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Can I take my tapers out to clean my ears?

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So I just started stretching my ears on Sunday and I know you are supposed to start with 14g but they just slipped right through my ear so I went on to the 12g. It hurt just a little and there is a tiny bit of blood when I take it out to clean it with my sea salt solution and soak the tapers in alcohol. However, I was wondering what is the proper way to clean it. Can I take the tapers out for a short period of time to clean it or should I leave them in since they are a little raw?