Dirty Bellybutton – How to Clean Your Bellybutton?

A quick look at a dirty belly button is all it takes to shudder, get into the shower, and scrub the silly out of it.

A board-certified dermatologist with HealthCare Partners medical group, Alexandria V. Booth, M.D., made us understand that “health providers have taken ‘growths’ from bellybuttons that turned out to be a mix of dirt, sweat, soap, lotion, bacteria, and lint.”

“Talk about an embarrassing doctor’s appointment, after they go in for what they assume is skin cancer and discover it’s just years of dirt.”

The belly button should be treated like every other parts of the human body; else, it may develop foul smells and even infections, commonly pairs with itchy, red scabby skin. It is worse when the navel is pierced.

Even more so, rare stone-like matter known as umboliths, omphalith, omphaloliths, or omphalokeratoliths can grow to cover the entire belly button and infect, ulcerate, and inflame it.

Even tho your “innie” isn’t turning into a dirt-filling “outtie,” it is highly likely that it is pretty much dirtier than you are thinking. According to research from North Carolina State University, the average known species of bacteria that swarms a belly button is 67.

Shocking isn’t it?

Asides saving yourself embarrassing scenarios from your doctor, you also don’t want to ruin a perfectly good make out session with your partner. Knowing how strong the nose is in picking up foul smell, your partner might also want to take it a kinky step further by using their tongue. I don’t think something that smells that bad would takes good in any way.

Booth informs that simple showers can remove “some” lint and germs, but you would need to step the cleaning up a notch if you are possess an “innie.”

At least once a week, a cotton swap with soap and water is necessary. You could also use alcohol to clean your belly button. A soapy washcloth should do the trick if you developed an “outtie” either from a stretched pregnant stomach or you were born with it.


Nonetheless, if you don’t know how to clean your bellybutton, you may need to go see a doctor if you’re finding it difficult to clean, get rid of bad smell and infection.

How do I clean a dirty bellybutton?

Dirty Bellybutton

It is very common for bellybuttons to have crevices that can breed bacteria and secure dirt. Strive to pay close attention and have your bellybutton cleaned at least once a week.

Cleaning a bellybutton depends solely on the type you have;

Cleaning an innie bellybutton

Do this little exercise before your next shower. Dip a cotton swab in alcohol, then gently rub the area inside the bellybutton. Throw the swab away if it’s dirty and repeat the same step with a fresh swab till it becomes clean.

Clean your bellybutton with fresh swan dipped in water. This is done to clean the alcohol out so the skin doesn’t get dry.

After you are done with your shower, dry inside the bellybutton with a dry, clean swab, or you could simply use the corner of your washcloth or towel.

Ensure you don’t let body lotion anywhere near your bellybutton. This is because the moisture, caused by the lotion, may promote the growth of bacteria and cause the bellybutton to be dirty again.

Cleaning an outie bellybutton

The cleaning of an outie is easier to access than the innie bellybutton.

Apply lather on your washcloth or sponge, then gently scrub the surface of your bellybutton. Rinse and then dry off with a washcloth or towel.


You can also apply some lotion on your bellybutton, by gently massaging it.

Cleaning pierced bellybutton

It is important you follow the instructions of your piercer, especially if the piercing is recent. This is to help avoid possible infection.

When your bellybutton piercing is completely healed

Depending on the type of bellybutton you have, it is best to follow the cleaning routines mentioned above.

For piercings that are completely healed, you can gently clean the area using cotton balls or washcloths soaked in a solution of 1/4 t/spoon of salt (preferably sea salt) in 8 ounces of already boiled water (that has cooled off). As a substitute l, you could also get isotonic saline solution, then clean the pierced area with it.

What do you think would happen if Your bellybutton isn’t clean?

A number of issues may arise if your bellybutton isn’t clean. These problems may include;

1. Yeast infections

Most bellybuttons are conducive breeding ground for bacteria to thrive since bellybuttons (especially innies and pierced) are moist, and dark. This can result to yeast infections in the bellybutton. This is why it is very vital to know how to clean your bellybutton.

2. Smell

Another reason why it’s important to know how to clean your bellybutton is foul smell. Even when yeast infections doesn’t occur, the accumulation of dead skin, sweat, dirt and lint can result to bad smell.

Trust me, you don’t want your partner telling you they can’t stand the smell down there before doing the right thing.

3. Omphaloliths

When dead skin cells or sebum gather around your bellybutton, overtime, omphaloliths can be formed. They can also be referred to as navel stones and they are made up of the same materials blackheads are formed from.

Oxidation can also turn the surface of a navel stone black. You see why it’s really important to have your bellybutton cleaned?


Most individuals don’t invest entries in worrying about how clean or dirty their bellybutton is, some don’t even know how to clean their bellybutton.

It wouldn’t be a bad idea to have your bellybutton cleaned at least every week. You can have your bellybutton cleaned to avoid foul smells, infections or other issues caused by poor hygiene.

Did you enjoy this piece? Do you know how to clean your bellybutton? Are there other ways not mentioned in the article that you can clean your bellybutton? Share with us in the comments.

Oluwafemi Michael
Oluwafemi Michael is an online Mental Health Therapist, Advocate for Mental Health Awareness, a programmer, and also a content creator from Edo state, Akoko-Edo LG.

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