Tattoo Advice and History > Tattoo Advice > Tattoo Shop Safety: What To Look For


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Tattoo Shop Safety

In order to have a positive tattoo experience, it's not only important to find an artist who understands your vision and does great work, but who will also provide a safe and clean environment for the entire procedure. It's good to trust your instincts and you can usually get a good (or bad) feel for a shop as soon as you walk in. A few things to keep in mind when you are visiting potential artists and shops are: 

  • Does the artist always wear gloves during each procedure?
  • Do they have an autoclave (a sterilization unit that sterilizes equipment)?
  • Are the floors and other surfaces clean?
  • Is the overall shop clean?
  • Are ointment, water, ink, ink cups, and gloves used only once? (these items should not ever be reused)
  • Are all of the needles new, disposable and made for single-use only?
  • Does the staff appear attentive to your needs and questions?
  • Does the artist change gloves after every procedure?
  • Are needles properly disposed of?
  • Does the ink used come from a bottle that's poured into a small cup each tattoo project?  (Ink should never be reused. If ink remains after a tattoo has been completed, it should always be thrown away)
  • Does the artist provide a portfolio of past work so you can get an idea of their style and skill?
  • Does the artist provide aftercare instructions?

Take safety seriously when adding art to your skin that is permanent. It is worth taking the time to find a shop and an artist that you are comfortable with in every way.

Happy inkin'!  

Last updated on January 16, 2012 by Jinxi Boo