By Jennifer Gigantino

Ear gauging -- also known as ear stretching -- is the process of placing jewelry of larger and larger diameter through a body piercing. To gauge your ears safely, you must take it slowly. Stretch your ears one size gauge at a time and do not move to the next size up, until your ears are completely healed from the last stretch. Although this generally takes about 3 to 4 weeks, there are techniques that can be used to speed up the healing process.

Gauged piercings can be small or large.

Step 1

Wash your hands with antibacterial soap. Remove the jewelry from your ear.

Step 2

Dip the jewelry in clean warm water, then wipe it off with a cotton ball. Dispose of the ball.

Step 3

Put some antibacterial soap on your fingertip. Apply it liberally to the jewelry.

Step 4

Rinse the jewelry with warm water. Ensure that no soap residue is left. Dry off the jewelry with a fresh paper towel.

Step 5

Using a cotton swab, apply a thin layer of the tea tree oil, emu oil or saline solution to the inside of the piercing and reinsert the jewelry.

Step 6

Repeat this process daily, until the piercing is healed, which will take two to three weeks depending on your body.