The Importance of Sanitation in Tattoo Parlors

At All Portable Sinks, hand washing and sanitation is our specialty. One industry that relies heavily on the ability to have an extremely sanitary workplace is the tattoo industry. Today’s blog discusses the importance of sanitation for tattoo artists.


Health Risks of an Unsanitary Tattoo Parlor

Getting a tattoo requires the use of needles, which draw blood, and therefore, there are several health risks involved. Blood and many other bodily fluids are vectors of disease causing pathogens. The transmission of diseases such as hepatitis, tuberculosis and even HIV are possible. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there has not been a documented case of HIV transmission from a tattoo.  Doctors warn that non-sterile tattooing practices can lead to the transmission of syphilis, hepatitis B and other infectious organisms though. In addition, infections can occur in new tattoos; some people experience allergic reactions to tattoo ink, while others experience pain or burning during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examinations because of metallic pigments. The FDA does not regulate tattoo inks.


OSHA Compliance for Tattoo Parlors

When tattoo artists follow all the correct sanitation and sterilization procedures and guidelines, the above risks are relatively low. Tattoo parlors are mandated by law to adhere to regulations. These rules and regulations are set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). The main goal of these regulations are to prevent and reduce blood exposure generated during tattooing.


Tattoo Parlor Sanitation Regulations

Tattoo professionals use rules known as universal precautions to prevent the spread of illnesses during tattooing. The precautions are part of the Bloodborne Pathogens Rule issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These same rules apply to hospitals and doctors’ offices. Tattoo artists must also take special safety measures regarding their hands. While gloves help prevent disease transmission, bacteria thrive in the warm, damp environment of gloves. Some of these precautions include:

  • Washing hands thoroughly and often, with soap and hot water
  • Inspect hands for cuts or sores, and use bandages to cover them
  • Remove hangnails and keep nails short to prevent punctures to gloves
  • Refrain from tattooing when experiencing lesions, dermatitis or allergic reactions
  • Checking gloves for pinhole tears during tattooing, since petroleum-based ointment erodes latex
  • Needles should always be a single-use product
  • Anything that touches the skin should be a single-use product, including the pencil or marker used to outline the design or the transfer paper
  • Pouring ink in advance
  • Using clean tissue to open ink bottles during tattooing
  • Preventing ink bottle nozzles from touching contaminated surfaces
  • Patting tubes dry after rinsing during color changes
  • Never blowing excess water from tubes
  • Spraying liquid soap into a tissue, not directly on the bleeding area, since blood can become airborne when the spray hits
  • Giving pens used for drawing on the skin, which should be medical grade and sterile, to the client

When it comes to a tattoo parlor, the importance of a clean work environment cannot be overemphasized. All Portable Sinks is here to help tattoo artists stay compliant, and keep a clean, sanitized environment for their clients. The portability of our sinks also make handwashing and sanitation convenient for tattoo artists; they aren’t having to get up to go wash their hands all the time – the sink comes to them! Visit our website to learn about our different portable tattoo sinks.  


All Portable Sinks - Making Clean-Up Easier!

All Portable Sinks


9990 Coconut Rd. Suite 226
Bonita Springs, Florida 34135

Phone: 877-595-8534