Salon Hygiene Hints & tips to ensure your salon is a safe place to work! Your hands Hands come into contact with more items throughout a normal day than any other part of our body. Consequently, they can pose the biggest risk to our health if they are not washed on a regular basis. The salon is no exceptions. Shaking hands with people, taking their coat even removing a used coffee cup - can pose the potential risk of cross infection. Hands must be washed regularly throughout the day and especially in between clients. Remember to keep wash areas clean and tidy too! Use an anti-bacterial product, and one that contains skin conditioners so that your hands dont become dry. If your daily routine includes manicures or pedicures or other such direct skin-to-skin contact, ensure that your clients hands or feet are also thoroughly washed before any treatment commences. After washing, use an alcohol based sanitizer this will provide further protection to both you and your client from cross infection. Again, ensure that the products you use contains skin conditioners as alcohol is drying to skin. Work surfaces It is crucial that work surfaces are kept clean to prevent the risk of cross-infection. It also has the advantage of making the salon look far more attractive too! Dont be tempted to buy cheap products not only can these be ineffective, but they can smell awful too. Use a professional product that is designed for the job in hand. Hard Surface Disinfectant Wipes can be very convenient and they are also ideal for removing fine dust. Alternatively, you could use a spray product. Look for products in trigger bottles that can be refilled. Not only does this make financial sense, it also helps protect the environment too. Phones, tills and keyboards can also be hosts to many nasties. Keep these clean with product designed for such surfaces. Salon chairs & couches Most salon chairs and couches are made from PVC or vinyl. This has the advantage in that they are easy to clean. However, make sure you use the right product. Any disinfectant containing alcohol (ethanol) should be avoided as it is likely to react with the PVC or vinyl, making it brittle, which will eventually make it crack. Once you get a cracked surface it is extremely difficult to disinfect it properly, resulting in an area where germs can easily multiply. Chairs and couches should be cleaned on a regular basis. One drop of blood invisible to the naked eye could be infected with hepatitis with remains infectious for several days. Whilst you may think the risk of cross infection is small, it is still there and good housekeeping can help eliminate the problem. Instruments & Tools All instruments and tools should be thoroughly sanitized in between clients (or sterilized where required). Fortunately, there are now technically advanced products that make this quick, easy and cost-effective. Do not be tempted to short cut this procedure. Follow the manufacturers instructions precisely. Remember, that any organic matter left on the tools can slow down the disinfecting process, so make sure all debris is washed off prior to immersion in a disinfectant solution. Good quality metal instruments and tools are not cheap, so dont be tempted to use poor quality disinfectant solution. Ensure it contains rust inhibitors to protect your equipment. Some older formulations of instrument disinfectant require the solution to be changed daily. Not only can this be expensive and time consuming, it also has an impact on our environment. More modern formulations can remain effective for up to one week saving you time and money. Some instruments cannot be immersed in a disinfectant solution such as nail files. The debate continues as to whether files should be disinfected in between clients or whether each client should have a new file. The simple fact is this: if the file has not come into contact with any bodily fluids, then sanitizing is adequate - use a good quality broad spectrum disinfectant spray. If the file has come into contact with any bodily fluids, then throw it away. Floors Floors should be kept clean as a matter of routine. If you have hard surface, use a good quality floor disinfectant. If you have clients walking bare foot on your floors, it would be preferable to mop the floor after treatment. Good salon hygiene is not difficult. It takes a little time, but is well worth it. Not only will your salon look more appealing, but it will be safer for you and your clients too.