Kent tattoo parlor teaches the healthy side of tattooing


Submitted photo.

Amy Cooknick

Students from the public health major toured Rubber City Tattoo 2 this past Saturday for a demonstration on the process of keeping tattoo equipment sanitized.

The tour was an extra credit opportunity for students in the major to explore tattooing sterilization techniques used in the shop.

Juniors Jessica Harmon and Megan Jaroszyk both viewed sterilization tools during the tour and asked employees questions about the process.

“(There is) a lot of sanitary process behind (tattooing) that most people don’t really realize,” Harmon said.

Harmon added that she hasn’t learned about tattoo sterilization in any of her classes.

Jaroszyk said the event was interesting and that she would consider coming back to Rubber City for a tattoo after seeing their process.

“I came down here for my Environmental Health Science class, and I really enjoyed it,” Jaroszyk said. “I wanna get a tattoo.”

That is the response tattoo artist Scott McKinnie likes to hear.

McKinnie said he worked at two tattoo parlors in Cleveland and one in Bedford before coming to Rubber City six months ago. He said he is proud to work at a shop that the Kent Health Department offers as an example of good hygiene. The department contacted Rubber City about hosting the event.

“We had the health department come in and pretty much see our process,” McKinnie said. “Everything is confidently sterile, and (the health department) liked that to the point where they said, ‘Let us bring our students here.’”

McKinnie said the Rubber City staff is devoted to running a sterile operation and maintaining a safe experience for customers. He said the staff knows the risks involved with tattooing and does everything they can to minimize those risks.

“Cross-contamination is very real, but we separate all items,” McKinnie said. “There’s no mixture of (equipment). It’s a very real decision to get a tattoo. People have families. Yeah, they want a tattoo, but do they want that tattoo to symbolize the rest of their life how (tattooing) could go negatively? No. So you remove that picture from the scenario altogether.”

McKinnie said he and the other employees at Rubber City use hospital disinfectants like MadaCide to sterilize before and after tattooing. They receive regular county health inspections and keep a record of all safety checks done in the shop.

“Really, we just impress the health department,” McKinnie said. “Being a tattoo shop that the health department can be comfortable with is huge. So we’re really excited.”

This was the first health event at Rubber City, but McKinnie said he would like to make the event annual.

“If the health department is interested like that, I think it’s a good option,” McKinnie said. “It’s a good direction for this whole picture. If there’s people ready to listen, ready to understand who’s doing this right, then yes. That’s huge.”

Contact Amy Cooknick at [email protected].