Sanitation And Safety In Nail Salons: A Fun And Practical Guide, By Becky Edwards LNT, Licensed Nail Techinician

 In Esthetics

Who doesn’t love a pampering day at the nail salon? Whether you are interested in having your nails done in a quiet solo setting or choose to go with a friend, opting for a clean environment is always the best course of action for safety and care so you can relax while your feet and hands are given all of the attention.

It feels like such a rarity! It’s finally “you-time”. It’s time to drop all worries and allow your weary limbs to rest, relax, and rejuvenate. The last thing you want to think about is sanitation in your sacred place. So, here are a few points of consideration when choosing the best nail salon and technician so you can take the worry out of your nail care.

~Look for clean work stations. We have all heard scary stories about infections and nail fungus in salons. You can still get your nails done safely without worrying! The key is to be aware of your nail technician’s sanitation. As you sit down look to see if the table is clean without nail debris from prior clients. As technicians, we are required to wipe down the table with hospital grade disinfectant between every appointment. There should also be a clean towel, as they are changed for each client.

~Look for sanitized multi-use implements.  One of the biggest offenders and things to watch out for is reusing single use implements that cannot be sanitized between clients. These implements (nail files, foot files, buffers, orange wood sticks, cotton balls, and wipes) should be brand new and just for you! After the appointment is over, these need to go in the trash or a baggy for you to take home. The multi-use implements (cuticle pushers, cuticle cutters, electric file drill bits, and finger/toe nail clippers) that can be sanitized are typically made out of metal. Between appointments your technician should be submerging these in hospital grade disinfectant for 10 minutes or more in a covered container. Autoclaves may also be used. Your nail technician should not be putting these back in their drawer without sanitizing first.

~Look for detached foot soak tubs.  They can be scrubbed out with warm water and soap and then soaked with hospital grade disinfectant for 10 minutes or more. Although many salons have them, I recommend not using the pedicure chairs with the tub attached. We all love the massaging chair and jets in the tub, but these are very common places to acquire and spread a toe nail fungus. It is difficult to fully sanitize these tubs since they do not detach from the chair. The crevices of the jets and pipes are very hard to get 100% clean. It is not worth the risk; fungus is very hard to get rid of! This is why I use and recommend detached foot soak tubs.

~ Look for reasonably priced services. When it comes to pedicure services, lower prices can mean they are cutting corners. While this is not always the case, it is important to be familiar with your nail salon’s sanitizing practices and product line. Remember, nicer salons not only have better facilities, but they pay more attention to training for their staff, use better products, and have higher cleaning standards.

Remember to be aware and not afraid to ask questions when you are concerned about something. Salon sanitation is necessary for your safety. Be conscious while getting your nails done and enjoy!

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