icon-account icon-glass
Free Shipping on $35+ orders for continental US! Free Shipping on $35+ orders for continental US!
Free Shipping on $75USD+ orders for Canada! Free Shipping on $75USD+ orders for Canada!

How to Wash a Tattoo (and What Not to Do)

splash of water near young tattooed man washing face isolated on blue

Coming home with a fresh tattoo all wrapped and burning with potential? When you are wondering how to wash your tattoo the first time, or for the long haul, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s start with some basic facts. Your tattoo is essentially an open wounded patch of skin oozing ink and clear plasma. It’s not pretty, but it will be, with proper tattoo aftercare and ongoing habits that keep your ink colors bright and edges crisp.

Why Worry About Aftercare?

Reuzel Tat

You are tough. We know that, because you just got a thousand needle sticks and you came home smiling. But while you might be a greaser legend or a rock icon in the making, your skin is not superhuman. It needs to heal and infection is a real concern.

Using the wrong aftercare routine can increase your chance of infection, excess scabbing, scarring, or other complications that will blur the lines on your body art. While your tattoo is healing, how you wash, dry, and moisturize is important to the final stunning result.

Removing the Bandage from a New Tattoo

A tattoo artist bandages the young man's hand with a thin layer of petroleum jelly after applying the tattoo

Depending on the size of your tattoo and where it is located, your tattoo artist will tell you how long to wear the bandage and wrapping. This might be 1-2 hours or up to 24 hours. Wash your hands and unwrap carefully. If the bandage is stuck to your skin, run some warm water over the area to gently release it.

How to Wash a New Tattoo After Unwrapping

A tattooist cleans a fresh name tattoo on a client's forearm with gentle soap

Immediately after removing the bandage, wash with lukewarm water and an antibacterial soap. Use only your fingers, and with a gentle circular motion to rub off excess ink and crusties, rinsing as you go. Use a mild, fragrance-free antibacterial soap to help prevent infection for the first week or until oozing stops to allow your skin to completely heal from the needlework.

Cleaning Your Tattoo After the First Week

Woman in the shower on dark background

Get into a solid tattoo care routine with the right products on hand for every stage of the healing process. After a week or when oozing has stopped, switch to a gentle soap and wash twice daily. Follow these tips to keep your tattoo on the right track:

  • Wash your hands first. We don’t know where you’ve been.
  • Use lukewarm water, not hot, and get your tattoo wet using your hands.
  • Gentle rubbing with your fingers is all the abrasion your new ink needs.
  • Pat dry with a paper towel or let air dry to keep things clean.

Caring for Your Tattoo After the First Month

with BUFF exfoliating wash

Once your tattoo is fully healed, use a system like TAT from Reuzel to preserve and protect your tattoo for the long road ahead. Fuel up your skin with this long-term tattoo care routine:

  • Wash with BUFF exfoliating wash once per week, to gently exfoliate and remove dead skin.
  • Apply a thin layer of HYDRABALM when your ink gets itchy during healing, or daily.
  • Shine and protect with SHINE spray before you go out and about.
  • Revive old ink with regular use of BUFF and VIVID gel.

Never Ever Do This to Your New Tattoo


Until your new ink is completely healed, steer clear of these bad tattoo care habits:

  • Do not soak—not in the hot tub, the swimming pool, or any nasty backwaters. Stick to showering.
  • Do not use a washcloth, loofah, or used hand towels hanging near the sink. Wash the area with your hands only.
  • Do not scratch at your itchy ink or pick at scabs. Wash again with BUFF or apply some HYDRABALM moisturizer daily once the skin has healed.
  • Don’t forget about aftercare as soon as your tattoo heals, because too much exposure to sun, salt, and sweating can quickly fade your tattoo.

Take Care of Your New Tattoo or Revive Old Ink

color boosting tattoo spray

Keeping that body ink bright means your tattoo will be turning heads and making your bold statement clear until the last call or your final destination. Reuzel’s line of tattoo aftercare products will keep your skin story sizzling long after the burning sensation fades. Get TAT now and be ready for everything life throws at your skin.

Older Post Newer Post

What we're up to, in real time

Follow us:@reuzel
Something went wrong, please contact us!

Liquid error (snippets/go-cart line 90): Unknown operator

Check Out >Checkout
Add promo code