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Cleaning a Tattoo at Work - How to do it without annoying your colleagues


Cleaning a Tattoo at Work - How to do it without annoying your colleagues

Andy Fawcett


Well whadya know. I didn't expect to see you around here so soon.  If you are a returning reader, welcome back, if you are a new reader then welcome for the first time.  Today i am going to be writing about the perils of cleaning your new tattoo at work.  How i do it and some hints and tips.  Note that this is my personal experience and you should consult your artist for their recommendations of tattoo aftercare.

So if you read the last tattoo post you will know that recently i have had another tattoo.  Its a bit crusty at the moment so i will be revealing the finished article as soon as i can get a decent picture of it.  All i will say is that my artist the leisure bandit has absolutely killed it and i can't wait to share the final piece.

Look After your New Tattoo and Listen to your Artists Recomendations

Anyway the method i use for my tattoo aftercare is as follows:

  • Directly following the tattoo the artist will clean and wrap the tattoo with a food grade clingfilm, depending on the area he may use surgical tape to prevent the clingfilm from riding up and revealing the tattoo to the elements. After all the tattoo is a wound and the clingfilm will prevent infection in the initial stages.
  • When home i leave the clingfilm on for at least 4 hours. So normally just before bed I will remove the initial wrap (i challenge anyone to resist having a sniff, i don't know why, but you do). Clean the tattoo with an antibacterial soap (unscented and without any additives or chemicals, i use a sensitive soap from Simple). Gently wash the tattoo and then carefully pat dry with a decent quality kitchen towel. Wrap the tattoo in clingfilm and get yourself some shut eye. I normally sleep in a sleeping bag to prevent any leakage onto bed sheets.
  • The next morning repeat and re-wrap. Now following my first tattoo my artist recommended to clean and re-wrap the tattoo for 24 hours after the tattoo. I've seen other people not follow this, i get a lot of colour in my ink, the colours have stayed vibrant from my first tattoo so i'm more than happy to continue this one.  However say you get a tattoo on a weekday, How do your follow these instructions at work? Read on my friend, read on.

The Accessable WC is your Friend

I work in an office building as a Civil Engineer, and although tattoos are much more common place these days, i still don't wan't people knowing that i have a new tattoo. It may be uncomfortable to be wrapped up under a shirt or trousers but grin and bear it. The time comes where you need to change your bandage, your boss sits next to you, then gents loo is obviously not the cleanest place. Make the accessible WC/Shower your port of call.  At least here you are able to take your shirt or trousers off and not have the risk of someone walking in on you crouched over the sink splashing water on your nether regions.  Just be careful to not pull the wrong chord ala Roy on the IT Crowd (incidentally the IT crowd is 10 years old, and my word it still makes me laugh). 

I take the antibacterial soap in sandwich bag, and kitchen towel with the clingfilm tube in the centre of it. When the time comes to nip into the Accessible loo, i pop the roll up my sleeve and away i go.  There is normally a sanitary bin in the disabled where you can pop the dirty clingfilm (again in the gents you have to carry this out the bin).

In my opinion the benefits of this are:

  • Cleaner
  • Privacy. Your boss walking in to see your superman pants and that new tattoo of a pokemon on your ass does not scream professionalism.
  • Less likely for someone to be waiting outside the door.
  • Easy disposal of dirty cling film.

So how would you clean your tattoo at work?  Is it not as frowned upon in this day and age?

I promise the next tattoo blog will reveal my tattoo - The Three Stages of Bill Murray. Have a read of a previous post to take a sneak peak.

Love n Stuff

Drewski @ DesignUntapped