After working many years in the spa business, I have had the personal experience of ensuring that all our spa services and procedures were done with clean and disposable implements. Nail salons in particular have been in the news over the years with women contracting Hepatitis B from unclean implements, as well as bacterial and fungal infections.
With Spring in the air we want to show our nails and toes with a splash of color, but make sure that your salon/spa are performing a sanitary and clean service. Here are my suggestions, as well as industry standards for clean and sanitary nail services.
- The nail stations should be cleaned before and after each guest. Be sure that there is either a disposable towel or fresh clean towel covering the table surface. Manicure bowls should be clean.
- The nail technician should wash their hands with an antibacterial soap or use a hand disinfectant before starting to work on you.
- All nail implements: clippers, nippers and cuticle pushers should be in a EPA-registered hospital grade disinfectant solution, or sterilized. If you are not sure that they are clean, ask, or better yet, invest in your own set that you can bring along. To keep your own implements clean, use soap and water and wipe down with alcohol.
- A new, clean nail file and buffer should be used. These items can’t be sanitized, therefore you should bring your own. You can also request that a new file be used on you.
- Pedicure spa baths need to be cleaned between each guest with a bleach or EPA-registered hospital grade disinfectant solution. The tub needs to be filled and soaked with the solution for at least 10 minutes, then rinsed and dried.
- The same rules apply for the pedicure implements, they need to be sanitized and clean.
- Bring your own flip-flops if you remember, unless you are being given a new pair of disposable slippers and toe separators. Those items are single use and should be disposed of between clients.
- Lastly, if you have your own polish, you may want to use it also.
Use your own judgement, if your nail salon is clean and the implements are well cared for and sanitized you are on the right track. If you have any broken skin wait until it is healed. If there are real obvious signs of things not being sanitary, speak up or find another place to go. Your nails and body will thank you.