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How to Clean Your New Tattoo – 6 Tips on Tattoo Aftercare

Right after getting your tattoo, you must take good care of it to enhance quick healing. As soon as your tattoo artist is done, they will wash the area and apply necessary anti-bacterial products before covering with a light plastic or bandage. And you need to be washing it over the next weeks or months.

Now, the ball is in your court. To make sure you follow the aftercare procedure, especially cleaning at home. For a few hours (3-4hours at least), or depending on the duration recommended by the artist, keep your plastic or bandage on.

After that, wash your hands thoroughly before and after gently removing the covering. Let it breathe in air. Then, wash the tattoo area using lukewarm water you have run from a tap with antibacterial soap. Having done that, you can let it dry out or use a hygienic paper towel to dry it. Don’t scrub or rub the towel on your skin, only pat. Now, apply a moderate layer of moisturizer to keep the tattoo area hydrated.

Note that you are not to cover it again with plastic or bandage.

Read also: The Best Tattoo Aftercare Products

Step-by-Step Guide for Cleaning Your New Tattoo

Cleaning Your New Tattoo

1. Ask Your Tattoo Artist

Don’t depend on the method used by your loved ones or friends. There is no better person to ask for how to clean your new tattoo than your tattoo artist. That’s why we always recommend that you patronize a professionally certified tattoo artist. A professional artist will recommend the best way to clean your tattoo and the frequency.

Please, don’t just enter any tattoo studio around you. Do well to ask those whose tattoo you admire for review, do online research and checkup online reviews. Weigh your options and patronize the best.

So ask your tattoo artist for cleaning procedures for your tattoo. In addition, pay attention to how your tattoo artist cleans your new tattoo. That will guide you into know how you are supposed to perform yours when you get home.

2. Keep The Light Plastic/Bondage For Stipulated Hours

After getting your tattoo done, the tattoo artist will clean it and cover it with light plastic or bondage. The goal is to protect your tattoo area from germs and other possible infection.
Your tattoo artist, as an expert, should know the duration you have to keep it covering on for. Once again, ask your tattoo artist. Don’t conclude or depend on the opinion of others.

And please, follow through with the duration recommended. Read our guide on the Best Tattoo Aftercare Bandages.

3. Remove and Wash With Anti-Bacterial Aftercare Product

Remove the covering the moment the recommended time is up. Then, wash. To wash, use only aftercare products recommended by your tattoo artist. Some of them have tattoo skincare products that have proven effective for their customers.

Basically, you need the following:

  • Cool water
  • Mild anti-bacterial soap
  • Hygienic washcloth

Note: Your tattoo skin area is definitely going to be sore. The heaviness will depend on the kind of tattoo and the procedure of your tattoo artist. But what you don’t want to do is to add to the soreness. So, check the composition of the anti-bacterial soap before buying. If it contains substances like menthol or alcohol, you can bet it’d be harsh on your skin. And that’s bad if your skin is highly sensitive

Dos & Don’ts for Washing

  • Wash your hands clean: Washing of hands is most overlooked ritual. Don’t expose yourself to the risk of getting your tattoo invested. Remember that germs aren’t visible to the naked eyes. Even if it’s just some minutes ago that you washed your hands with lukewarm water and anti-bacterial soap as long as you have touched something or somewhere in-between, wash your hands again. You can never be too careful with this.
  • Don’t use sponge or abrasive on the tattoo area. The best thing to use is not your bathing sponge. Of course, you can use your normal bathing sponge for other parts of your skin.
  • Don’t submerge the tattoo area in water, even if it’s mild. Another thing is you need to avoid the swimming pool or ocean if you want your tattoo to heal properly and come out looking perfect.
  • Make sure the water is clean. Take the water straight from the running tap.

4. Dry the Tattoo Area

When it comes to tattoo drying, you have two options: Let it dry off by itself or use hygienic paper/soft towel or washcloth.

If you are doing the latter, make sure the towel is soft. Whichever material you use, make sure it’s gentle on the skin and clean.

When drying, don’t rob or compress the towel on your skin. Pat gently to avoid skin irritation. Yes, read that again.

More importantly, keep the area dry all the time. If it happens that you constantly sweat, don’t be far from where you can use a washcloth.

5. Rub Ointment or Moisturizer Moderately

Not applying ointment to your tattoo can be problematic. In as much as tattoo drying is part of the healing process, you still have to apply ointment or moisturizer for the following reasons:

  • To keep your tattoo skin area moist.
  • To help maintain your skin’s healthy cell.
  • To prevent irritation and itching.
  • To reduce the chance of skin problem.
  • To protect your skin from harm – bacteria, germ, etc.

And don’t forget to apply ointment or moisturizer moderately.

6. Maintain Proper Hygiene

Nothing really works if you are not hygienic. It doesn’t matter if you clean and wash your tattoo area as recommended regularly. If you are always involved in activities that stain your tattoo skin or your environment is not even clean, it may be hard to prevent bacteria.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning New Tattoo

How often should I clean my new tattoo daily?

It’s best to clean your tattoo every couple of hours per day. Wash gently, dry, and apply moderate ointment. Repeat! Don’t get tire. It’d be worth it when your tattoo finally comes out glowing. But after a few days, you can revert to cleaning it for about at least three times a day. What’s more important is keeping in touch with your tattoo artist for advice.

What kind of clothing should I wear after cleaning my tattoo?

Except you are going out or having to work in an environment that could hurt your tattoo area, keep your tattoo skin open to oxygen. If you must wear something, make sure it’s not too tight on your skin. And it’s definitely not a bandage.

When should I stop cleaning my tattoo skin with anti-bacterial?

It’s best to stop only when your tattoo is completely healed. If your tattoo artist says it’s fine to start using your regular soap in-between, then go ahead. But only stop following your cleaning procedure when your tattoo is totally healed. The point is: Don’t take any action without the knowledge of your tattoo artist.

Can I shower with my tattoo?

Yes, please. Having a tattoo doesn’t stop you having your usual shower so long you can follow necessary precaution. What you should avoid is being in the swimming pool or ocean.

How long should I stay in the shower with my new tattoo?

To avoid tattoo swelling, you need to shower as quickly as possible. Now, your tattoo area is the last place you should wash while in the shower but always dry it first. Also, make sure your shower temperature is moderate.

Can I use fragrance on my tattoo skin after cleaning?

You shouldn’t. Throughout the healing period, only use fragrance-free mild soap for washing. Also, don’t use fragrance or any spray around your tattoo skin. You don’t want to do anything that could interfere with a natural healing process.

What should I do if I sweat on a new tattoo?

First, sweat can’t ruin your tattoo except you allow it. Gently clean any sweat on your tattoo. However, the best thing is to avoid physical activities that cause you to sweat over a period of time. Working out is one of those activities. Also, make sure the temperature is around you is moderate.

Can I dry my tattoo in the sun after cleaning?

Never dry out your tattoo in the sun. Protecting your tattoo from the sun is important. And if you must go out, ensure your tattoo area is not exposed directly to the sun. Wear breathable, not-too-tight clothing, and use tattoo sunscreen. Ask your tattoo artist for the best sunscreen to use.

Can I clean my new tattoo by myself?

Yes, you can. But if it’s at some spot which seems difficult for you to reach, you may need the help of someone to help you with cleaning your new tattoo.

In conclusion

Cleaning your new tattoo is important for the due healing process. Follow the guidelines listed above, keep in touch with your tattoo artist and follow their instructions diligently. If you are experiencing any unbearable discomfort during cleaning, don’t forget to seek their advice before taking any decision on how to clean your tattoo. Better still, see a doctor.

What other concern do you have about cleaning your new tattoo? Let us know!

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