How To Sterilize Tattoo Needles: 7 Alternative Ways To Sterilize Needles

The Tattoo tube, tattoo ink, or needles are specially designed to use for single use. You shouldn’t reuse it. However, you are tattooing yourself at home, and if you know how to sterilize tattoo needles- nothing can stop you.

Using an autoclave machine, pressure cooker, steaming & boiling the needle, and chemically sterilizing are effective ways to purify and get the best tattoo needles.

To know more about each of the sterilization methods of the tattoo kit, keep reading till the end.

how to sterilize tattoo needles

Can You Sterilize And Reuse Needles?

First off, you can’t sterilize a used needle, tattoo cartridges, tattoo gun, or tattoo pen fully, and it gets worn out & doesn’t remain sharp at all. So, there is a high risk of spreading infection. And of course, you will have a tough time getting ink in and do more and more damage to your skin.

Secondly, most of the new needles of tattoos these days are disposable. It means using it once and throwing it away in the plastic bag. Indeed, there is no way to reuse the needle by sterilizing.

Indeed, you can’t just sterilize tattoo needles and reuse them. If you show the dare to use it on your body, be ready to get your blood poisoned & die.

We recommend you use fresh and new needles or disposable tattoo tubes every time, and they are freaking cheap.

Can You Sterilize And Reuse Needles?

Is It Necessary To Sterilize The Unopened Tattoo Needles?

The short answer to this question is both Yes & No.

Firstly, let’s break down why you don’t need to sterilize tattoo needles if these are unopened or unused.

Any legit new needles of tattoos in the tattoo shops come with EO gas sterilized in the package. They have a dot on the inside that turns blue when sterilized in this process. So, you don’t need to purify the needles again. Just wear gloves and take them out & use them.

In simple words, we don’t see any reason for it if the tattooing equipment or needles come pre-sterilized.

On the other hand, you can sterilize the unopened tattoo needles as taking extra precautions won’t do any harm.

Is It Necessary To Sterilize The Unopened Tattoo Needles?

How To Sterilize Tattoo Needles: 7 Alternative Ways To Sterilize The Unopened Needles

Required time, specific precautions are mandatory to sterilize a tattoo needle in any tattoo shop.

This chapter teaches you how to sterilize tattoo needles and the stainless steel needle bar that you don’t use yet.

Before following any sterilization methods, make sure you put on gloves and never try to sterilize tattooing equipment, only surfaces.

Note: This guide is only for those who want to purify the unopened tattoo equipment. We don’t encourage you to disinfect the used tube or needles.

According to health-related articles, it’s better to use disposable tubes, any tattoo needle cartridge, or appropriate equipment for tattooing and dispose of them after use once.

We broke down why you shouldn’t sterilize used needles or other equipment at the beginning of this article.

7 Alternative Ways To Sterilize The Unopened Needles

01. Use Autoclave Tattoo Sterilizer

Most professional tattoo artists use the tattoo sterilization machine named Autoclave.

To sterilize tattoo needles, you must know about the Autoclave tattoo machine, which is well-reputed in most tattoo parlors.

The Autoclave tattoo machine has an indicator strip, pressure control, metal tubes, and saturated steam to maintain services and sterilize tattoo needles.

The Autoclave is of three different types. Just put on gloves and rinse the unopened, disinfecting needles or pre sterilized disposables into it. After 15 minutes, you can take out the pre sterilized disposables that turn to sterilized equipment from the Autoclave.

Use Autoclave Tattoo Sterilizer


If you are a tattoo lover, you can’t deny the indispensable significance of an autoclave during tattooing. Boiling and sterile water or other ordinary conventional services are not the permanent solutions for perfectly sanitizing. Even alcohol wipes or a chemical bath will not work fully in a tattoo parlor.

Tattoos pose a high risk, such as hepatitis B, if you don’t want sterile needles, tubes, or a piece of tattoo equipment. Using autoclave perhaps ensure you protect against health risk.

Tip: You can effortlessly sterilize a tattoo needle or equipment at home without an autoclave device using an ultrasonic cleaner.

We provide in-depth reviews for the top tattoo gun kits and include information such as the ideal amount of ink they should contain, their price, and whether they have a warranty.

02. Use The Power Of Steam

The steam, extreme pressure, or heating services are a highly used and effective way to purify a tube or needles that most tattoo artists prefer.

No germs & bacteria can’t live or survive direct exposure to the high temperature and pressure of the steam (250F). If you steam, apply pressure cookers or high heat services to the needles for 15 minutes, every living thing will die.

How To Use The Steam:

First off, take a steaming pot to sterilize the tattoo needles. Then, pour water into the bottom of the pot. Once the water starts boiling, put the needles into the pot and close the lid. Now, leave the steam pot for 20 minutes to purify your needles.

Use The Power Of Steam

03. Putting The Needle In A Oven

Baking the needle in your oven at 340F will be another effective way to sterilize the tattoo needles. It will kill the microorganism and purify the needles.

How To Sterilize Tattoo Equipment :

First off, wrap up the tattoo equipment or homemade tattoo needles with a couple of layers of cloth. Otherwise, dry heating the tattoo needles can make them brittle. Then, set the temperature of the oven to 340F. Now, bake the needle for an hour.

04. Boil The Tattoo Needle

This is the conventional way to disinfect the tattoo needle. Just drop the needle in the water with soap and start boiling the needle for 20 minutes.

The boiling water, including soap, high heat, and pressure, will kill germs & bacteria effectively.

Boil The Tattoo Needle

05. Chemically Sterilize The Tattoo Needle

The Tattoo artists can also use chemicals as a cleaning solution to sterilize needles known as chemical baths.

Moreover, for sterilizing needles, a tattoo artist can make a purifying solution using medical ethanol, bleach, hydrogen peroxide (10%), and isopropyl alcohol (70%).

Then, soak or stay submerged in the needle into the solution for 20 minutes. It will sterilize the needle by consuming the germs & bacteria using alcohol wipes.

Chemically Sterilize The Tattoo Needle

06. Use Dry Heat Sterilizer

You can use a dry heat sterilizer that will be worth and value-added to sterilize homemade tattoo needles. One type of dry heat sterilizer uses high steam to kill any germs and bacteria on the tattoo needle. It is another alternative to an Autoclave tattoo machine and chemical baths to sterilize a tattoo needle.

07. Rubbing Alcohol

Putting alcohol is another popular process to clean needles like an autoclave. Alcohol and soap are also used to sterile hands as well.

You can also be rubbing alcohol as a cleaning solution to clean needles. Yet, following instructions to utilize alcohol is not like an autoclave device.

Put a quantity of alcohol on other chemicals and shake well. And boiling water or putting alcohol procedures is not sufficient like an autoclave.

Rubbing Alcohol



Yes, you can use an expired tattoo needle. Just make sure you sterilize it before inserting it into your body. In this case, soak it in high-proof alcohol for 15 minutes and then you are ok to use the needle.


Generally, stick and poke don’t last for a long time. On top of this, an inexperienced tattoo artist is also responsible for fading the stick and poking so fast. If he fails to go the stick and poke too deep or not deep enough, it fades away quickly.

Rubbing Alcohol


No, boiling can’t sterilize needles or the tattoo equipment thoroughly. It fails to purify the tattoo equipment as the pressurized steam does. Yes, it can destroy many microorganisms. But boiling can’t kill heat-resistant bacteria like endospores.



You can use high-proof alcohol to sanitize the tattoo equipment. Therefore, steaming, boiling, and baking the needle are alternative ways to sterilize the tattoo needles without autoclave.


Yes, you reuse tattoo needles or tubes on the silicone practice skin for the sake of practice. But a tattoo artist should not reuse the tattoo needles on the tattoo area of your skin or others for making a fresh tattoo.

They will spread infections and are liable to cross-contamination.



Most tattoo shops are used soap to wipe out excess ink after tattooing with specific procedures. The green soap acts as the perfect remover for the remaining ink or blood left.


The bleach and water mixer are used for the sterile tattoo machine. However, bleach is the primary reason that makes metal rust.

Tattoo Tips Set: You can get the tattoo supply and related products to pirate face shops, including poke tattoo equipment, whereas poke tattooing is the direction of ink into the skin.

Presented here are the top tattoo kits on the market. These kits come in various shapes and sizes, offering size options and design complexity to meet any individual’s needs.


We don’t recommend a tattoo artist sterilize the used needles for reusing them for tattooing. You can’t purify the needle fully.

We never recommend you sterilize the needle for reusing as it will poison your blood and be harmful to the skin after tattooing.

However, you can disinfect the unopened tattoo needles. Yeah, you can skip the sterilizing steps as the needles come pre-sterilized. But extra precautions will never hurt you.

In this case, try out the alternative needle sterilizing methods we mentioned above.