How to Clean Tattoos With Rubbing Alcohol

Written by stacy d. cooper
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How to Clean Tattoos With Rubbing Alcohol
Prevent infection by wiping tattoos with rubbing alcohol before fixing them. (tatuaje 3 image by DAVIDE CARDELLO from

Isopropyl alcohol, also known as rubbing alcohol, is a common disinfectant. It kills bacteria and germs and prevents infection and prepares skin for the invasive tattooing process. When you need a tattoo repaired, the skin will have to be prepared in the same manner it would be if you were receiving a new tattoo. Rubbing alcohol has other uses, though. It liquefies ink and can be used as an inexpensive temporary tattoo remover, which means it should not be used on an unhealed tattoo.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Cotton balls
  • Rubbing alcohol wipes
  • Spray bottle
  • Rag or paper towel

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  1. 1

    Dip a cotton ball into rubbing alcohol, place on the temporary tattoo and firmly rub until the ink is removed.

  2. 2

    Fill a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol and spray it on the tattoo; pat dry with a rag or paper towel. In addition to disinfecting the tattoo, it will "take away the itch" from a healing tattoo, according to the Sharp Tattoos' website.

  3. 3

    Wipe the tattooed skin with a rubbing alcohol wipe or a cotton ball that has been dipped into rubbing alcohol. This will prepare the skin to be retattooed and help prevent infection.

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