October 8th, 2018 by
If you’re a talented tattooist and you’re thinking of starting your own studio, it can be quite a daunting prospect. Owning your own tattoo studio does come with a lot of extra responsibilities but it also comes with a lot of extra rewards. There’s a lot to consider when you’re starting your own tattoo business – location, advertising, hiring the right artists, installing the right flooring and fittings, registering your business and sorting your taxes to name but a few things – but there isn’t anything more important than hygiene when it comes to tattooing. When it comes to your tattoo studio’s hygiene, there’s no detail that’s too small, so read on for a complete guide to making your new tattoo studio safety compliant and hygienic.
What Equipment Do I Need to Start a Tattoo Studio?
You’ll probably know about the basics, like a tattoo machine, lots of safe ink, a steady supply of sterilised needles, a work light, and a tattooing chair. However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to getting started with your tattooing business! You need to make sure your business is spotless and fully compliant with UK health and safety laws. You’ll need to register your tattooing business with your local authority, so your local council website will likely have an information pack that’ll get you up to speed on the health and safety laws that you need to comply with.
Disinfecting Your Tattooing Station
Your tattoo station is where you and your clients will be spending the majority of your time. This means it needs to be kept clean and clear so you can work safely.
Couch Roll Dispensers for Your Tattoo Chair
Couch rolls that cover your tattoo chair are an essential part of tattooing. They keep your work area hygienic by rolling out a layer of paper for your client to sit on that you can simply dispose of when you’re done. You’ll be using couch rolls constantly to cover your tattoo chair, so it’s important that you get a robust couch roll dispenser that can deal with repeated use. If you push the boat out on anything, push the boat out on this as it’s something you’ll be using over and over again and you don’t want it breaking on you!
Disinfectant Wipes for Tattooing
The only thing you’ll be using more than your couch roll dispenser is your disinfectant wipe dispenser. You’ll already know how many disinfectant wipes you go through when tattooing, but it’s important to have a sturdy wipe dispenser that can cope with regular use and that’s easy to use. It’s important not to take your wipe dispenser for granted – with regular use, cheaper models can quickly wear down and break – so it’s best to pick up a quality durable model from a recognised brand like Wipepod.
Disinfectant and Surface Cleaner for Tattoo Studios
It’s best to kit yourself out with a couple of different disinfectants as you’ll have to disinfect every surface in your tattoo studio regularly. That means you’ll need to regularly wipe down your workspace, as well as your flooring, waiting area, sink, and anywhere else that people regularly come into contact with. You can use a trigger spray to quickly and effectively wipe down your workplace while using diluted disinfectant to mop your floor and other larger areas. You’ll need to use a lot of disinfectant to keep every area in your tattoo studio spotless, so always look around for the best deal you can get. It’s worth buying in bulk and asking for a quote to save yourself a bit of cash.
Soap Dispensers and Hand Sanitisers for Tattoo Studios
Don’t make the mistake of choosing one or the other when it comes to hand sanitiser and anti-bacterial soap. One should never replace the other, so use both to keep your hands completely sanitary while you work! It’s worth fitting a stainless steel hand sanitiser dispenser right next to your tattoo chair so you and your clients can use it whenever you feel the need to. Why stainless steel? Well, as you’ll be using it a lot, you want something that’s both very tough and easy to clean – stainless steel ticks both of those boxes! You’ll also want a dedicated sink for washing up with a fitted soap dispenser (again, stainless steel is your best bet) to keep your business hygienic. It’s common sense that you should wash your hands before getting started on tattooing a client, and if you’ve been tattooing for any length of time it’ll probably already be second nature to you. That means you’ll want a no-nonsense soap dispenser that never lets you down so you can focus on what really matters – your client. Complete your washing area with a paper towel dispenser that’s similarly no-nonsense. All of this might sound like little details, but these little details are the difference that’ll make your life easier, meaning you can focus on your art to help your tattoo studio stand out from the rest.
Gloves for Tattooing
You’ll know all about the importance of getting well-fitting latex gloves that let you move freely while still ensuring you stay hygienic. If you’re at the point where you want to open your own business, you’ll probably have a preference for how you like your latex gloves already. However, when you run your own tattoo studio, buying large quantities of latex gloves is your responsibility, so it makes sense to get a good deal! Find somewhere that sells lots of latex gloves (like HSD Online, for example!) and send them a message. Striking up a relationship with the company that supplies your equipment is always a good approach as you can open a trade account and get better deals on volume orders. For regular purchases like latex gloves, it makes sense to keep your expenses as low as possible, so if you can shave a little off every large order it’ll help your business out a lot!
Bins for Tattooing
You’ll need several different bins for tattooing in order to comply with health and safety laws. Notably, you’ll need to dispose of your hazardous waste (like your ink, needles, and other sharp things) separately to your clinical waste (used gloves, cotton swabs, wrapping, wipes, etc). It’s wise to keep a pedal bin for your clinical waste next to your tattoo chair so you can easily dispose of dirty wipes and the like. Never use an open bin in your tattoo studio as it’s a hygiene risk – always make sure it has a lid to cover your waste. For your hazardous waste, you can also use a pedal bin to dispose of it, although we’d recommend getting a bin that’s a different colour so you can tell it apart from your clinical waste bin. This will stop you getting mixed up after a hard day in the studio! Regularly empty your pedal bins into secure wheelie bins in a bin store area – again making sure you keep your hazardous waste and clinical waste separate. As you’re dealing with clinical and hazardous waste, you have an extra responsibility to make sure your bins are kept secure so there’s no risk of anyone coming into contact with your used tattoo needles. When your bins are getting full, you’ll need to hire an authorised business to come and collect your waste and dispose of it properly. It’s not a particularly fun topic, but it is incredibly important!
No matter how careful you are, accidents will happen from time to time! When you’re dealing with tattoo ink and cleaning chemicals every day, you need to be prepared for the occasional spill. Keep a couple of chemical spill kits on hand to ensure you can keep your tattoo studio clean at all times – these are extra-absorbent pads that will quickly and safely mop up chemical spills. Inside your spill kit, you’ll get some absorbent pads, absorbent ‘socks’ that are used to stop spills from spreading, and a disposal bag to put all your used pads in. If you spill a bottle of disinfectant, for example, your regular paper towels won’t be absorbent enough to mop it all up quickly and you might miss spots. When it’s your tattoo studio, this is your responsibility, so chemical spill kits will keep you protected when accidents do happen and will help you avert disaster.
Air Fresheners for Tattoo Studios
It’s important you use a lot of disinfectant in your tattoo studio as you need everything to be as clean and sterile as you’d expect in a hospital. However, while your standards for cleanliness should be the same as a hospital's, it's important to remember that you aren’t a hospital and the last thing you want is for your customers to feel like they’re being operated on! While it’s impossible to completely mask the smell of disinfectant, a quality air freshener dispenser will do a lot to put your clients at ease when they enter your studio. An air freshener dispenser that you can program is a must as it means you can stop your air freshener from being sprayed through the night when no one’s around. This means you’ll keep your running costs down as you’ll reduce your waste, which is essential when you’re running your own tattoo business.
Heating and Air Cooling for Tattoo Studios
It’s important to make your tattoo studio as comfortable as possible for both you and your clients. Getting the temperature right in your premises is a big part of that! It’s important your tattoo studio isn’t too hot or too cold – your spotlight means it’s easy for your studio to become uncomfortably warm in summer, while in winter your clients can end up chilly if they’re having to expose large areas of their body for hours at a time. It’s a good idea to have both a heater and an air cooler on hand for your tattoo studio so you’re covered for all seasons. An electric panel heater is a great option for keeping cosy in winter while still keeping your energy costs low. The best-selling MYLEK Lumi is a good option for businesses as it’s subtly designed and slimline. It also comes with a remote control which can be used to adjust your studio temperature from your tattooing chair if need be. You should also look at picking up an air cooler to help keep you comfortable through the summer. Air coolers are much more affordable and eco-friendly than air conditioning units while still being effective and quiet, so they tick every box for a tattoo studio.