What Do Tattoo Artists Use To Wipe Ink Off?


Tattooing is a long journey that involves a lot of procedures. And the important procedures are concerned with maintaining the cleanliness of the area where the tattoo will be. Moreover, you might wonder, what do tattoo artists wipe with?

Green soap is the most common cleansing agent tattoo artist use to wipe the ink off. The soap is free from harmful chemicals and made from vegetable oil. It’s perfect for fresh tattoos as it doesn’t harm the healing process. But it might cause trouble if you are allergic to certain vegetable oils.

Read on to learn about the ingredients of Green soap, the alternatives of this soap, what are the uses of this soap in tattooing, as well as the side effects! 

What Do Tattoo Artists Use To Wipe Ink Off?

As mentioned, Green soap is the go-to option for the majority of tattoo artists for cleaning the tattoo as well as wiping the ink off the skin. Green soap is made from plants and is good for the earth. This soap is also known as an oil-based vegetable cleanser.

Most of the time, medical experts, tattoo as well as piercing studios, and other similar places use soap to keep the body’s skin clean and healthy during particular procedures. This is the best skin-friendly and fragrance-free soap for medical use.

Why Can’t a Tattoo Artist Use Regular Soap?

Why Cant a Tattoo Artist Use Regular Soap - Tattoo Strategies

Regular soaps are often scented and contain other chemical ingredients like alcohol that makes them popular for a day to day use. But as a fresh tattoo is considered an open wound, the ingredients of the regular soaps can cause infection in that area.

If regular soap is applied to the skin, it is likely that allergic reactions will happen, which will end up causing the tattoo design to fade. Chemicals already exist in the tattoo ink. When the skin is exposed to more chemicals, like regular soaps, the color may fade, and the skin may get red.

Many people have said that regular soaps cause their skin to itch, irritate, and dry out too much. When you use a soap containing chemical substances on your tattoo, bacteria may enter your skin. 

What is Green Soap? What Are Its Uses for Tattooing?

What is Green Soap What Are Its Uses for Tattooing - Tattoo Strategies

Green soap is a vegetable soap with an oil base that is environmentally friendly. To cleanse and clean the skin, experts use this soap in hospitals, tattoo salons, and piercing studios.

Green Soap Uses For Tattoos

A tattoo artist will make sure the area has been thoroughly cleaned with green soap before even considering trying to pick up the tools to start the tattoo. Artists commonly use a spray bottle to apply green soap to their skin.

After disinfecting the skin with a spray, the artist will scrub the area with a damp cloth. Your skin will be shaved, and then this process will take place both before and after. Reapplying this powerful disinfecting soap ensures that there are no scattered hairs, contaminants, or bacteria remaining on the skin’s surface.

It’s customary for the tattoo artist to clean up any spilled ink as they work on the tattoo. To keep the skin clean and free of bacteria during the entire tattooing process, green soap is frequently used throughout this step as well.

To remove any blood stains or ink that may have leaked during the application process, the tattooist will use green soap one last time once the tattoo is finished. Typically, tattoo artists will apply a clean, permeable bandage to the area of the skin where the ink has been used.

Green soap ingredients

Green soap ingredients - Tattoo Strategies

Green soap is free from artificial ingredients, which makes it popular among the majority. The soap comes in concentrated form and must be diluted before use. The ingredients of the green soap are:

  • Oil from plants or glycerin: Helps to keep the skin moist.
  • Ethanol: Helps to cleanse the skin.
  • Plant-based properties, like lavender or aloe: Helps reduce inflammation.

This product is frequently used by surgeons and even in a commercial setting. If you have known allergies, particularly to vegetable oils, you must inform your artist.

3 Potential Side Effects Of Green Soap

3 Potential Side Effects Of Green Soap - Tattoo Strategies

Although green soap is natural and eco-friendly, not everyone should use it. Among the possible adverse effects are:

Skin irritation

If you are allergic or sensitive to any of the components of green soap, you risk irritation. The addition of other oils, such as vegetable oils, to the combination, can cause discomfort.

Eye irritation

Green soap can hurt the eyes, so tattoo artists must take precautions to minimize it from their clients’ eyes when working on or around the face.


Additionally, there is a chance of cross-contamination. Tattooing methods can spread infections like hepatitis C and others. It’s crucial that the spray bottle’s green soap tip never makes touches your skin.

Are There Any Alternatives to Green Soap?

Are There Any Alternatives to Green Soap - Tattoo Strategies

However, it’s possible that you have an allergy to some of the components in green soap. If so, the following alternatives also do an excellent job of keeping the skin healthy and helping in wiping ink off your skin.

Hydrogen peroxide

It is a product used to clean the skin, but it can also get rid of extra ink when getting a tattoo. Be careful when you use it because it will also lighten and maybe even get rid of the tattoo.

Sterilized Water

This is a great thing to use if you have an allergy to something else. Make sure you’re not using tap water or water from a bottle to save money.

Alcohol Mixed Carrier Oil

Mixing alcohol with a carrier oil is a great way to get rid of extra ink and take care of your skin. Also, alcohol can hurt the tattoo, so be careful if you use it.

Things You Must Avoid to Wipe Ink Off

Things You Must Avoid to Wipe Ink Off - Tattoo Strategies

A tattoo is essentially an open wound and should be handled as such. That is why there are a few things that you must avoid while wiping the ink off your skin.

Choose a product made of natural ingredients that are good for your skin. Also, ensure the aftercare for your tattoo is non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog your pores. Avoid anything that has any of the following petroleum ingredients:

  • Mineral oil (Paraffinum Liquidum)
  • Petrolatum (Petroleum)
  • Liquid paraffin
  • Petrolatum (Petroleum)

Be aware that some tattoo artists and people who like to get tattoos may pledge by these oil products. But that’s not your choice; it’s theirs. You now know enough to decide what you want to do with your tattoos.

Remember that times have changed, and we now know a lot more about toxic elements that we might not have known about years ago. There are better, safer options for wiping the ink off your skin.


Can you use baby wipes for cleaning tattoos?

Yes, you can use baby wipes for cleaning your tattoos. You should use the proper baby wipes to clean your fresh tattoo. They must be additive-free and odorless. You should be aware of additional information regarding baby wipes and other techniques for keeping your tattoo clean as it heals.

Can I clean a fresh tattoo with alcohol?

No, a fresh tattoo shouldn’t be exposed to alcohol. Alcohol will dry out the tattoo, and for it to heal correctly and not completely scab over, you need to keep it moist.
If the alcohol causes a reaction in the sensitive wound, itching, stinging, and burning may also happen. Alcohol wipes can potentially damage the ink in a fresh tattoo.


Thank you for reaching this point. Now, you’re aware of the question- of why tattoo artists use Green Soap to wipe the ink off the skin. A big shoutout to the natural ingredients of Green soap and how it nourishes your skin. But be careful about the potential side effects you might face from the product.

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