Everything You Need To Know About The Best Soap For Tattoos

best soap for tattoos

Keeping your skin clean is important at the best of times. It’s even more important if you’ve recently got a tattoo.

Do you have concerns about keeping your tattoo irritation-free?

Are you worried that by using any old soap, you will be causing irreversible damage to your new artwork? You might be right!

What with tattoos being such big business nowadays ( 45 million Americans have at least one!), there are a large number of soaps available on the market.

But how do you know which ones are the best soaps for tattoos?

This article will help you understand what you need to know when it comes to choosing an antibacterial soap for tattoos.

It also offers five of the best soaps available to help you keep your skin clean and your tattoo fresh!

5 Soaps To Keep Your Skin Clean & Tattoo Fresh







Buy Now

H2Ocean Blue Green Foam Soap

H2Ocean Blue Green Foam Soap

1.7 Oz



Tattoo Goo Deep Cleansing Soap

Tattoo Goo Deep Cleansing Soap

2 Oz



Dial Antibacterial Liquid Hand Soap

Dial Antibacterial Liquid Hand Soap

7.4 Oz



H2Ocean Blue Green Liquid Soap

H2Ocean Blue Green Liquid Soap

16 Oz



Dove Beauty Bar

Dove Beauty Bar

4 Oz



Different Types Of Soap For Tattoos

Soaps, whether designed for tattoos or not, come in many different varieties.

When considering soap for tattoos you must look for fragrance-free, mild, antibacterial soaps.

These can come in many forms and preference will vary from person to person. It often depends on your personal hygiene routine.

Bar Soaps

Bar soaps require you to roll the bar in your hand to create a lather.
They're easy to find in mild and fragrance-free form, and can often contain natural ingredients.

Bar soaps are generally more drying than liquid soaps.

That means that when you’re using a bar soap on your tattoo it’s best to be used in conjunction with a lotion or moisturizer.

Liquid Soaps

Whilst liquid soaps won’t dry out your skin as much as bar soaps, they can be trickier to apply.

It’s easy for the liquid to slip through your fingers and the use of a loofah or cloth should be avoided so no further irritation is caused.

However, liquid soaps that take on more of a gel-type consistency can be easier to apply and will help moisturize your skin.

Foaming Soaps

Foaming soaps are essentially liquid soaps that have added air.

They create a rich, moisturizing lather through a pump-action style dispenser, and will often last quite a while.

Because of the higher air content, they're often cheaper than their liquid counterparts, but may offer a less thorough clean.

Brands Of Soap For Tattoos

soap for tattoos

Tattoo Goo

If you’re after a brand of soap that has been specifically designed for use during tattoo after-care, look no further than Tattoo Goo.

They're a highly reputable brand that has been around since 1998.

All the ingredients found in Tattoo Goo Soap are natural, allergen-free and tested by dermatologists. They'll help promote the healing process.

Tattoo Goo Soap also ensures the area around your tattoo is kept thoroughly clean.


H2Ocean are another brand that has been designed and created with tattoos in mind.
Once again, they use natural ingredients to avoid further irritation.

 The main components are sea salt and water to offer natural cleansing and antibacterial properties.

Some of their soaps offer pain relief as well as cleansing to help your healing time be a more pleasant experience.


When it comes to soaps, you’d be hard pressed to not have heard of Dove. A leading brand in the hygiene and beauty industry, their soaps are mild and effective.

Their bar soaps are gentle and moisturizing, therefore they don't dry out your skin.

Dove does not cater specifically for those who have a new tattoo. However, due to the fact that they're fragrance-free and mild, they're appropriate for use on newly tattooed skin.


Dial offer a large variety of different types of soap.

Like Dove, their products have not been specifically designed with the tattoo consumer in mind, but they do have extensive antibacterial properties in both their liquid soap and bar soap.

Dial products will help keep your tattooed area clean and free from further infection. They're generally significantly cheaper than many other soap brands.

The Top 5 Soaps For Tattoos

1. H2Ocean Blue Green Foam Soap

H2Ocean Blue Green Foam Soap

H2Ocean Blue Green Foam Soap offers a gentle clean that's packed with cleansing properties.

The foaming solution is easy to apply, even to large tattoos.

It contains aloe vera to help soothe the pain that comes with getting a tattoo.

The addition of aloe vera also makes it a wonderful soap for those with sensitive skin.

Your skin will be hydrated and nourished, which will help in both the healing of your tattoo and the longevity of the artwork.

H2Ocean Blue Green Foam Soap is mild enough to be used several times a day, ensuring that your tattooed skin stays clean all the time.

It’s on the upper end of the price scale, even when compared to other tattoo-specific products. The foaming style of soap means that it lathers well.

You might find it very expensive, however, if you have a large tattoo, as you'll use up the product quite quickly!

2. Tattoo Goo Deep Cleansing Soap

Tattoo Goo Deep Cleansing Soap

Offering antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, Tattoo Goo Deep Cleansing Soap is one of the best soaps for new tattoos.

Designed specifically for use on tattooed skin, it’s gentle but also deep cleansing, meaning you're unlikely to experience an infection or further irritation of your tattooed area.

Only a small amount of soap is required. It can be added to water to make spreading the soap over the tattooed area a little easier.

When compared to other soaps that have been designed specifically for use on a new tattoo, the price is very reasonable.

However, many other generic soaps may do a good job for a fraction of the cost.

3. Dial Antibacterial Liquid Hand Soap

Dial Antibacterial Liquid Hand Soap

If you're looking for a cheap, but high-quality antibacterial soap to clean your tattooed skin, look no further than Dial’s Antibacterial Liquid Hand Soap.

Whilst it hasn’t been designed specifically for use on recently tattooed skin, it’s still highly recommended by many tattoo artists.

It's one of the most effective antibacterial soaps for tattoos.

The pump action bottle makes application a breeze and the liquid-gel formula allows the soap to be spread easily.

The best thing about Dial Antibacterial Hand Soap is the price. It’s far cheaper than any other soap and comes in a significantly larger size, making excellent value for money.

Users with sensitive skin are advised to test the soap first. That's because it does contain fragrance chemicals which have the potential to cause redness and irritation.

4. H2Ocean Blue Green Liquid Soap

H2Ocean Blue Green Liquid Soap

H2Ocean have created some of the best soaps for tattoos, and their liquid soap is no exception.

It contains aloe vera to help soothe any irritation that comes with receiving a new tattoo.

The fact that it's paraben and fragrance-free means that there's unlikely to be further irritation.

H2Ocean Blue Green Liquid soap has antibacterial properties to reduce the risk of infection. 

Whilst it’s far more expensive than its foaming counterpart, it comes in a much larger size and will last longer, even when used on large tattoos.

The type of bottle can make it tricky to dispense, but it’s worth persevering with to help keep your skin and tattoo in the best condition possible.

5. Dove Beauty Bar

Dove Beauty Bar

Dove is a reputable soap brand, even if their products haven't been designed specifically for tattooed skin.

The ultra-mild formula, along with the fact that the soap bar contains ¼ moisturizer, makes it a very desirable soap to be using after getting a tattoo.

It’s gentle enough to be used several times a day and won’t dry out your skin.

The bar-style soap is easy to lather and therefore helps you feel like you’re giving your skin a thorough clean.

However, it does lack antibacterial properties so it does leave the tattooed area open to infection if it's not treated by another product.

How frequently do I wash my tattoo with soap?

Keeping your tattoo clean is a crucial aspect of aftercare, and it’s important to get this part right in order to preserve the quality of your tattoo.

You may want to wash the skin several times on the first day – after taking off your bandage, as well as every so often if you feel it’s getting a bit… ‘gunky’!

From there, I’d recommend cleaning your tattoo at least twice a day during the early stages.

While I’d suggest staying clean, don’t over-wash yourself! Try and have quick showers to avoid prolonged exposure to water.

In the early stages of the healing process, your tattoo may look a little oozy and there may be some dried blood.

When cleaning, avoid the temptation to scratch or scrub this off as your flannel/ loofah probably has some bacteria on it that will irritate the skin.

Be gentle to your body and wash the tattooed area each morning and night while it’s healing.

Add in an extra shower session if you work out or sweat a lot!

Sweat left on the skin can cause irritation at the best of times, let alone when you have a brand new tattoo.

Be careful when drying the skin, too – pat it rather than rub it, and be kind to your skin!

You can also let your tattoo air-dry if you don’t have paper towels or a freshly-washed towel to hand.

Follow this with lots of lotion – check out our guide on the best lotions for new tattoos.

When should I stop using soap on my tattoo?

This is mainly up to your body! The cleaning process has to be pretty strict during the early stages of healing, as your tattoo is more prone to infection at this point.

After a few weeks, you should notice it changing and becoming settled into your skin.

The amount of time your tattoo takes to heal will depend on your body, as well as the size of the tattoo and where on your body it is.

I would still suggest cleaning it properly at least once a day for the first month or so, just to be on the safe side.

At this point, there should be no more excess ink or pus coming from your tattoo. If there is, pop back to the studio and speak to a professional.

Use a safe, anti-bacterial soap for the first week or so, and wash as suggested above.

After this, you can normally switch to a regular soap, providing it’s alcohol-free and not packed with chemicals.

We all know that tattoos are (in most cases, at least) for life, and so is a good regimen when it comes to keeping them well looked after.

Using safe products on your tattoo is important at all stages of having it, so use something as natural as possible and follow any additional aftercare guidance your tattoo artist gives you!

What they say is the final word, so pay attention and stick to their suggestions.

Why should my soap NOT contain alcohol?

I know, this part is confusing because we’re often taught that using alcohol can help combat issues with germs and infections.

Sure, anti-bacterial soap that contains alcohol can seem like a great idea, but when it comes to tattoos, it’s best avoided!

Putting alcohol on to your skin will essentially draw the ink out of it instead of being beneficial.

Alcohol encourages the ink to leak or bleed, and may affect the quality and appearance of your tattoo in a short space of time.

Soaps containing alcohol will potentially strip some color from your tattoo, and can also leave your skin feeling burnt and very tender.

Not only that, the alcohol in them will dry your skin out – the exact opposite of what should be happening after a tattoo.

The whole point of using a lotion during the healing process is to keep the skin under your tattoo nice and supple so that it doesn’t crack.

sing a soap with alcohol will undo all your hard work and may affect the quality of your new ink.

Play it safe and go for one of our recommendations, or chat to your tattooist about aftercare before you get inked.

Soap For Tattoos Buying Guide

When buying the best soap for new tattoos, there are a few major factors you need to consider.

These factors help prevent further irritation, infection, and will help keep your tattoo looking clear and colorful.

Many household brands have been found to do a nice job of keeping your tattooed area clean, but tattoo-specific products have also found their way to the market.

Make sure your chosen soap has the following properties:


Whilst it may be appealing to use a lovely smelling soap, it can actually cause your skin and tattoo some damage.

The fragrance in soap, and other skincare products, is often created using nasty chemicals and toxins.

These should be avoided at the best of time, but especially when you’re caring for a relatively new tattoo when the last thing you want is redness, itchiness and irritation.


Mild soaps don't contain any harsh ingredients. Instead, they're made up of natural and organic components.

This eliminates the chance of suffering further redness or irritation.

Antibacterial / Antimicrobial

To avoid infection on the area covered by your tattoo, your soap needs to offer some antibacterial or antimicrobial properties.

Sometimes these are scented, but they can still be great for your skin providing you don't suffer any adverse reactions.

In Conclusion

Keeping your new tattoo clean is essential for both the quality of your tattoo and the health of your skin.

Finding the best soap for tattoos can be a time-consuming task and one that is often filled with painful trial and error.

You needn't worry anymore! This article has helped you find the highest quality and most effective soaps for tattoos. All you have to do is lather up!