Tips from the American Red Cross
The first thing you’ve got to think about when you consider getting a tattoo is that it involves someone sticking needles into you. Now who do you trust to have enough respect for hygiene to stick needles in you? Your doctor, probably, but who else? Some greasy, leering guy in a tent at an outdoor concert? Your friend’s buddy, who works out of his basement? No and no. You trust people who act very much like doctors, when it comes to hygiene, and no one else.
Specific things for which you must watch are:
-Most importantly, a brand new sterile needle must be used every time.
-All other tools that are involved in the tattooing process must be either sterilized or disposable (and, of course, they must be either sterilized or disposed of after each customer).
-Everything should be personally laid-out for your tattoo. You don’t want to share in a big communal bottle of ink with your fellow tattoo-lovers; you want little individual disposable containers of ink just for you. Latex gloves. Vaseline should be dispensed with disposable instruments not by hand.
-Non-disposable equipment should be sterilized with an autoclave (an apparatus which uses superheated steam under high pressure to sterilize instruments), not an ultra-sonic cleaner or a dunk in a tub of rubbing alcohol. Ask the tattoo artist if his/her autoclave is FDA-regulated.
-Don’t allow the foregoing advice to leave you with a bad impression of tattoo artists in general. There are many, many tattoo artists who maintain spotlessly clean and scrupulously hygienic studios. It just makes good common sense that you realize how important it is to find one of them. Of course, a commitment to cleanliness is not all you want.
Source:http: American Red Cross