How to Clean a Tattoo With Antibacterial Soap

by Jewel Rivers ; Updated September 28, 2017

A new tattoo needs to be washed properly to avoid infection.

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A brand new tattoo must be treated carefully, since your skin has just experienced a lot of trauma and needs to heal. By taking care of your tattoo properly and cleaning it regularly, you will ensure that your new ink will look its best and your skin will stay healthy. Using antibacterial soap to clean will help get rid of germs and dirt on your tattooed skin.

Lather warm water and a drop of liquid antibacterial soap in your hands. For a larger tattoo, you may need to use more soap and water to clean.

Apply the lathered soap to your tattooed skin gently, taking care not to rub too hard. You want to remove dirt and bacteria without irritating your sensitive skin.

Rinse the soap away by carefully splashing the area with warm water until no residue remains.

Dry the tattoo with a clean, dry washcloth. Without rubbing the skin, dab the tattoo carefully.

Apply a thin layer of moisturizing ointment to the newly washed skin to help protect the area and allow the tattoo to heal properly.


  • Let your new tattoo breathe once you remove the bandage. This allows the skin to heal faster.

    If your tattoo is in a hard to reach spot like your back, ask someone to help you clean it.

    Wash a new tattoo every few hours.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

About the Author

Jewel Rivers has been writing professionally since 2011. She specializes in topics relating to health, pets, cleaning, food, fashion and beauty. Rivers is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in English from Utah Valley University.