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5 Tips For Tattoo Artists to Stay Safe During the COVID-19 Pandemic

While many tattoo shops around the world are closed, we still want our FK Irons™ family stay safe during these difficult times. Check out how four of our Pro Team family tattoo artists are doing

If you are still working at the shop, here are some steps you can take to prevent the spread of the virus. Tattoo artists are at a medium exposure risk to get COVID-19 as they handle body fluids, blood and are in close proximity to people.

We'll start with highlighting how important the obvious answers are and give you a few unique tips that could really make a difference in contamination and efficiency, even for the day when COVID-19 is finally under control!

So, how sexy is increased sanitation and social distancing, right? Super sexy. Well, it's exactly what you want to post on your social media to lure your clients in. Posting your efforts on you social media may convince your clientele that you are taking all of the precautions possible to keep everyone from getting infected.


1. POST SIGNS and PICTURES on social media to ensure clients understand masks are REQUIRED

As tattoo artists, we always wear our masks and gloves. Now it is even more important as one of the most common ways to spread transmission is through close contact between people. Through respiratory droplets that a person expels when they cough or sneeze these droplets then land in the mouths and noses of people who are nearby. It is important to always wear a mask and gloves to prevent getting the virus as gloves and masks add an extra layer of protection. Wash your hands immediately after taking the gloves off.

Restaurants and stores are experiencing pushback from individuals. Ensure that your clients know in advance that masks are required. Post a sign on your door. Post it on your social media. Post pictures of other clients wearing masks. 


Newly-installed clear wall barriers separate each work area in the NYC Soho tattoo shop for extra precautions during COVID-19. Photo credit: Soho Ink.
Newly-installed clear wall barriers separate each work area in the NYC Soho Ink shop. Photo credit: Soho Ink


2. Ask your clients to postpone appointments if they feel sick

We understand this is a difficult time and resources are limited, but precaution is needed. If a client walks into the shop and is displaying symptoms such a fever, cough, sneezing and shortness of breath, reschedule the appointment. If possible, try to waive the cancellation fee and tell them to come back when they feel better.

Some tattoo artists have posted Instagram live feeds imploring that their clients be understanding during this time. We all have families we want to be there for!

"If you feel sick, stay home until you feel better. Also, if you are pending a coronavirus test result, stay home."

While these measures seem intense, it is better to not get clients and other artists sick.


3. Limit the number of people in the shop

Stagger shifts and limit the number of people in your shop.

The CDC states that gatherings should be limited to 10 or less people. Shops should limit the number of people gathered; this could be done through switching shifts among artists. Also artists can schedule their appointments earlier in the day or in the evenings. This way artists can still tattoo and make clients happy.

Conduct video calls with clients before their appointment to discuss the tattoo.


4. Wash hands regularly after touching high-traffic areas

High-traffic areas include doorknobs, bathrooms, faucets, phones, light switches, keyboards kitchens and cash registers. Remember to wash your hand after touching these areas, if soap is not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Encourage clients to also clean their hands before their appointment and once they arrive at the shop. Having a hand sanitizing station with signage is one idea to encourage everyone to take precaution.

5. Regularly clean machines and workplace tools to prevent cross-contamination

When possible, artists should limit exposure with each other and maintain social distancing, 6 feet apart from each other. High traffic areas should be cleaned and disinfected regularly. Restricting some areas of the shop can also help contain the virus. Being extra careful when sanitizing equipment is extremely important to prevent cross-contamination.

The team at FK Irons has some videos on sanitation products. After every tattoo remember to properly clean your equipment.

Our new wireless tattoo machine, the Spektra Flux helps prevent cross-contamination with a built-in battery and cordless design.


Remember to clean surfaces and high-traffic areas with soap and water frequently. Household cleaners and bleach are effective in killing the virus. For electronics, follow guidelines by the manufacturer and think about adding a wipeable cover to cell phones and tablets. And keep up on the US Center for Disease Control's latest news.

5 Tips For Tattoo Artists to Stay Safe During the COVID-19 Pandemic