Can You Use Alcohol Wipes on a Tattoo?

  • Written By Dan Hunter on October 1, 2021
    Last Updated: March 12, 2022

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.

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.

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. Irritation, burning and blistering can also occur if the sensitive wound reacts badly to the alcohol.

The ink in a new tattoo can also be affected by alcohol wipes. The alcohol could potentially displace the ink and permanently damage the design of your tattoo. If alcohol is listed as one of the ingredients on a skincare product you should avoid using it on your 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. Applying alcohol wipes to a tattooed area can cause dryness, pain and irritation and they should therefore be completely avoided during the healing process.

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. 

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