How to Clean and Disinfect Tattoo Machine?

How to Clean and Disinfect Tattoo Machine?


To avoid any cross-contamination between clients, and to prevent the spread of germs, you need to clean and disinfect your tattoo machine. In this article, we'll show you how to clean, disinfect and sanitize your tattoo machine, and the products you need to do so.

How to Clean and Disinfect Tattoo Machine?
Your tattoo machine is probably the most important tool you will ever need for your tattoo. Whether you are using a rotary machine or a coil machine, it is important to pay special attention to cleaning and sanitizing the machine. Your tattoo machine is in close contact with your customers, and unlike needles and cartridges, it is used repeatedly on different customers.

To avoid any cross-contamination between clients, and to prevent the spread of germs, you must not only wrap and cover your tattoo machine (and all other equipment used during the session) to form a physical barrier but also clean and sanitize each time Your tattoo machine after sessions and clients. In this article, we'll show you how to clean, disinfect and sanitize your tattoo machine, and the products you need to do so.

1. Cover your tattoo machine and handle/tube

When you use the tattoo machine, it should always be covered with plastic (or a green alternative) to avoid contamination with blood and fluids. You can easily do this by using the classic machine package for coil and bevel rotary machines. For pen machines, it is best to use a suitable cord grip that fits over the machine.

Don't forget to cover your grips when you're not using them. Be careful to seal the plastic bag with a rubber band or adhesive bandage. Needless to say, these items should be kept in drawers and not openly around the workplace to prevent them from being contaminated by splashing liquids.

This way, you can prevent contamination of the machine in the first place, and cleaning is less taxing. Disposable handles and disposable tubes are a good option if you want to work cleanly, or if you don't have the time and equipment on hand (e.g. as per usual) to clean and sanitize your machines and handles/tubes after a session choose.

When you cover your tattoo machine and seal it in a plastic bag, be careful not to touch any liquids, blood, or any other work equipment (including your used gloves), you don't need to sterilize your machine for the next customer. Still, you need to clean and sterilize your tattoo device, even if it's sealed in a plastic bag.

Always use a new plastic bag for each new client, change gloves and clean the workplace. Also consider changing the plastic bags occasionally when working long hours, as plastic bags can leak water over time. The same goes for your gloves.

We still recommend sanitizing your machine after each use to eliminate the risk of cross-contamination.

If the plastic bag breaks or leaks for some reason, you will need to clean, sanitize and disinfect your tattoo machine after the tattoo.

2. Clean your tattoo machine

After and before the tattoo session, you should mechanically clean the machine with disinfectant and paper towels. To do this, disassemble your tattoo machine and put all the parts in front of you, putting on a new pair of medical gloves.

Thoroughly wipe down all parts of the machine. Don't forget to clean the accessible internal parts of the machine and tattoo machine handle (if you are not using a disposable handle). This can be a little tricky and you may need to use a cotton swab applicator to coat every crevice of the machine.

Your tattoo machine should now look as clean and shiny as when you first bought it, without any stains or visible dirt.

Remember that your tattoo machine is now mechanically clean, but it is not sterile, so it is not ready for use with your next client.

3. Disinfect your tattoo machine

After mechanically cleaning all machine parts, you can now sterilize the machine. To do this, take a sanitizing spray of your choice, spray it on the parts, and let it dry for 10 minutes to take effect. Then turn your device and do the same until you spray the disinfectant on all sides of the part.

Always wear new medical gloves when touching any equipment, and be careful not to contaminate machine parts by touching an unpacked spray bottle of disinfectant. After spraying all parts with disinfectant and letting them dry, you can now use an alcohol solution (or alcohol wipes) to wipe off any residual disinfectant with a paper towel. When you follow these steps, your tattoo machine should now be sterilized.

It is important that you sterilize not only the tattoo machine but all equipment used during the tattoo. This includes any reusable handles and tubes, cables, and of course your power supply as well as your workplace, tattoo (client) chairs, etc.

4. Autoclave your device

The safest way to avoid cross-contamination and eliminate all germs, viruses, and bacteria is to autoclave. Autoclaving does not eliminate the aforementioned problems, but it does reduce the risk of contamination considerably to a very, very low level (0.0001%).

An autoclave sterilizes whatever is inside through a combination of high pressure, heat, and steam. Unfortunately, the tattoo machine can't be put in an autoclave because the motor can't take that combination.

Body parts can be autoclaved if you can remove the machine's motor. If you can't remove the machine's motor, you should use cold sterilization.
If you are not using disposable clamps and/or disposable tubes, you should autoclave the clamps/tubes. Only then can you keep your customers safe. An autoclave is a best and most efficient way to sterilize tattoo equipment.

5. How to sterilize a tattoo machine without an autoclave (cold sterilization)

If you don't have an autoclave, you can also use an ultrasonic cleaner as an alternative. Ultrasonic cleaners use high frequencies in combination with chemical cleaning solutions to remove any contamination from equipment.

While an ultrasonic cleaner does a great job cleaning your equipment, it won't sanitize your equipment!

Another cold disinfection method is a chemical bath. These take longer (8 to 24 hours) to take effect but are a great way to make your device available to the next customer. 

Unfortunately, these methods are not as effective and safe as autoclaves. If you don't have an autoclave, special care should be taken to properly sterilize your equipment and seal the tattoo machine in a plastic bag. Also, you should consider using single-use handles and single-use tubes, as they are pre-sterilized to reduce the risk of cross-contamination by customers.

6. Tattoo syringe

Tattoo syringes are a safe way to tattoo without the need to autoclave the tattoo device after each session. Thanks to membranes from most well-known brands, liquids cannot get into the handle, tube, and tattoo machine. This means that your tattoo machine will not be exposed to germs, germs, and viruses, and if you seal it properly during use, you only need to sterilize it after each use. If you don't have access to an autoclave, we recommend tattoo cartridges.

7. Conclusion

In this article, we show you how to clean and disinfect your tattoo equipment and various methods of disinfection. Hygiene is one of the most important topics for tattoo artists and it cannot be overemphasized, you should take all steps to prevent any cross-contamination. If you want to know more about tattoo machines or want to buy tattoo machines and tattoo inks, please contact us.

Charming Tattoo is a professional custom permanent makeup products manufacturer with 20 years of experience. We have professional production equipment and a 100,000-level dust-free workshop in line with ISO9001 standards. We provide a professional product, packaging, and post-design, as well as professional pigment knowledge support. In order to achieve a win-win situation, our company has formulated a policy to protect customer privacy.