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Tattoo equipment sterilization

Often the individual tattoo fan will eventually take into consideration the possibility of doing ones own tattoos from home. While this is not always a bad thing, most states have laws that a person cannot perform tattoos without a clean and sterile environment. In the majority of cases, a health department official will come to the persons home/studio and inspect the area, making sure that he room meets certain levels of cleanliness. These levels are extremely high.

While the average at-home tattoo artist will consider this an unfair rule, as well as an invasion of privacy, the reasoning behind these laws are actually quite valid. Every single time a tattoo gun draws a line on a persons’ flesh, it punctures the skin thousands of times. The opportunity for infection in any given tattoo is enormous.

With that, we come to the realization that anyone, in-home or shop, absolutely must invest in tattoo sterilization supplies. What are these supplies? There are a few, but not quite as many as some would think. However, there is one main sterilization product that is used universally for hospitals and tattoo parlors alike. This will be our subject today.
First and foremost, every tattoo artist needs a machine called an autoclave. This particular piece of equipment is smaller than a microwave, in most cases, and uses a process of heat, pressure, and steam to achieve sterilization.

The autoclave process is fairly basic. Once a project is finished, the artist cleans his tools as best as he/she can with water. After that, they place them into a specially designed sterilization sensitive pouch. This pouch is then placed within the autoclave for a period of no less than 55 minutes. Most autoclaves have a 55-minute minimum setting. The tools are left in the autoclave until use.

Autoclaves can be purchased from virtually any major tattoo equipment distributor, but it is highly suggested that you buy a new one. Used ones will be cheaper, but you never know what you are getting or how long it will last. In the long run, you will likely save money by buying new.

On a final note regarding sterilization, before working on anyone, the artist should always sterilize his hands, arms and working area, as well as inspect themselves for any lacerations, cuts or abrasions.

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