There has been a lot of talk in the news lately regarding infections born from nail salons. Salons who don’t properly disinfect their foot baths and instruments could end up harboring bacteria and fungus that can cause infections to the feet. We have compiled this list of helpful questions for your pedicurist. These are things to ask, and things to look for, in a reputable nail salon. Doing some research before booking an appointment could help you avoid contracting a painful infection and/or other complications.
When calling to book an appointment with a salon, ask the following questions:
How much time do you allow between appointments?
- Disinfectants require at least 10 minutes to work – therefore if appointments are closer together than that, the bowls are not getting properly cleaned.
How do you disinfect your foot baths?
- Foot baths should be drained, and washed with disinfectant, between each customer and again every night.
What type of foot bath do you use?
- Preferred: Still foot baths: Typically, stainless steel tubs, no jets, and the only water used is your own. The water will cool down quicker, but you will avoid any lurking bacteria from a traditional, jetted foot bath.
- Good: Pipeless tubs: Pipeless jets are essentially little underwater fans. They sit on the bowl and create a massaging jet stream for your feet. There is no bulky base around the bowl to cover up the pipes that can be filled with bacteria. The only pipe running to these bowls is the one to hook the spa to the water source. The bowl is filled, and then drained, water is not recirculated through pipes. Coupled with a liner, these bowls have a low risk of infection.
- Less Desirable: Old fashioned jetted pedicure chairs: These have pipes to take the water from one side of the bowl and shoot it out the other side. The problem with these is that they are next to impossible to sanitize properly. In order to do so, long brushes need to be used to clean the pipes between every use. These bowls are an unsanitary, messy trap for bacteria. Try to avoid them!
- And at the very least, every salon should now be using one-time-use foot bath liners, and dispose of them after each use.
- All salons must use a hospital-grade sanitizer such as Barbicide.
- The best method to use is an Autoclave, which is a medical sterilizer (such as we use in our offices).
- Once at the salon, it is easy to check if the tools have gone through an Autoclave – the label on the packet holding the tools will change color during the process. If the packet looks brand new, they may have just put the tools in the packet, without actually using the machine.
We hope that this will help you to select a clean, sanitized location for you to have that much-needed, relaxing pedicure, without the fear of bringing home any undesired results!