A simple Google search brings up multiple stories of terrifying infections picked up at nail salons. Dire warnings of life-and-limb threatening infections still send chills down the spine of the reader. While these may be familiar to a tech, each client has that initial moment of dread when she first hears about the potential risks. Be prepared to calm clients’ nerves by answering their concerns. The conversation may go something like this:

Client: A friend of mine sent me a link to an article about a woman who sued a nail salon after her daughter died from a pedicure. It showed a terrible picture of an infection. It really makes me nervous.

You: I’ve heard lots of stories about the risks of manicures and pedicures. I know there’s a possibility of infection if tools aren’t disinfected correctly, so I am extraordinarily fastidious about following protocol and disinfecting all my implements and workstations.

Client: What do you do?

You: Well, I clean all surfaces with disinfectant before any client ever sits at my desk — and then I disinfect the surfaces again between every client. I wash my hands before and after every client and have clients wash their hands, too. Before I use any of my tools, I soak them in hospital-grade disinfectant for 10 minutes or more. [If you autoclave, let clients know!] I pay particular attention to the pedi bath because that’s where the possibility of a problem is the highest.

Between every client, I drain the pedi tub and wash it down with soap and water. The brush I use to wash the tub is soaked in disinfectant [or it’s disposable]. When I get it good and clean, I rinse out the tub and then refill it with water. I add hospital-grade disinfectant to the water and let it soak for 10 minutes. Then I drain it and wipe the tub clean so it’s ready for the next client. [If you have a pipe-less system or whirlpool, explain how you remove the screen and wash all removable parts with soap and water and soak them for 10 minutes.] I actually have a cleaning log if you want to see it. It shows how often I clean the tub.

Client: Well, I’m glad to hear that. It sounds like you do a lot to keep your place clean.

You: It’s more than clean. It’s disinfected, which means bacteria is gone. It’s not just a quick wipe down. That 10-minute soak protects me and my client. It takes more time, and I know some salons do this only at the end of the day, but the law says to do it between every client. If I were getting a pedicure, I would want to know the tub was disinfected before I put my feet in it. So, I want to give my clients what I would want if I were going to a salon.

Client: I’m going to tell my friend what you’ve said. Maybe she’ll start coming here for pedicures when she realizes you’re so careful and attentive.