Can You Use Alcohol Wipes on a Tattoo?

  • Written By Dan Hunter on October 1, 2021
    Last Updated: October 12, 2021

There’s nothing better than a fully healed tattoo to show off to your friends and family. The colors will be vibrant and the lines strong, with shading in all the right places. 

However, this could change if it’s not looked after in the right way and you could end up with a design with dull colors and blurred lines. 

What should you clean the tattoo with to heal it quickly? Can you use alcohol wipes on your tattoo? We’ll let you know just how you should keep it clean and what you can and can’t use.

How Should You Clean a Tattoo?

The best thing to use to clean your new tattoo would be just saline water. Get some warm water and add in some sea salt and this will keep the area clean and bacteria at bay. It won’t irritate your new tattoo and will also not do any damage to your tattoo as long as you apply it gently. 

You can use antibacterial soap to keep the tattooed area clean. Again, you should just use the soap and warm water and apply it carefully. To dry the area you should pat it dry with a clean towel, never rubbing the tattooed area as this will damage the tattoo and could cause infection.

Can You Use Alcohol Wipes on a Tattoo?

The aftercare for a tattoo can take lots of time out of your daily routine as it needs to be done a few times a day. Especially so with a new tattoo as it should be kept clean at all times. 

With this in mind, people are often trying to find an easier way to complete their aftercare routine. Using a wipe to clean your tattoo can shave minutes off your routine and still keeps the area clean.

But the question is, can you use alcohol wipes on a tattoo? The answer to this when talking about a brand new tattoo is no, you shouldn’t use alcohol on a new tattoo. The alcohol will dry out the tattoo and you need it to remain moist to heal properly and not fully scab over.

Alcohol can also affect the ink in a new tattoo, displacing it and therefore damaging the design of your tattoo. If alcohol is listed as one of the first ingredients on the product you should avoid using it on a new tattoo. 

The Tattoo Healing Process

Your new tattoo needs time to heal once completed and this can take between one and three weeks. Some tattoos can take up to a couple of months to fully heal, this will depend on the size and placement of the tattoo as well as the aftercare given.

During the healing process, you should perfect your aftercare routine, regularly cleaning the tattoo area and applying suitable lotion or ointment. Use non-fragranced soap and lotion and avoid products with alcohol listed in the ingredients while your tattoo is healing.

How Should You Use Alcohol Wipes?

Alcohol wipes are too strong to use on a new tattoo and will just dry out the skin. They may even cause inflammation and irritation in the area, which won’t help the healing process and may even damage your tattoo.

It’s possible to use wipes that include cetyl alcohol, as long as it’s not one of the first few ingredients listed. However, you should avoid any wipes or lotions with Isopropyl alcohol, or just ‘alcohol’ shown on the ingredients list.

Alcohol wipes can be good for disinfecting your skin, and they can be used to prepare your skin for a tattoo. However, sometimes the simple things work best and antibacterial soap and water will do as good a job without the harshness of including alcohol.


Your new tattoo is an open wound and should be treated as such. With this in mind, you shouldn’t use anything on the tattooed skin that you wouldn’t use on any other cuts and wounds.

It’s important to look after your tattoo to get the best results and this means using as little product on it as possible and keeping things simple. 

We hope that we’ve answered your question and you take good care of your tattoo.