If you’re the kind of fella who’s into body art, it’s likely you’ll understand the vital importance of looking after your tattoos.

A good tattoo lotion will help you keep your skin fresh and hydrated in those delicate early days—but did you know there is soap made especially for body art? Well, you do now.

Oh yes, the best soap for tattoos will help you avoid irritation or infection for the first few weeks after getting inked. These specialist suds will also help lock in those all-important lines and details, keeping your body art looking vibrant for longer.

But, as awesome as tattoo soap is, there are some real red herrings out there that will waste your time and money. Fortunately, we’re here to help.

Whether your skin is crammed with cartoons, you have a silky tattoo sleeve, or you’re a body ink newbie, here we’re going to explore the best soap to use for tattoos.

Ready? Let’s dive in.

Used alongside a quality lotion, this selection of ink-preserving super suds will help your skin stay healthy while making your body art pop.

 

Tattoos on knees
lob_bwh / Instagram

Mad Rabbit Refresh Wash

Size: 16oz | Skin Type: All | Antibacterial: No

As our overall best soap for tattoos, Mad Rabbit strikes the perfect balance between powerful, gentle, healing, and hydrating.

This top-notch soap feels luscious on the skin, and the best thing is that it contains ingredients like plant collagen to help your tattoos stay vibrant, defined, and fresh for longer. Oh, it comes in a generously sized bottle, too.

What We Like

  • The anti-aging ingredients
  • The lavish feel and consistency
Flaws But Not Dealbreakers

  • Some fellas might prefer something 100% organic

H2Ocean Blue Green Foam Soap

Size: 3.4oz | Skin Type: All | Antibacterial: No

The next in our best soap for tattoos hitlist comes from H2Ocean. Not only is this tattoo soap natural and unscented, but it also comes in the form of a no-rinse foam. You can add a dollop of this sweet aloe vera-infused foam in the morning and cleanse your tattoo within seconds.

You can also re-apply it to your brand new ink when you’re on the go. Convenient and healing in equal measures.

What We Like

  • The natural no-rinse foam
  • The healing aloe vera infusion
Flaws But Not Dealbreakers

  • Some fellas might prefer a more traditional soap and water-style product

Tattoo Goo Deep Cleansing Soap

Size: 3oz | Skin Type: Normal | Antibacterial: Yes

This antibacterial wonder is strong yet gentle and will protect your healing body art with a few swift sprays. It’s a fine addition to our best soap for tattoos list, indeed. Tattoo Goo is completely PH balanced and sports what we can only describe as a ‘subtly clean and organically clinical’ smell.

The great thing about this tidy little elixir is that a few sprays go a long way, making it an excellent value for the money.

What We Like

  • The strong yet delicate antibacterial qualities
  • The easy spray formula
Flaws But Not Dealbreakers

  • While it’s gentle, it’s not quite as natural as some other tattoo soaps

Green Soap Prep Wash

Size: 16.9oz | Skin Type: Normal | Antibacterial: No

Trusted by tattoo artists across the world, the aptly named Green Soap contains a blend of amazing sterilizing ingredients and packs a nostril-tingling peppermint punch.

This is a natural tattoo soap, but it’s excellent at removing any debris (like dried blood or skin, dirt, sandwich crumbs, etc.). And as it comes in a more than generous 16.9oz bottle, these suds will last you for some time.

What We Like

  • The tough blend of natural ingredients
  • The zingy peppermint punch
Flaws But Not Dealbreakers

  • Some dudes might prefer something a little milder

VI Tattoo Soap Sea Buckthorn Berry Tattoo Bar Soap

Size: 3.5oz | Skin Type: All | Antibacterial: No

Our best soap for tattoos in bar form, V1’s legendary buckthorn berry edition is crammed full of natural antioxidants and essential omega-7 acids that will keep your fresh ink hydrated and balanced while aiding the healing process.

You can get a lovely lather using this soap with minimal effort, and the buckthorn berry scent is pretty irresistible too. Lovely stuff.

What We Like

  • The traditional healing infusion of natural ingredients
  • The unique and moreish scent
Flaws But Not Dealbreakers

  • Not everyone likes a traditional bar-style soap

Recovery Tattoo Aftercare Soap

Size: 3.5oz | Skin Type: All | Antibacterial: No

For ink that’s fresher than Kool and The Gang, Recovery’s dedicated tattoo soap is a powerful cleansing tool. A smooth liquid soap, this balanced vegan formula is designed to get rid of any tough dirt or debris while getting into the pores and protecting the skin during those early stages of healing.

A couple of washes with this every day and your tattoo will stay looking funky fresh 24/7. Vegans no longer need to worry about the best soap for tattoos.

What We Like

  • The animal-friendly vegan formula
  • The skin hydrating ingredients
Flaws But Not Dealbreakers

  • You might need something a little more heavy-duty if you’re getting or have a big tattoo

After Inked Tattoo Aftercare Foam Cleanser

Size: 1.7oz | Skin Type: Normal to sensitive | Antibacterial: No

As a soap recommended by and made with the help of some of the world’s coolest tattoo artists, this punchy little product is super gentle to sensitive skin while removing any unwanted dirt, grime, or slime from your inked area.

Our best soap for use on tattoos that are healing, this is made with a bunch of brilliant eco-friendly ingredients. After Inked will help nurse your new tattoo back to health while making sure your skin doesn’t get dry and chapped (no one wants that).

What We Like

  • The planet-friendly ingredients
  • The gentle but reliable healing properties
Flaws But Not Dealbreakers

  • It comes in smaller doses than some other products on our list

Tattoo CARE Aftercare Kit

Size: 2 x 6.7oz | Skin Type: Normal to sensitive | Antibacterial: No

This hard-hitting double act is designed to cleanse and clear the skin while hydrating and healing it. Perfect for all skin types (especially guys with sensitive skin), this wildly popular tattoo aftercare kit is the ideal ritual for fresh ink.

Not only will it stop you from breaking out in an unsightly infection or questionable rash, but it will help prevent your tattoo from deforming while speeding up the healing process. 

What We Like

  • The hard-hitting dual-acting products
  • The quality ingredients and value for money
Flaws But Not Dealbreakers

  • Some guys might like to choose a more tailored soap and lotion combo

SkinSmart Antimicrobial

Size: 6oz | Skin Type: Sensitive | Antibacterial: Yes

An easy application to spray tattoo soap, this bad boy is made for fellas with slightly more sensitive skin.

Not only does this handy little formula help boost recovery times, but a couple of sprays is enough to cleanse and protect even the most delicate inked areas (yes, even around the nips). A gentle and sting-free skin cleaning giant.

What We Like

  • The fact that is made for sensitive skin
  • The easy spray applicator
Flaws But Not Dealbreakers

  • Some guys might prefer something that they can work into a lather

What To Look For When Buying The Best Soap For Tattoos

Now that you know all about the best soap to use for tattoos, let’s take a look at what to look for in a potential product.

Ingredients

First of all, looking at the ingredients of any tattoo soap is essential. A tattoo is basically an inky open wound, so making sure the ingredients used to make the best soap for tattoos are soothing to the skin is vital.

Generally, the more organic the ingredients, the better. Do a little research on your ingredients and try to steer clear of any harsh chemicals or super synthetic fragrances. That way, you’ll choose a soap that’s safe and will keep your ink infection or irritation free.

Skin type

Expanding on the last point, when considering the best soap for tattoos, you should always take your skin type into account.

If you have really dry or sensitive skin, make sure to choose a slightly more specialist soap. Some soaps for tattoos are made with extra hydrating or delicate ingredients and are likely to help you keep your skin balanced during the healing process. 

Fragrance

Some fellas prefer a fragrance while others prefer something a little more subtle and no-nonsense. Ultimately, the choice comes down to your personal preference.

But, a quick reminder: If you’re going for a fragranced tattoo soap, try to avoid any smells that are too synthetic (they’re not good for healing skin).

Antibacterial?

Last but certainly not least, you should decide whether you want a soap with magic antibacterial properties.

All good tattoo soaps help prevent irritation or infection, but if you’re having a big piece of body art done, choosing an antibacterial soap isn’t a bad idea as you’re trying to protect a large surface area.

dragon tattoo on arm
lob_bwh / Instagram

Final Verdict 

We hope our definitive guide to the best soap for tattoos steers you towards body art healing glory.

Mad Rabbit is our overall pick of the bunch as it offers a little something for pretty much every preference or skin type imaginable—but the other additions to our list are 100% worth considering.

Take the time to get to know these tattoo-taming products, consider your personal needs, and you will connect with your perfect body ink soap in no time.

For more inky inspiration, read our guide to the best tattoo-numbing creams around. Oh, and if you’re thinking about getting a new creation, check out our collection of 300 epic tattoo ideas for men.

FAQ

    • Using antibacterial soap for tattoos is generally a good idea, especially if you’re getting a big piece of body ink.

       

      Tattoos are basically open wounds, so keeping them clean and free from infection is vital—that’s where antibacterial soap comes in.

       

      But, if you have really sensitive skin, it’s worth checking the ingredients or an antibacterial soap first, as some of them aren’t quite as mild as regular tattoo soap

      • During the first two to three weeks, we recommend washing your ink with tattoo soap twice a day to keep it clean and balanced.

         

        After that, you can switch to a regular cleaning product or continue to use your tattoo soap during your daily grooming routine to keep the area feeling super fresh.

        • You can use mild organic regular soap to wash your tattoo, but you should always make sure the ingredients don’t dry your skin out too much, or you could end up getting an infection.

           

          As a general rule of thumb, we recommend using specialist soap for tattoos for two to three weeks after getting a new piece of body art.

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