What is the proper procedure for sanitizing nail files?


I’m a nail tech student in Michigan. What is the proper procedure for sanitizing nail files? Do you just clean with a brush and antibacterial soap and spray with a disinfectant allowing them time to air dry? Or do nail files require submersion in disinfecting solutions?


Here are the basic steps to sanitize your disinfectable nail files using Tammy Taylor products.

  • Using a sanitize-able plastic manicure brush, brush off all debris, soil, dust, etc., from the file.
  • Spray with “First Choice,” an EPA-registered hospital-level disinfectant; then brush again.
  • Disinfect both the file and the manicure brush using option A, B, or C.
    A. Thoroughly spray with “Disinfect-Disinfect-Disinfect,” a hospital-strength tuberculocide disinfectant, until completely wet and let air dry.
    B. Soak in First Choice for 10 minutes, remove, and let air dry.
    C. Soak in Disinfect-Disinfect-Disinfect for 10 minutes, remove, and let air dry.

    Although we stick to strict guidelines for sanitation and disinfecting, your local state board should be contacted for any last minute changes. — Tammy Taylor is owner/CEO of Tammy Taylor Nails.


    After each use of an abrasive file, it must be cleaned by manually brushing with a clean and disinfected brush or by other adequate method to remove all visible debris. After cleaning, it must be disinfected, which is best done by immersing it in (or saturating it with) 70-90% isopropyl or ethyl alcohol for five minutes. Allow it to air dry by placing it on top of a clean towel and covering it with another clean towel. Then store it in a sanitary manner, such as a lined drawer that is clean, contains only clean items, and is properly labeled.

    Any porous abrasive file that comes in contact with broken, damaged, infected, or otherwise unhealthy skin or nails must be properly disposed of immediately. — “Guidelines for Cleaning and Disinfecting Manicuring and Enhancement Equipment” is a handout from the International Nail Technicians Association and the Nail Manufacturers Council.

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