How to Make Your Own Black Tattoo Ink: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Are you looking to make your own black tattoo ink at home? If so, then this article is for you! In this article, we will explain how to make black tattoo ink easily and safely at home. We will discuss the ingredients you will need, safety precautions, and step-by-step instructions for creating your own black tattoo ink. With this information, you’ll be able to make your own black tattoo ink in no time. So, let’s get started!


What is Tattoo Ink?

What Is Tattoo Ink?

Tattoo ink is a special type of ink that is used for making tattoos on human skin. It is specifically designed to be safe for use on skin and to be long-lasting. Tattoo ink is made up of many components, including:

  • Pigments: These are the colorants that give the ink its color.
  • Carrier: This is the liquid that suspends and transports the pigments.
  • Additives: These are substances that are added to the ink to adjust its properties.

The quality of tattoo ink varies greatly, depending on the manufacturer. When making black tattoo ink at home, it is important to use a high-quality and safe ink to ensure the safety of the user.

What are the Ingredients for Making Black Tattoo Ink?

The main ingredients for making black tattoo ink are simple and easy to come by. Here are the items you need to make black tattoo ink at home:

  • Glycerin: Glycerin is a thick and clear liquid that is used as a base for making tattoo ink. It’s available in most drugstores or online.
  • Finely Ground Charcoal: Charcoal is often used to create the black pigment in tattoo ink. You can buy finely ground charcoal from most art supply stores.
  • Distilled Water: Distilled water helps to thin the mixture, allowing for a smoother application of the ink.
  • Sterile Mixing Container: A sterile mixing container is used to mix the ingredients together for a smooth, consistent ink.
  • Sterile Needles: Sterile needles are used to draw the ink into the syringe and apply it to the skin.

With these ingredients, you can make your own black tattoo ink at home in just a few simple steps.

How to Prepare the Ingredients

How To Prepare The Ingredients

To make black tattoo ink at home, you will need the following ingredients: carbon black powder, ethyl alcohol, witch hazel, distilled water, and glycerin.

Measure the carbon black powder into a small bowl. This will be the main ingredient of the ink.

Measure out equal parts of ethyl alcohol and witch hazel and pour into a separate bowl.

Measure out distilled water and add it to the alcohol-witch hazel mixture.

Finally, measure out glycerin and add it to the liquid mixture.

Your ingredients are now ready to be used to create the black tattoo ink.

How to Make the Black Tattoo Ink


  • 2 tablespoons of black India ink
  • 1 tablespoon of distilled water
  • 1 teaspoon of witch hazel


  1. Mix the India ink and the distilled water together in a bowl until it forms a thick liquid.
  2. Add the witch hazel and mix the ingredients together until it forms a paste.
  3. Using a mortar and pestle, grind the paste until it is a fine powder.
  4. Add the powder to a clean bowl and slowly add distilled water until the mixture is a thick liquid.
  5. Mix the ingredients together until they form a uniform color.
  6. Your black tattoo ink is now ready to use.

How to Store the Tattoo Ink

How To Store The Tattoo Ink

Storing the tattoo ink properly is essential to ensure that it stays safe, sterile, and free of contaminants. Here are some tips on how to store the tattoo ink:

  1. Store the tattoo ink at room temperature.
  2. Keep the tattoo ink containers tightly sealed when not in use.
  3. Do not expose the tattoo ink to direct sunlight.
  4. Do not store the tattoo ink in a refrigerator.
  5. Do not mix different tattoo inks together.
  6. Do not use a tattoo ink that is more than 2 years old.
  7. Do not use tattoo ink that has been contaminated or has expired.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your tattoo ink is stored properly and will remain safe and sterile for use.

How to Use the Tattoo Ink

How To Use The Tattoo Ink

  • Skin Preparation: Before applying the homemade tattoo ink, the skin should be properly cleaned and prepared. Use rubbing alcohol to thoroughly clean the area to be tattooed and then use a mild soap to clean the skin. Rinse the area with cold water and dry it with a clean towel.
  • Apply the Ink: Use a clean needle or a tattoo machine to apply the ink evenly and carefully onto the skin. Make sure to go over the area multiple times to ensure that the ink is properly applied.
  • Wash the Skin: After the tattoo is done, gently wash the area with a mild soap and warm water. Rinse the area with cold water and pat it dry with a clean towel.
  • Let it Heal: Once the tattoo is done, let it heal for a few days. Apply a thin layer of moisturizer or a tattoo aftercare product to help the healing process. Avoid exposing the area to direct sunlight as it can cause the ink to fade.

Tips and Warnings

Be sure to wear protective gloves and clothing when mixing the ingredients. Make sure to work in a well-ventilated area, and keep children and pets away from the mixing area. Never ingest any of the ingredients or the resulting ink. If the ink is too thin, add a small amount of gum arabic and glycerin to thicken it. If the ink is too thick, add a small amount of alcohol to thin it. Do not add too much alcohol or the ink will not be dark enough. Do not apply the ink to the skin until you have tested it on a small area of skin to make sure it is safe.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it Safe to Make Black Tattoo Ink at Home?

Making black tattoo ink at home is not recommended due to the potential health risks and lack of knowledge required to ensure the ink is made safely and to a high quality. Professional tattoo artists use sterile ink, designed specifically for use in tattoos, which is much safer than homemade ink. Furthermore, if you are allergic to certain ingredients, you may experience an adverse reaction to a homemade ink. To ensure the safety of yourself and your clients, it is always best to use professionally made, sterile tattoo ink.

What type of ingredients are needed to make black tattoo ink?

Carbon: Carbon is the most important ingredient in black tattoo ink, and is usually sourced from carbon black. It provides the black pigment that gives tattoos their rich, deep color.

Oils: Oils are used as a suspending agent in black tattoo ink. They help to keep the particles of pigment suspended in the ink to prevent them from settling. Common oils used in black tattoo ink include linseed oil, jojoba oil, or mineral oil.

Glycerin: Glycerin is a water-soluble organic compound that helps keep the ink from drying out and keeps it from being too thick or too thin. It also helps to prevent the ink from becoming brittle over time.

Isopropyl Alcohol: Isopropyl alcohol helps to thin the ink so it can be easily applied to the skin. It also helps to keep the ink free of bacteria and helps it to dry quickly.

How long does it take to make black tattoo ink?

  • Gathering the ingredients – You will need about 10-15 minutes to gather the ingredients for making black tattoo ink such as carbon, gum arabic, distilled water, and glycerin.
  • Mixing the ingredients – Once you have all the ingredients, mix them together in a bowl. This should take about 5-10 minutes.
  • Straining the mixture – Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth or strainer to remove any lumps or debris. This should take about 5 minutes.
  • Testing the ink – To ensure that the ink is black and the consistency is right, test the ink on a piece of paper. This should take about 2 minutes.

In total, it takes about 22-30 minutes to make black tattoo ink.

How Much Black Tattoo Ink Can Be Made With the Recipe?

The recipe for homemade black tattoo ink is quite simple and only requires a few household ingredients. This recipe yields about 2-3 ounces of black tattoo ink, which is usually enough for a single tattoo. However, depending on the size and complexity of the tattoo, more ink may be needed. To make more ink, simply double the recipe’s ingredients.

Are there any special safety precautions to take when making black tattoo ink?

Yes, when making black tattoo ink at home, it is important to take certain safety precautions for both the tattoo artist and the recipient. Here are some of the most important safety considerations to keep in mind:

  • Always wear gloves when handling the ingredients for the ink.
  • Do not add too much pigment to the ink, as it can irritate the skin and cause allergic reactions.
  • Be sure to use sterilized needles, needles, and equipment when creating the ink.
  • Ensure that the space where the tattoo is being created is clean and sanitized.
  • Be sure to use sterile water when creating the ink.
  • Be sure to dispose of any used needles and equipment according to local laws and regulations.
  • Be sure to put a barrier between the ink and the skin, such as a barrier cream or plastic wrap, to prevent infection.
  • Be sure to use only ingredients that are safe for use in tattoos.

These safety precautions are important for ensuring a safe and successful tattooing experience.


Making your own black tattoo ink at home is not as hard as it might seem. With the right ingredients and instructions, you can make your own tattoo ink in the comfort of your own home. It is important to remember to use high-quality ingredients when making the ink and to wear protective gear while doing so. With a little patience and care, you can make your own homemade black tattoo ink safely and effectively.


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