How to Remove a Stick and Poke Tattoo

Cropped Image Of Woman With Partially Removed Tattoo On Neck

With statistics showing that three out of four people develop tattoo regret, it is no surprise tattoo removal is big business. However, this number might be even higher among stick and poke tattooers that maybe did their tattoo at home. Rest assured, however, some methods can help you remove your unwanted stick and poke tat.

At-Home Methods for Getting Rid of a Stick and Poke Tat

Getting rid of a tattoo at home is nearly impossible. But, there are a few methods that you can try. Just remember these methods will cause pain and possibly scarring. Still interested? Learn how to get rid of a stick and poke with a few proven techniques.


Since stick and poke tattoos can be done at home with crude application methods like sewing needles and homemade ink, removing these superficially applied tats can also be accomplished at home. One of the top methods for DIY (do-it-yourself) removers is salabrasion. This tattoo removal process is very successful for superficially applied tattoos since it is all about using salt and dermabrasion to remove layers of the epidermis.

How to Do It

To try salabrasion, you will need water, salt, and a rubbing pad like a sponge.

  1. After cleaning the skin around your undesired tattoo, you'll want to roll the pad in the salty water and then use the pad to scrub the skin.
  2. Keep rubbing the area for about 30 minutes, removing the upper layer of skin.
  3. Once the scrubbing is complete, add antiseptic or triple antibiotic cream to avoid any type of infection.

Please note this option is painful and could cause bleeding. While for some stick and poke tats, one application might be enough, you'll generally have to do this multiple times.

Dermabrasion With Sand

Maybe you've seen how sandblasting can remove rust from a car or paint from a surface. You can use sand to remove a tattoo as well.

While this method might be effective for stick and poke tattoo removal, it should be noted that like salabrasion, it is painful. This is because you will manually remove several layers of skin to get to the layer holding the ink. This will allow the ink to bleed from the skin. You can go to a clinic to get this done or try at home.

What You Need for at Home Removal

To sand your tattoo off, you'll need sanding powder and a sponge or fine sandpaper.

  1. Thoroughly clean the skin on and around the tattoo.
  2. Sand the skin vigorously for as long as you can stand.
  3. Apply an antiseptic cream to avoid infection.

The best results might take several applications of this method.

Tattoo Removal Cream

Another at home method you can try is a tattoo removal cream. These creams typically use acids to peel away layers of skin, allowing the ink from your poke and stick to easily seep out of your skin. While tattoo removal creams might not be effective on traditional tats, they can work on rudimentary stick and poke tattoos done improperly.

Steps to Removal

For this method, you simply need to buy a tattoo removal cream with trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and hydroquinone

  1. Follow the instructions on the back of your cream.
  2. Make sure to apply it as directed for the best results.

Natural Methods for Tattoo Fading

If you aren't so hip on sanding your tattoo away with salt or sandpaper, you can try a few natural methods to fade the tattoo away. If your tattoo was crude and did not penetrate deep, these can work quite effectively to remove it.

Lemon Juice

Freshly squeezed lemon juice in small bowl

Throughout your life, you may have noticed some people using lemon juice to bleach their hair naturally. It can do the same for tattoos. Lemon juice is a natural bleaching agent and can remove the tattoo from your skin naturally, especially on very shallow stick and poke pieces. While this form of tattoo removal is less painful, it can take much longer.

Application Instructions

Using lemon juice for this purpose is very easy.

  1. Use a cotton swab or other cloth to apply pure lemon juice to your skin. You can either use fresh squeezed lemons or pure juice found at the grocery store.
  2. Allow the juice to dry and wipe the skin.
  3. You can do this four to five times a day.
  4. The tattoo will lighten first before possibly fading completely.

You can also choose to add salt and use lemon juice and salt as a scrubbing agent. This application will work more effectively, but is more painful.

Aloe Vera and Honey

Several natural ingredients work to fade age spots and can help with stick and poke tattoo fading.The two most well-known ingredients are aloe vera and honey. While you might mix these ingredients to make a paste, they can also be applied separately.

Getting Started

Much like the lemon juice method, you just apply a small amount of aloe vera and honey up to four times a day to naturally and painlessly remove the tat. If you are lucky, eventually your stick and poke tattoo will vanish from your skin.

Professional Treatments

What you have at home won't cut it in some cases. In these cases, you might have to consider professional services like laser tattoo removal, dermabrasion, and excision. These methods are proven to remove all types of hand-done and gun-made tattoos. While the cost of these treatments can be expensive, given the fact that most stick and poke tattoos are small, it might be worth considering.

Tattoo Blues for Stick and Poke Tattoos

While it might have seemed great at 15, you're now scouring the internet for how to remove your stick and poke tattoo. As more than 75 percent of individuals regret one tattoo or another, it makes sense that people might look for at-home methods to remove their stick and poke tattoos. While several methods can be very effective, they are usually superficial, and some of these treatments can be very painful. Before you pull out the salt and start scrubbing, you'll want to weigh all your options.

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How to Remove a Stick and Poke Tattoo