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Firstly make sure you are using the correct size plugs for your ears.
If you're just starting out with ear stretching then you'll be using the smallest plugs which 14-g (measuring about 1.6mm). You should have already started stretching your ears with some tapers before trying to insert plugs.
Once your ear is stretched to the right size then Jojoba oil or a water-based lubricant can be used to lubricate your ear. Allowing you to insert the plug easily.
Jojoba Oil should also be used to keep lobes healthy after the stretching process.
How to Clean Plugs?
Cleaning your plugs is an essential step in maintaining healthy lobes.
How you clean your plugs will depend on the material the plug is made from.
Generally speaking, if you have Metal, Acrylic, Silicone or Glass plugs - then washing with warm soapy water is best. Wash, rinse and leave to air dry.
Stone plugs need a much milder soap and can use the same method. Don't use antibacterial soap on these plugs as you may damage them. Baby soap is ideal.
Horn, Bone and Wood plugs should not be cleaned with water. But they should be wiped with a damp cloth before rubbing in some Jojoba Oil.
How to Put in Double Flared Plugs
Double flared plugs can be difficult to put in as the flare is larger than the size of the plug. Generally speaking it's easier to put double flared plugs into larger sizes and more difficult with smaller sizes.
Ensure your ears are fully healed before trying to insert double flared plugs.
Use some Jojoba oil and try to put the plug in at an angle. If it starts to hurt then stop and try again in a few weeks.
How Long Should I Leave Tapers in Before Switching to Plugs?
Wearing tapers with o rings can cause complications and isn't generally advised as tapers can be easily caught. If you're leaving tapers in we'd suggest waiting 2-6 months before switching to plugs at your stretched size. A lot will depend on your body. You need to wait and give your body time to heal the stretched ear lobe.
However, if you use an insertion taper you can chase it with a plug and wear the finished product right away. We'd usually recommend a glass plug to chase the insertion taper.
Once your taper goes through without any resistance, pain, discomfort or blood then you're ready to try to insert the plugs at that size.