What Do Tattoo Artists Use to Wipe Ink Off?

  • Written By Dan Hunter on October 1, 2021
    Last Updated: March 11, 2022

When you’re getting a tattoo it’s important to keep the area clean at all times before, during, and after the process. This will make it easier to complete the tattoo with no obstacles and will also make it less likely for the tattoo to become infected due to cross-contamination.

Different products can be used but you need to make sure that whatever you are using doesn’t damage the tattoo or your skin. 

During the tattoo procedure, ink is added to your skin using multiple needles. To be able to get your tattoo looking perfect any excess ink will need to be removed as the tattoo is being done. This will help your tattoo artist to see clearly what areas are completed and which need more ink. 

What do tattoo artists use to wipe the ink off? We’ll let you know.

Keeping The Tattoo Area Clean

You’ll need to make sure that the area where you’re having the tattoo is cleaned thoroughly before going for your appointment. This will make the job a little easier for your tattoo artist. They will also clean it and will possibly shave the area if required as this makes it easier to put the stencil on and to tattoo your skin without fighting with your hair.

They will then sanitize the area using green soap. This will moisten the skin as well as clean it, which makes it easier to apply the stencil. 

What Do Tattoo Artists Use to Wipe Ink Off?

Green soap is the go-to for most tattoo artists out there as it’s a medical-level soap that’s fragrance-free and environmentally friendly. This should be applied via a spray bottle and diluted before use. Using a spray bottle will remove the need to directly touch your skin, keeping things more hygienic. 

However, it could be that you’re allergic to some of the ingredients in green soap. If so, the below alternatives also do a great job of keeping the skin clean before, during, and after the tattoo procedure:

Hydrogen Peroxide: This is a product that’s used to disinfect the skin but will remove excess ink when tattooing. Be careful when using it as it will also lighten the tattoo and possibly remove it. 

Sterilized Water: This is great to use if you’re allergic to any other ingredients. Make sure that you’re not using tap or bottled water as a cheaper alternative.

Alcohol mixed with Carrier Oil: This is great to use to remove excess ink and care for your skin. Alcohol can also damage the tattoo so be careful when using it.

What Is Green Soap?

You’ll find green soap in every tattoo studio that you enter as it’s the tattoo artists go to when cleaning the area. It is also great for wiping excess ink during the tattoo as it cleans without causing any damage.

Green soap is a vegetable oil-based, water-soluble medical soap that has antibacterial properties, and is environmentally friendly. Most green soaps are plant-based and are soothing on the skin. Green soap can include a mixture of coconut oil as well as vegetable oil, they also include ethyl alcohol or lavender oil. 

The oils in the green soap add moisture to your skin, unlike other soaps that will dry the skin out and strip it of its natural oils. The soap comes in liquid form and should be diluted with water before spraying onto the skin. You should use a blue paper towel to remove the soap, and this should be dabbed rather than wiped. Wiping the skin could spread the ink, pulling the skin, and possibly damage the tattoo.

Tattoo Aftercare

Just as it’s important to care for your skin before getting a tattoo and during the tattoo process, it’s also important to continue this care following the tattoo. Your skin is healing at this point and the better care you can provide, the quicker it will heal. 

The tattoo should be treated as an open wound, as that’s exactly what it is. Keep it clean at all times with a saline solution along with antibacterial soap. and moisturize using a suitable ointment or lotion. Keep the tattooed area uncovered as much as possible to let it breathe and to also avoid rubbing on clothes. 


You can’t just use anything to wipe the ink off your skin when tattooing. This will affect the way that the ink is absorbed into the skin and could also damage the skin or the tattoo. 

Green soap is ideal as it’s kind to your skin but is also strong enough to remove the most stubborn ink. Just be careful that you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients before using it as it could cause inflammation which isn’t great when trying to get a tattoo.

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