How To Sterilize Tattoo Needles?

How To Sterilize Tattoo Needles
Tattoo needles really shouldn’t be used more than once, especially when tattooing different people. The tubes and other equipment, however, can be sterilized and used again. If you are tattooing yourself at home and are reusing needles, you need to be extremely careful on how you sterilize them.

  • Boiling in hot water, burning with a match or cleaning with alcohol does not sterilize a used tattoo needle;
  • With that said, there is only one way to properly and safely sterilize tattoo needles and equipment and that is by using an autoclave;

An autoclave uses extreme heat and pressure to kill off any living organism on the object it is cleaning and is the only true and safe way to disinfect. Here is how to sterilize your tattoo needles and equipment using an autoclave. Find an autoclave. Visit your local tattoo shop and ask the proprietor where he purchased his tattoo equipment.

You can also buy autoclaves at medical supply stores online or by checking eBay, Amazon or even Craigslist. Dental offices use autoclaves as well, so you can ask your dentist for information on where to purchase.

Set up your autoclave. Make sure that you follow the directions that come with your autoclave to ensure that it is properly set up for disinfecting. Pre-wash your needles and tubes. Put on a pair of heavy rubber gloves and an apron. Carefully scrub the equipment out with soap and water and leave in the soapy hot water to soak for 5 minutes.

Use the autoclave. Place the pre-washed needles and tubes in the autoclave bag or basket and place them in the autoclave machine. Make sure the water level is between the high and low level marks and turn it on.

Sterilize your needles and equipment. The average autoclave cycle is between 1 to 2 hours, but make sure to check the instructions for the specific machine you are using..

How do tattoo artists sterilize needles?

06. Use Dry Heat Sterilizer – You can use a dry heat sterilizer that will be worth and value-added to sterilize homemade tattoo needles. One type of dry heat sterilizer uses high steam to kill any germs and bacteria on the tattoo needle. It is another alternative to an Autoclave tattoo machine and chemical baths to sterilize a tattoo needle.

How to sterilize needles?

Download Article Download Article Sterilizing and disinfecting needles are two different things. While they both decontaminate, disinfecting only reduces the number of bacteria and contaminants and doesn’t guarantee safety from infection. Sterilization, on the other hand, completely removes all bacteria and microorganisms. If you need to sterilize a needle, make sure to take extra care to keep the needle uncontaminated until you use it.

  1. 1 Wear gloves. Before you handle any needles, you need to wear gloves. If you don’t have gloves, make sure you wash your hands (and wrists) thoroughly. [1]
  2. 2 Gather sterilized equipment. When you are sterilizing needles, you need to make sure that you don’t contaminate the needle after you sterilize it.
    • Use sterilized tongs or spoons to pick the needle out of whatever device you place it in. Don’t touch the newly sterilized needle with your hands or gloves. You could have contaminants on them.
    • Place the needle in a sterilized container if you are storing it. [2]


  3. 3 Wash the needle. Before you sterilize the needle, make sure to wash it. This removes any dirt, grime, or blood left on the needle. This is extremely important if you have used the needle before.
    • Make sure to clean inside the needle if it is hollow. Use a clean or sterilized syringe to run water and soap through the inside.
  4. 4 Rinse the needles. After washing the needles with soap or disinfectant, you need to rinse them with sterile water. Make sure to use sterile water instead of distilled water. Distilled water can still contain bacteria. You need to rinse the needles to make sure there are no deposits from the washing left behind. [3]
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  1. 1 Use steam. Steam is one of the most widely used and effective methods for sterilizing needles. No living thing can survive direct exposure to saturated steam at 250 degrees Fahrenheit (120 degrees Celsius) for longer than 15 minutes.
    • Use a steaming pot to do this. Put water in the bottom pot. When it starts to boil, place the needle in the pot with the holes over the boiling pot, then cover it with a lid. Let it steam for at least 20 minutes. [4]
    • An autoclave is a tool specifically made for sterilizing needles and other tools by steam. If you need to sterilize needles often and precisely, you may want to invest in one. [5]
  2. 2 Bake the needle. Wrap the needle in multiple layers of clean cloth. Bake the needle for 1 hour at 340 degrees Fahrenheit. [6]
    • This is one way to completely sterilize the needle by killing all the microorganisms. Make sure you leave it in the oven long enough. This method can be used to sterilize needles used for acupuncture, medical use, and piercings and tattoos. [7] [8]
    • Dry heat can cause the needle to become brittle.
  3. 3 Use fire. Use a gas-fueled fire because they leave less residue behind. Place the needle tip in the flame until it glows red. [9]
    • Sterilizing a needle in a flame is good for home use, but doesn’t get completely sterile because the needle can pick up contaminants in the air afterward. [10]
    • If there are any soot or carbon deposits on the needle, wipe it with a sterile gauze pad. [11]
    • This method is effective for removing a splinter, but is not the most sterile. Therefore, it is not recommended for piercing, tattooing, or medical uses. [12]
  4. 4 Boil the needle in water. One way to sterilize a needle is to drop it in boiling water. After you wash and rinse your tools, cover them with water and boil them for 20 minutes. Start counting the 20 minutes after the water has reached a boil.
  5. 5 Use chemicals. You can sterilize a needle by using chemicals. You can soak a needle in medical ethanol, bleach, 70% isopropyl alcohol, or 6% hydrogen peroxide. Make sure they stay submerged for at least 20 minutes before taking them out. If you use drinking alcohol, choose the strongest alcohol you can, such as gin, and allow it to soak for 1 day. [13]
    • Clean the needles thoroughly before sterilizing them since even the slightest contamination can prevent the chemicals from working.
    • Do not use chemicals to sterilize needles that you’d use inside the womb.
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Add New Question

  • Question Can I boil my plastic syringes and needles to reuse for cattle? Marsha Durkin is a Registered Nurse and Laboratory Information Specialist for Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in Illinois. She received her Associates Degree in Nursing from Olney Central College in 1987. Registered Nurse Expert Answer
  • Question Can these methods be used on clean a needle for re-administering fluids to a dog? Marsha Durkin is a Registered Nurse and Laboratory Information Specialist for Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in Illinois. She received her Associates Degree in Nursing from Olney Central College in 1987. Registered Nurse Expert Answer Support wikiHow by unlocking this expert answer. I don’t know if I would use this technique if your syringe and needle are all one piece, as many subcutaneous syringes are. Subcutaneous syringes can be purchased at the pharmacy with a prescription from your veterinarian; they are sold in small bags of 50 or 100 syringes.
  • Question How do I sterilize my diabetic meter? Luba Lee, FNP-BC is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and educator in Tennessee with over a decade of clinical experience. Luba has certifications in Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), Emergency Medicine, Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Team Building, and Critical Care Nursing. She received her Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) from the University of Tennessee in 2006. Master’s Degree, Nursing, University of Tennessee Knoxville Expert Answer

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  • Don’t pop a blister. The skin keeps the wound sterile and helps it to heal.
  • Avoid touching the ends of the needle after sterilizing it.
  • Do not ever attempt to sterilize and reuse a disposable needle. They are not meant to be reused and could transmit deadly infections.


Do you need to disinfect used tattoo needles?

How To Sterilize Tattoo Needles: 7 Alternative Ways To Sterilize The Unopened Needles – Required time, specific precautions are mandatory to sterilize a tattoo needle in any tattoo shop. This chapter teaches you how to sterilize tattoo needles and the stainless steel needle bar that you don’t use yet.

  1. Before following any sterilization methods, make sure you put on gloves and never try to sterilize tattooing equipment, only surfaces;
  2. Note: This guide is only for those who want to purify the unopened tattoo equipment;

We don’t encourage you to disinfect the used tube or needles. According to health-related articles, it’s better to use disposable tubes, any tattoo needle cartridge, or appropriate equipment for tattooing and dispose of them after use once. We broke down why you shouldn’t sterilize used needles or other equipment at the beginning of this article. How To Sterilize Tattoo Needles.

Can You sterilize a used tattoo gun?

Can You Sterilize And Reuse Needles? – First off, you can’t sterilize a used needle, tattoo cartridges, tattoo gun , or tattoo pen fully, and it gets worn out & doesn’t remain sharp at all. So, there is a high risk of spreading infection. And of course, you will have a tough time getting ink in and do more and more damage to your skin.

  1. Secondly, most of the new needles of tattoos these days are disposable;
  2. It means using it once and throwing it away in the plastic bag;
  3. Indeed, there is no way to reuse the needle by sterilizing;
  4. Indeed, you can’t just sterilize tattoo needles and reuse them;

If you show the dare to use it on your body, be ready to get your blood poisoned & die. We recommend you use fresh and new needles or disposable tattoo tubes every time, and they are freaking cheap. .