If you’re considering getting a tattoo, you may be wondering how long to keep a tattoo covered. Most artists recommend keeping a new tattoo covered for at least 24 hours, but longer is better. Check out for more information, and get tips for caring for your new

What is a Tattoo Wrap Healing?

What is a Tattoo Wrap

When I say “wrapped,” I’m referring to the covering that is put over your freshly implanted ink to keep it clean and safe from bumps, scratches, or germs.

Once your tattoo is finished, your artist should clean the area by applying a little antibacterial cream or soap to it. This procedure guarantees that the skin is entirely sterile and devoid of dangerous microorganisms and bacteria that might result in unpleasant diseases if you’re not careful.

The tattoo will be wrapped with one of a range of materials once the artist is satisfied with the cleanliness of the region, depending on their preferences.

Your new tattoo is now in the initial stages of healing.

The wrap should now operate as a barrier, keeping out any bacteria. At the same time, your tattoo is healing and susceptible to infection because the skin was clean when applied (until it has grown a new, protective layer over the area).

Why Do Tattooists Wrap New Tattoos?

In general, tattoo artists wrap brand-new tattoos for a few crucial reasons:

  • For the tattoo to cease bleeding and leaking more quickly
  • To shield the tattoo from elements outside that might cause infection
  • To assist you in avoiding soiled bedding, furnishings, and clothing until the tattoo stops bleeding
  • The idea of tattoo wrapping is still one of the most contentious issues in the tattoo world, even though the reasons for doing so are entirely legitimate and beneficial. Some tattoo artists feel that tattoo wrapping is unnecessary, while others find it impossible to conceive a fresh tattoo not being wrapped.

Therefore, if you find a tattoo artist that doesn’t wrap tattoos for any reason, request that they still do it for your tattoo. When you get home, you don’t want your new tattoo stained by bloodied clothing. Additionally, you don’t want to spread viruses and bacteria to the tattoo and contaminate it.

Additionally, remember that most nations have laws requiring fresh tattoos to be covered in sterile bandages to avoid infection.

What Advantages Do Tattoo Wraps Offer?

As we previously stated, one of the primary benefits of wrapping a tattoo is that it is a barrier against bacteria, viruses, and other germs that might infect a tattoo or a “new wound.” However, there are other advantages, such as:

  • The wrap forms a barrier between the tattoo and any potential external illnesses brought on by bacteria, germs, viruses, etc..
  • The bandage stops the bleeding and seeping, enabling you to get on with your day without making a mess.
  • With the wrap, you may sleep peacefully without worrying about your sheets sticking to your tattoo or your clothing and bedding getting dirty.
  • The wrap guards against external physical impact, such as that experienced during contact sports or other physical activities, on your tattoo (which you should minimize until the tattoo heals).
  • If you must wear constricting clothing or clothing made of possibly irritating materials, the wrap safeguards your tattoo.
  • Re-wrapping the tattoo might shield it from dangerous infections if you move around in an area that could be filthy and unclean as it heals.
What Advantages Do Tattoo Wraps Offer

What To Wrap Tattoo With

  • A fresh tattoo should be completely covered with a sterile bandage.
  • When leaving a licensed tattoo studio, the most recent protective tattoo film or a sterile bandage must be glued down with medical adhesive.
  • Cling film can be replaced by cheesecloth or muslin fabric.
  • Keep tape from coming in contact with your tattoo.
  • Plastic wrap or cling film.

How Long Should I Cover My Tattoo?

This is where a lot of people start to become confused, and this confusion is primarily brought on by the fact that there are so many conflicting views regarding the best period to keep a tattoo covered.

Knowing the purpose of the wrapping might assist in clearing up some of this ambiguity.

As was already discussed, the primary objective of keeping your fresh ink bandaged and covered is to aid in preventing dangerous bacteria and germs from entering your fresh open wound.

These microorganisms can pose a significant risk to your overall health and your tattoo by producing unintentional infections.

In general, the wrap’s purpose is to protect your ink from germs until you get a chance to clean the area yourself.

You can’t take off the wrapping once you get home from the studio as long as you’re able to give the tattoo a thorough rinse in soapy, lukewarm water right away, followed by applying an appropriate healing/moisturizing lotion to the region.

This initial wash aids in removing any blood or plasma that may have dried and adhered to the skin since the wrap was put initially, in addition to keeping the region clean. The soothing, hydrating, and nourishing effects of the moisturizing lotion then aid in promoting recovery.

My personal favorite tattoo lotion is an aftercare item made of vegan ingredients called After Inked Tattoo Aftercare Lotion. In addition to keeping your tattoo incredibly well hydrated during the healing period, this item also works wonders in relieving itching and discomfort.

This lotion can assist shorten tattoo healing timeframes and eliminate any excess dryness and scabbing if used right at the beginning of the healing process.

Nevertheless, it is often advised to wait at least a few hours after leaving the studio before removing the wrapping.

This is to give the region a chance to settle and to let some of the blood around the tattoo dissipate (this may also help to lessen swelling and soreness somewhat, making the cleaning procedure less excruciatingly painful and uncomfortable).

Another purpose of the wrapping is to help prevent direct contact with anything you could unintentionally bump against or brush up against. This is especially important if the tattoo is on the part of your body that is very visible, such as the forearm, shoulder, or foot.

If you come into touch with anything unclean, these bumps and knocks may not only be unpleasant but may also help spread bacteria and germs to the region.

How Long Should I Cover My Tattoo

Last but not least, some people like to spend the first night wrapped up, and some artists concur.

This is particularly true if the tattoo is in a location where your bedsheets are very likely to touch it. This increases the risk of bacteria spreading to the tattooed region and the likelihood that the clothes will stick to the skin as leaking blood and plasma will dry and solidify.

The advise that your unique tattoo artist offers you should ultimately be trusted since they are the ones who know you and your tattoo the best.

Go ahead and take off your wrapping if your artist says you can in an hour. Alternatively, if your artist advises you to leave it on till the next day, I would advise listening to their expert advice as long as they are a respectable and skilled artist.

Contact your artist or studio if you are unsure.

Why Do Tattoo Artists Cover Ink With Cling Film?

The motorcycle gangs of the 1960s and 1970s are credited as being the inventors of the technique of wrapping tattoos with cling film. They wanted their tattoos to remain visible even though they were still new, bleeding, and leaking, which is a simple and dumb explanation for why they covered them with cling film.

The blood and extra ink are kept more under control and less untidy when wrapped with cling film since it is transparent. Additionally, the tattoo would be noticeable and only partially vulnerable to external infections.

The custom persisted for several more decades, although these days, cling film wrapping is less standard than it once was. The use of plastic over tattoo has been the subject of a contentious debate, although it depends on the tattoo artist and their chosen techniques.

Why Do Tattoo Artists Cover Ink With Cling Film

When Should I Wrap My New Tattoo?

During the ride home after your tattoo appointment

Before you leave the studio, your tattoo artist should cover your freshly inked body art in protective tattoo film or cling film. According to laws in many nations, a freshly inked tattoo must be completely covered with a sterile bandage firmly fastened with medical glue (tape).

When you’re sleeping

You may roll over on your tattoo while you’re sleeping, or the bedclothes could do it for you. This presents a chance for germs, dust, or fluff to get into the fresh tattoo and can lead to an infection. Check out how to sleep with a new tattoo!

Additionally, wrapping it will keep it from getting unintentionally scratched while you’re sleeping.

When sporting constrictive or bothersome apparel

Select clothing that is comfortable and not itchy. Elastic cuffs or sleeves are prone to catching on the margins of skin and scabs and pulling them off. Wrap your new tattoo with a clean bandage for protection if you must wear something that can rub or irritate it.

When participating in a contact sport or among a crowd

A clean bandage is the greatest tattoo protection when in a crowd or participating in a contact activity. Any bumps or blows that land directly on your tattoo may harm you. It is important to attempt to steer clear of these activities.

When Should I Wrap My New Tattoo

While in a filthy setting

Your fresh tattoo is an open wound. Wrap your tattoo for safety, for instance, if you have to clear the trash or work in a filthy environment.

Cling film or cling wrap is inexpensive, widely accessible, and effective at keeping out exterior debris, airborne antibodies, and pathogens. Unfortunately, an implacable tiny amoeba bacteria may infiltrate a wound as if by magic.

They will reproduce and multiply if the ideal microclimate infects the tattoo.


FAQs About How Long Do You Keep A Tattoo Covered

Why Should I Avoid Wrapping Tattoos with Cling Film?

Cling film is the final option for tattoo wrapping, as many tattoo artists advise, and it should be avoided. Cling film works well for covering tattoos immediately after they are completed; but, after you remove the cling film, you shouldn’t apply it again for 2 to 4 hours.

The fact that cling film is comprised of plastic is the cause of this. Due to the plastic’s lack of breathability, the air inside the tattoo is trapped, which prevents it from naturally drying out and healing. The tattoo cannot shut and seal if it is not allowed to dry out.

Not to mention that the plastic wrap produced a tattoo vacuum that might heat the tattooed skin and hasten the development of bacteria and germs.

Cling film, and plastic tattoo coverings have also been implicated in incidents of tattoo blowout. Infections were also present in these situations because the tattoo was always wet. After all, it couldn’t dry out inside the plastic wrap.

How Can I Re-Wrap My Own Tattoo?

Your tattoo artist wraps the tattoo for the first time. What transpires, though, if you decide to re-wrap the tattoo at home? How are you supposed to do it alone? Here are some pointers and techniques to use in this circumstance;

If you can’t replicate the cleanliness of a tattoo studio, you might not want to re-wrap the tattoo at home. Make sure the area is clean and sterile. Locate the cleanest room in your house.

Before handling the tattoo, make careful to wash your hands thoroughly. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds using soap containing at least 60 percent alcohol. Please pay attention to the nails, between the fingers, and the fingers themselves. Be careful not to touch anything other than the tattoo after washing your hands.

Use lukewarm water and mild, fragrance-free soap to wash the tattoo. After washing the tattoo, let it air naturally or tap dry with a paper towel.

After the tattoo has been washed and dried, carefully wrap it in the breathable material. Make sure the wrap completely covers the tattoo and that the adhesive sticks to the skin around the tattoo rather than the skin that already has a tattoo.

Keep the tattoo covered for many hours or the entire night. You must once again wash and dry your tattoo after removing the bandage. Avoid leaving the wrap on for a few days, as some manufacturers recommend, without first talking to your tattoo artist.

How Many Days Should I Keep My Tattoo Wrapped?

a day to three

You must keep your tattoo covered with cling film for one to three days. Your artist will let you know if this takes longer due to the size of your piece of art, but as a general guideline: Small line drawings should be covered with cling film for one to two days.

How Long To Leave Black Bandage On Tattoo?

one hour to three hours

Your tattoo artist will bandage your tattoo for the ride home after it is finished. One to three hours should pass with the bandage on. Once the bandage has been removed, wash it in warm water (as hot as is comfortable) while using a light liquid hand soap.

Can I Cover My Tattoo While Its Healing?

Your tattoo needs to breathe, so it’s best to avoid covering it after you remove the initial bandage, which the artist often wrapped in clear plastic or surgical wrap. A lack of air and additional moisture from the wrapping may result in scabbing and a slower healing rate.

Can I Use Saran Wrap For Tattoo?

“Blood and other bodily fluids that originate from a fresh tattoo cannot be absorbed by saran wrap. Therefore, you want the tattoo to be covered in an absorbent, sterile bandage. A no-no is saran wrap. Additionally, the tattoo shouldn’t be hidden for too long.


When it comes to tattoo wrapping, the most significant thing you can do is pay attention to the advice given to you by your tattoo artist.