How To Remove Tattoo Stencil? (3 Easy & Simple Ways)

For whatever reason, you find yourself stepping out of the studio with stencil ink still on your skin. While this leftover ink does not get in the way of the tattoo properly healing, it does somewhat affect the look of your brand new tattoo that you want to show off with people around. 

There is no fuss as removing stencil lines is easy peasy that you can do it without having to revisit the tattoo parlor. So without further ado, below is how to remove tattoo stencil properly!

How Long Does Tattoo Stencil Ink Last? 

Stencil ink sits temporarily on your skin so that the tattoo artist can transfer the design onto the skin. Normally, stencils can hold on the skin surface for around a few days to one week, depending on the quality, the color, and the type of ink used in the stencil. Some even might last up to 2 weeks.

How-Long-Does-Tattoo-Stencil-Ink-Last
Tattoo Stencil Ink Can Last Up To 2 Weeks

Fortunately, stencils are essentially Aniline dyes, which means they can dissolve in water. Therefore, you can remove stencils without using any harsh chemicals. Also, there is no need to worry about the stencil lines slowly fading because they won’t cause any disruption to the healing progress of your tattoo.


How To Remove Tattoo Stencil Before Tattooing

If there’s any stencil that you’ve placed incorrectly, you can use rubbing alcohol to eliminate it. It is because alcohol is on the acidic side, so it can deal with the stencil ink.

Either isopropyl alcohol 99% or 70% will be fine for the job. Simply soak baby wipes with alcohol, and then rub the stencil ink in a nice, circular motion. 

The ink should disappear after a few scrubs. However, it’s worth mentioning that using too much alcohol can dry out your skin, making it less of an ideal palette for the ink to hang on, so you should not go overboard!

Rubbing alcohol is not recommended for removing stencils after tattooing, as the solution can sting your skin badly!

Alternatively, you can use tattoo stencil remover to erase these incorrectly positioned stencils, which we’ll get into detail in the section below!


How To Remove Tattoo Stencil After Tattooing

Soap + Warm Water

One of the safest ways to get rid of the stencil lines is to wash them off with warm soapy water. It’s best to use a gentle antibacterial soap to minimize damage to your freshly tattooed skin. 

Usually, you will follow the aftercare directions from the artist, and this certainly involves cleaning your new tattoo on a frequent basis. The stencil lines will be rinsed off gradually after a few washes.

How-To-Remove-Tattoo-Stencil
Stencil Lines Will Likely Fade After A Few Washes

Here’s how to clean a new tattoo correctly: 

Step 1: Wash your hands

You should cleanse your hand thoroughly to avoid any microorganisms from contacting the tattooed skin. 

Step 2: Wet the tattoo with lukewarm water

Cup water into your hands and then pour it over the tattoo. Keep in mind that the water should be lukewarm since too hot water can open up the pores and allow the tattoo ink to leak. 

Step 3: Apply soap

Apply the antimicrobial soap onto the tattoo and slowly and gently give it a good scrub in circular motions. 

Step 4: Wash and rinse

Only wash your hair with your hands and avoid using a towel or scrub. Wash until the skin no longer feels slippery.

Cup the lukewarm water into your hands and splash out on the tattoo until all the lather is gone. 

Step 5: Let it dry

Press a soft, lint-free paper towel on the skin surface to soak off excess moisture, or you can let the tattoo air dry completely. Never use a cloth or towel to pat dry the tattoo as they can harbor bacteria.

Transfer Gel

Surprisingly, the transfer gel that locks the stencil inks to the skin can function reversely to erase the same inks. We highly recommend S8 RED Stencil Transfer Gel, which is a very effective gel to remove stencils. 

red-stencil-transfer-gel
S8 RED Stencil Transfer Gel

All you need to do is apply the gel over the stencil ink and then rub it gently. Once the ink disappears, wipe away the gel and rinse your tattoo with clean water.

Stencil Removing Spray

Another method is to use a professionally-made spray for tattoo stencil removal. If you’re planning to have a collection of tattoos on your body, you might want to invest in one. Stencil removing spray is more effective as it only takes a few rubs to eliminate the stencil lines. Besides erasing the stencil lines, this product also helps cleanse the skin of impurities.

Tattoo-Stencil-Eraser
Tattoo Stencil Eraser

Here’s how to use a stencil removing spray:

Step 1: Spray the remover on the tattoo when it’s completely dry

Step 2: Use a cotton makeup remover disc to rub the skin in circular motions and the opposite directions until the product vanishes 

Step 3: Cleanse the skin with distilled water, and there’s no need to use soap. 

Tattoo Stencil Removal Warnings

  • Tattoo stencil lines are generally easy to come off; thus, we do not recommend resorting to harsh chemicals such as bleach to remove them. Doing so might not only ruin the new tattoo but also cause damage to your skin. 
  • Avoid rubbing your tattoo with rough materials or those that have the potential to introduce bacteria. They can disrupt the healing process and damage your tattoo. Even worse, there is a risk of scarring your skin. 

The Bottom Line

We hope you know how to remove tattoo stencil easily and safely with either of the 3 methods. 

Getting those visible bits of stencil off the skin is quite straightforward. If you’re not in a rush, you can gradually wash the ink trace off with your aftercare routine. Otherwise, you may want to rely on a stencil transfer gel or removing spray as a faster, more efficient solution.

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