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Safety Tips for Tattoo Artists

Tattoo is a form of art that should only be done by professionals, it involves a lot of risks that can even put a customer’s life in danger. That’s why tattoo artists should always practice safe tattooing. When I say safe, I'm not only referring to safety measures to be done in the workplace or on your clients. Safety should also be considered for yourself, as a tattoo artist. It means taking steps to keep yourself out of trouble, out of jail and out of the hospital.

Here are some precautions you can follow:
  1. Get a license to tattoo 
  2. Always display your business license in your shop 
  3. Turn down clients who are intoxicated, there can be excessive bleeding if you tattoo someone who's been drinking. 
  4. Make sure your clients are of legal age 
  5. Have your clients sign a waiver before inking them. 
  6. Minimise hazards to your own health with actions like disposing needles properly 

Having a safe working environment means keeping your shop clean, and keeping your equipment sterilised . Every tattoo should be treated delicately and properly. This means your storage should always be stocked up on supplies that keep your workplace clean, your materials sterilised, and most especially, your clients safe from any disease or infection.

A Tattoo Artist should never run out of:

Gloves should always be worn while cleaning and prepping a tattoo. After using it, throw the pair away, and wash your hands with antibacterial soap. A fresh pair should always be used whenever you start doing a tattoo.

Cleaners & Disinfectants
Reusable metal grips, other materials should always be cleaned using a disinfectant solution. The tattoo chair, autoclave, basically the entire area should be thoroughly cleaned.

Purchase a good autoclave that can be used to properly sterilise your tools in between clients. You'll also need sterilisation pouches to use with your autoclave.

Sharps Container
Prevent accidents and dispose needles properly in a Sharps Container. There are a lot of Sharps recovery solutions available, so you can choose the right size of container for when you're traveling vs. working in your shop.

Topical Skin Cleansers
Always have a skin cleaner that you can use for your client’s skin. Green Soap is one of the most popular pre-tattooing cleansers, but it isn't your only option. You should avoid using rubbing alcohol, because while it can assist ink in entering the skin more easily, it can also cause ink to be carried further into a person's system than desired.

Antiseptics & Ointments
Check your first- aid kit. Make sure you have a supply of antiseptics, ointments, and other first aid supplies to use when needed.

It is easy to maintain a sterile work area with disposable items. Once the tool is used up, just throw it away. A lot of the supplies you'll need for tattooing are available in convenient disposable form. Stuff like clip cord covers, tattoo sleeves, cases of Precision Medical Cohesive Wrap that you can use to pad grips, gauze, skin markers for drawing tattoo patterns directly on your clients' skin, face masks, exam table paper to line tattoo chairs, and a bunch of others are examples of disposable items that should be found in your shop.

Disposable Tattoo Tubes
Instead of buying a reusable, autoclavable tattoo grips, steel tubes and tips, invest in disposable tattoo tubes. It has all those components in one convenient unit that you can use and then throw away. There are styles to fit every tattoo artist's preferences.

Tattoo Needles & Tattoo Needle Bars
Needles should not be reused. Even if you sterilise it and apply your whole supply of cleaner or how many times you autoclave them, it’s just not safe and smart to reuse needles. There are a lot sterile needles in store. From flat, magnum, round, and stacked needle configurations, bug pin needles, short standard tapers, long tapers, name it.

Some of the most important things you need for safe tattooing are listed above, check your trusted tattoo supplies shop for the items mentioned above.

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  • Matthew Nelson