Salon “Best Practices”

Important info for Nail Technicians:

Each state has slight variations on their laws for these types of items, but it is best to adhere to the most strict guidelines to ensure your clientelle is as safe as possible, AND to ensure that you are in compliance when and if your state’s laws become more strict.

1. Make sure you thoroughly clean both your hands AND your clients’ hands or feet before you start working on them.  Depending on which state you’re in, you might be allowed to use waterless hand sanitizers, but really, you should take it upon yourself and just use real, running water with real soap.  Doing this will greatly reduce the spread of germs.

2. Every single piece of equipment that touches the client’s feet, hands, or skin must be sterilized in an autoclave (i.e. steam sterilizer).  This sterilization must be done prior to each usage.  Please note:  you can’t sterilize your tools in the morning and then work on clients all day long.  Each sterilization is good only for ONE usage, and then it must be sterilized again.  This includes any and all tools, nail files, etc.

3. If any non-porous (i.e. metal) materials, equipment, or tools come into contact with any type of  infection, skin irritation, skin discoloration, contagion, blood, or any other type of bodily fluid, that equipment must be immediately sterilized in an autoclave.

If any porous (i.e. wood, towels) materials, equipment, or tools come into contact with any type of infection, skin irritation, skin discoloration, contagion, blood, or any other type of bodily fluid, that equipment must be immediately disposed of in a safe, non-toxic manner, and can never be used again.

4. Make sure you keep all sterilized & disinfected tools in a clean container that is clearly labeled as “sterilized” or “disinfected”, so that you can never become confused and use non-sterilized tools for a new client.

5. Foot spas should be regularly maintained and cleaned, and tub liners should be used.

6. Realize that we’re not talking about CLEANING.  You’re running a nail salon, but you must treat it like a medical facility, and focus on complete STERILIZATION.  Yes, first you must clean, but you must go beyond that first step which involves removing all visible dirt, and go into the step of killing all bacteria.

This can be done with chemicals such as EPA-registered / hospital-grade liquid disinfectant.  But with liquids such as these, you must make sure the products are virucidal, bactericidal, and fungicidal.  They must be 10% bleach and at least 70% isopropyl or ethyl alcohol.

But the only way to absolutely ensure with 100% certainty that the instruments you’re using are completely germ- and bacteria-free, is to use a steam sterilizer or autoclave.

7. Realize how many of your tools really do touch the client’s skin.  When you apply creams, lotions, masks, and oils to your client’s skin, the tools you use must follow all the same guidelines as your most invasive tools.

When possible, use disposable tools.  If certain tools are too costly to throw away after each use, you must sterilize them. Also, when possible use tools such as applicator bottles or droppers that don’t require direct contact with your client’s skin.

8. If at any time blood or bodily fluid comes in contact with any table or chair surface, you should put on hospital-grade protective gloves and clean & disinfect the contaminated area with EPA-re

blood or body fluid comes in contact with any salon surface, the nail professional should put on protective, disposable gloves and clean it with EPA-registered / hospital-grade liquid disinfectant.  But with liquids such as these, you must make sure the products are virucidal, bactericidal, and fungicidal.  They must be 10% bleach and at least 70% isopropyl or ethyl alcohol.