It’s no secret that pedicure spas can use a lot of water, a fact that’s reflected in your salon’s monthly water bill and maybe in some nagging guilt in your conscience about your environmental footprint. Luckily, spa manufacturers have been steadily decreasing the amount of water needed to perform satisfying pedicures, so here’s a look at their latest low-water-usage options.
There’s just something many clients appreciate about the traditional pedicure spa. Well, more accurately, several somethings. There’s the automated chair massage that puts the client in a state of relaxation before the service even begins, the therapeutic water massage of the feeling of jets against her feet, and the overall look of a welcoming arrangement of pedicure spa chairs that lets her know she’s come to the right place to be pampered for an hour.
In a time of environmental- (and money-) consciousness, it’s hard to choose between having this pedicure spa chair experience in your salon versus saving water and money with a simpler bare-bones set-up. Thankfully, with low-flow pedicure spas, you can have both — save water (and sometimes energy too) — but still get all of the great features your clients desire.
New technologies, like pipeless spas, make it easier than ever to save water. (You don’t have to worry about all of the water you can’t see in the pipes, both during the service and during the cleaning in between.) Plus, there have been innovations in jets, rethinking them so there’s still a water massage but it’s created in a different way, such as manufacturer Sedona Furniture’s spas, which inject air with a blower.
For this feature, we asked spa manufacturers to submit spas that purposely use less water. We didn’t give them strict guidelines on water usage, as there’s no formal criteria yet for what constitutes “low-flow” when it comes to pedicure spas. We did advise them that we likely wouldn’t consider any spas that use 7 or more gallons of water per service. We’ve listed how much water each featured spa uses in this article, so you can decide for yourself how many gallons of water per service is acceptable for your business.
How low can you go?
Available exclusively at Premier Nail Source, the Bella Forte Siena Pipeless Pedi Spa uses 4 gallons of water per service. Its other features include a remote massage function, plush adjustable seat, manual recline, fiberglass basin with acetone-resistant gel coat, adjustable footrest, pull-out hand sprayer, and a one-year limited warranty.
The Capri continues the long tradition of Belvedere’s bench-style pedicure spa, as well as incorporates Clean Touch Pipe-Free technology. The technology doesn’t require re-circulating pipes, which means the spa can be cleaned by spray instead of filling the basin with water each time. The basin holds 4.5 gallons of water.
Continuum Footspas offers multiple units in the low-flow category, with the Simplicity shown here. The Simplicity has high-end features like Shiatsu massage with an adjustable chair, but is a cinch to install. It requires no plumbing and instead uses a Pedicute Portable Spa, which holds a max of 1.5 gallons of water. The Echo, a plumbed spa with a NoPipe jet, holds up to 4.5 gallons of water. The Maestro, the company’s most high-end spa, was launched using 7 gallons of water but has since been redesigned to use 4.5 gallons. Bonus: The wood used for all of the company’s spas is harvested from sustainable sources.
The elegant Elle pedicure spa from European Touch is a lovely combination of performance and style. It uses 4.5 to 5 gallons of water per service. Full body massage is standard on the Elle, as are folding manicure trays. It incorporates a front-mount pipe-free system that is easy to clean. The foot and calf rest makes it easy for technicians to find the right working height making it comfortable for the client and the tech.
Gulfstream Plastics new Clean Jet Max, a new jet system that’s available on all of the company’s pedicure spas, can operate with a minimal 2 gallons of water. Shown is the Lavender II, which features high-quality upholstery and a massage system. Bonus: Clean Jet Max is compatible with the company’s new disposable, biodegradable, and hygienic liners (shown in inset). The recyclable liners are $0.35 each.
All of Lexor’s models have basins that use 5 to 6 gallons of water per service, including for miscellaneous rinsing/cleaning during the service. New for 2011 is the Infinity (shown here), which features pipeless PureFlo MG magnetic jet technology, a one-piece jet that provides quiet therapeutic action and can be removed by hand for sanitation. It also features Tru-Touch massage and Auto-Fill technology (meaning the spa can fill the basin, shut off the water, and start the jets unattended).
Introduce your littlest clients to energy- and water-efficient pedicures with the Luraco Kids Mini-Spa. The spa’s i-Fill technology prevents water overflow resulting in no waste of this natural resource. The Magna Jet uses magnetic coupling technology, which creates a jet experience without pipes or a shaft seal, so it will never leak. The basin uses less than 5 gallons of water per use. The unit is equipped with vibration massage on both the backrest and the seat. Bonus: This unit uses 30 watts of power during a service, which is less power usage than the typical lightbulb.
The MaidenSpa Pipeless Pedicure Spa foot basin provides complete coverage of the client’s feet using less than 6 gallons of water because of the low position of both front and rear pipeless motors. It uses a removable, one-piece jet cover on each motor that only takes a twist to remove, clean, and replace. The self-cooling and quiet motors require only 1.5 amps of energy per motor. They use air, not electricity, for the massage. Bonus: After its many years of service, the spa bases can be ground to use as fillers in resins and plastics and the steel frames in the client and tech chairs can be recycled.
Each Sedona Furniture pedicure basin uses 3.5 to 4 gallons of water per service including cleaning. The basin incorporates a jetless, air-injected hydro foot bath design that creates soothing bubbles for the feet as well as a deeper foot massage. The seven-piece Sedona System (shown) is also a space-saver, as it requires only a 7-ft. by 5-ft. area for both pedicure stations, two manicure stations (there’s a pull-out tabletop on each side of the cabinet), a three-drawer cabinet, and two tech chairs. The chairs have Shiatsu movement that kneads and massages the entire back.
The Solex “Luminous Spa” Chair fuses burlwood accents with a crystal glass basin and perforated two-tone leather seating. The innovative footrest design supports the client’s calves. It uses about 4.5 gallons of water per service.
All of t4 Spa Concepts & Design’s pedicure spas use 6.5 gallons of water per service (4.5 gallons for the foot soak, plus 1 to 2 gallons to rinse the basin and jet). Shown is the Katai, which features a water-resistant wood laminate design, Human Touch massage technology, manicure trays, and compatibility with the company’s SaniSmart disposable basin liners. The SaniSmart Jet is magnetic, easy to use, and easy to clean. Bonus: The SaniSmart Liners are recyclable.
Portable Pedicure Basins
If you prefer the look of portable pedicure basins coupled with residential non-massage chairs, then you’re likely OK in the water-usage category. Professional pedicure basins like Belava and FootsieBath hold about 2 gallons of water, and you don’t need to fill the tub up to the top for a pedicure. If you’re using a non-professional basin, find out how much water you use per service by filling up an empty gallon milk jug with water and pouring it into the basin until you reach your typical pedicure water level.