Green soap is one of the most important things you use as a tattoo artist - but not everyone knows what it is exactly. Or they have some of those life-changing questions like, "Why do we use green soap?" or, "And why isn't it green..?" We've gone ahead and put together some of the most commonly asked questions about it here, so you can finally sleep through the night...or maybe just improve your Jeopardy skills. Either/or.
What is green soap?
Green soap is a vegetable oil-based, water-soluble, environmentally safe soap that's commonly used in tattoo and piercing studios. Unlike traditional soap mixes, most green soap is plant-based and earth-friendly.
It's kind of yellow-ish - why isn't it green?
Green soap gets its name from its green tint, not ectoplasmic coloring! It's a completely dye-free soap - those yellow and greenish hues you see come from the glycerin and vegetable oil used in the manufacturing process.
What is green soap used for, exactly?
Green soap is used in tattoo and piercing studios for everything from prepping the tattoo or piercing site to cleaning tattoo machines. It's a great remover of dirt, blood, and tattoo ink. Because it's non-corrosive, it can also be used to safely soak equipment to loosen dried debris before cleaning and sterilization.
Why should I use green soap? Can't I just use regular soap?
Green soap is the industry standard because it has a soothing effect on the skin. The oils in the soap provide extra moisture, which prevents further irritation of the skin. Normal antibacterial soap dries out the skin and strips it of its natural oils, making it a bad match for tattooing or piercing, since both activities can be traumatic to sensitive skin.
There are similar cleansing products, like Neem soap and hemp soap, but these options are typically more expensive and usually come mixed with scents and other additives that may irritate sensitive skin. Quick side node: neem oil, while expensive to use in soaps, is an extremely popular aftercare ingredient for its soothing and moisturizing properties.
Green soap is a great, inexpensive way to help keep your shop clean, improve tattoo and piercing healing (as opposed to traditional soaps) and makes wiping down your tattoo during the session a breeze. Usually found on the workstation in nalgene squeeze bottles, hot-zone green soap is easily wrapped in plastic to prevent cross-contamination. If you are using green soap for the first time, make sure you read the manufacturer's label - green soap is sold at full-strength and should be diluted before using it on your clients.
Have a question about green soap? Let us know in the comments below!