Different ways to clean tattoo machines
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The use of Ultrasonic cleaners is by far one of the most effective methods of cleaning the intricate parts of a tattoo machine (back tubes, grips, and during the tattooing process the needles)
To date, there is no other system of cleaners that is as effective at cleaning normally inaccessible or the hard to reach areas. The ultrasonic utilize microscopic bubbles which are able to penetrate even the smallest of screw threads, and in between the needles.
Ultrasonic have a couple of jobs in a tattoo shop, one being one more step prior to the sterilization of back tubes, and grips. This step aids in breaking up any hardening ink within the tube, and allows them to be cleaned by running a pipecleaner through the tubes. This of course is not a replacement for the autoclave, instead it should be used in cooperation with it.
Most artists will opt to use an ultrasonic throughout the tattooing process, to aid in keeping the needles free of hardened ink, and between colors. To prevent cross-contamination a plastic cup should be used within the ultrasonic, firstly filling the ultrasonic with water, and then the plastic cup. Your artist will periodically dip the tube and needle into the ultrasonic to clean it of any debris.
The Ultrasonic is an environmentally friendly alternative to harsh solvents which could leave a harmful residue on the back tubes and grips. It provides a safer environment for artists, and clients alike. One of the highest benefits of the Ultrasonic is its ability to cut the cleaning time by at least half, and is a non destructive way to produce a consistent cleaning result.
If you aren’t sure if your artist is using an ultrasonic, all you need do is ask. Most artists are willing to walk you through the procedures commonly used at their shop. An educated client, is a happy client.
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