Ear piercing is known to be one of the oldest procedures for body modification. Nowadays, however, piercings are no longer limited to the ones on the ears. People who are yearning to express themselves in this kind of body art can choose to have their lips, tongue, nose, and navel pierced. No matter which body part the individual wants to get pierced or what kind of body jewelry is chosen, it is imperative that the piercer sanitize the equipment and the accessory sufficiently to satisfy sanitation standards. Failing to do so could expose the client to infections and serious diseases like HIV or Hepatitis C. If you are looking to go into the body piercing business, it is crucial that you purchase your jewelry from reputable sellers and sterilize them before each and every application. Professional piercers do not advise cleaning with chemical cleaners because it does not satisfactorily eliminate pathogens and could leave harmful residue behind. Some chemicals can even damage gold or silver used in the jewelry. For this process, you need to use an autoclave. It is one of the few devices that you can safely use on your body piercing jewelry. Here are the steps to sterilizing your jewelry for body piercing.
- Purchase or rent an autoclave. This professional equipment for steam sterilizing may be purchased online or in medical supplies stores. You can also buy a secondhand unit from reputable tattoo parlors or dental clinics. You may also need to buy sterilization bags for your jewelry. Remember that not all jewelries can be sterilized in the autoclave. Some accessories are made of polyethylene. These will melt in the autoclave.
- Wash your jewelry prior to bagging. Scrub your jewelry with soap and warm water. Use a toothbrush with very soft bristles or a cloth for cleaning gold and silver. Rinse and dry the jewelry completely before placing them in separate plastic bags.
- Put your jewelry inside appropriate autoclave bags. All of the jewelries that you need to sterilize must be placed inside sterilization bags. These are no ordinary plastic bags as those will just melt inside the steam sterilizer. You can purchase polypropylene bags from autoclave suppliers or from medical equipment stores. Look for the brands that changes color. These kinds of bags change from clear to blue or green. This change in color indicates that the contents of the bag have been properly and sufficiently sterilized.
- Prep your steaming equipment properly and load it correctly. The water reservoir of your autoclave should have enough water in order to produce adequate amounts of steam to completely sterilize the jewelry. Put the autoclave bags in the steel tray and place them inside the autoclave. Read the instructions manual to know how many bags you can safely load. Make sure that the bags do not touch or overlap.
- Turn on the autoclave and wait for the cycle to finish. Twist the knob of the timer. Body piercing jewelries should be sterilized for at least an hour to make sure that all dirt and pathogens are eliminated. Once the cycle is done, set the autoclave to vacuum function. This will dry your piercing jewelry after sterilizing. This step is very important to prevent your jewelry from breeding bacteria.
Carefully empty the steam sterilizer to prevent scalding. Use silicon tongs to handle the hot contents if possible. The autoclave bags are designed to self-seal so these will remain free from contamination and ready for use. Keep these bags in a safe and dry area in your workspace.