gold plated jewellery (unlike solid gold) will fade over time, this is especially the case when it is regularly exposed to water or chemicals like soaps, creams, sun lotion, tanning oils and cleaning products. Even your perspiration and the PH balance of your skin can affect the lifespan of gold plated belly rings. It's impossible to predict how long your gold plated belly rings will last as this depends on many factors, including how often you wear it and the conditions you expose it to. Chlorine, salt water and pool chemicals can have a devastating effect on your shiny plated jewels, for this reason we recommend replacing your gold plated jewellery with surgical steel, 925 Sterling silver or solid gold when showering or swimming and saving your plated jewellery for other special occasions.
To clean your gold plated body jewellery, we do NOT recommend using traditional jewellery cleaners or any other chemical-filled solution, not even toothpaste! Instead, use a soft cloth and warm water, but only if you must.
925 Sterling Silver Belly Rings
It surprises us that many people think that 925 Silver jewellery is less valuable because it tarnishes. While it is true that it does tarnish, it is also fully cleanable and restorable. Simply using a Godards Silver Cloth or silver cleaning agent to polish your jewellery (no matter how tarnished it is) will allow it to maintain it's shiny lustre and bring it back to brand new EVERY TIME! For many reasons silver is dearer than surgical steel, it is shinier, lasts forever and is considered a precious metal. In addition, people who experience belly piercing allergies with other types of metal often find that they can wear 925 Silver without any problems at all due to the low nickel content.
All of our silver belly rings also have silver charms (dangly and fixed) which means that the full piece has an extensive lifespan when compared to their cheaper friends - costume and plated body jewellery.
Polishing your silver navel jewellery takes minutes and is a very simple process. You can either polish your body jewellery with a silver cloth or for a deeper clean to remove any built up particles, clean using a silver jewellery agent and scrub gently with a small brush in the indented areas where grime could build up. We recommend using Connoisseurs cleaning products.
We have heard of people throwing out their 925 silver jewellery mistaking it as cheap, not realising that all it needs is a clean!
Solid Gold Belly Bars
Solid gold is one of the ultimate choices for body jewellery, be it the most expensive, it comes with its advantages. Unlike 925 silver, gold will not tarnish over time and unlike gold plated jewellery, it will forever maintain its lustre. Neither will it flake or peel with age like costume jewellery.
However, solid gold navel jewellery can still collect body oils and particles of dirt in areas where the jewellery is indented or has fixed jewels and for this reason we recommend cleaning your jewellery to keep it looking brand new. You can use a jewellery cleaning agent if you have one, but if not, something as simple as dishwashing detergent will do the trick! The WikiHow has an excellent photo demonstration on cleaning gold jewellery, you can check it out here.
PTFE and Plastic/Acrylic
The beautiful thing about PTFE belly bars (aside from the bargain price) is that they are easy to resize to a desired length. To adjust, use a pair of scissors and cut the bar on a slight angle at the desired length. Using a surgical steel ball, screw it on to the newly cut edge with firm pressure and the PTFE bar will re-thread itself. You can then replace the steel ball with a plastic ball if desired.
When cleaning this type of material do NOT use alcohol or any chemical based cleaning agents as these will crack and damage your jewellery. Simply rinse in warm water with a generic disinfectant hand soap.
Dangling Belly Rings, Costume Jewellery and Vintage Plated
Yes, these items are bargain priced and are available in a wide range of styles, colours and lengths, however they are NOT comprised of the same quality materials as the more expensive line of belly bars in 925 silver and solid gold. These pieces can be susceptible to water damage and they will age with exposure to chemicals. In addition they can also be affected by your body oils and hygiene products including sunscreen lotion and tanning oils. To get the most out of your dangling belly rings and costume jewellery we recommend you care for them in a similar way as you would gold plating (above). While costume jewellery does have a 316L surgical steel shaft, many have charms and dangles that are rhodium plated over metal or vintage brass plated and they will show their age if mis-treated.
316L Surgical Steel Belly Rings and everything else!
316L surgical steel does not tarnish and will last the test of time. However, all belly rings, even the basic belly rings will still collect body oils and particles of dirt in areas where the jewellery is indented or has fixed jewels and for this reason we recommend cleaning your jewellery to keep it looking brand new and to prevent infections. Simply use a gentle dishwashing detergent in warm soapy water. Using alcohol can damage and loosen gems, likewise harsh chemicals can also prematurely age your body jewellery. To losen dirt or build up, use a gentle brush. Give your jewellery a final wash with disinfectant hand soap to aid in killing bacteria.