How Long to Keep Tattoo Wrapped in Cling Film?

How Long to Keep Tattoo Wrapped in Cling Film?

Getting a tattoo is an exciting experience, but taking the proper steps to ensure that it heals well can be daunting. One of the most important steps in the healing process is keeping your new tattoo covered with cling film for the first few days after being inked. Knowing how long to store a tattoo wrapped in cling film will help ensure that your tattoo heals properly and looks its best. In this article, we’ll answer your questions about how long to keep a tattoo wrapped in cling film, as well as provide some useful tips on proper care and storage. Let’s get started!

Immediate Tattoo Aftercare

Once you have gotten your tattoo, it is important to take the necessary steps to ensure that your tattoo heals properly. Your artist should give you specific instructions on how to care for your new ink, but in general, upon leaving the studio, you should:

  • Apply a thin layer of unscented fragrance-free lotion to the tattoo;
  • Wrap it in cling film;
  • Change the wrap and apply more lotion every two hours for the first 24 hours [3];

Aftercare for The First 1-3 Days

Immediately after the tattoo is finished, it should be covered with a thin layer of tattoo ointment and wrapped in cling film. The wrap should stay on for at least 1-3 days, though some artists recommend leaving it on for up to 5 days.

The cling film acts as a barrier between your new tattoo and the air. It helps to keep bacteria out, reduces the risk of infection, and keeps your skin clean while it is healing. The cling film should be changed every 8-12 hours in order to ensure that it remains effective.

When removing the wrap, make sure to carefully peel back the cling film so as not to disturb or damage the tattoo. The cling film should not be reused, as this can lead to an increased risk of infection. You should also avoid wearing tight clothing or anything that may rub against the healing area. [3]

Immediate Tattoo Aftercare

Why Do We Wrap Tattoos In Cling Film?

Tattoos need to be wrapped in cling film for a few reasons:

  • Firstly, wrapping the tattoo helps it heal and prevents bacteria from entering the wound and causing infection;
  • Secondly, it also helps keep the area hydrated, preventing the tattoo from drying out too quickly and cracking;
  • Lastly, cling film also helps preserve the colors of your tattoo, keeping them vibrant and fresh for longer [1];

So, How Long Should You Keep The Cling Film On For?

The general rule of thumb is to keep your tattoo wrapped for a minimum of two hours and up to three days. It’s important not to leave it on any longer than that as you need to properly clean the area at some point during this time frame. [1]

Rewrapping The Tattoo In Cling Film – How/If To Do It

Once your tattoo artist has finished creating your masterpiece, they will cover it in cling film and give you detailed instructions on aftercare. This includes how often to rewrap the tattoo in cling film.

If you do need to rewrap the tattoo with cling film during the healing process, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, you should never use the same cling film that your artist provided to wrap the tattoo again. This is because cling film can be full of bacteria and germs which could lead to infection. It’s best to purchase a new cling film of your own if you need to rewrap the tattoo more than once during the healing process.

When rewrapping the tattoo, you should use a light layer of cling film that’s not too tight. It should fit snugly around the area and can be taped down to ensure it stays in place while healing. You should also avoid using any gels or lotions when wrapping the tattoo as this could lead to irritation. [1]

What Are Alternatives To Cling Film?

If you’re looking for an alternative to cling film for your new tattoo, there are a few options that can work just as well. A gauze dressing is the most common option and it can help keep the area clean and protected from infection. Bandages or medical tape can also be used to cover the tattoo if you want to protect it from dirt and debris. Additionally, some special tattoo wrap skins are available that can be used to keep your tattoo clean and dry for a few days after it’s been applied. All of these alternatives are safe for your new tattoo and should help you keep it healthy until it is fully healed. [1]

Rewrapping The Tattoo In Cling Film

When Can You Apply Aftercare Cream To Your New Ink?

Once your tattoo has been cleaned and dried, you can apply a thin layer of aftercare cream. Apply the cream every few hours for a few days and when your skin starts to feel dry. If you use too much cream, it might clog up the pores in your skin and cause infection or irritation. To avoid this, always use a very thin layer of cream.

If you’re using a clear, transparent type of cling film like Saran Wrap to cover your tattoo, do not apply the cream directly onto the wrap as it can cause irritation and infection. Instead, wait for your skin to dry and then apply the cream on top of that. [1]

Looking After Your Tattoo Long-Term

Now that you know how long to keep your tattoo wrapped in cling film, it’s important to think about long-term care. Remember, if you take proper care of your tattoo, it will look great for many years!

Here are some tips on long-term tattoo aftercare:

  1. Keep your skin moisturized. Moisturizers are essential for keeping your skin healthy and preventing it from drying out. Look for products that contain natural ingredients like shea butter or cocoa butter, as these will help lock in moisture without irritating the skin;
  2. Avoid direct sunlight. Sun exposure can damage both the color and vibrancy of your tattoo, so it’s important to cover up when you go outside. Wear loose-fitting clothing that covers the tattoo area and always use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30;
  3. Avoid swimming in chlorinated water. Chlorine can cause your tattoo to fade or become discolored over time. If possible, avoid swimming in chlorinated water and cover the tattoo area with a waterproof bandage before doing so;
  4. Avoid scrubbing your tattoo. Scrubbing your tattoo can cause it to fade or become discolored, so always use gentle, circular motions when washing it. Use non-scented soap and always pat dry rather than rubbing;
  5. Don’t pick at the scabs. Letting the tattoo heal naturally is an important part of the process, so resist the urge to pick at any scabs that may form. This can cause your tattoo to heal unevenly and lead to scarring or discoloration [1];

What to Expect After Getting a Tattoo?

After getting a tattoo, you can expect some minor discomfort and swelling. Your skin will be tender to the touch and may appear bruised. The area may ooze plasma (clear or yellowish liquid) in the first few days.

It’s important to keep your newly inked skin clean and dry during the healing process. Wrapping your tattoo in cling film (also called plastic wrap) can help protect it against bacteria, germs, and irritants that could cause infection. [2]

Protective Tattoo Film Vs Plastic Foil

Whether you’re a tattoo enthusiast or new to the world of body art, you may have wondered whether protective tattoo film or plastic foil is better for keeping your new ink in tip-top shape. The answer is that either can be effective if they are used correctly and at the right time.

Plastic foil is often used to cover the tattooed area during the healing process. This is because it helps protect the fresh skin from bacteria and other contaminants that could potentially cause infection or irritation. However, the plastic foil should only be used when recommended by your tattoo artist and removed after two to three hours. [3] 

When Can You Apply Aftercare Cream To Your New Ink?

What Happens if You Leave a Tattoo Bandage On Too Long?

If you leave your tattoo bandage on for too long, there is a risk of infection. This is because the cling film traps bacteria and moisture which can cause an increase in bacteria growth. Leaving it on for too long also increases the chances of developing an allergic reaction to the adhesive used to secure the cling film. Additionally, leaving your tattoo bandage on too long can also cause irritation of the skin, which could lead to further complications.

It is important to note that the cling film should not be left on for more than two hours, as this can increase the risk of infection. If you do need to keep it on longer than two hours, you should make sure you remove it as soon as possible to prevent any complications. [3]

What Are the Benefits of Wrapping My Tattoo?

Creates a Safe Environment

Wrapping your tattoo in cling film creates a safe and healing environment for the skin. The cling film helps to keep dirt, bacteria, and other contaminants away – this helps to reduce the risk of infection. It also maintains a constant level of moisture which is beneficial for keeping your tattoo looking vibrant and fresh. [3]

Keeps Bacteria Away

Keeping bacteria away from your skin is essential for maintaining a healthy tattoo. The plastic wrapping creates a barrier that stops dirt, sweat, and other contaminants from coming into contact with the fresh ink. This helps to avoid irritation and keeps your tattoo looking vibrant for longer. [3]

Protection Against Irritants

Cling film also provides a layer of protection against other irritants. This can help to protect the skin from sunburn, clothing rubbing against it, and general discomfort due to heat or cold temperatures.

Taking the time to wrap your tattoo in cling film properly will ensure that it heals quickly and looks vibrant for a long time. [3]

Creates a Safe Environment

How to Clean & Wash Your New Tattoo?

Caring for a new tattoo is essential to keep it looking vibrant and healthy. When you’ve just got your new tattoo, you need to lightly clean it with warm water and antibacterial soap or fragrance-free liquid cleanser. Gently lather the area for 30-60 seconds, rinse with lukewarm water, and gently pat dry with a clean paper towel. Avoid scrubbing the area as this can damage the healing skin and cause irritation.

Once your tattoo is dried, you’ll need to apply a thin layer of fragrance-free lotion or cream over the area. This will help keep it hydrated and protected from bacteria during its healing process. Reapply as often as needed, but be careful not to over-moisturize the area or use too much product. [2]

How Often Should You Wash a New Tattoo?

It is important to keep the area of your new tattoo clean and moisturized. After you get a new tattoo, it’s best to wash the area twice daily with mild soap and water. Gently pat the area dry after each wash. You should also apply a thin layer of fragrance-free lotion or ointment (such as A&D or Aquaphor) to keep the area moisturized. Be sure to avoid products with added fragrances, alcohol, or other irritants that can dry out your skin and affect healing. [2]

How Long Does It Take to Keep a Tattoo Wrapped in Cling Film?

The amount of time you should keep a tattoo wrapped in cling film depends on the size of your new tattoo, how long you have had it, and the kind of skin it is applied to. Generally speaking, tattoos should stay wrapped in cling film for 2-4 hours after application. However, if you have sensitive or dry skin or a larger tattoo, it can be beneficial to keep the cling film on for longer. [2] 

How to Clean & Wash Your New Tattoo?

How Often Should You Change the Cling Film?

Ideally, you should change the cling film once a day or at least every other day. This is to make sure that your tattoo remains covered and protected from dirt, bacteria, and germs. If your skin starts to become irritated or inflamed while the cling film is on, make sure to remove it immediately and cleanse the area with mild soap and warm water. [2]

Removing the Cling Film

Once your tattoo has reached the recommended healing period, you can remove the cling film. It’s very important to be gentle and take extra care when removing it. Make sure to carefully peel away each layer of cling film as this will help reduce any pain or irritation that may occur during the process.

When all layers have been removed, it’s time to give your tattoo one final wash. Make sure to use a mild, fragrance-free soap as this will help prevent irritation and any other potential issues. Gently lather up the area with soap and then rinse off completely with warm water. [2]

What Kind of Cream Should I Use on A New Tattoo?

For the first few days after getting a new tattoo, it’s important to clean and protect your skin. This means using a non-scented lotion or cream (like Aquaphor) that has been formulated for sensitive skin. Avoid anything with fragrances, dyes, and alcohol as these can irritate newly tattooed skin. It’s best to use a very light amount of lotion or cream, applying it gently and rubbing it in until it is fully absorbed. You should also make sure to avoid direct sunlight and swimming for the first few weeks after getting a tattoo. Doing so will help ensure that your tattoo stays vibrant and heals properly. [2] 


When can I take the cling film off my tattoo?

Typically, you should keep the cling film on your tattoo for a minimum of four hours. This gives your skin time to heal and will help prevent infection in the area. If your tattoo artist has not specified a specific amount of time, then it is usually safe to assume that it should remain covered with cling film until at least 4 hours have passed.

Should I leave cling film on my tattoo overnight?

Yes, leaving cling film on your tattoo overnight is generally safe. This will give your skin even more time to heal and can help further reduce the risk of infection or irritation in the area. Make sure that you use a new piece of cling film for each night.

How long should a tattoo be covered with plastic wrap?

Your tattoo should remain covered with cling film for at least four hours and up to 24 hours. After your skin has had a chance to heal, you can remove the cling film but make sure that you still keep the area clean and moisturized in order to further reduce the risk of infection or irritation.

Should I wrap my tattoo all day?

No, it is not recommended that you keep your tattoo covered with cling film for more than 24 hours. After this point, you should remove the cling film in order to give your skin a chance to breathe and further reduce the risk of infection or irritation. Make sure to moisturize the area generously afterward.

How long should a tattoo be covered with plastic wrap?

What happens if I don’t wrap my tattoo?

If you don’t wrap your tattoo, you risk the possibility of infection or irritation in the area. Keeping it covered with cling film allows your skin to heal properly and helps keep bacteria and dirt away from the wound. It is therefore important that you follow your tattoo artist’s instructions and keep the area covered until at least 4 hours have passed.

Can you wrap a tattoo for too long?

Yes, you can wrap a tattoo for too long. If you keep the cling film on your tattoo for more than 24 hours, then it is likely that your skin will start drying out and may become irritated. Make sure to check with your tattoo artist before leaving the cling film on for longer periods of time or overnight.

Can I drink 2 days after getting a tattoo?

It is generally recommended to limit alcoholic consumption for at least 48 hours after getting a tattoo. This will give your skin time to heal and reduce the risk of infection or irritation in the area. Make sure to talk to your tattoo artist if you have any questions about when it is safe to drink alcohol again.

Can I sleep on my tattoo after 3 days?

Yes, you can typically sleep on your tattoo after three days. Make sure to keep the area clean and moisturized while it is healing, and always talk to your tattoo artist if you have any questions or concerns about how long to leave the cling film on.

Useful Video: How Long Should You Keep Your Tattoo Wrapped? *Cling vs Tattoo Film*


In conclusion, it is important to follow the aftercare instructions given by your tattoo artist for how long to keep a new tattoo wrapped in cling film. Generally, this should be no more than 12-24 hours and could be even less depending on the healing process of your skin. It is also essential that you keep the area clean with mild soap and water while the tattoo is healing, and use a moisturizer or ointment if it becomes dry. Following these tips can help keep your new tattoo looking great! Thanks for reading.