Setting Up a Hand-Washing Station

I’d like to continue our discussion about hand-washing.


Before leading our client to the hand-washing station, here is what we need to set it up properly:

• Post a sanitation policy sign stating: Salon clients must sanitize their hands before any nail services will be provided. Frame it, then hang it or place it at the washing station. This way our clients know it’s a policy and understand everyone must follow it.

• At the sink, put a tall Barbicide sanitizing container or similar container. Fill it three-quarters full with a state approved sanitizing liquid. Each state has different sanitation guidelines — make sure you check with your state and follow it. Change the sanitizing solution often and make sure to prepare it according to the directions, measuring for accuracy. Don’t fill the container more than three-quarters full. This will avoid liquid overflow when filling the container with brushes.

• Purchase several nail brushes and arrange them in a basket, container, or tray near the sink. Nail brushes are inexpensive and come in a variety of colors. We like the ones with handles; they’re easier to use. I suggest getting a lot of brushes to avoid running out. After lots of scrubbing and several uses the bristles may look tattered. Replace with new nail brushes as needed.

• Put a pump-style soap dispenser at the sink. Purchase a ceramic dispenser; it looks better than the plastic container liquid soap comes in. However, if you sell the soap you’re using, I recommend you leave it in its original container. It will help with brand recognition when clients are purchasing it for home use.

• Bar soap is unacceptable; it’s not sanitary, looks gross, and has to be single-use for public utilization. The pump style is cleaner and more economical, as it can be refilled.

• Don’t forget to place a paper towel dispenser at the sink. Get a wall-mounted dispenser or the simple turning dispenser. Again, we cannot use a community hand towel. Towels must be single use for public utilization. Some salons take this step to the next level by providing individual wash cloths for hand drying. The wash cloths are tossed into a basket after use and collected with laundry. Wash them separately from nail and hair towels.

Set up the hand-washing station and continue to keep it set up the same way every day. If we place the basket of clean brushes on the right, make sure the clean brushes are always on the right. If we keep moving the containers around, our clients will get confused about which brushes to use.


When the sanitizing container is filled with brushes, take the brushes out, put soap on them and scrub them together to clean the bristles. Rinse the soap off and place them on a towel or paper towels to dry. If you have a vanity style sink, store them below to dry. If not, take the brushes to the back room or another area to dry. Don’t leave brushes out for everyone to see.


Some of our salons are not set up to have a separate hand-washing station and a bathroom may be all we have to use. We can set up the bathroom the same way and use that it as our hand-washing station. If our restroom has a pedestal style sink, put up a shelf to accommodate the brush container, sanitizer, paper towels, and framed sanitation policy sign.


Next week we’ll discuss how to give instruction and how to introduce this new policy. One more way to help you stand out above the rest and become the BEST!

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