Our Tips For How To Clean a Tattoo

Our Tips For How To Clean a Tattoo

Mar 14, 2022 | Grow_SEO Account

Keeping your new tattoo clean is one of the most critical aspects of the tattoo process. There are several different aftercare methods and products to use, so talk to your artist and decide which is right for you. Here are a few tips on how to clean your tattoo so your ink is as bold and vibrant as you are.

What Are the Steps for Cleaning New Ink?

Your new ink deserves pampering so that its texture heals smoothly, with crisp lines and vivid color. Your tattoo is a piece of artwork that you invested your money and time into, and just like an expensive gallery piece, your tattoo is the main exhibit. Treat your tattoo well, and it’ll treat you well. Prevent a skin infection and preserve your tattoo with the following three cleaning steps:

1. Remove the Bandage

You’ll leave the tattoo studio with a bandage covering your new ink. There are two types of wound dressings. The bandage you leave the tattoo studio with determines how long you leave it in place until you expose the tattoo for aftercare and cleaning procedures.
  • Plastic or Regular (Wrap Healing) - A plastic (saran wrap) or regular dressing covers and protects the tattoo from outside elements. Usually, the wrap stays on the tattoo for a few hours until you get home. This type of bandage traps moisture underneath it, so you never want to leave the plastic on the tattoo for too long.
  • Medical-Grade (Sterile) or Waterproof - These bandages usually remain on the tattoo for a few days. Their design allows for a sterile, waterproof environment for the tattoo and offers protection from the outside elements.
We recommend that you ask your tattoo artist for tips on how long you should leave the bandage on your tattoo. Aftercare is crucial, so follow the instructions of your artist to prevent excessive irritation or infection. Dispose of the bandage in a covered trashcan and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before cleaning your tattoo.

2. Cleanse & Dry

After removing the bandage, clean the tattoo with gentle antibacterial soap. This cleaner must be alcohol-free and fragrance-free to prevent irritation. Our CBD foam soap is formulated especially for tattoo aftercare, providing both cleansing and numbing on contact. Cool, huh? Never use a washcloth, loofah, or sponge on your tattoo, as this can cause some serious irritation and discomfort. Here’s what you need to do:
  1. Apply the desired amount of soap directly on your tattoo.
  2. Gently massage the soap into the tattoo using clean hands.
  3. Carefully wipe the soap away with a clean, damp, lint-free towel or paper towel.
Check out our nifty how-to video for detailed steps on how to use HUSH’s tattoo numbing and aftercare products. You should clean your tattoo two to three times per day and not reapply a bandage. If you work in a dirty environment, cleanse your tattoo more often to prevent dirt, sweat, and bacteria from accumulating.

3. Moisturize

There are two methods of aftercare. The first is the dry healing method, and the other is the wet healing method. People prefer each one for various reasons, so allow us to explain. Dry healing doesn’t require a moisturizer, while wet healing does. Ask your tattoo artist which aftercare method is right for you and your new ink. When applying a moisturizer, choose one that is alcohol-free and fragrance-free. Try our Sana Sana CBD Healing Balm to protect your new tattoo. The botanicals and cannabinoids soothe, protect, and rejuvenate the skin during and after tattoo healing to maintain color vibrancy. We have you covered in every way, friend.

Are Tattoo Aftercare Protocols Regulated?

Mmmmmmmmmmm yes, and no. Surprisingly, tattoo aftercare protocols and ink are not regulated in many states across the US. That’s why it’s muy importante to choose a tattoo studio that you trust to follow safety, health, and sanitation guidelines. Inks must be clean and free of microorganisms, and needles should always be brand new and sterile. Other tools and equipment must be sterile and hygienic. Make sure the artist washes their hands and wears gloves — it might seem obvious, but it’s crucial. These aspects lead to a healthy tattoo experience before, during, and after the art session. Every legit tattoo business is required to follow certain guidelines for safety and hygienic practices. As always, you can report any adverse tattoo-related problems to the FDA.

What Are Some Tattoo Aftercare Tips?

You spent the time choosing a killer design, you found the right tattoo studio and artist, and you sat through an entire tattoo procedure. Now what? Your tat lies beneath a plastic bandage, and you really want to show it off. But, you gotta be patient. Here are some tips to help you through the healing process. These tips will prevent you from prolonging the healing process due to various skin irritations, and you’ll swagger around that tattoo in no time.
  • Don’t submerge your new ink in water, go swimming, use a hot tub, take a bath, sit in a sauna, or enter other open water for at least two to three weeks. Avoid the gym for this amount of time as well. Warm, moist environments (ahem, sweat) are ideal breeding grounds for bacteria.
  • Don’t shower in hot water. Use lukewarm water whenever possible.
  • Don’t wear tight clothing or clothes that cling or rub against your tattoo. Loose, cotton clothing is ideal for wearing over your new ink.
  • Use sunscreen with 30 SPF or higher, and choose mineral sunscreen when possible. Sunscreen protects your skin from sunburn. Plus, UV rays fade tattoos, causing less vibrant colors and indistinct, blurred lines.
  • Don’t pick, peel, or scratch your new ink or the dry, flaky skin on or around the tattoo. Doing so may result in scarring or unintentional ink removal, causing discoloration.

What Are the Normal and Abnormal Signs of Healing?

Don’t go all loco if your tattoo oozes a clear fluid or blood during the first few days after getting your ink. This fluid is called plasma, and it's a normal part of the healing process. Just remove it by dampening a paper towel and gently blotting the area clean. Never pick, peel, or scratch it if the plasma or blood dries and hardens. Put those mitts away. If you see some ink on the paper towel, don’t freak out about that either. This color is just excess ink that your skin sloughs off during the healing process. It won’t affect the final appearance of your tattoo unless you pick or scratch it away from the site. Plasma needs to be removed during the cleaning process each day to prevent deep scabs from forming. Never pick or peel this dried fluid (plasma or blood). Simply blot it away a few times per day as you see fit, and keep the tattoo clean.1 The skin on and around your new tattoo remains irritated for a few days after the procedure. Normal signs of healing include itching, mild irritation, dryness, peeling, minimal scabbing, and mild oozing of plasma or blood. If these symptoms become worse, you should seek medical assistance. The more serious symptoms of infection include:
  • Fever
  • Deep scabbing
  • Redness or streaking that extends outward from the tattoo
  • Pus
  • Swelling
  • Lesions
  • Hard, raised areas around the tattoo

Questions To Ask Yourself When Choosing a Studio

Before choosing a tattoo studio or artist, you must ask yourself a few questions.
  • How long has the tattoo artist been practicing?
  • How clean is the overall facility?
  • Does the artist ALWAYS use new needles, single ink containers, and sterilized equipment?
  • Does the artist wear gloves during the entire procedure?
  • What type of numbing, cleaning, and soothing products do they use?
These are just a few of several things to check for before scheduling your session. Think before you ink. It saves possible health risks and gnarly side effects in the future.

The Bottom Line

Tattoos are a killer way to show off your cultural heritage or family roots, or remember a loved one. They’re a unique form of self-expression, and keeping your new ink clean during healing ensures your artwork remains ultra-crisp and vibrant for years to come. HUSH Anesthetic is a superior line of tattoo-numbing products designed to numb, clean, and protect the skin before, during, and after the ink session. Our special formulas contain botanicals and cannabinoids that soothe your skin, so you can enjoy your entire tattoo experience the whole way through. Explore our products here to get prepped for your next tattoo, or if you’re looking for more tips and guides on all things tattoo, check out our other articles here! Sources: Tattoos & Permanent Makeup: Fact Sheet | FDA Tattoos & Permanent Makeup: Fact Sheet | FDA MedWatch Reporting Form | FDA Tattoos: 7 unexpected skin reactions and what to do about them | American Academy of Dermatology