Tattoo Care Essentials: The Best Soap for Tattoos

Finding the right tattoo artist is only the beginning of the tattoo process. After your tattoo is completed you’ll need to find the best aftercare products to take care of the open wound until it’s healed. Cleaning your tattoo and the area around it is crucial to the healing process.

Your tattoo can become infected or scab, both of which will impact the appearance of your tattoo. Finding the right soap for your ink can be challenging, but we’ve got you covered with this guide!

Keep reading for our best soap for tattoos, including a helpful guide for what you should look for in a soap meant for tattooed skin.

A tattoo artist washing a tattoo with foam soap. Best soap for tattoos.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall
Hustle Bubbles Soap for Tattoos

Budget Option
Recovery Aftercare Soap for Tattoos

Best Antibacterial Option
Tattoo Goo Deep Cleansing Soap for Tattoos

Best Overall

Hustle Bubbles Soap for Tattoos

Hustle Bubbles 7oz Tattoo Soap Unscented Antibacterial Soap To Heal and Clean Tattoos & Piercings

Hustle Bubbles soap for tattoos is made by the prestigious Hustle Butter Deluxe company. It’s the best soap for keeping your tattoo clean throughout the healing process because it reduces irritation and fights infection.

Tattoo artists around the world recommend this all-natural soap that can eliminate bacteria and kill germs without drying out your skin or affecting the color of your tattoo.

This soap removes dead skin cells and impurities that may dull the colors of your tattoo using naturally-sourced vegan ingredients. You won’t have to worry about parabens or harmful chemicals irritating or damaging your tattoo with this cleanser.


  • Antibacterial formula.
  • Reduces irritation and chances of infection at the tattoo site.
  • The fragrance-free formula is gentle on the skin.


  • This soap is more expensive than some of the other products on this list.

Best Budget Option

Recovery Aftercare Soap for Tattoos

Recovery Aftercare - Aftercare Soap - Hydrating, Gentle Cleanser for Body Modification Aftercare - Natural Wash for Piercing & Tattoo Aftercare (4 oz)

Recovery Aftercare soap for tattoos is a liquid cleanser that helps your skin safely and naturally heal from the wound of a tattoo by removing dirt and bacteria. It also hydrates the skin by replenishing natural emollients.

While this soap isn’t antibacterial, it’s a great choice for new tattoos. The fragrance-free formula is designed to get rid of tough dirt and debris by sinking deep into your pores to protect the skin during the early stages of healing.

With no parabens, perfumes, or dyes, this balanced vegan soap for tattoos will leave your skin feeling soft and soothed while protecting it from damage and infection as it heals.

The alcohol-free formula won’t dry out your skin as it cleanses away dirt and bacteria, insuring your new ink heals quickly. This mild soap gently cleanses the skin while infusing it with moisture to promote faster healing while preventing infection.


  • Contains moisturizing ingredients.
  • The vegan, alcohol-free formula is gentle on the skin.
  • Excellent for small tattoos.


  • For large tattoo designs, you may need a more heavy-duty soap to clean your tattoo and prevent infection.

Best Antibacterial Option

Tattoo Goo Deep Cleansing Soap for Tattoos

Tattoo Goo Deep Cleansing Soap, Disinfecting Tattoo and Piercing Aftercare - Moisturizing Olive Oil, Alcohol and Fragrance Free - 3 oz

Tattoo Goo deep cleansing soap for tattoos uses natural, moisturizing ingredients that mimic the skin’s natural oils that are lost during the tattoo process. The formula replaces the lost moisture in your skin, which leads to faster healing times.

This petroleum-free soap won’t block moisture from entering or leaving your skin, which is great since newly tattooed skin needs moisture to heal properly.

Tattoo Goo’s cleansing soap is specially formulated just for tattoo aftercare, with Panthenol, a natural ingredient that relieves itchiness in your new ink.

This alcohol-free, antibacterial soap is strong but gentle. It effectively cleanses and protects your healing tattoo with just a few sprays. Since tattoos are open wounds, they require proper cleaning to remove dirt, germs, and dead skin and this formula is gentle on the skin. These properties promote faster healing.

To lower the chances of irritation and infection this formula is unscented and contains antimicrobial ingredients that keep your tattoo safe from bacteria and germs.

It also has various essential oils in it that will help your skin retain its moisture. These essential oils are fast-acting and prevent damage to the skin, as well as seepage of bacteria into the wound.


  • Fragrance-free antibacterial formula.
  • Contains deep cleansing properties with moisturizing essential oils.
  • Works great for new tattoos, enhancing their color.


  • This soap doesn’t contain as many natural ingredients as some of the other options we discuss.

H2Ocean Blue Green Foam Soap for Tattoos

H2Ocean Blue Green Foam Soap Gentle Cleansing Sea Salt Mineral Tattoo Aftercare Moisturizing Soap With Aloe, Alcohol Free, Unscented, Vegan, 1.7oz

H2Ocean Blue Green foam soap for tattoos uses nutrient-rich sea salt from the Red Sea to cleanse the skin and provide more than 82 trace minerals that are essential for your skin’s healing.

This vegan soap can be used as a replacement for tattoo green soaps that have been known to harm your tattoo’s healing process. Instead of using any alcohol, fragrances, or artificial dyes that dry out the skin and cause itching and irritation, this formula uses benzalkonium chloride to gently clean your tattoo.

It also contains aloe vera, which is known to aid in the healing process while soothing inflammation and irritation at the tattoo site.

The best part of this product is that it can be applied on the go! No matter where you are, add some of this aloe vera-infused formula to the site of your tattoo for a quick cleanse within seconds.


  • The convenient no-rinse formula is great for on-the-go cleansing.
  • Infused with sea salt, aloe vera, and 82 trace minerals to promote fast healing.
  • This formula is fragrance-free, alcohol-free, and dye-free to prevent irritation.


  • This no-rinse soap isn’t suitable for those who prefer traditional cleansers.

Mad Rabbit Refresh Soap for Tattoos

Mad Rabbit Refresh Body Wash - Tattoo Aftercare, Natural Cleansing Ingredients Made For All Skin Types, Gentle, Anti-Aging & Hydrating Formula (16oz)

Mad Rabbit Refresh soap for tattoos is made using clean, nourishing plant oils that are designed to moisturize and gently cleanse your skin. This soap has a sweet aroma of coconut with warm vanilla undertones to help revitalize your tattooed skin.

Formulated with plant collagen and glycerin, this gentle cleanser works as a moisturizing powerhouse duo that draws moisture to the skin and provides a healthy glow. It also contains green tea extract and panthenol to help soothe, hydrate, and rejuvenate your skin, which minimizes signs of aging.

The powerful ingredients in this soap strike a perfect balance between gentle, healing, and hydrating, for healthy, luminous skin.

Although it’s not antibacterial, Mad Rabbit soap prevents infections by preventing bacteria and germs from entering the open wound of your tattoo site. This soap is top-notch when it comes to feeling luscious on the skin, and it contains ingredients that help your tattoo stay vibrant, defined, and fresh-looking for longer.


  • Contains anti-aging ingredients.
  • Nourishes the skin with plant-based oils to provide a healthy glow.
  • Suitable for all skin types.


  • The fragrance may be off-putting for some.
  • Not fragrance-free.

How to Choose The Best Soap for Tattoos

Choosing the best soap for your tattoo can be challenging, especially with so many products on the market targeted toward tattoo aftercare. There are many factors to consider when selecting products that work best for your skin.

Tattoo artist using soap on new tattoo work.

What to Consider


One of the most important factors to consider when shopping for tattoo cleansers is the ingredients. A tattoo is basically an open wound, so it’s important to care for it properly to prevent infection.

The type of soap you use on your tattoo can make or break your tattoo’s healing process. You should look for a gentle, hypoallergenic, and chemical-free soap that will cleanse the area without irritating or drying out your skin.

Typically, the more organic ingredients are the best to keep your tattoo infection and irritation free. You should avoid any harsh chemicals or synthetic fragrances because these can cause irritation and lead to allergic reactions for some.

You should also avoid products with alcohol since it’s known to dry out the skin and lead to itchiness, dry, cracked skin, and delayed healing. Ingredients like Aloe Vera have anti-inflammatory chemical compounds that will reduce the swelling and discomfort that normally happens right after you get your ink.

Antibacterial Properties

Since new tattoos are vulnerable to infection, you should make sure to keep the area clean and free from any potentially pathogenic bacteria that can invade an open wound as it heals. Antibacterial soaps are excellent in preventing infection caused by bacteria.

Skin Type

Another important factor to consider when looking for soap for your tattoos is your skin type. If you have dry or sensitive skin you’ll want a cleanser that’s made with delicate ingredients meant to hydrate the skin. These soaps will help you keep your skin infection and irritation free as it heals.


Often fragrances and artificial flavors present in soap contain harmful chemicals that irritate the skin and slow down the healing process. To avoid this happening to you, look for a scented soap brand you trust or stick to fragrance-free soaps for healing tattoos.

Moisturizing Properties

Like any healing skin, your new ink needs to stay hydrated, so you should also consider moisturizing ingredients when you’re looking for the best soap for tattoos. Keeping your tattoo hydrated will help it heal more quickly.

Typically soaps with ingredients like aloe vera and glycerin indicate a moisturizing soap that works well for newly tattooed skin. You should look for soothing ingredients that nourish the skin, such as vitamins A and B, to keep your tattooed skin moisturized as it repairs the wound.

Soaps with anti-inflammatory properties are a plus, since they’ll ease some of the pain and discomfort during the tattooing process and as it’s healing.

Avoid any harsh cleansers that strip your skin of its natural oils.

Frequently Asked Questions

Squirting foam soap on a new tattoo.

How often should I wash my tattoo?

Your tattoo artist will clean and bandage your tattoo before you leave their shop. The timing for when you can remove the bandage varies anywhere from 3 to 24 hours, so make sure you ask the artist before leaving.

You should wash your tattoo within 24 hours of receiving it and continue to wash it two to three times each day to ensure the site stays clean and infection-free.

What soaps shouldn’t be used on my tattoo?

You shouldn’t use any soaps that contain harsh chemicals that could dry out your tattoo, smother it, or dull the vibrancy of its colors. In general, you should avoid using soaps that contain alcohol, parabens, and sulfates. These products could lead to itchy, dry skin around the tattooed area, which can damage the ink of your new tattoo.

How do I wash my new tattoo?

Your tattoo artist will give you specific instructions for aftercare, so make sure to discuss how to care for your new tattoo with them before leaving the shop.

Generally speaking, before washing a tattoo you should wash your hands well to get rid of any bacteria or germs. Then, using the tattoo soap, wash your ink gently with lukewarm water. Use your hands, rather than any kind of washcloth, since a washcloth may damage the skin.

After rinsing the soap from your tattoo, gently pat the area dry. You can repeat the process twice a day to make sure your tattoo site stays clean and free from any harmful bacteria that lead to infection.

Wrapping Up the 5 Best Soaps for Tattoos

Tattoo artist washing a tattoo with foam soap.

Washing your new ink is a crucial part of the healing process. Whether you’re looking for a tattoo cleanser that enhances color, or for a gentle cleanser for sensitive skin, we hope this guide on choosing the best soap for your tattoo has been helpful.

Now that we’ve talked about the best soaps for tattoos, check out our Best Tattoo Aftercare post for more excellent aftercare products for your new ink.

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