This is my tattoo setup. All disposable tubes, razors, ointment, ink caps and single use needles!!! Keeping you all safe one tattoo at a time.
1) Is there a autoclave on site? (An autoclave is a sterilizer ) is that autoclave tested once a month? (To ensure the autoclave is working properly). Ask to see spore test results. Dry Heat sterilizer or pressure cookers are not an acceptable form of sterilization.
2) All equipment should be covered in plastic barriers. (such as clip cord, spray bottle, the surface the artist is working from chairs etc...)
3) Are the needles new and in a sterile dated pouch?
(shelf life for sterilization is one year)
4) The shop should be clean and well lit.
5) Are the inks new? Make sure the artist don't reuse their ink, It all should be thrown away after each client.
6) Ask to see the artist while he is working to ensure he is not cross contaminating (touching things with dirty gloves) An artist should change their gloves before touching any thing that is not able to be sterilized or covered with plastic. (such as phones, containers and power supplies etc....)
7) Ask to see a portfolio of the artists work or if possible live people. Please be sure the style of work you are looking for this artist can do. As all tattooist have different styles they are good at.
8) Talk to other people who have been tattooed. If you like their work find out who did it. If you don't like it find out who did it so you don't make the same mistake they did.
9) Make sure that you feel comfortable while you are in the shop and ask many many questions. A true professional will have no problems answering any question you may have.
10) When getting a new piercing you should receive a 316L surgical steel piece of Jewelry appropriate for your new piercing. Your Jewelry should be new and in a sterile pouch. Never pulled from a display case.All needles should be new and single use. The set up area for your new piercing and chair should be sprayed down with a hospital disinfectant prior to and after each client. A Tooth pick with purple hectograph ink or a sterile surgical marker should be used to mark your skin.
11) There are many more things to look for. So make sure you do your homework before getting a tattoo or body piercing. You don't want to regret a permanent decision you make for the rest of your life.You also don't want to get a diseases. So please ask about the shops sterilization and safety procedures. Keep in mind a artist can fix a bad tattoo but some diseases can not be cured. Good luck in your journey in finding the right tattoo and artist for you.