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How to Clean a Tattoo

As soon as you arrive home with a freshly inked tattoo in its packaging, it should be washed immediately to eliminate blood, ink and plasma that has leaked through into your skin at this stage – so ensure its cleanliness!

After washing your hands, apply a small dab of skin-sensitive soap directly onto the tattoo and rub gently with your fingertips for about 1 minute before rinsing thoroughly and pat drying with paper towel.


Tattoos may be beautiful pieces of artwork, but they’re also open wounds which should be cared for properly as any wound would. Cleanliness and moisture play an integral part in how quickly a wound heals.

As soon as your new work of art arrives at home, take immediate steps to clean it using lukewarm water and soap. We highly recommend the La Roche Posay Lipikar Wash AP+ which has been dermatologist approved, although Vanicream soap can also be found easily at most drugstores.

After cleansing your tattoo with plain dial soap in a pump bottle (no fragrance moisture beads) use a paper towel to gently pat it dry and ensure all bacteria has been eliminated from its surface. DO NOT use washcloths, loofahs or sponges as these may harbor harmful bacteria which could make your new tattoo infected with bacteria and cause infection. For optimal results use plain dial soap without fragrance moisture beads for an easier experience when cleansing a new tattoo.

Take caution when cleaning your tattoo and be sure to rinse it completely with clean water, especially after participating in sweaty or dirty activities. Cleaning it two or three times each day will keep it free of dirt, sweat, germs and itching, helping keep it looking its best for longer.

Once your tattoo has completely set, apply a thin layer of HUSH lotion in a circular motion over it. Make sure it is fragrance-free as many perfumed lotions may irritate newly healed skin.

As your tattoo heals, continue to moisturize it daily with non-fragranced lotion without over-moisturizing as this could trap moisture underneath the skin causing heat rash or irritation. After 10 days of regular care your new artwork should be fully healed and ready to show off! We hope these tips help ensure its continued appearance!


At high-end shops, your tattoo artist will wash it with lukewarm water and skin-sensitive antibacterial soap before wrapping it up in plastic. The wrap protects it from bacteria, dirt, and other impurities entering into its ink; when removed from its protective covering it should show clear plasma (the same substance that causes open wounds to scab over), which should be cleared away as soon as possible before any scabbing or complications arise.

As your next step, get the area dry by gently massaging with finger tips in a circular motion, rinsing with water, patting dry with paper towel or piece of cloth that won’t rub against other parts of your body, and using too much lotion which could block oxygen from reaching the area and prolong healing times.

After this step, it’s time to moisturize. Apply a thin layer of fragrance-free lotion, like BUFF or HYDRABALM, twice daily after cleaning your tattoo with a special soap and using enough lotion to cover a thin layer over its ink – too much will only slow the healing process!

Your body naturally scabs over, but too much scabbing can lead to infection, scarring and faded ink designs. While some scabbing is normal and desirable, too much scabbing could blur the lines of your new ink design and become unsightly.

Tattoos are open wounds; as such, they will bleed and exude plasma as it heals – this is perfectly normal and part of the healing process! Just avoid picking at or scratching at any scabs as doing so could introduce bacteria, dirt and germs into the fresh ink, so take quick showers instead of long soaks in pools or hot tubs for maximum results!


Your tattoo artist will give you an aftercare kit to clean, moisturize and protect your new tattoo. By following their aftercare routine properly, your new tattoo should heal quickly and beautifully! However, failing to properly care for it could take much longer to heal than expected and may even result in infections, excess scabbing, color fade, scarring or other complications that could slow or prevent healing altogether.

Once your tattoo has been cleaned with mild soap such as Plain Dial, apply a thin coat of Aquaphor made by Eucerin as soon as you apply ointment. A small amount should suffice – enough to keep skin supple and healthy without oversaturation of moisture in the environment; any excessive application should be blotted off with paper towel as too much can suffocate its own inkwork! To maintain healthy and fresh looking tattoos it’s essential that they receive sufficient treatment otherwise they risk “suffocation”.

Within the first several days of healing, your new tattoo may release plasma and ink through small pores on its surface, creating a layer of moisture. This is normal and should not be wiped off with tissue; simply dab gently away with fresh paper towel pieces until gone. Occasionally you may notice colors from your tattoo smearing onto other objects you use while cleaning it; this is due to excess ink being shed off of its surface of skin as part of its normal cycle of shedding off and returning into circulation.

If your artist used clear adhesive films like SANIDERM or TEGADERM to bandage your tattoo, such as SANIDERM or TEGADERM, for three days to keep fluid out and water in. On day three remove it completely and wash thoroughly using soap as instructed above before applying an ointment as instructed above.

Avoid submerging your tattoo in water at any time; that includes baths, showers and sunbathing! Always cleanse it first before applying an ointment or lotion containing antimicrobial ingredients; never use cloth towels that harbor bacteria! Furthermore, it is also wise to avoid wearing tight clothing which might rub against or rub against it; waistbands, bra straps, itchy cotton sweaters and sweaty gym clothing can irritate a new tattoo and slow its healing process significantly.


Scabs that form over healing tattoos are an integral part of their healing process, providing protection from germs and bacteria invading and leading to infection. But while unsightly and itchy, they must not be scratched off prematurely as doing so could cause bleeding and infection as well as make healing time longer than necessary. Instead, let the scabs fall off naturally while moisturizing regularly to help support their process.

Your hands should be clean. Use mild soap and lukewarm water, gently scrubbng the tattoo before rinsing thoroughly. Repeat these steps three to four times daily for at least the first three to four days; thereafter use antibacterial soap and pat dry with a clean towel after each washing session. Afterward, apply an unscented lotion or tattoo-specific aftercare ointment (avoiding petroleum jelly and heavy creams as these will clog pores and prolong healing processes) on top of that thin layer.

After 24 hours have passed, it’s safe to wash your tattoo two to three times per day without needing to use a bandage. Just be sure that any lotions or treatments applied directly onto it have dried completely beforehand to maintain hydration of the skin and maintain optimal conditions for healing.

If you work in a dirty environment, washing your tattoo more regularly is advised for optimal healing. Doing this will ensure its optimal healing process and a quicker healing timeframe.

Be careful when washing, being especially mindful not to scratch away at any scabs or blood clots that have formed. Scabbing is normal and helps your wound to heal more effectively if too thick scabbing occurs – for this reason contact your tattoo artist immediately for advice if this situation arises. A regular cleaning routine will keep your tattoo healthy, happy, and beautiful forever – follow these tips and it will remain looking its best!

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