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Nail Salon Sanitation

Salons and Spas

Whether going in for a manicure or a pedicure, you will want to make sure the nail salon you select is clean and sanitary. Salons that do not practice good hygiene can transmit infections and fungus between customers. To prevent this from happening to you, it can help to know what you should look for in a nail salon -- and the people who work there.

First, the salon and nail technicians should both be licensed. If you do not see the certificates hanging on the wall, be sure to ask. While this is not necessarily a guarantee that the facility itself is clean, it will help establish the official expertise of the person who is providing the service. Licensed technicians should be aware of sanitary practices and meet required standards.

Many states have made their requirements more stringent for everything in the nail salon, including the foot baths for pedicures, all mani and pedi instruments and supplies and even ventilation for fumes from acrylic nails. Check to see if your spa has a current report card from the health department. You can also ask to see your nail salon’s cleaning logs.

How a salon sanitizes their instruments is another important factor to check into. The best way to accomplish this is to use an autoclave, which employs heat to get rid of bacteria. This can be an expensive option, so not every nail salon will have one, but it works very well.

Chemical sterilization is also an acceptable method, but make sure that they are using a germicide or another strong solution to fully disinfect the instruments. If a chemical solution is used, make sure that the tools are soaked thoroughly, not just dipped briefly between customers. This should be done consistently; not just here and there.

Basic hygiene is another great preventative. Ask the nail technician to wash their hands before they begin, and it is a good idea for you to do the same. Starting with clean hands is a simple but effective step in making sure that the process is as sterile as possible.

One of the best tests you can give a nail salon is a simple visual inspection. Take a good look around the place when you arrive or while you are making an appointment. Does everything look clean and organized? If you are able to, observe the nail technicians working. Are they following the guidelines described above?

If you ever have any doubt that a particular place is clean or professional, cancel your appointment and take your business somewhere else. You have every right to expect that the salon and its personnel will take these issues seriously.

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