How to Clean A Tattoo (8 Step-by-Step Instructions)

You have invested a lot in your new tattoo, including time, energy, money, and pain! With all that you have done to plan for and earn that new piece of ink, it is essential for you to understand how to clean a tattoo during the healing process. Taking the time to exercise proper tattoo aftercare will ensure your new tattoo heals properly and looks beautiful for years to come.

Since a tattoo is essentially an open wound, it only makes sense that a diligent and thoughtful aftercare plan is key. Not only does proper aftercare reduce the chance of infections, scarring, and fading, it also helps to maintain the look of the new tattoo. The goal is not only to get through the healing process but to maintain that masterpiece and keep it looking vibrant in the future. To help get you started, we have included a few steps that may be helpful to follow.


While there are several stages of tattoo healing that are important to be mindful of, remember that there are differences between artists and application styles that may alter the way that each tattoo heals. Before we take a look at how to clean a tattoo properly, we need to discuss the healing process.

Here’s a recap that approaches the process in general terms:

  • During the first stage of healing, a new tattoo could be sore to the touch and it may involve swelling and some slight oozing too. These effects will gradually dissipate as the healing process progresses. You will notice that the tattoo will begin to form a minor scab and may begin to peel (much like a sunburn would). The first week of healing a fresh tattoo is the most crucial and that’s when washing it properly is key! Be sure to use WIPE OUTZ™ during this time. Knowing that you have a sterilized product that will help you during this stage will set your mind at ease.
  • You may experience dryness, scabbing, peeling, and itching. This is where lotion or tattoo aftercare ointments come into play.
  • The final stage of healing occurs when the tattoo begins to look as it is supposed to. This will vary from tattoo to tattoo. It may heal slightly duller and appear more faded, or it may be brighter and darker. These outcomes are completely normal depending on the tattoo artist and their application techniques, combined with good tattoo aftercare practices.


The healing process is contingent on keeping your new tattoo clean so we thought it would be helpful to provide step-by-step instructions on how to clean a tattoo.

Washing your hands before cleaning a new tattoo is perhaps one of the most important steps since hands can be filthy and carry a ton of germs. Don’t put your new tattoo at risk by skipping this step.

The soap that is chosen to wash your hands shouldn’t be just any ordinary soap. You are trying to kill the bacteria and therefore should only choose to use an antibacterial soap. It may sound like a basic step, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t effectively clean their hands. To ensure that you are properly washing them, you should follow these steps and remember that  Wipe Outz™ 1-count single tattoo wipes have a custom-formulated antibacterial wash that smells amazing!


  1. Wet your hands with water.
  2. Use an antibacterial soap.
  3. Lather the soap together in your hands for at least 15 seconds.
  4. Rinse thoroughly.
  5. Dry your hands.
  6. Turn off faucet using a towel – not your hands.
  7. No Sink? No worries! To wash your hands, you can use Wipe Outz™ single tattoo wipes to clean your hands before using another Wipe Outz single tattoo wipe to clean your tattoo.
  8. Simply use Wipe Outz to clean the fresh tattoo. We recommend if your hands are not clean, to use only one side of a Wipe Outz™ cleansing tattoo towel! Wipe or pat clean! Of course, there are times when you have been at home and were not out and about where your hands acquired germs. So, use your judgment on gauging where you have been and what you have touched to assess if you have a significant number of germs on your hands. *Be mindful. This is a much safer method than cleaning your fresh tattoo in a public bathroom. Yikes!


A new tattoo needs to be cleaned throughout the day to ensure its healthy and free of infection. This can be a challenge if you’re at work, school, or otherwise away from home.

Here’s how to clean a tattoo on the go:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water throughout the day to ensure you’re not carrying germs around with you.
  • Clean your tattoo thoroughly each and every time.
  • Bring a couple WIPE OUTZ™ with you whenever you leave the house.
  • Avoid public restrooms when cleaning your tattoo.


In addition to being a permanent work of art, a tattoo is also an open wound that requires your attention to ensure it heals properly. These steps are crucial to avoiding infection and other complications that occur as a result of incorrect tattoo aftercare.

Now that you know how to clean a tattoo, it’s time to get started!

Grab a pack of WIPE OUTZ™ Single Tattoo Wipes and let us know if you have any questions. We’re passionate about tattoo aftercare and we look forward to helping you through the healing process.

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