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How often should you change earrings?

Earrings are a fun and easy way to accessorize an outfit or show off your personal style. But how often should earrings be changed out? There are a few factors to consider when determining the ideal earring rotation schedule.

Earring Metal Types

The metal used to construct earrings is one of the biggest factors in how long they can be comfortably and safely worn. Here are some guidelines based on metal type:

Sterling Silver

Sterling silver earrings should be changed every 1-2 days. Sterling silver contains a small percentage of copper alloys, which can cause tarnishing when exposed to air and skin oils. Tarnishing not only dulls the shine of silver but can also cause skin discoloration and irritation in those with metal allergies. Changing out sterling silver earrings frequently prevents extensive tarnishing and skin reactions.


Silver-plated earrings should be changed every 1-3 wears. The thin layer of silver over a base metal can rub off or erode quickly with wear. Frequent earring rotation protects the plating and prevents exposure to the possible irritants in the base metal underneath.


Gold earrings can be worn for up to 1 week before changing. Gold is highly resistant to tarnishing and skin reactions. However, oils from the skin can dull the shine of gold over time. Switching out gold earrings weekly helps them retain their brilliance.


Platinum earrings can be worn for 1-2 weeks before rotating. Like gold, platinum is a precious metal that does not easily tarnish or provoke skin irritation. Its hardness means platinum maintains its polish well. But regular earring changes keep platinum free of buildup and looking its best.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel earrings can be worn for several weeks to months. Stainless steel is highly resistant to tarnish, rust, and irritation. It can handle prolonged wear without damage. Change out stainless steel earrings every few weeks up to every few months for cleanliness.


Like stainless steel, titanium earrings can be worn for weeks or months before switching. Titanium is ultralight, super strong, and hypoallergenic. It can withstand extended everyday use. Aim to change titanium earrings every 1-2 months for freshness.


Plastic earrings can be worn multiple times before replacement. From acrylics to resins, plastic earring styles are impervious to tarnish, rust, and irritation. However, plastic can get scratched or collect dirt and oil over time. Change plastic earrings every few wears or when they become visibly dirty.

Earring Backings

The earring backings or posts can also impact how often earrings should be changed. Here are some backing guidelines:

butterfly backs

Backing Type How Often to Change
Butterfly backs Every 1-2 days
Push backs 1-2 weeks
Screw backs 1-2 months
Friction backs 2-3 months

Butterfly backs feature plastic clips that grip the earlobe. The tension of these clips combined with friction can cause irritation or even tearing of pierced holes with prolonged wear. Change out butterfly back earrings every 1-2 days to minimize lobe damage.

Push Backs

Push backs have plastic or metal posts that insert through piercings and close with flattened backings. Their smooth, flat edges lower irritation risks compared to butterfly backs. However, push back earrings should still be changed weekly to give lobes a break.

Screw Backs

Screw back earrings have metal posts that thread through piercings and fasten in place with screw tops. Their secure fit makes screw backs ideal for long-term wear. Plan to change screw back earrings every 1-2 months, longer if they remain comfortable.

Friction Backs

Friction back earrings have metal posts that slide through piercings and are held in place by fitted rubber backings. Their tight yet smooth grip offers extended wear with low irritation risks. Aim to swap friction backs every 2-3 months for freshness.

Piercing Age

How long you’ve had your ear piercings also plays a role in optimal earring rotation. Here are some guidelines based on piercing age:

New piercings (less than 6 months)

Brand new piercings need more frequent earring changes to promote healing and minimize infection risks. Rotate earrings every 1-3 days in the first 2 months. After that, maintain weekly earring changes until piercings are at least 6 months old.

Established piercings (over 1 year)

Once piercings move past the new stage, you can be more flexible with earring changes. Follow the typical guidelines based on metal and backing types for piercings over a year old. Loosen rotation to every few weeks or months depending on comfort and cleanliness factors.

Mature piercings (3+ years)

Fully healed and mature piercings are very tolerant of long-term earring wear. Earrings can often be worn for several months without issue. But regular changes every 1-2 months are still recommended to allow lobes to “breathe” and prevent excessive buildup.

Re-pierced ears

For ears that have been re-pierced, follow the new piercing cleaning schedule for the first 6 months post-piercing. Then ease into the appropriate long-term earring change frequency based on metal, backing, and comfort factors.

Earring Style

Certain earring styles may require more frequent changing than others. Here are some style-specific recommendations:


Hoop earrings tend to move and rub against the skin more than stationary studs. The friction can trap dirt and irritate piercings over time. Rotate hoops every few days to weekly depending on material and comfort.

Dangly earrings

Like hoops, dangling earring styles experience more motion. Their swinging and swaying actions can lead to irritation or tangled posts. Change dangly earrings every few days for best results.


Simple stud earrings sit fixed in place with minimal movement. Their stationary positioning and lack of friction allow for longer wear between changes. Wait 1-2 weeks between stud rotations, or longer if comfortable.


Sleepers remain in the ears overnight for convenience. However, sleeping in any earrings can raise infection risks and irritate piercings. Rotate sleepers every 1-3 days to offset these risks.

Heavy earrings

Extra weighty earrings like large gemstones or thick metals put more tension on earlobes. The constant drag can cause tearing if worn too long. Change heavier earrings every few days for lobe relief.

Allergy Risk

Those with metal allergies or sensitive skin may need to rotate earrings more often to avoid reactions. Some tips if you’re earring-sensitive:

  • Opt for hypoallergenic metals like stainless steel, titanium, or platinum.
  • Change earrings every 1-3 days to limit metal exposure.
  • Clean earrings and piercings daily using mild soap and water.
  • Rinse pierced holes with saline spray after earring removal.
  • Take 1-2 day breaks between wearing earrings to give skin a rest.


Maintaining cleanliness of both earrings and piercings influences how often rotations should occur. Here are some hygienic strategies:

  • Clean earrings regularly using jewellery cleaner, mild soap and water, or hydrogen peroxide.
  • Disinfect piercings daily by wiping with saline spray or alcohol-free wipes.
  • Remove earrings while bathing or swimming to prevent microbial buildup.
  • Avoid touching earrings excessively throughout wear to minimize dirt transfer.
  • Clean piercings and insertions thoroughly with saline before inserting newly changed earrings.


Frequency of earring rotation depends on a variety of factors. Metal type, backing style, piercing age, earring style and weight, personal sensitivities, and hygiene practices all contribute. With regular cleaning and thoughtful earring choices, jewelry can be swapped safely every few days to months for happy healed piercings.