Top 9 Signs Your Nail Spa Isn’t Sanitary

Dean Laming ACIIBy Dean Laming on November 20th, 2018

An outing to a favourite nail spa would be a real treat for most customers.

Perhaps it’s a birthday spoil or some personal pamper time. Whatever the case, all customers expect to get their money’s worth.

As a professional nail technician there’s nothing worse than removing a manicure or pedicure from a new customer, only to unveil a gunky, infected nail. This may have been caused by the previous nail spa they visited.

Don’t be that nail spa! We have spoken to experts and discovered nine tell-tale signs that your business could be a hot-bed for unwanted germs and infection.

Common Warning Signs that there could be a problem with your Nail Spa

If you think about the sheer amount of people served by a nail spa on a day-to-day basis, it’s no wonder a salon can become a melting pot of germs.

As a salon owner or manager, it’s important to stay on top of things- not only general cleanliness and neatness but hygienic practices as well.

Here are nine of the most common warning signs your salon could have an issue.

1. Dirty Details

It’s all good and well if the overall aesthetic of your salon is neat and tidy. You have uncluttered surfaces, magazines neatly stacked, and tools packed away. From a distance, everything looks great.

But when you start to look at the small details, like your mirrors, the corners of each room, and the cleanliness of the bathroom, this is where dirt and germs creep in.

Do a thorough sweep of all the small areas and details of your space. This attention-to-detail makes for a hygienic, clean nail salon.

2. Overbearing Fumes

This is a sure-fire sign that too much cleaning product is being used, but not enough cleaning and scrubbing. Make sure your cleaning staff are thoroughly cleaning everywhere (as mentioned above).

While that nail polish smell is unavoidable in any nail salon, customers should not walk in to overbearing fumes. Make sure all tools, implements, and surfaces are being cleaned well all of the time and that cleaning products are not being used without the appropriate cleaning.

3. Technician Appearance

Your nail technicians are the face of your nail salon. All staff should look clean and tidy, with long hair tied back as this can spread harmful germs. Poor staff appearance also portrays an unprofessional image, which could turn customers away.

Make sure all salon technicians are well-trained in keeping up with appearances. Ensure they wear clean, modern uniforms and maintain a good level of personal cleanliness and neatness at all times.

A technician who is aware of their own appearance and presentation is more likely to offer a hygienic, professional service.

4. Repeat Use of Tools

Everything that touches a customer’s hands or feet should be completely sterilised or disposed of, in line with your training and the manufacturers guidelines. If not, this is a recipe for cross-infection.

Make sure all tools are being sterilised post-use in a germicidal solution or with an autoclave.

All drill bits, non-porous nail files, pumice stones, scissors, and clippers should get sanitised from one client to the next. You should either clean them through an autoclave using heat or dip them in a tuberculocidal solution.

Any tool or implement that is porous should be completely discarded between uses. This includes emery boards, nail buffers, orange sticks, and toe separators, as they tend to absorb and spread bacteria.

5. Foot Baths

Looking for a literal melting pot of germs? Look no further than the footbaths you use for pedicures.

Any kind of foot bath which uses a Jacuzzi type filter must be thoroughly cleaned and sanitised between uses. Germs and dead skin cells make their way into the Jacuzzi filter and get trapped there, cultivating a puddle of infection.

To reduce the risk of spreading infection, opt for a pipe-free Jacuzzi style foot bath which reduces the risk of trapping germs.

6. Polluted Nail Polish

Yes, germs can even grow and multiply inside products such as nail polish. Therefore it’s important to rotate your nail polish on a regular basis for this reason.

If a customer has a contaminated fingernail or infected sore near their nail bed, bacteria can transfer to the bottle of polish with every dip.

Be sure to replace your nail polishes regularly.

7. Failing to Display Proof of Insurance

Is your nail salon insurance certificate on full display for your customers to see? If not, it should be.

While the beauty industry is a lucrative business to be in, it also comes with its own set of consumer exposure and risk.

In order to add credibility to your name and build your brand, salon insurance is 100% necessary.

8. A Lack of In-Between Scrub Downs

Make sure your staff thoroughly clean their workstations between each customer?

If you notice that this is a step that’s skipped by your staff throughout the day, unsanitary practices could be at play.

Cleaning down between customers includes cleaning out and disinfecting all foot baths and hand bowls. All linens and paper towel need replacing. Your staff should disinfect their entire workstation, including the chair.

Ensure each staff member washes their hands between each client and asks each new client to wash their hands before a manicure begins. If you want to take your sanitary practices one step further, ask your staff to wear face masks and gloves.

9. Working on Infected Customers

As a professional nail salon, you may reserve your right to refuse to work on a particular customer. You might need to turn away someone suffering from severe nail infections.

You may advise against treating either their nails or toenails if you think that a nail treatment is not healthy or hygienic. This is your right as a business owner, manager and qualified professional.

Ultimately, if you believe a treatment to be unsanitary or unsafe for both your staff and potential new customers, feel free to turn away these clients!

Looking for Business Insurance?

If you are looking for comprehensive insurance as an up-and-coming nail spa in your region, look no further than Salon Gold.

We offer the ideal solution to keeping your business covered in the event of liability claims, accidents, and more.

Find out more about our nail salon insurance coverage here.

Dean Laming ACII

Dean Laming

Dean Laming is a Chartered Insurance Broker with more than 25 years insurance experience. Through various underwriting, operational and management roles, Dean has built up extensive insurance knowledge together with expertise on running a business. Dean is Managing Director of Salon Gold, part of the wider Henry Seymour Group.

All articles by Dean Laming

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