Honing Your Skills

Keep It Clean: Essential Salon Sanitation

We all need to make a concerted effort to help shift the public’s negative views of nail salons. Your station, pedicure chair, and implements must be cleaned before each client. And the thing is, it’s not that difficult to follow standard procedures. Here, we’ve included a checklist of the basics you should be following.

Define It

Can’t keep the differences between sanitation, disinfection, and sterilization straight? The following are definitions put out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Learn them, live them, love them.

sterilization  n. the use of a physical or chemical procedure to destroy all microbial life, including highly resistant bacterial endospores. (Endospores are thick-walled bodies formed within the vegetative cells of certain bacteria. They are able to withstand adverse environmental conditions for prolonged periods.) Sterilization is not required in the salon.
disinfection  n. the use of a chemical procedure that eliminates virtually all recognized pathogenic microorganisms but not necessarily all microbial forms (e.g., endospores). (Microorganisms are living organisms — good and bad — that are invisible to the naked eye.) All implements and equipment used on clients must be disinfected before use.
sanitation*  n. to wash with soap and water to remove dirt and debris and to reduce the levels of microorganisms to a safe, acceptable level. Before implements or equipment can be disinfected, they must first be sanitized.
*Generally accepted definition

(You can find more industry definitions at www.nailsmag.com/encyclopedia.)

Next page: Sanitation Marketing and Info on Autoclaves

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