Tattoo aftercare: How should you wash a new tattoo?

Tattoo nazorg: Hoe moet je een nieuwe tattoo wassen?

You've been thinking about the design for your new tattoo for a while. Finally it is set and you still walk with foil over the place where your new work of art can be seen. But besides being your personal work of art, it's also just a wound. A wound (and therefore also your artwork) that you can influence how it heals. Your tattoo can be ruined if you don't take good care of it. It is important to protect your tattoo as much as possible against bacteria and external influences. But how? We will of course tell you that.

How did you wash your new tattoo?

In addition to removing all bacteria, washing your tattoo will also remove ink, exudate and blood. If you don't do this you will get thick crusts on your tattoo. Logical, of course, because your wound fluid and blood will then dry up. When you wash your tattoo correctly, you will prevent those thick scabs.

It is an art to wash your tattoo in the right way, especially if you have had a tattoo done for the first time. Therefore, always follow the following steps.

Step 1: Follow the advice of your tattoo artist

Your tattoo artist is the expert. Unless you get your tattoo done in a basement in the streets of Bangkok somewhere at night while you've already had a few drinks. But let's not assume that for now.

Your tattoo artist will always give you a paper with the steps for aftercare. If this is not done, you should ask about it. Your tattoo artist will take into account the location and size of your tattoo with the aftercare and also knows your specific tattoo best. Your tattoo artist will also indicate when your foil can be removed. Therefore, always ask for advice regarding aftercare and which tattoo aftercare products you need.

Step 2: Wash your hands

Okay, this is the first step if you are going to wash your tattoo yourself. Always wash your tattoo with your hands! So get rid of that sponge.

This step is definitely not one to skip, as you'd be surprised how much bacteria is floating around on your hands. So to make sure you don't transfer it to your wound, it's very important to wash it off your hands with a good soap.

Step 3: Wet your tattoo with lukewarm water

Check. The. Temperature. By. It. Water. This is extremely important. If you use too hot water, you will suffer pain. And that's not the only thing. Your pores are open and if your water is too hot, you run the risk that your newly applied tattoo ink will leak. The consequence? Your tattoo fades in some places and the lines immediately become less tight. So not recommended.

When showering, make sure you don't put the jet directly on your tattoo. Showering can be quite tricky anyway, we will go into that in more detail later.

Step 4: Wash your tattoo with a special soap

When you clean your new tattoo, don't just do it with lukewarm water. No, you should wash your tattoo well with a mild alcohol-free hand soap . Preferably one that is specially made for tattoo care, such as Mr. Bear Family Tattoo Wash or L:A BRUKET Tattoo Cleanser .

When you use a soap that is specifically aimed at washing tattoos, you will also promote recovery. These special soaps for tattoos contain ingredients that are extra conducive to recovery. And you also calm your tattoo right away! So only benefits.

Step 5: Washing Itself

Now the washing itself. You don't have to put a lot of pressure, scrub or scrub. You need to gently whip soap in your own hands until you have a good amount. Then wash your tattoo (with the soap in your hands) in circular motions. Don't put too much pressure but make sure you gently massage the soap. Due to the circular movements you will remove the wound fluid, excess ink and blood from your tattoo in a calm and gentle way. This is how thick crusts are best prevented.

Step 6: Rinse well!

We can be very simple about this one: rinse your tattoo until all soap residue has disappeared and the water is clear. Then you know for sure that your tattoo is clean and that no soap residue has stuck.

Step 7: Dry your tattoo

You also have to learn a certain technique for this step. You don't dry your tattoo like you would with the rest of your body. Your tattoo is still an open wound and should be treated as such.

Dry your tattoo with a dry, clean cloth. So not a towel that you just dried your body with. Also make sure that this cloth does not fluff! Lint will adhere to your tattoo, and you certainly don't want that. Drying is done by dabbing, so you should definitely not wipe.

Do you find it too exciting to dry off your new tattoo? It is of course always an option to let it air dry.

Step 8: Coat your tattoo

Always care for your tattoo after washing with a thin layer of tattoo cream. Always use a cream that is specially made for the care of new tattoos and don't mess around with Vaseline. Your tattoo artist will definitely share advice or their preferences with you!

How often to wash your tattoo?

This completely depends on the place where you just got your new tattoo. For example, if you have a tattoo on your hands, it is recommended to wash it more often. In general, you should wash your tattoo about 2 times a day and reduce this over the course of the days. Ask your tattoo artist about this.

Until when should you wash your tattoo?

This is where people often go wrong. Unfortunately, we have not always done this step well. But, you can pass on what you have learned! When your tattoo no longer feels like a wound, you tend to stop washing it. Trust us - just keep going.

As long as you apply your ointment or cream every day, it is important to keep washing well. Sometimes the ointment does not absorb completely and then it will remain on it, as it were. Then bumps and pimples can arise because the skin can no longer breathe. This of course also affects the final look of your tattoo (and it will not get any better).

When to shower after getting a tattoo?

We can be very brief about this, because this is when the foil can be removed from your tattoo! Here we have to say (yes, again): listen to your tattoo artist. He may also advise, for example, to wait about 4 hours after brewing. Sometimes special tattoo foil is used. It comes off after 3 to 5 days and you can shower with it anyway.

And an extra tip from us: pay attention to the jet of your shower. The jet can be too hard and this can give your tattoo quite a blow. The heat also matters, always choose lukewarm water. In addition, you should always wash your hands first, even when you take a shower.

Dos and don'ts


  • Wash your hands before washing your tattoo
  • Whip up special soap in your hands and wash your tattoo with it
  • Always use lukewarm water
  • Wipe the dirt off your tattoo in circular motions
  • Always listen to your tattoo artists and their advice
  • Pat your tattoo dry or let it air dry


  • Do not use a dry cloth that fluffs
  • Do not use a dirty cloth
  • Do not use hot water
  • Do not put the jet of the shower directly on your tattoo
  • Not washing your hands properly beforehand
  • Allowing too much cream to build up on your skin

Take good care of your work of art, then it will also love you longer. Nobody pays money to walk around with a black spot. “Is that a tattoo of your dog? No, this is my grandmother's tattoo.” Don't feel like it. So wash away!

Life's too short to let your tattoo go to shit,

Your friends, The Alpha Men.