Avoid Spreading Germs at the Nail Salon
Nail salons are a great place to receive a quick pampering session. Unfortunately, we aren’t the only ones taking advantage of spa time. With so many hands and feet coming in and out of the salon, germs are on the rise. There are many ways in which salons are working to avoid spreading germs. Similarly, there are ways guests can help the salon avoid the spread of germs. Athena Elliot has been a nail technician for over 30 years. She spoke with ABC to keep spa-goers informed on what they should know before settling on a regular nail salon. Here are some of her findings.
Do Your Research!
Check out your nail salon’s internet presence. If they are popular online, and getting great reviews, they likely know what they’re doing. When you do go in to check it out, make sure you are able to communicate with your technician. If he/she isn’t listening to exactly what you want, that’s a red flag because the guest should be in control of the appointment. Not only should you like the outcome, but the process should also be smooth and comfortable for you as well. Further, you shouldn’t be in pain during the process. Some of the tools may burn or pinch you, but a good tech will be mindful of this.
Ask: How Do They Clean Their Tools?
Inquire whether they use a liquid disinfectant or an autoclave to sterilize instruments. Both of these are perfectly acceptable, one uses liquid cleaner and the other disinfects with heat. Never be afraid to speak up if you want to know firsthand how their materials are being cleaned. The pedicure tubs are a major cause for concern. Ideally, there will be a (new) plastic wrap placed inside the tub as you are seated. However, the tub should still be disinfected after each use. Also, ensure the file being used on you came from a new package, they should be single-use only. Be mindful of what they do with the tools after using them on your nails. If they are put back in the same drawer they came from they’re likely not being cleaned properly. Further, you should always know what chemicals they are using. Each bottle should be clearly labeled and visible in their nail kits.
Is the Technician Wearing Gloves to Avoid Spreading Germs?
Gloves are great for reducing the transfer of bacteria, but less than 20% of technicians regularly wear them. Normally your tech will be wearing them when giving a pedicure, they don’t want to make direct contact with people’s feet. But if they’re not wearing them when doing your manicure, it’s acceptable to speak up and request they wear gloves. Another simple way to avoid bacterial infections: don’t shave right before going to the salon. This becomes an entry for bacteria, so try to go at least 48 hours after shaving your legs.
Are the Floors Clean?
If you can see nail clippings among other things on the floor, the employees aren’t cleaning as they go. Each station should be cleaned properly after each and every customer.
Follow your instincts if you feel a salon is not clean or your health could be at risk if you keep your appointment. Don’t be afraid to report any wrongdoings, all salons should be following the rules and guidelines set for them.
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