Every tattoo artist understands the importance of maintaining a clean and safe studio for their customers.
For example, many customers are scared about the pain that comes with getting a tattoo. Anesthetics address these concerns by numbing the skin to reduce pain during the tattoo process. Spray and topical (e.g. cream) anesthetics are available. Products containing benzocaine, epinephrine, lidocaine, or tetracaine are all recommended. Of all these ingredients, be most cautious with epinephrine, which can cause a rise in the client’s heart rate and anxiety level.
Different disinfectants are used for instruments and surfaces. Top surface cleaners include Madacide, Microcide SQ, and SaniZide. All three are great for killing diseases including hepatitis, MRSA, HIV and tuberculosis. Top instrument cleaners include Sklar Soak and Wavicide Soaking Solution. Other cleaners are also available if you want to manually clean your instruments, which can also protect against corrosion and stains. Remember, products featuring natural ingredients are also available.
Before starting a tattooing session*, make sure to cover all work surfaces with cellophane (only touch the edges with your fingers). Remember to only touch tattoo instruments with gloved hands. When pulling out supplies from drawers or opening boxes, use an ungloved hand. Wear gloves on both hands while tattooing your customer. If brakes are needed, remove gloves, wash hands, and put on new gloves before starting again. Once the procedure is completed, remove gloves after applying the bandages and tape. Put on new gloves, designate one gloved hand (a.k.a. dirty glove) to remove plastic protections on supplies, and the other (a.k.a. clean glove) to handle supplies directly.
*Please note that the above are only parts of the tattoo cleaning process. Please consult additional sources for complete steps on tattoo setup and takedown.