How to Clean Your New Tattoo: Essential Tips for Tattoo Care

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Getting a new tattoo is an exciting experience, but it also comes with a responsibility to care for it properly in order to ensure its longevity. Cleaning a new tattoo is essential to prevent infection and ensure that your artwork looks perfect for years to come. This guide will provide you with a step-by-step approach on how to clean your new tattoo and ensure it stays healthy.


What Can I Put On a New Tattoo?

What Can I Put On A New Tattoo?

  • Do Your Research: Take some time to research your tattoo design, colors, and placement. Consider the symbolic meaning of each design, as well as its size and how it will fit on your body.
  • Choose a Professional Artist: Always look for a reputable tattoo artist who has a portfolio of quality work.
  • Avoid Infection: Make sure that the artist is using clean and sterile equipment, and that he or she follows proper safety guidelines.
  • Find a Design You Love: Whether you choose a classic or modern design, be sure to pick something you love and won’t regret in the future.
  • Prepare for the Pain: Tattooing can be a painful process, so be sure to mentally and physically prepare for it.
  • Be Patient: It may take several sessions to complete your tattoo, so be prepared for multiple visits to the artist.
  • Care for Your Tattoo: Proper aftercare is essential for a successful tattoo. Be sure to follow your artist’s instructions carefully to ensure your tattoo heals properly.

How Long Should I Wash My Tattoo?

How Long Should I Wash My Tattoo?

Your tattoo should be washed with a mild, anti-bacterial soap two to three times daily, for a minimum of two weeks. This will help to keep your tattoo clean and free of bacteria, while also keeping the colors bright. Ideally, you should wash your tattoo for at least two minutes each time. Gently rub the soap into the tattoo, and then rinse it off with lukewarm water. Pat the tattoo dry with a clean, soft cloth. Do not scrub or use any abrasive cleaning materials on your tattoo.

After washing your tattoo, it is important to apply a moisturizing lotion to keep the area hydrated and to reduce scabbing and itching. Look for a moisturizer that is oil-free and fragrance-free. Apply a thin layer of moisturizer, and then gently rub it into the tattoo. Reapply the moisturizer several times a day for the duration of the healing process.

How Often Should I Clean My Tattoo?

How Often Should I Clean My Tattoo?

It’s essential to clean your tattoo multiple times each day, especially within the first few weeks of getting it. After your initial shower, you should clean your tattoo 2-3 times a day while it’s healing. This will help to keep it clean and healthy.

It’s important to use a mild, fragrance-free cleanser like a liquid soap, to gently wash away any bacteria from your new tattoo. Gently lather the area with a pea-sized amount of soap, then rinse it off with warm water.

Once your tattoo is healed, you should continue to practice good hygiene and wash the area with mild soap at least once a day. This will help to keep your tattoo looking fresh and vibrant.

You should also keep an eye on your tattoo for any signs of infection. If you see any redness, swelling, or discharge, see your doctor immediately. Taking proper care of your tattoo will ensure it looks good for years to come.

What Is Good for Tattoo Aftercare?

What Is Good For Tattoo Aftercare?

Cleaning: Clean your new tattoo daily with a mild antibacterial soap and lukewarm water. Gently pat dry with a clean, soft towel and apply a small amount of fragrance-free moisturizer.

Protection: To protect your tattoo from sunburn and other environmental damage, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher when going outdoors. Wear protective clothing, such as long sleeves and pants, when possible.

Healing: Avoid swimming, soaking, or scrubbing in hot tubs for at least two weeks after getting your tattoo. Additionally, avoid picking at scabs or peeling skin. This can cause infection and damage the tattoo.

Moisturizing: Keeping your tattoo moisturized is essential to preventing scabbing and fading. Use a water-based, fragrance-free moisturizer, such as Aquaphor or a specialized tattoo lotion, two to three times a day.

Touch-Ups: If you notice any areas of your tattoo that need touching up, contact your tattoo artist. Your artist should be able to help you with any touch-ups that are needed.

What Not to Put on a Tattoo?

What Not To Put On A Tattoo?

Petroleum-based products: Petroleum-based products such as Vaseline, lip balm, and baby oil are not suitable for use on tattoos. These products can clog pores and trap bacteria, leading to infection and irritation.

Harsh soaps: Harsh soaps can strip away essential oils and damage delicate skin cells, leaving the tattoo vulnerable to infection. Stick to mild, fragrance-free soaps.

Abrasive scrubs: Avoid using abrasive scrubs or additives that may contain sharp particles like sugar or salt on the tattoo. These can irritate the skin and damage the inks.

Creams and lotions: Avoid using creams, lotions, and other skin creams on your tattoo. These can clog pores, leaving the tattoo vulnerable to infection and irritation.

Harsh chemicals: Harsh chemicals like bleach, alcohol, and peroxide should never be used on your tattoo. These can cause irritation, infection, and even permanent damage.

Sunscreen: Sunscreen can be damaging to tattoos and should be avoided. Sunscreen can cause fading and discoloration of the inks.

Makeup: Makeup should not be applied to a new tattoo. Makeup can clog pores and cause infection.

How to Wash Tattoo for First Time?

How To Wash Tattoo For First Time?

Washing your tattoo for the first time is a crucial step in its healing process.

  • As soon as your artist has finished the job, you should gently rinse off the excess ink and ointment with lukewarm water.
  • Wash your hands before and after you touch the tattoo.
  • Gently clean your tattoo with an unscented, mild soap and your fingertips.
  • Rinse the soap off with lukewarm water and pat your tattoo dry with a clean paper towel.
  • Always remember to avoid using a washcloth or anything that could irritate the tattoo.

Once you have finished washing your tattoo, apply a thin layer of fragrance-free moisturizer or ointment to keep it hydrated and healthy.

Supplies Needed for New Tattoo Care

Supplies Needed For New Tattoo Care

It is important to use the correct supplies to keep your tattoo clean and healthy.

  • A mild, fragrance-free liquid soap
  • A gentle, fragrance-free moisturizer
  • Sterile gauze pad
  • Hypoallergenic adhesive bandage
  • Petroleum jelly

Additionally, avoid using alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and other products not recommended by your tattoo artist during the aftercare process as these can cause irritation and damage to the tattoo.

Tattoo Aftercare Dos and Don’ts

Do Don’t
Clean your tattoo twice a day with warm water and a mild, unscented soap. Do not soak your tattoo in water, such as long baths or swimming.
Gently pat your tattoo dry with a clean, disposable paper towel. Do not rub your tattoo with a towel.
Apply a thin layer of an unscented, hypoallergenic moisturizer to your tattoo, such as petroleum jelly or fragrance-free lotion. Do not use products that contain alcohol, fragrances, or dyes.
Continue to moisturize your tattoo at least twice a day for 2-3 weeks. Do not pick or scratch your tattoo.
Wear loose clothing over your tattoo. Do not expose your tattoo to direct sunlight.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should I Clean My Tattoo?

For the first two weeks, you should clean your tattoo at least twice a day with an antibacterial soap and warm water. After that, you should continue to clean your tattoo once every day for the next few weeks. Make sure to use a light, fragrance-free moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated.

Is it Normal for My Tattoo to Scab or Peel?

Yes. It is quite normal for a new tattoo to scab or peel. It is a sign that the healing process is taking place. To help keep your tattoo looking its best, follow these steps:

  • Gently wash your tattoo twice a day with lukewarm water and mild, unscented soap.
  • Gently pat the area dry with a clean cloth, or let it air dry.
  • Apply a thin layer of unscented, fragrance-free lotion to keep the area moisturized.
  • Avoid scratching or picking at the scab or peeling skin.
  • Avoid direct sunlight, swimming pools, and hot tubs.

If you notice any signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or pus, contact your doctor or tattoo artist immediately.

What type of soap should I use to clean my tattoo?

Unscented and mild soap: Use a mild, fragrance-free soap that isn’t too harsh or drying on the skin. Look for a soap specifically made for sensitive skin, or use a baby wash.

Liquid soap: Liquid soap is generally easier to rinse off and less drying than bar soap, so it’s the preferable choice for cleaning your tattoo.

Antibacterial soap: Look for a liquid antibacterial soap such as Dial, Softsoap, or Provon. All of these soaps are mild and safe for use on your tattoo.

Unscented antibacterial wipes: Unscented antibacterial wipes such as Provon, Dial, or Dermal Wipes are also good for cleaning your tattoo. They’re easy to use and provide a good way to keep your tattoo clean and free of bacteria.

How Long Should I Wait to Shower After Getting a Tattoo?

  • Wait at least two hours before showering after getting a tattoo.
  • Wash your hands before and after touching your new tattoo.
  • Gently pat the tattoo dry using a clean towel.
  • Do not soak or submerge the tattoo in water for two weeks.
  • Do not expose the tattoo to direct sunlight for two weeks.

It is important to wait at least two hours before showering after getting a tattoo. During the healing process, the area needs to be kept clean and dry. It is essential to wash your hands before and after touching your new tattoo. Once you are ready to shower, use lukewarm water and a mild, fragrance-free soap. Gently pat the tattoo dry using a clean towel. Do not rub or scrub the area. Do not soak or submerge the tattoo in water for two weeks. You should also avoid swimming or soaking in a bathtub. Additionally, do not expose the tattoo to direct sunlight for two weeks. After two weeks, you can start to shower normally.

Is it okay to use lotion on my tattoo?

No. Lotions are not recommended for use on a new tattoo. Lotions contain ingredients that can be harsh on the skin and can act as irritants or even cause an infection. It’s also important to note that lotions can cause the tattoo to fade faster, so it’s best to avoid them.

What should I use to moisturize my tattoo?

  • A fragrance-free, dye-free, and non-alcoholic moisturizer specifically for tattoos.
  • Organic coconut oil.
  • Organic shea butter.
  • Organic aloe vera.

It is important to note that moisturizing your tattoo should be done sparingly. Too much moisturizer can cause the colors to bleed and can keep the tattoo from healing properly. It’s best to moisturize your tattoo no more than twice a day.


Cleaning and caring for your new tattoo is essential for keeping it looking its best. Following these steps will help you keep your tattoo looking amazing for years to come. Always make sure to ask your tattoo artist for advice if you have any questions or concerns about your tattoo.


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