How Can I Clean/ Sterilize My Tattoo Equipment Using Ultrasonic Cleaner?

how to sterilize tattoo equipment

Your dirty and unhygienic tattoo gun/equipment can be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria, viruses, and pathogens that can cause severe infection to a person getting tattooed.

After putting up a tattoo on the body, tattoo equipment (especially the needles and tube) gets clogged due to the blood and the ink.

If reused without sanitizing, the deposited blood pathogens can spread the infection to another user.

Therefore, focusing on cleaning tattoo equipment is essential for a body art maker or a tattoo expert.

This will not only enhance the confidence in the tattoo deliverance but also ensure the safety and security of the tattoo maker and his customers.

While you are looking out for some tips and techniques on how to clean or sterilize tattoo equipment, you can find numerous of them online.

However, you need to take into consideration the most reliable cleaning methods and products (such as autoclave and ultrasonic cleaner for tattooing) that can help.

Best Ultrasonic Cleaner for Tattoo Equipment

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Cleaning tattoo equipment with an ultrasonic cleaner device is a way to ensure that the best tattoos are delivered to the customers in a safe, hygienic, and healthy manner.

As it helps in killing all the blood pathogens accumulated on the tattoo equipment, your customers do not impose any risk of getting infected at all.

It is not only convenient but also an affordable must-have machine for all tattoo shop owners.

Here we list down the top 5 best ultrasonic cleaners for a tattoo shop that can be considered while buying.

You can check the detailed reviews and consumer ratings before making a final buying decision.

1- iSonic CDS300 Professional Cleaner

Manufactured by a leader in ultrasonic cleaning, the iSonic Professional ultrasonic cleaner DS300 is an ideal device for sanitizing your tattoo supplies at a tattoo shop.

The 40000 Hz frequency wave technology of this compact machine breaks up all the deposited dried ink pigments on tips, tubes, and tattoo equipment parts very easily.

And due to this, all you can expect is finely cleaned tattoo equipment.

Key features of the unit include:

  • Two wafer transducers
  • 9Qt/0. 8L tank capacity
  • Touch-sensing controls & plastic basket
  • Digital timer with 5 Settings, 10 minutes maximum

In addition, the device also comes with a cooling fan and a detachable power cord that makes cleaning the equipment effective and easier.

Not to mention, if you are concerned about the safety of the device, it comes with five international safety certifications that include GS for Germany – one of the toughest safety standards assuring the highest quality.

2- TruSonik Ultrasonic Cleaner

The TruSonik digital ultrasonic cleaner with 2.5L capacity is another best cleaning machine for tattoo equipment and other tattoo supplies.

If you need an advanced cleaning machine with additional pro features, this is the machine to go with.

This tattoo cleaning machine has a built-in heater that can heat the solution up to 130 degrees Fahrenheit (55 degrees Celsius).

This commercial-designed machine also includes a stainless steel body with an inner basket which makes the machine more durable and long-lasting.

TruSonik ultrasonic cleaners offer the Frequency Sweep feature – a built-in automatic frequency micro-adjustment feature.

This delivers you the maximum fluid penetration and cleaning power irrespective of what cleaning solution you use.

Other additional features include:

  • Digitally computer-controlled heating and cleaning cycle
  • Maximum of 55 minutes of cleaning time (most of the cleaners come with a max of 30 min cleaning time)
  • Complete 1-year warranty and after-sales support
  • CE & RoHS approved

Above all, you can clean not only all your tattoo supplies but also your jewelry items, dental equipment, gun parts, car parts, and much more.

3- Limplus Tattoo Ultrasonic Cleaner

The Limplus LS-04 Tattoo Ultrasonic Cleaner with 180W and 4-liter capacity is another best ultrasonic cleaner for tattooing, which comes at a great price for professional users.

The device makes all your cleaning and degreasing easier, and you need not use organic solvents for this. It can even clean all the unreachable parts of the items to remove all the dirt and grime.

It comes with:

  • LED screen
  • SUS lid to reduce noise
  • Indicator light
  • Mechanical timer (up to 30 min) & heater (from 20~80C adjustable)

The device finds great use not only in tattoo shops but also in jewelry shops, labs, watch repair shops, dental clinics, etc.

4- NEW Digital Ultrasonic Cleaner

The NEW Digital Ultrasonic Cleaner is another great machine for cleaning your tattoo supplies.

It comes with 0.6 Liters (600ml) tank capacity and uses the cavitation process for efficient cleaning.

A removable mesh tray is provided with the unit for enhanced and safe cleaning.

This best ultrasonic cleaner for tattooing also includes a transparent lid with blue light which enables you to view the cleaning process.

Also, it includes the memory feature, which is useful during power failure.

The digital program is provided for controlling the unit and functioning.

Varied working cycles are provided (ranging from 90-480 seconds), and you can use the machine for cleaning as per your requirement.

Upon starting the operation, you can immediately see the machine in action and how it works wonderfully in separating the dirt into the water in just a few minutes.

Some of the advanced features of the machine include:

  • Powerful ultrasonic transducer
  • Five adjustable cycles with a digital display
  • Radiator for longer working time
  • Secured circuitry design added with moisture-proof PCB A

How to Clean and Sterilize a Dirty Tattoo Equipment?

Tattoo gun

Cleaning your equipment is an important step before we start sterilizing the machine.

Needles, tubes, and other parts should be dissembled while doing this.

The dissembling of the tattoo equipment may vary from machine and brand you use.

And you can get the proper steps for doing this in a user manual provided by the manufacturer when the equipment was bought.

After properly disabling the machine, you just need to perform the basic cleaning steps. Wash these tattoo equipment parts with good quality anti-bacterial soap and tap water.

After the basic cleaning of your tattoo equipment device, sterilization is an important step that should be performed carefully.

You can do this by using machines such as ultrasonic cleaners and autoclaves.

1- Using Autoclave Sterilizer

Using autoclaves for cleaning tattoo guns and parts is the most recommended way to sterilize the equipment.

It is a machine that produces high pressure and heat to decontaminate and sterilize the equipment.

  • For cleaning, take the bags filled with needles, tubes, and other parts to be sterilized.
  • Place these bags in the different sterilization trays of an autoclave machine.
  • Now fill the autoclave tank with distilled water and turn on the machine
  • Leave it on for 1 to 2 hours to get the items cleaned in each bag
  • As soon as the temperature becomes normal, take the bags out and open them
  • Dry the parts properly and finally assemble the machine for the fresh usage

Sterilizing your tattoo equipment is not a challenging job anymore with the availability of professional devices such as an autoclave.

But you should face the fact that using such professional devices can be expensive too. Also, you need to follow all the regulations as implemented by your state.

2- Using An Ultrasonic Cleaner

People who don’t want to invest lots of money buying autoclave devices can use an ultrasonic cleaner machine for tattoo equipment.

Using this method, you can sterilize your tattoo machine without using an autoclave, and the good thing is it’s relatively less expensive.

  • Fill the ultrasonic cleaner’s tank with about 250- 500 ml of water (as per the indication and tank capacity)
  • Put the dissembled tips, tubes, and grips of tattoo equipment into an ultrasonic cleaning tank.
  • Turn On your digital ultrasonic cleaner device and set up the cleaning time of the device as per the indications of the cleaning device used.
  • Take the parts of the tattoo equipment device out after about 5-10 minutes and rinse them with clean tap water.
  • Dry all the parts naturally and assemble them again for use

It should be noted that these tattoo gun cleaners, although effective, do not kill the bacteria such as HIV.

These can only be cleaned and decontaminated by using professional machines such as autoclave sterilizers.

For this reason, most professional tattoo artists use autoclave tattoo equipment sterilizer machines for complete sterilization of their guns and equipment.

How to know if the tattoo equipment is clean?
One good way to know it is by looking at a tattoo shop. If there is trash all over the place or if the shop itself does not seem to be clean, most probably the equipment used is also not properly sterilized.
Ultrasonic Cleaner Vs Autoclave

Ultrasonic Cleaner vs. Autoclave: What’s the Difference?

The basic difference between an autoclave and an ultrasonic cleaner is that an autoclave makes use of high temperatures and steam to clean and remove bacteria, viruses, or germs. At the same time, an ultrasonic cleaner uses high-frequency sound waves to do the cleaning.

In general, the autoclave is a device that uses high temperatures and heat for cleaning and for getting rid of dirt, bacteria, viruses, etc.

On the other hand, Ultrasonic cleaning devices utilize high-frequency sound waves.

As the process is performed using high-frequency electrical energy, it presents the ability to clean the tenacious material from the core units.

Professionals sometimes recommend using ultrasonic cleaners first and then autoclaves for cleaning the same item. This way, you can get the most effective sterilization of the item.

How to Sanitize Tattoo Equipment Without An Autoclave?

Let’s face the fact: Professionally used tattoo machines do not come cheap!

The price of a tattoo machine usually depends on the kit size and what is actually included in it. Starting from $50 for beginners, it may go as high as $1000 for professionals.

And it’s better to keep them protected rather than buying a new one more often.

The procedure of cleaning tattoo equipment (in an autoclave tattoo sterilizer), although expensive, delivers the most authentic and reliable results.

However, if you are an expert DIYer and use a tattoo pen kit to deliver the tattoos at home, you can use a much cheaper option that does not require buying any machines.

Follow these simple steps to ensure your tattoo equipment is hygienically sanitized before and after every use. Here we go with the steps involved:

Step 1:

The very first step of the sterilizing process is to buy a suitable chemical-based germicide.

Make sure you buy a disinfectant liquid that has properties to kill bacteria and viruses that are deposited as contamination on your tattoo needle.

Step 2:

Once a suitable germicide is purchased make sure you carefully read and understand all the instructions.

This is an important task as every brand of the chemical has its own varying time for sterilization.

Step 3:

The next process is to get proper glassware that could hold your tattoo equipment and pour the germicide solution into it. Allow the tattoo equipment to soak in it for 2-3 hours.  

Step 4:

After the designated time for sterilization is over, gently remove the equipment from the solution. Place it on a clean surface and let it dry naturally.

The equipment is now sterilized and ready to be used to showcase your artistic talent to the next willing customer.

Remember that you use suitable hand gloves and goggles as the chemical used in the process could be harmful to the skin and human eyes.