Salon Sterilization – What to Know and Look for When Getting your Nails Done

Salon sterilization practices have improved dramatically over the years. Education and technology have both played a key role in driving awareness about the dangers of providing salon services without proper sterilization techniques. Unknowingly, so many salon patrons contract things like nail fungus, skin rashes, infection, and in some cases herpes. This article is geared towards providing quality information about salon sterilization and to highlight some of the best practices.

First, the nail salon should invest in the right type of sterilization equipment such as an autoclave. It is industry knowledge that a steam or gas sterilizer is much more effective when compared to a “dry heat” autoclave machine. Prior to placing the instruments in a sterilization pouch, it is very important to wash the items thoroughly in hot, soapy water. After this, please be sure to submerge them in a chemical disinfectant for ten minutes or so.

After the salon tools soak in the cleaning solution, they should then be placed in a separate, clearly marked container to avoid cross contamination. Once dried, the sterilization pouches are to be used as a packaging and indication method. The pouches should have durable and transparent film for added visibility. Also, they should be constructed of a durable medical grade kraft paper.

Also, the footbaths should be sanitized between customers as well. It is very important to make sure other tools such as callus buffers and cuticle drills are cleaned and disinfected, in between each client. Likewise, a new drill bit should always be used for each client.

Be sure nail technicians wash hands because this is one of the easiest ways to minimize the transmission of germs, and also the most basic way to avoid other problems related to sanitation. It is necessary to make sure the salon insists on both the client and technician washing their hands prior to beginning the service. In addition, the salon should also provide a fresh bowl of soapy water for the client soak their nails.

Salon Sterilization practices are so very important when receiving a manicure or pedicure. If these types of services are performed by an unhygienic nail salon, it can lead to a range of problems which could have been avoided. Proper sterilization techniques avoid the spread of common problems such as skin infections, nail fungus and more.

Beware, this will occur without sterilization of the nail care tools in an autoclave. Research has proven time and time again, the use of non-sanitized instruments could potentially lead to the transmission of hepatitis, herpes or even HIV. Though these hazards seem extreme, one is more likely to contract a cold, flu or some type skin infection.

In some cases, it is perfectly normal for nail salon patrons to bring their own nail care tools. This is a great way to ensure the instruments are sterilized to the satisfaction of the client, and helps to guarantee they are not used by anyone else. It is also a very normal request to ask the technician to wear gloves.

The importance of salon sterilization and hygiene has been seen in the news over and over. There are plenty of horror stories about salon customers contracting various diseases at the fault of poor sterilization management. However, millions of people pay homage to several thousand salons every year without such problems. The best defense for this is educating the public. Following this advice will help lead to a safer, and more hygienic visit to nail salons everywhere.


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Joseph Giovinco is the owner of Med101, a company that provides high quality medical supplies at wholesale prices to their customers, which includes nail salons. Learn more at

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