6 Best Antibacterial Soaps for New Tattoos – Healing & Aftercare

6 Best Antibacterial Soaps for New Tattoos – Healing & Aftercare

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Article updated: April 26, 2023

If you’re looking for the best antibacterial soap for new tattoos, I salute you — because you clearly understand the importance of tattoo aftercare.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when getting a new tattoo is assuming that all of the necessary work is completed by the tattoo artist in the shop. And that’s just simply not true.

Sure, the tattoo itself is completed by the tattoo artist, but the ever important aftercare routine becomes your responsibility once you walk out of the door. In fact, the following hours, days, and weeks is the most crucial time for a brand new tattoo.

Believe it or not, how you approach your aftercare routine during this time can make or break the appearance of your tattoo in the long run.

A man getting a black and grey tattoo.

An improperly cared for tattoo not only runs the risk of infection, but it can also result in blurry or faded designs. I’ve even witnessed some extreme cases of tattoos that lost large patches of ink from infection because the individual’s aftercare routine was basically nonexistent. Naturally this is something we want to avoid.

Considering the fact that a tattoo is expensive, time consuming, and painful, it only makes sense that we do everything we can to protect our investment.

One of the best ways to protect a new tattoo is to get yourself a good antibacterial soap. Like any decent tattoo artist will tell you, using antibacterial soap is one of the most effective — and easiest — ways to fight off bacteria and infection.

And since most antibacterial tattoo soaps are usually pretty cheap, it only makes sense to spend the extra cash when you consider the huge benefits.

A colorful floral tattoo design.

So in order to help you find the best antibacterial tattoo soap for your new ink, I compiled a list of the best — and highest rated — antibacterial soaps on the market. Each one of these soaps is full of ingredients that not only protect new tattoos from bacteria and infection, but they also help soothe the skin, moisturize, and even promote healing.

So without further ado, read on for my list of best antibacterial tattoo soaps for healing and aftercare.

The Lineup:

Best Antibacterial Tattoo Soaps Reviewed

H2Ocean – Blue Green Foam Soap

Top pick award for best antibacterial soap for new tattoos
Bottle of H2Ocean Blue Green Foam Wash tattoo soap

Take care of your new ink the all-natural way with H2Ocean Blue Green Foam Soap. Founded all the way back in 2001, H2Ocean is one of the original pioneers in tattoo and piercing care, and was the first company to introduce all-natural tattoo aftercare products to the marketplace. Their Blue Green Foam Soap utilizes the power of natural sea salt, aloe vera, and minerals to cleanse and hydrate new tattoos safely and effectively, and even help promote healing. If you’re looking for the best antibacterial tattoo soap for healing and aftercare, I highly recommend you check out H2Ocean Blue Green Foam Soap.

What I like about H2Ocean Blue Green Foam Soap:

• All-natural

If you’re anything like me, you prefer to avoid putting synthetic chemicals and ingredients on a healing tattoo. One of the things that I really like about H2Ocean Blue Green Foam Soap is that it’s formulated using only safe, all-natural ingredients. Considering the fact that a new tattoo is basically an open wound, this soap provides peace of mind knowing that potentially harmful chemicals aren’t being absorbed into the skin.

• Easy to use/pain free

You may be wondering: “What the hell could be so hard about using a soap? Aren’t they all easy to use?” While there isn’t anything difficult about using soap per se, it can however be painful and uncomfortable using soap on a fresh tattoo. H2Ocean on the other hand is designed to be different. Since it comes out of the bottle as a foam, it’s very easy to massage onto sensitive skin without having to work hard to build up a lather. It also doesn’t sting or burn like many soaps do on a fresh tattoo.

• Moisturizes

If you’re familiar with the healing process of a new tattoo, you already know how dry, cracked, and irritated it can become during the first few weeks. One of the great things about H2Ocean is that it contains moisturizing and soothing ingredients that noticeably reduce discomfort and dry skin during the healing process. Daily use results in skin that is less red, less dry, and less irritated.

• Helps relieve itch

Back when I got my first tattoo nobody warned me about the unbearable itch that would show up after the first few days. While tattoo itch is a normal part of the healing process, it sure as shit isn’t any fun to experience. One of the many benefits of using H2Ocean soap is that it contains natural sea salt which is highly effective at soothing dry, itchy skin.

• It’s pretty inexpensive

Considering the fact that it’s specifically formulated for a healing tattoo and it only contains natural ingredients — I say it’s pretty reasonably priced. Sure, it costs a little more than the average grocery store antibacterial soap, but I’m not very keen on putting that synthetic crap on a healing tattoo.

Alra Tattoo – Antibacterial Foam Wash

Bottle of Alra Tattoo Antibacterial Foam Wash

Another great all-natural tattoo soap is this Foam Wash from Alra Tattoo. Just like H2Ocean, this foaming soap from Alra Tattoo is formulated using only safe, all-natural ingredients that are designed to eliminate bacteria, soothe the skin, promote healing, and most importantly prevent infection. Containing only 3 total ingredients (yes, just 3), Alra Tattoo Foam Wash is a great option for people with sensitive skin, or whoever simply prefers to avoid washing their brand new tattoo with synthetic chemicals and ingredients. Aside from being all-natural, Alra Tattoo Foam Wash is also fragrance free (unscented), cruelty-free, gluten-free, and vegan friendly.

What I like about Alra Tattoo Foam Wash:

• It only contains 3 ingredients

Did you ever hear the phrase: less is more? I hope so because I can’t think of a more suitable term for describing this antibacterial soap from Alra Tattoo. The fact is a healing tattoo is basically an open wound. When it comes to treating an open wound, it’s important to avoid putting unnecessary chemicals and ingredients on it that may cause irritation or infection. That’s why this Alra tattoo soap contains only three all-natural ingredients that are safe and highly effective, without the need for unnecessary additives or synthetics. Here’s what’s inside:

  • Glycerin – A clear oil that is derived from plants, glycerin is an emollient that helps keep the skin soft, supple, and hydrated by attracting moisture to the skin and locking it in.
  • Potassium Olivate – Derived from olive oil, potassium olivate is an all-natural alternative to synthetic soaps and detergents and is used in this tattoo soap to kill harmful bacteria and prevent infection.
  • Water – Water is wet.

• Easy to use foam

New tattoos are pretty sensitive to the touch. Using an antibacterial soap that requires a lot of massaging into the skin to build a lather can often times be an uncomfortable process. One of the things that I really like about Alra Tattoo Soap is that exits the bottle as a foam. This allows it to be easily spread across the surface of the tattoo without having to apply pressure to the sensitive, inflamed skin. It also doesn’t burn, sting, or irritate on contact, which can be an issue with soaps that contain harsh chemicals and ingredients.

• Helps alleviate itch

One of the absolute worst symptoms of a healing tattoo is itchiness. That’s why I like aftercare products with ingredients that help alleviate this annoying skin discomfort. As you already know, Alra Tattoo Wash contains only three ingredients, one of which luckily helps relieve itch. Glycerin is not only known for it’s ability to moisturize the skin, but it also facilitates the healing of a bunch of skin discomforts and conditions including: cuts, burns, rashes, hives, and perhaps best of all — itchiness.

Tattoo Goo – Deep Cleansing Soap

Bottle of Tattoo Goo Deep Cleansing Soap

You may have heard of Tattoo Goo due to their very popular tattoo salve, but did you know they make a really awesome antibacterial tattoo soap as well? As a brand, Tattoo Goo has been around since the 90’s when they first introduced their popular aftercare salve to the tattoo scene. Fast forward to today and they now offer a long line of tattoo and piercing aftercare products including: lotion, SPF, cleansing swabs, piercing cleaner, and of course tattoo soap. Tattoo Goo’s Deep Cleansing Soap is specifically formulated to eliminate dirt, grime, and bacteria, while skin moisturizing ingredients soften the skin, hydrate, and even promote healing.

What I like about Tattoo Goo Deep Cleansing Soap:

• A little goes a long way

One of the things I don’t really like about Tattoo Goo’s Deep Cleansing Soap is the size of the bottle — it’s kind of small. The bright side however is that it is pretty cheap, and a little bit goes a long way. For small to medium sized tattoos you’ll only need a nickel sized amount of this stuff to get a nice lather, and a thorough, deep down clean.

• It reduces drying and cracking

Aside from the unbearable itch, my 2nd least favorite part of the tattoo healing process is definitely the feeling of dry, tight, cracked skin. While most soaps tend to strip the skin of moisture and make the problem worse, I find that Tattoo Goo Deep Cleansing Soap actually leaves the skin feeling noticeably smoother, softer, and more hydrated. While I still highly recommend using a good moisturizing ointment after washing your new tattoo, I give props to Tattoo Goo Soap for putting moisture into the skin — instead of stripping it all out.

• It’s painless

Unless you’re dealing with your first tattoo, you know what I’m talking about when I say the first few washes can sting like a bitch. One of the things I find pleasantly surprising about Tattoo Goo Deep Cleansing Soap is that it almost completely eliminates the burning and stinging feeling that occurs when washing a new tattoo. The ingredients are very mild and gentle, making it a good option for people with sensitive skin.

Hustle Helper – Antimicrobial Foaming Soap

A bottle of Hustle Helper Antibacterial Foaming Soap

Get your hustle on with Hustle Helper Antibacterial Foaming Soap. Just like their incredibly popular Hustle Butter tattoo cream, this tattoo soap is designed to be used during every stage of the tattoo process. That means it’s safe to use before, during, and after the tattoo process to keep your skin free of germs and bacteria, and to help prevent infection. Formulated with mostly natural ingredients — and a little bit of skin numbing lidocaine — this antibacterial tattoo soap not only kills germs and bacteria, it also nourishes, hydrates, and even reduces redness, swelling, and discomfort.

What I like about Hustle Helper Antibacterial Foaming Soap:

• It contains lidocaine

One of the stand out ingredients of this foaming tattoo soap is lidocaine. For those of you who don’t know what lidocaine is, it’s a local anesthetic (numbing agent) that blocks nerve signals in the skin — effectively reducing pain and discomfort. It’s a great before, during, and after option for people who prefer to avoid the pain associated with tattoos.

• It’s a foaming wash

When it comes to cleansing a new tattoo, I prefer to avoid as much direct pressure as possible — because that shit can really hurt. Since Hustle Helper is a foaming tattoo soap it’s very easy to massage onto the tender skin of a new tattoo without having to apply pressure to build a lather. This greatly reduces pain and discomfort. Another thing I really like about the foam is that a little bit goes a long way. Hustle Helper is a bit on the pricier side, so the fact that you don’t need to use much per application is a plus in my opinion.

• It has a nice scent

Just like their Hustle Butter cream, Hustle Helper soap doesn’t contain any synthetic scents or fragrances that could cause irritation or discomfort. Instead it has a very fresh, clean scent that is derived from safe, all-natural ingredients. The smell is pleasant without being too strong or overbearing, and is suitable for both men and women.

Essential Values – Green Soap

Bottle of Essential Values Tincture Green Soap

Cleanse your tattoo with the same type of soap your tattoo artist did before you left the shop. Green soap is the most common cleansing and disinfecting soap used by tattoo professionals. Tattoo artists typically keep it in spray or squeeze bottles and use it to thoroughly cleanse their clients new tattoos before bandaging them up. While the name “green soap” is a bit of a misnomer, — it’s actually kind of yellow — this stuff has been used and trusted for over 100 years to cleanse, sanitize, and disinfect skin, hair, and scalp. The Tattoo industry adopted it’s use due to it’s relatively low cost, ability to soothe the skin, cleanse, disinfect, and promote healing. While there are many manufacturers of green soap out there, I personally recommend you check out this green soap from Essential Values due to the fact they are USA based and FDA certified.

What I like about Essential Values Green Soap:

• It’s really cheap

When it comes to cleansing and disinfecting a new tattoo, you’ll be hard pressed to find a cheaper option than Essential Values Green Soap. Available in a large 16 ounce bottle, this soap is one of the cheapest per-ounce antibacterial tattoo soaps your going to come across. But don’t let the inexpensive price fool you. Green soap is well trusted by tattoo professionals and is used in tattoo shops all around the world.

• Soothes and cools

One of my favorite things about Essential Values Green Soap is it’s ability to soothe and cool the skin on contact. For the first few days after getting a new tattoo the skin can be very tender, sore, irritated, and swollen. Applying Green Soap during this time literally feels like pouring liquid relief over a new tattoo. That’s because Green Soap is formulated with glycerin and isopropyl alcohol — both of which are known for their ability to cool and soothe irritated skin.

• Not just for tattoos

As I mentioned earlier, green soap has been in use for well over 100 years. It was originally used in Europe as an everyday skin and hair cleansing soap, but nowadays it’s mostly used for medical purposes, and in tattoo and piercing shops. Some other uses for green soap include: hand wash, body wash, and even shampoo. Some people even use it as a safe alternative to home cleaning products due to it’s ability to sanitize and disinfect.

Provon – Antimicrobial Lotion Soap

Bottle of Provon Antimicrobial Lotion Soap

When it comes to tattoo aftercare, Provon Antimicrobial Lotion Soap has built itself a solid reputation with tattoo professionals. While it’s not strictly a tattoo soap, it is frequently recommended by tattoo artists as an excellent antibacterial soap for cleansing and disinfecting new tattoos. Provon is a USA based brand and is owned by Gojo Industries — the same company that makes Purell hand sanitizer and Gojo heavy duty hand soaps. Aside from Provon being an excellent antibacterial tattoo soap for preventing infection, it’s also highly moisturizing — hence “Lotion Soap” — and helps keep new tattoos nourished and hydrated.

What I like about Provon Antimicrobial Lotion Soap:

• A little bit goes a long way

While Provon does cost a bit more than your typical grocery store bought antibacterial soap, it does however last a hell of a lot longer. Just a small dab of this soap works into a rich lather that is capable of covering a lot of ground. If you’re the type of person who fully intends on getting more tattoos, Provon is great because the long-lasting bottle will always be there when you need it.

• It helps prevent drying and cracking

When it comes to getting tattoos, my least favorite part of the process is actually the healing part — not the time spent in the chair. The thing I don’t like about the healing process is that it takes much longer, and there are so many different uncomfortable phases that a healing tattoo goes through. One of which is the excessive drying and cracking phase. Although drying, cracking, scabbing, and pealing are all normal signs of a healing tattoo, that doesn’t make it any less uncomfortable. One of the things that I really like about Provon Antimicrobial Lotion Soap is that it contains skin moisturizing and soothing ingredients that greatly reduce tattoo dryness, cracking, and peeling. Here’s what’s inside:

  • Aloe vera – Sometimes described as a “wonder plant,” aloe vera is a plant species that is full of antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins, and it also contains anti-inflammatory properties. When applied to a healing tattoo, it exhibits a soothing and cooling effect and can greatly reduce skin irritation, redness, and inflammation.
  • Oleic acid – A fatty acid that is commonly found in eggs, meats, cheese, olive oil, and nuts. When used topically, it is known for it’s ability to calm the skin, moisturize, and even reduce skin irritation and sensitivity.
  • Coconut acid – A mixture of fatty acids that is derived from coconut oil. It’s a beneficial ingredient in this tattoo soap due to it’s ability to nourish and moisturize the skin. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe redness, irritation, discomfort and swelling.

• It soothes itch

If I haven’t made it clear already — I absolutely hate the itch that commonly accompanies a healing tattoo. One of the great things about Provon Antimicrobial Lotion Soap is that it effectively eliminates itch and even helps keep it at bay. Thanks to aloe vera and coconut acid — both of which have been shown to alleviate itch — Provon is a great antibacterial soap to have on hand when that unbearable tattoo itch starts kicking in.

Thanks for checking out my list of best antibacterial soaps for new tattoos. If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out my list of best tattoo aftercare ointments and lotions. As always, if you have any comments or questions, feel free to drop me a line in the comment section below.