Re-usage of Tattoo Needles | How Often Should You Change Tattoo Needles?

Good hygiene is one of the most important aspects of tattooing, and it all starts with the artist. Strict hygiene and hygiene regulations must be adhered to without abbreviations. When it comes to tattoo needles, great care should be taken with their use and disposal.

How often should you change tattoo needles?

Tattoo needles should not be reused and it is recommended it Is changed per session. Bleeding down to the needles occurs during a tattoo session. Blood and body fluids can transmit diseases such as HIV and hepatitis, so it’s pretty clear that this risk needs to be reduced at all costs.

If an artist reuses tattoo needles on you that were used on an infected patient, you are at great risk of contracting the disease. You can’t put a price on good health, but you can put a price on tattoo needles.

Do tattoo needles get reused?

Reusing tattoo needles for multiple clients is a big no-no because of the risks and hazards involved. However, if you are tattooing from the comfort of your home, it is up to you whether you want to reuse your tattoo needles. To do this safely, you need to know how to properly sterilize needles and with the right equipment.

Do tattoo artists use a new needle every time?

Most US states use disposable tattoo needles and ink cups, this means that most tattoo artists ideally are supposed to use a new needle every time. However, some states do not. These conditions rely on sterilization such as autoclaving or immersion in alcohol to “sterilize” reusable needles and inks, and the product can be reused from person to person.

It is the responsibility of a person getting a tattoo to check the laws of their state before getting a tattoo. Bloodborne pathogens can infect an entire population. It is not worth putting your health or life at risk.

How do tattoo artists clean their needles?

When tattooing different people, tattoo needles is advisable not to be used more than once. However, other tattoo equipment like tubes and other devices can be sterilized and reused. If you tattoo yourself and reuse needles at home, you need to be very careful about how you sterilize them.

Boiling a used tattoo needle in hot water or cleaning with alcohol will not sterilize it. However, there is only one way to properly and safely sterilize tattoo needles and devices, and that is to use an autoclave. An autoclave uses extreme heat and pressure to kill any living organism on the object to be cleaned. This is the only true and safe way to disinfect.

You can purchase autoclaves from online medical supply stores after your autoclave is set up. Be sure to follow the instructions that came with your autoclave to ensure that it is properly set up for disinfection.

Pre-wash your needles and tubes. Thoroughly scrub the device with soap and water and soak it in hot soapy water for 5 minutes.

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

Sterilize your needles and devices. The average autoclave cycle is between 1 and 2 hours. However, be sure to read the instructions for the machine you are using.

However, if you don’t have access to an autoclave, it is best to use pre-sterilized disposables and chemical baths to sterilize your reusable instruments. It might be tempting to think that some of the other sterilization alternatives available online might work for you – suggestions like using a pressure cooker to sterilize your tattoo and piercing tools – but is it worth it? If you’ve tried any of these alternatives and your customers suffered as a result, you could have an expensive lawsuit.

The only other alternative to autoclaving, pre-sterilized disposables and chemical baths that should be considered is a dry heat sterilizer. Dry heat sterilizers on the other hand can effectively sterilize tattoo needles, but they require more energy and time to do so. This means you have more downtime between customers and your energy costs are higher.

In general, you cannot sterilize as many instruments at the same time in a dry heat sterilizer as in an autoclave. Also, the difference between the costs of buying a dry heat sterilizer is almost the same as an autoclave. If you have the funds to invest in one or the other, opt for an autoclave or don’t re-use rather buy a new tattoo needle.

How Long Can You Use a Tattoo Needle?

Tattoo needles are advisable to be used for single-use and should not be reused. However if you are tattooing yourself at home and know how to sterilize your needles then you can use more than ones. But for commercial tattoo artist it is advisable not to reuse tattoo needles for other people and should be disposed immediately.

Good hygiene is one of the most important aspects of tattooing, and it all starts with the artist and the salon. Strict hygiene and hygiene regulations must be adhered to without abbreviations. When it comes to tattoo needles, great care should be taken with their use and disposal.


Reusing tattoo needles for multiple clients is not only highly recommended, it shouldn’t happen either. The risk of disease, infection, and cross-contamination is very real.

Tattoo needles are for single use only, unless you are tattooing yourself at home. In that case, when you have the equipment and know-how to sterilize your tattoo needles, you’re good to go. Also, the sterilization process can be longer and more tedious than ordering your tattoo needles online and having them shipped. If you think about it, reusing needles may not be worth the risk and hassle.