The Science of Nails

Product Shelf Life, Storage, and Disposal

Make most of your product investment by knowing how long product last, how to store them for optimum freshness and safety, and how to dispose of them when necessary.

In these times of cost efficiencies, more and more salons are buying in bulk to maximize products. A laudable practice, and one that can be even more effective if you know a product’s shelf life (if acrylic monomer is only good for one year, for example, you shouldn’t buy more than you can use in a year). Also be aware of the best storage conditions to keep it fresh while optimizing salon safety. Of course, sometimes you need to throw away products that’s contaminated or spoiled, so you also need to know the correct disposal methods.

Use this chart to help you in buying, storing, and disposing of nail products. Shelf life helps you determine how much product you can stock up on, but use the times provided in the chart as guidelines rather than hard-and-fast rules. You have no way of knowing how long an unlabeled product sat on the distributor’s shelf, so something that is supposed to last year may go bad in six months. On the other hand, some products can be used safety long after the ”expiration date.”

“The one-year mark doesn’t mean product is bad, which is why manufacturers are reluctant to provide use-by dates,” explains Doug Schoon, director of R&D for Creative Nail Design (Vista, Calif.), about acrylic monomers. “The best test is the use test.”

For example, you can tell monomer has gone bad when it thickens or set up too slowly when they’ve expired. With lotions and oils, you can generally tell by the smell if they have rancid of “off” odor, throw them out. Resins will become stringy when they’re no longer usable.

In addition to the storage recommendations outlined for individual products in the following chart, store all nail products upright to prevent leakage. Likewise, always keep products in their original containers for easy identification and because manufacturers choose the container that optimizes the shelf life of the particular product. For example, monomer usually is package in a UV-ray-resistant amber bottle because the product is sensitive to light.

When disposing of products, always follow manufacturer’s instructions as well as federal, state, and local regulations. Not only are you risking fines from OSHA, the EPA, and your local authorities if you don’t, you’re also creating a safety a safety and environmental hazard. For example, anything you pour down the drain eventually ends up in the ocean, threatening sea life. Similarly, while it may seem harmless to toss end half-empty polishes into the trash, these end up in landfills, where the chemicals can leach into the soil. As a more immediate concern for your salon, many of the chemicals used in nail products are reactive and flammable, as some salons have learned the hard way through exploding trashcan and fire.

If regulations require that products be disposed of as hazardous material, contact your local municipality  for information about a local hazardous waste day; many municipalities will allow you to dispose of products at common location a few times a year for a nominal fee.

Nail Polish, Base/Top Coats, Nail Treatments

Shelf life: 12-18 months (60° to 72°) up to 4 years refrigerated

Storage: Store in a cool, dark place away from sources of direct sunlight heat and flame; pigments tends to fade or discolor when exposed to sunlight bottles can explode in temperatures above 120° for long-term storage, refrigerate, allowing to return to room temperature before opening. Contains volatile organic compound an in liquid form must be disposed of according to federal state, and local regulations; pour small amounts (less than one-half bottle) into absorbent material, allow to harden completely, and dispose of in trash (check with local municipality to ensure this is not violation of local ordinance.

Heat Activated Top Coats

Shelf life: 1 year

Storage:  Store between 40° and 78°, away from sources of sunlight, heat and flame. Contains volatile organic compound an in liquid form must be disposed of according to federal state, and local regulations; pour small amounts (less than one-half bottle) into absorbent material, allow to harden completely, and dispose of in trash (check with local municipality to ensure this is not violation of local ordinance.

Polish Remover

Shelf life: 5 years

Storage: Highly flammable, store in a cool, dark place away from source of direct sunlight, heat and flame. Treat as volatile reactive material and follow federal, state, and local regulations for disposing of hazardous materials, highly flammable, don’t dispose of by evaporation because of fire hazard

Acrylic Powder

Shelf life: 1-3 years

Storage: Store in a cool, dark place; store large quantities separate from monomer to prevent accidental mixing. Place tightly capped container in trash (check with your municipality to ensure this is not in violation of local ordinances)

Acrylic Monomer

Shelf life: 12-18 months

Storage: Store in a cool dark place away from sources of direct sunlight, heat and flame, cap tightly, store large amounts separated from powders for long term storage, refrigerated (which can increase shelf life into 3+ years) allowing to return to room temperature (60° to 78°) before opening never store above 95°, if transporting store in an empty closed ice chest. Mix with small amounts (never more than a dapped-dish full) of powder and allow harden, then place in trash to dispose of liquid monomer, treat as a volatile, reactive material and follow federal, state and local regulations for disposing of hazardous materials. Galaxy Nail Products offer a special powder to polymerize liquid before disposal.

Primer

Shelf life: 1-2 years

Storage: light sensitive store in a cool dark place. Treat as a volatile, reactive material and follow federal, state, and local regulations for disposing of hazardous materials.

Resin

Shelf life: 1 year

Storage: Store in a cool dry dark place, keep away from sources of natural artificial light, heat and flame; freezing suspends shelf life so that when returned to room temperature the remaining life is the same as when frozen. Treat as a volatile, reactive material and follow federal, state, and local regulations for disposing of hazardous materials.

Resin Activator

Shelf life: 1 year

Storage: Store at room temperature away from sources of direct sunlight, heat and flame store separate from adhesive and resins. Treat as hazardous material and follow federal, state, and local regulations for disposing of hazardous materials.

Nail Adhesive

Shelf life: 1 year

Storage: Store at room temperature away from sources of direct sunlight, heat, and moisture don’t refrigerate or freeze, cap tightly store separate from resin activator. Place open container in sunlight until it cures (this may take several days), then tightly cap container and dispose of in trash.

Tip Blender

Shelf life: 1 year

Storage: Store in a cool, dry, dark place. Treat as a volatile, reactive material and follow federal state, and local regulations for disposing of hazardous materials.

UV-Activated Gel and Top Coats

Shelf life: 1 year

Shelf life: Store at room temperature in a cool, dark place away from sources of heat and flame. Flush down sink in small amounts with copious amount of running water (check with you municipality to ensure this is not in violation of local ordinances)

Quaternary Implement Disinfectants

Shelf life: 2-3 years

Shelf life: Store room temperature; avoid temperature extremes; read label for EPA’s specific storage requirements.

Phenolic Compound Implements Disinfectants

Shelf life: 1-3 years

Storage:  Store at room temperature; avoid temperature; avoid temperature extremes; read label for EPA’s specific storage requirements

Cuticle Oil

Shelf life: 2 years

Storage:  Store in cool, dark place Dispose of in trash

Cuticle Creams / Lotion

Shelf life: 1-2 years

Storage:  Store in a cool dark place. Dispose of in trash

Hand /Body Lotion

Shelf life: unopened 1-2 years, opened 1 year

Storage:  Store in a cool dark place Dispose of in trash, oils in lotion can clog pipes if poured down drain

Paraffin

Shelf life: 2-3 years

Storage:  Store below 85°; keep out of direct sunlight; will soften at temperature over 100° Cool until solidified turn on heating unit for five minutes or until paraffin is soften at edges, remove from unit, bag and place in trash can, clog pipes if pour down drain.

Keywords:   product disposal     product storage  



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In 1983 Jack and Michael Megna founded the company that would become Backscratchers Salon Systems, Inc. At the time, Jack, now Chairman of the Board o...
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