1. Bad odors – Tattoo shops should smell like cleaning products and sterile air, if you walked into a tattoo shop and were greeted by a big puff of smoke or some other bad smell, you could be in the wrong place. The owners of the tattoo shop and the artist who do not care about the smell of the shop are a good indicator that the level of sterilization can be low.
2. Animals – In some salons, the owner will have a snake cage or a dog running. This is a violation of most state health codes and anyway is a disgusting situation always avoid any tattoo shop where the animals are present. Beside the smell, the presence of animals compromises any sterile area that the artist was able to set up.
3. Dirty employees – Tattoo shop employees must be clean and wear not only sterile gloves and sterile equipment. But personal hygiene should also be high. If the tattooist you chose is dirty, has ink or other stains on the clothes, you may want to leave. If the artist does not keep his own person clean, his work area is probably in the same disarray.
4. Foul Bathroom – Check the bathroom in the tattoo shop that you plan to go to in advance. Does it look and smell clean? The look of the bathroom will give you an idea of the level of cleanliness in the business. If employees take a nonchalant attitude to the cleanliness of the bathroom, they can also be nonchalant in cleaning their personal workstations.
5. "Sorry, we're out of ink …" – Nothing says you're in the wrong shop, like "Sorry, we're running out of ink". Maybe its black or red or green ink, but the question is the same how can a tattoo shop run out of anything, much less tattoo ink. This happens all the time, it is usually the sign of a tattooist who does not want to do the work. But even if the store is really of a particular color of the tattoo ink, it is always a good sign that you are in the wrong store.