How do you clean and disinfect your spa equipment?


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Feb 15, 2007
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Dear Fellow Salon Geeks,

I was talking to some folks yesterday (California) and it was a wake up call for me because these people who own a nail salon do not understand the new rules and regulations that regulate how licensed nail techs must clean and disinfect their spa equipment :eek:. Needless to say, what they were telling me shocked me because of how little they understood the new rules and how little they were informed as to what types of fines they would be subject to for NOT following these rules and regulations put in effect to protect the health of not only their customers but themselves.

The woman I was talking with says that she uses a "cup of bleach" to disinfect her spa unit. I asked her if she realized that bleach was no longer allowed to be used in the state of California in which she replied she did not know that :irked:! Consquently, she did not know that she had to remove and clean the "pipe-less" assembly after each customer (its written in the new rules and regulations that if you have a "pipe-less" unit you must remove the parts and scrub them with a clean brush BEFORE filling the tub with water and the appropriate dilution of chemical disinfectant (which she did not about anyhow)) after each customer). And what about logging this activity as required by the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology, not done! So, there is a great number of people practicing the art of nails in California that essentially to me don't have a clue on what they MUST do to be compliant to the rules and regulations set forth?

Let's discuss the fines if many of you don't know what's coming: $500.00 per spa unit not in compliance, and that's $500.00 for the owner of each violation and $500.00 for the nail technician! Got your attention now? And come January 15, 2008 when the enforcement of AB409 begins to take effect, you will be placed on probation (establishment license as well as nail tech license) and with probation comes:

(1) You must make a photo-copy of your log book(s) and submit them monthly to the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology under the penalty of perjury and

(2) Take a 8-hour remedial course on sanitation that you must pay for which includes the nail technician who was fined AND the owner of the salon and

(3) The salon (and its employees, contract or not) is open to REQUIRED repeat inspections of at least once per quarter (if not more) for one full year (this means that not only now are you going to pay a reinspection fee ($42.00 per spa chair/unit or manicure table) but now the inspectors are required by law to re-inspect you at least once per quarter or once every 3 months!

Along with the money and time involved with being placed on "probation" for sanitation violations you are opening your salon up to losing your best employees! How will this happen you might ask? If I were a "top-notch" nail tech and my salon was cited, and knowing that the salon will be re-inspected within the next 3 months or more often and knowing that everytime the inspector walks in my license is now at jeopardy why should I continue to work at this salon that puts my livelihood in danger? I think I shall find work at a new salon that is not on probation, right?

Thinking about the new rules and regulations in California should make every salon owner and nail tech seriously concerned. If I were a great nail tech and the owner of my salon does not want to put out the "extra" money of buying me the correct chemical disinfectant to use to be compliant with the new rules and regulations then I might just find a new salon that will supply me with the right "tools" of the trade. And why risk the reputation and my business to the potential of closure, if I were the owner? Hmmm, there's a lot of things to think about: cleaning and disinfecting properly makes sense, not just business-wise but health-wise. Not only protecting my customer's good for business but its also good for my health! To prove this point a female nail tech in Texas was reported last year as having Staph infection in her nose and other body parts (don't know exactly how she got the infection) by the Texas Health Dept. that came and did a check on the salon after a customer filed a complaint that she had a got Staph from the salon. And think about this: many nail techs are women, who go home at night to prepare dinner for their family, bath their little ones, etc. all while they do not even know that they have contracted a potentially deadly infection and might infect their own family? Now that's a scary thought! I encourage us all to understand the rules and regulations pertaining to the cleaning and disinfecting of spa equipment in our own communities and read them carefully to understand what can and can't be used to disinfect the equipment. The CDC/EPA even have released a Federal Advisory here in the US on this important subject so please for the sake of your family and your own health follow these guidelines and of course feel free to write your own comments or contact me directly with any questions that you may have on this topic at [email protected] :hug:

Take care and happy holidays to all!


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