What Do Tattoo Artists Use To Wipe Off Tattoo Ink? Learn The Truth!

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Do you have a tattoo?

Then you might know that professional tattoo artists use soap before, during, and after tattooing. The soap is known as “green soap.” It is used to wipe off the excess ink from the tattooing area.

Are you wondering why tattoo artists use green soap instead of the tattoos antibacterial soap to wipe off ink? Well, this article will reveal all the answers related to tattoo caring. Stay tuned!

What is Green Soap?

COSCO Pure Tattoo Green Soap Bottle
Photo: COSCO Pure Tattoo Green Soap Bottle

It is an oil-based and environment-friendly soap used in tattoo and piercing studios, medical, etc. The prime responsibility of this soap is to keep the skin clean and sanitize. Also, its main ingredient is natural oil that works to soften the skin and prepare it for the tattooing process.

Before a tattooing process, every professional tattoo artist uses it to sanitize the tattooing area. As a result, the chance of infection gets reduced.

Severe pain, inflammation, redness, swelling can happen if the tattoo area gets infected. Green soap plays a vital role in reducing these complications.

Also, green soap is a brilliant product to clean dirt and blood. So, it can be used for cleaning and sterilizing different tattooing components and medical equipment too.

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What are the uses of green soap in the tattooing process?

Most tattoo artists mix green soap with water and apply it to the tattooing area using a spray bottle. As stated earlier, it plays a vital role in every step of the tattooing process.

Sanitizing the skin

Before starting the tattooing process, green soap’s tincture makes any tattoo client’s skin healthy.

In order to prepare the tattooing area, a tattoo artist uses a disposable paper towel to wipe off the tattooing area after spraying green soap. At this point, the tattoo artist wears a pair of latex gloves to avoid any further infection. 

Spraying the green soap moistens the tattooing area’s hairs so that the hairs can easily be removed. Then the tattoo artist shaves the area using a sharp razor. The area needs to be cleaned thoroughly; even the ingrown hairs also need to be cleaned so that the tattoo needle can enter into the skin. It assists the tattoo stencil transfer process too.

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During the tattoo application process

Once the tattoo artist cleans the tattooing area thoroughly, still loose hairs can present in the area. The use of a paper towel and green soap at this point can clear the loose hairs.

Then the tattoo artist uses another coat of water and green soap mixture to sterilize the area.

After using the stencil paper on the designated area and finalizing the tattoo design, the tattoo artist will wipe off the stencil paper. Then spray the green soap and use a paper towel to clean the stencil.

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When applying the ink

The performance of a green soap as a wiping agent is significant. It is because low alcohol components and dyes-free ingredients are used to manufacture green soap. For this reason, many tattoo artists prefer to wipe off ink during the tattooing process.

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When making the shading and lining, a tattoo artist can’t avoid the spreading of ink. And the artist needs to wipe it off using green soap.

Excess ink removal helps the tattoo artist preview the designs next line and check the earlier line design if additional ink is needed.

If your tattoo artist uses a product made of high-alcoholic components and strong dyes, you will feel irritation while wiping off the excess ink.

This means wiping off the agent; green soap is the safest item.

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Cleaning up afterward

At the end of the tattooing, tattoo artists will need to clean up the excess ink and blood. And the green soap needs to be used before using a bandage. The tattoo artist has to ensure that the tattooing area is entirely sterilized and the area is cleaned under the bandage.

It is recommended to keep the bandage at least for 24 hours after the tattooing process is finished.

Tattoo artists wash the skin and the surrounded area to ensure the cleanliness of the tattooing area.

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Cautions when using green soap

It is essential to ensure precautions when using green soap.

  • Keep green soap away from the eyes.
  • Green soap spray bottle tip should not come in contact with the client’s skin. This way, you can keep yourself and your customer safe from the contamination of different diseases.

Note that green soap is not an alternative to the ultrasonic cleaner for the tattoo equipment.

What are the alternatives to Green Soap?

There are a few available green soap alternatives available in the market that can be used to wipe off excess tattoo ink. Alternatives are Iodine and Hydrogen Peroxide.


Iodine Supplement
Photo: Iodine Supplement

It is an effective chemical to kill bacteria and germs from the skin surface. However, the iodine color is reddish-brown, and it may confuse tattoo artists and mix with the tattoo ink dye. Thorough washing with iodine will kill the bacteria, and you will have germ-free skin.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen Peroxide
Photo: Hydrogen Peroxide

It is a bubbling liquid that is efficient in killing bacteria living on the skin. You should apply fresh hydrogen peroxide because it works best on the skin when it is fresh.

How to Clean a Fresh Tattoo?

Cleaning a tattooing area is the most challenging task – with this statement, a few people will disagree. Following multiple methods, you can ensure proper cleaning of a tattooing area.

Find the below tattoo cleaning process. The cleaning process will ensure that the tattooing area will heal as quickly as possible.

Step 01: Washing your hand

You can’t avoid this step. It is of utmost essential before you start washing the tattooing area. Follow the below steps:

  • Wet your hands
  • Use liquid soap
  • Lather, rub and count to 15
  • Rinse
  • Towel or air dry hands
  • Use a towel or your sleeves to turn the tap off
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It is your responsibility to take proper care of the tattooing area. It would be best if you use the best antibacterial soap to wash your hands.

Ensure thorough cleaning of your hands following the above steps.

Step 02: Wet the tattooing area

After cleaning your hands, place the tattooing area under a tap and wait until the water gets slightly warm. Since the tattooing area is fresh and sensitive now, don’t run more warm water. If you run more warm water in the area, you will start feeling pain. Moreover, the pores may get opened, and ink may pull out from the skin due to more warm water.

Remember not to position the tattooing area directly under the tap. Use your hands to take the water and gently pour it on the tattooing area. Make sure to rub around the tattooing area, not over it. Let the entire area get wet and once it is done, stop pouring water.

Step 03: Apply Antibacterial Soap

After dampening the area, make sure to use alcohol-free, mild, free from fragrance antibacterial soap. Use your fingers to apply the soap.

Take a fresh soft washcloth or paper towel and use it to scrub the area. The area might be affected by bacteria and germs. It is advisable to use your hands and a soft cloth to wash the area for the first month.

Don’t rub too much. Gently rub the area and wash it with lukewarm water. If the area gives a fresh look, you are most likely done with the cleaning process.

If gentle rub is not enough to remove hardened blood or ink, leave it as it is. Never force them to get cleaned. Within the next few days, they will fall off themselves.

Warnings: Make sure to learn about the soap ingredients. The soap must be free from artificial ingredients and alcohol. Soap with artificial additives will irritate the tattooing area. It has to be specially formulated for sensitive skin.

Step 04: Rinsing the Area

Once the area is cleaned with the antibacterial soap, rinse the area with lukewarm water using your hands. This will wash the additional soap available in the area.

Nothing to worry about: Don’t worry if you see any ink coming from the tattooed area as soon as you wash or dry it. It is normal and may happen for the first few days after washing and drying the area.

Step 05: Let the Area Dry

After the area gets cleaned, proper drying is necessary. Either you can use a soft paper towel or cloth to dry the area and leave it for air-dry.

When using the paper towel, you have to be careful. Gently dab the paper towel on the area, and when pulling it away from the skin, it may stick a little bit. So, be careful while dabbing it.

You will find excess ink in the first few opening days in the paper towel when gently dabbing. As long as you wash the area gently, excess ink is not a big deal. No damage will be caused because of this.

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Warnings: Using abrasive cloth is prohibited. These are the inhabitants of many harmful bacteria. Always use a new and fresh paper towel.

Step 06: Applying Lotion

After drying the tattooing area, it is time to apply the tattoo numbing cream. The responsibility of the numbing cream is to keep the tattooing area well-hydrated. As a result, the healing process will be faster.

Ensure applying a little amount of numbing cream to cover the area with a thin layer. It will give a shiny look to the tattoo. The tattooing area will not get enough oxygen if you apply too much lotion, and the healing process will get delayed.

Warnings: Remember to choose a vegan-friendly tattoo numbing cream. They perform amazingly to heal the tattooing area. Also, don’t apply numbing cream when the area is not properly dried.

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How often do I need to Wash my tattooing area?

This is the most common question asked by tattoo wearers.

Cleaning the tattooing area twice a day is best. And you have to continue it for at least 4 weeks.

Depending on the situation, you may be required to wash the tattoo frequently. For instance, after finishing work on the lawn or doing gym, you have to wash the tattooing area without making it late. These areas are full of dirt and dust that your tattooing area will get affected by. You should wear a long sleeve t-shirt or jacket when working in those areas. Long sleeve dresses will keep the tattooing well-covered.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do tattoos lose color when healing?

In the healing process, tattoos lose color, and it is a normal thing. Tattoo needles help tattoo ink drive deep into the skin, but some ink remains on the skin. And these inks come off during the healing process.

Can I wipe a tattoo with a baby wipe?

Yes, you can. But the baby wipe has to be made of non-perfumed ingredients. Also, use antibacterial soap, warm water, and a baby wipe to wash the tattooing area.

Can I use alcohol wipes to clean my tattoo?

Never use alcohol wipes to clean your tattoo. Alcohol will create inflammation and irritation in the tattooing area. Alcohol is not a good cleanser at all during the healing process.

What can I wipe my tattoo with?

Green soap, antibacterial soap, or Vaseline ointment are great ingredients used to wipe your tattoo.

Professional tattoo artists use green soap to wipe off excess tattoo ink from the skin. Antibacterial soaps or Vaseline ointment are great in taking care of the tattoo healing process.

Sum Up

The tattooing process can go wrong when it is not handled properly. The process has to be free from different bacteria, germs, and other harmful components, and thus using the best product to keep the area clean is mandatory.

Undoubtedly, green soap is a great item to wipe off excess ink. You also can use alternatives. Always ensure you followed the right process of applying green soap or iodine, or hydrogen peroxide.