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Best Soaps for Tattoos: Antibacterial, Fragrance-Free, and Gentle



by Lydia


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You’ve spent money on your tattoo and sat through the pain. So why ruin the whole thing by using cheap quality, or the wrong kind of products. For proper tattoo care, you need to use one of the best soaps for tattoos. One that all the antibacterial properties your tattoo or the open tattoo wound requires at this point.

A brand new tattoo is a very sensitive wound, which means nothing that causes even the slightest harm should come in contact with the area. So it goes without saying that you have to be extra careful when cleaning it up.

You cannot use soaps with harsh ingredients since they tend to trigger skin irritation. You should also know that such ingredients delay the process of healing as well. So let’s not make the vulnerable skin look even more dry and red. Itching and rashes also have to be kept at bay, no matter what.

Best Soaps for Tattoos: Top 10 Reviews

#1 Dial Hand Gold Antibacterial Soap Refill

Dial Hand Gold Antibacterial Soap Refill

This antibacterial soap for tattoos is a part of almost every list of the best soaps for tattoos. It’s because the liquid is highly recommended by ink enthusiasts. It’s a 52-ounce formula that offers the most attractive combination of quality, price, and cleaning ability.

The soap is not specifically created for tattoos. That does seem like a disappointment, in a way. Nevertheless, it ranks as the most popular tattoo cleanser. Even on Amazon, the product is among the top choices. All thanks to its capacity for keeping your ink infection-free and clean. Particularly when big tattoos are a part of the picture!

You might think you can use just about any soap for tattoos that you find at your disposal, but you shouldn’t. Scented soaps contain certain irritating chemicals that are bound to cause itching and redness. So when it comes to tattoo care, it’s safe to stay away from such harsh ingredients.

In that context, let me also tell you that this Gold Antibacterial Soap holds no scent. This is just what you might want to hear if your skin is already prone to developing allergies.

The liquid formula is very gentle yet it has the ability to prevent bacterial infections. And the element responsible for that is benzalkonium chloride. It’s an excellent antibacterial agent that destroys germs. Only 0.10 percent of it is used to keep the soap mild enough, which is perfect for new tattoos.

#2 Dial Gold Antibacterial Deodorant Soap

Dial Antibacterial Deodorant Soap

Now here’s a solid version of the Dial liquid soap reviewed above. Solid, both in terms of form and quality! The Dial Antibacterial Soap Bar produces a creamy, rich lather to make your skin feel moisturized and clean.

Tattoo or not, this deodorant soap offers protection all day long. It rinses the surface without drying it out. Meaning you can expect germs of your open tattoo wound to get washed away. And, at the same time, not worry about your skin feeling dry or itchy because of it.

But what importance does the word “deodorant” have in this case? The deodorant technology this bar of soap is equipped with kills bacteria responsible for bad odor. And this particular action goes on for a long time after the wash.

It’s gentle and mild enough to use as a tattoo soap. The chances are you’ll continue using the soap even after your tattoo wound heals. Especially in the summer because that’s when the sweat and stink factors are on the higher side.

If you know the good part, you should also be aware of the dark side. It comes in the form of triclosan (1), which is considered to be a harmful element. The ingredient is present in many antibacterial soaps, toothpaste, and other such consumer products.

#3 Cetaphil Deep Cleansing Face & Body Bar

Cetaphil Deep Cleansing Face & Body Bar

What I have here for you is a hypoallergenic cleaning soap bar. The brand is Cetaphil, which brings into the picture quality and effectiveness. Obviously, this was not specifically created as a soap for tattoos. But that doesn’t really matter because the deep cleansing bar is packed with ingredients that do all of that and more.

But before anything else, let me tell you that this Cetaphil product eliminates all possible allergens from the skin. It’s one of the main reasons why the face and body bar is so popular. It is the most suitable for those that have dry or delicate skin.

What makes it appropriate for tattoo use is the soap’s ability to deal with skin inflammation. It doesn’t contain even a single brutal cleansing agent to aggravate your fresh tattoo wound. The job of purifying the skin is carried out without any side effects. The bar of soap saturates your skin while also hydrating and smoothing out the surface.

You can use it on your body and face, isn’t that convenient! Many people opt for Cetaphil for not only tattoo aftercare. This particular soap formula also saves your skin from clogged pores and is a good soap to prevent acne breakouts too.

You’d expect an antibacterial soap like this to have a neutral or no scent. But, unfortunately, that’s not what the real picture looks like. On the contrary, the smell is quite unpleasant.

#4 Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap

Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castile Liquid Soap

I have 2 words for you; TEA TREE. That’s what defines Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap. The medicinal and woodsy tea tree oil included in here is the best for acne-prone skin they say. The formula is concentrated, biodegradable, vegan, and organic. So there’s no reason to believe it’s not a good choice for a tattoo as well.

The ingredients used don’t disappoint when it comes to producing a rich and emollient lather. They leave your skin feeling moisturized like never before. With or without the tattoo! After all, stuff like coconut oil, hemp oil, and olive oil are included. And it’s in their nature to nourish the skin for a healthy feel and clean look.

If you think it’s so effective because of the addition of synthetic preservatives or detergents, you’re wrong. Aren’t you a bit relieved to be wrong? I hope so because harsh ingredients like these are not safe or healthy for your tattoo and skin. The most enticing aspect is that you can use this liquid soap on your body, face, and hair.

It’s a concentrated formula, which means you don’t have to add water or use a lot when washing. The shower is going to be quick, convenient, and cleansing. It can also be guilt-free since the plastic bottles are 100 percent recycled. The manufacturer is dedicated to protecting the environment with a commitment to fair trade methods and ethical sourcing.

But you know what; tea tree can dry out the skin. So don’t opt for this product if your skin type is already dry.

#5 Neutrogena Transparent Fragrance-Free Soap Bar

Neutrogena Transparent Soap Bar

When using a product like Neutrogena, you can rest assured knowing that it’s the best for skin care. But this organic, fragrance-free soap by the brand, in particular, is beneficial for tattoo aftercare. Its antibacterial properties don’t trouble the most sensitive skin types.

What’s also worth noting is that the bar of soap doesn’t clog your pores. Nor does it contain any harsh or harmful chemicals that might cause discoloration or fading of your tattoo. Even if your tattoo is in a sensitive place, the Neutrogena soap seems like a wise decision.

It’s a hypoallergenic formula that is completely pure and gentle. The soap works without drying out your skin, unlike many soaps for tattoos out there. The scent is very mild in my opinion. And you can only get a whiff of it in the lather form.

However, the only troubling aspect is how fast the bar of soap dissolves, which is the worst part.

#6 H2Ocean Blue Green Foam Soap

H2Ocean Blue Green Foam Soap

Here’s another product that you’ll find in most lists of the best soaps for tattoos. The H2Ocean Blue Green Foam Soap is one of the most popular antibacterial soaps for tattoo care. It has the ability to heal your fresh wound without stinging. Meaning the application is not something you should dread.

The soap can also reduce the inflammation and redness often accompanied by a new tattoo. There’s no artificial fragrance or alcohol in here. This is what makes the experience so pain-free and pleasant.

But the 2 ingredients that prove to be the most effective for tattoo care are minerals and aloe vera. They go a long way when it comes to moisturizing your skin and disinfecting your tattoo. Apart from preventing visible ink damages like cracks!

The downside is quite evident. Just look at the size of the bottle. Isn’t it too small? Not when you have a small tattoo. But expect this to run out in the case of a larger one. So if you’re willing to spend more money, you have nothing to worry about.

This paraben-free, vegan-friendly soap does everything in its power to maintain the color and ink of your tattoo. Along with eliminating the germs and not causing any scabbing or drying!

#7 Tattoo Goo Deep Cleansing Soap

Tattoo Goo Deep Cleansing Soap

This has to be one of the best soaps for tattoos care. The Tattoo Goo Deep Cleansing Soap is a formula that heals piercings too. So, no doubt, the stuff inhibits infections and helps in dislodging dead, dry skin. Even its moisturizing abilities are quite remarkable.

But let me first address the elephant in the room. There is an artificial fragrance used, which is quite floral. So you might not appreciate either or both. Meaning the flowery scent isn’t that appealing to the senses. Also, artificial fragrances have a knack for drying out the skin. Particularly if it’s already too sensitive!

Despite the drawback, this deep cleansing soap is very popular for tattoos. The cleansing agent in here penetrates your skin to avoid bacterial growth and infection. It eliminates dried, damaged, and dead skin cells. And this action is very gentle as well by the way. Combine that with the absence of non-toxic ingredients, and you have a product that neutralizes the dryness.

By far, this is the most tattoo-specific soap I have reviewed. You can expect your wound to heal in no time. And if you really appreciate the results of this formula during the healing process, you have every reason to continue using it for daily tattoo care.

#8 Cosco Tincture Tattoo Green Soap

Cosco Tincture Tattoo Green Soap

Two things I would like to talk about before rambling on about how great this product really is. The green soap by Cosco here is used as an effective cleaner/detergent for removing protein soils and dried blood from the scalp and skin. It is also used for cleaning surgical equipment before sterilization. This is proof that the soap gets rid of germs and bacteria, no matter where from.

Now you should also know that the current option is not fit for daily use. But you can wash your body with it every now and then. Many tattoo artists apply the formula before inking your skin. It cleanses and prepares your skin right before being inked.

So what are the ingredients present in here? They include glycerin, pure vegetable oils, and lavender. Along the same lines, the soap is an eco-friendly product with zero harsh chemicals. Even so, the antibacterial properties are quite powerful. So don’t use it on a regular basis. And also don’t forget to dilute it in water. It sort of dials down the harsh cleansing effect.

But whatever your decision, there’s no denying just how well-equipped this green soap is. The 2 ingredients, pure vegetable oil and glycerin, hydrate and moisturize. As for lavender, it adds a refreshing scent and soothes inflamed skin. Plus, the product is an affordable choice. What more could you have asked for, right!

#9 Dove Beauty Bar Sensitive Skin

Dove Beauty Bar Sensitive Skin

Dove claims it’s the #1 pediatrician and dermatologist recommended soap. And it’s hard to not believe them when they manufacture products like this one. The Beauty Bar by Dove is a good soap for tattoos and skin in general for many reasons. So you don’t just buy it because the soap is unscented, hypoallergenic, or gentle for sensitive skin.

Every bar of Dove soap consists of mild cleansers and moisturizing cream. So your natural moisture on the skin remains intact. It leaves the surface smoother, softer, and more radiant-looking. This is what sets it apart from ordinary soaps.

Talking about ordinary soaps, they contain harsh ingredients that tend to make the skin feel dry and tight. Let alone not doing anything good in favor of your tattoo! But that’s not the case with Dove.

You can use it just about anywhere on the body, including the face. This is very useful if your tattoo is in a sensitive area. And you don’t have to worry about daily use either. All Dove products are 100 percent safe for your everyday routine.

But once you unbox this 16-pack, please check each bar of soap. Make sure they don’t give off a chemical odor or have a strange texture. If anything like this is spotted, it means the product isn’t original. In a way, this is a good thing because it means nothing is wrong with the real Dove Beauty Bar.

#10 Cuticura Deep Cleansing Face and Body Soap

Cuticura Deep Cleansing Face and Body Soap

The last option on the list is one that many people pick for its magic-like effect on blemish-prone skin. But treating and preventing blemishes is not the same as caring for a tattoo. Am I right? In that case, what makes this so special for tattoo aftercare? It’s the excellent antibacterial properties, what else!

The ingredients used are unquestionably pure and gentle. So don’t dismiss this face and body soap just yet. It doesn’t make the skin dry post-shower. In fact, the soap is good for eliminating bacteria and other such impurities that often give rise to acne. This means your skin as well as your tattoo are in safe hands.

The scent is very refreshing. And the price affordable. It’s unbelievable how a product like this gives the best results. No matter how dry, oily, sensitive, or tattooed your skin is.

Ingredients to Look For and Avoid in Soaps for Tattoos

There’s a rule when it comes to looking for the best soaps for tattoos. The milder the ingredients, the better for your skin. No matter how tough you think you are, a new tattoo makes the skin sensitive. A skin reaction with a fresh tattoo can come knocking any time.

Anti-Bacterial Properties

Anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties are a must in the tattoo soaps. This reduces skin irritation, scarring, and itchiness. It also allows your skin to breathe. And keeps dirt from sticking to the skin.

Once you expose your tattoo to the sun, it might irritate at first. But if you keep it clean with the help of soap. You can avoid infecting the skin easily into an open wound. Infection means rashes, blisters, and liquid oozing out from the skin. After all, your skin has been poked with tiny needles to get the ink under the top layer of the skin.


Artificial fragrances contain sulfates, acetone, alcohol, and camphor. These are a few chemicals including phthalates that aren’t good for you. A good scent might be what attracts you to a bar of soap. But it’s not something you want for healing new tattoos.

Such synthetic chemical fragrances might trigger allergies, dryness, and itchiness. Go for natural lavender or aloe vera alternatives instead. The essential oil in soap contains natural oils and herbs which are good for healing tattoos.

If the soap isn’t being clear on its scent, it contains synthetic fragrances. Once these burn and blister-causing chemicals break down on your skin, they penetrate the skin’s layer and also cause allergies.

No Petroleum Base

To make soap greasy so it spreads evenly on the skin, a petroleum base is added. But what they really do for skin is clog pores. And clogged pores especially on and around tattoos can cause infection. As the skin fails to cleanse effectively causing bacterial buildup.

No Parabens

Parabens are common preservatives. There are many uses of paraben in soaps and other body washes. But on tattoos, it’s harsh, concentrated, and sensitizing. This means if you already have sensitive skin, it could cause itchiness. So it’s best to stay away from soaps with concentrated parabens.

No Ethanol/Alcohol

Just as how it would be totally nuts to rub lemon juice on a wound. Would you consider applying alcohol to an open wound? Of course, you wouldn’t. It would sting you like a thousand bees. It’s enough to go through the painful poking from the ink needles. So using soap with alcohol is a bad idea.

Even soaps with ethanol are not anti-bacterial or antiseptic. If it ever comes in contact with your new tattoo. There’s no saying how your skin will react. But it will definitely burn and irritate the skin.

An anti-bacterial alternative will have no alcohol/ethanol formula. It won’t dry, inflame, or irritate your skin.

No Sulfates

When you think of soap, the bubbles and lather is the most attractive part. You won’t trust a soap with hardly any lather to do a good job at cleansing. But that’s not true. The lather and bubble are formed by sulfates found in most soaps.

These soap bubbles and lather are actually bad for you. They irritate the skin by depriving the skin of its natural oils. You can only imagine what it would do to your new tattoo!

No Artificial Coloring

You don’t want to put something you’re unsure about on your skin. Let alone, experiment with colorful soaps on your new tattoo! Artificial coloring might lighten the color of your tattoo. And you don’t want to get poked at again for intensifying the tattoo’s color again!

Artificial coloring comes from petroleum bases, acetone, and tar. Some soaps also use dyes that are common allergens to get it to look fancy and impressive. Though they are cheaper, choosing natural alternatives from ingredients is ideal. Such as turmeric, lavender, and other natural clays.

Important Steps for Tattoo Aftercare

Tattoo aftercare is not a joke. No matter what your parents or friends tell you. Always do your own research and talk to the tattoo professional about this. This isn’t like getting a haircut. Healing your tattoo can do all kinds of wonders to your skin.

First off, only allow a licensed professional to ink you. And ask as many questions as you can about aftercare treatment. What follows is a gist of what the tattoo artist will tell you.

  • 1
    The bandage put over your new tattoo must be worn for 2 hours. No kind of bacteria, germ, dust, or sun rays should fall on it. Or else it will fade, blister, and pain.
  • 2
    When removing the bandage, make sure you wash your hands with an anti-bacterial soap. Dry hands are a must. If the bandage is still sticking to your skin. Put a few dabs of water around the bandage to remove it correctly.
  • 3
    Keep away from hot tubs, swimming pool, or any open water bodies. The bacteria in these places might cause skin infection. The same applies to shower which you can do but do not soak yourself.
  • 4
    To dry your tattoo after showering, use a dry towel. Do not use a bath towel or a moist towel as that might harbor germs and bacteria.
  • 5
    The ideal number of times you should wash your tattoo is twice a day. Over-washing with an anti-bacterial soap can make the skin dry and patchy.
  • 6
    Do not panic if your tattoo oozes transparent plasma on the first day. Sometimes, your skin may also become red and swell. It’s completely harmless and happens to most people. The only thing you can do is cover the tattoo with a bandage to avoid staining any clothing. And make sure the tattoo is kept clean all the time.
  • 7
    Most tattoo, no matter the size, flake after the first day. When yours does, apply fragrance-free lotion. Make sure it doesn’t contain alcohol, dry, or other harmful chemicals.
  • 8
    Continue with the preceding steps for up to 3 weeks. Avoid using body oils, fancy lotions, and other cosmetics on your tattoo. It is safe to wear sunblock when healing tattoos.

Wrapping It Up

Your new tattoo is some distance away from looking just as beautiful and bright as you want it to. But right now it’s red and sore. So to speed up the healing process, you need to use one of the best soaps for tattoos you can find. The 10 fragrance-free, gentle, antibacterial soaps for tattoos I have reviewed are great for daily tattoo care.

It’s better to create that line of protection against potential germs. And it’s also better to use ingredients you know aren’t going to fade or discolor your precious tattoo.

This article is both descriptive and effective. It’s important to think of your tattoo as an open wound. That way, you can avoid scarring or any other skin injury. If you’ve read this far, you already know what you need to, which is amazing.


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