Inside: What is a Tattoo Clean Room?

What is a Clean Room?

A cleanroom or cleanroom is a facility ordinarily utilized as a part of specialized industrial production or scientific research, including the manufacture of pharmaceutical items, integrated circuits, CRT, LCD, OLED, and microLED displays.

Clean Room

What is a Tattoo Clean Room?

Tattoo clean rooms use Autoclaves are also commonly used in tattoo shops to sterilize non-disposable equipment.

They do so by exposing the equipment to a temperature high enough to kill any spores and bacteria. Some tattoo studios may use makeshift autoclaves such as pressure cookers and toaster ovens.

Tattoo Shop 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

Tattoo Cleaning Standards

How do you know if a tattoo shop is safe?

Check that they’re using needles from sealed containers and that the pigment trays are new. Be sure the shop has a sterilization machine and uses it to clean equipment that is too expensive to throw away.
Don’t be afraid to ask how the employees sterilize the countertops, tables, and chairs.

Why are tattoo guns covered in plastic?

On one hand, some say it keeps your machine sterile. On the other hand, some say it’s pointless if I clean my machine after every use.
So having plastic on a tattoo machine, on the cord, or wherever you have seen it, is technically for sanitary care reasons.

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