There are numerous ways to sterilize tattoo needles, including chemical sterilization, boiling, bleaching and flaming. However, the most effective method for tattoo and piercing studios is an autoclave. The materials needed are an autoclave, water, ultrasonic cleaner with cleaning tablets, gloves and a stainless tray.
- Clean the needle
An autoclave may not fully sterilize tools that have not been cleaned, so place the needle into an ultrasonic cleaner with cleaning tablets first. An ultrasonic cleaner is a device that uses high-energy soundwaves to remove matter from appliances. Remove the needle with gloved hands, and place it on a stainless tray. Refrain from placing it on a surface that cannot be sterilized, as it still contains bacteria.
- Prepare the autoclave
Make sure the autoclave is filled with enough water for it to reach and maintain the proper levels of heat and pressure and that it has been spore-tested for functionality.
- Place the needle in the autoclave
After ensuring that the needle is clean and the autoclave works properly, sterilize the needle using the autoclave. Follow the directions attached to the autoclave, and wait for the 55 minute cycle to end. Afterwards, remove the needle with clean gloves, and place it on a sterilized surface so it stays clean.