Can you imagine?

I must be from another world. I see things that people do or say and I wonder if anyone else is aware of the idiocracy.

An everyday example would be this; I go to the local sub shop. I order my sub and notice the person who greets me and takes my money is the person custom making my sub. This person is wearing gloves to prepare my food. One problem. He/she also had the gloves on as he/she was running the cash register and possibly answering the phone. Do you see anything wrong with this picture?

A salon example would be this; A salon is marketing the idea that they are “all about proper disinfection”. In fact, they post a video of them grabbing sanitizing wipes and wiping down their sinks or pedi chairs with the claim they have the highest standards. Do you see anything wrong with this picture?

The problem I have with both these scenarios is the person/people on the other side of the desk or food bar, is given a false hope of security. Why?

Firstly, wearing gloves is not just for protecting our own hands. It’s also to protect bacteria from spreading from our hands to anything we touch. However, if we are still touching “other” things during the process…..the bacteria is STILL getting on the gloves.

In the example of the food preparer. Put the gloves on ONLY to make my food. Don’t put them on to run a register or answer the phone THEN make my food. You completely defeated the purpose.

You can apply this to the pedicure room as well. If you are wearing gloves to prevent cross contamination…..take them off to answer the phone or do whatever else you may do during your pedicure service. Do not touch my skin with gloves you just used to answer the phone or rummage through a drawer because you forgot something you needed for my service.

In the case of proper sanitation. Daily I cringe at the lack of knowledge when it comes to proper sanitation. Our infection prevention Salon manual is truly the bomb when it comes to understanding and applying proper sanitizing procedures. The false sense of security given to our technicians because they “received a certificate” for a 15 minute course they took on line, is obscene.

Understanding true infection prevention is the only way to properly ensure safety for you, your Business and your clients. There are so many Salons both locally and out of my State which I have visited….only to be completed baffled as I see accumulation of dust of their work stations, or watch a Technician poorly sanitize a pedicure tub or still wearing gloves she just used for a pedicure as she touches handles and drawers, phones etc.

Proper sanitation takes little time, yet its the area in our Salons which we spend the least amount of time to understand and properly execute.

Through Covid we did. However, now……quite a different story. Many have resorted back to their old habits. Many have received false information. Many have only learned the basic….yet, not enough. Let’s review a couple of things here;

  1. Do you use wipes to “disinfect”? To begin with, let’s touch upon what exactly disinfection is. Disinfection is the process of using a liquid chemical in order to destroy bacteria. This liquid MUST stay wet on the surface you are wiping for the specific Mfg’s contact time. Each Mfg. is different. Not all disinfection products are alike. Contact time ranges from 50 seconds (Biosurf by Micrylium) up to 10 minutes (barbicide).  In addition, after contact time, you should wet again then wipe with a clean dry towel or cloth.                                                                                                                                                        So when I watch a Salon post a video of how they are all that in relation to proper disinfection and they are using wipes……it makes me cringe.  Wipes may be okay for the cleaning process NOT the disinfection process.
  2. What about replacement time?  It is really difficult to determine “cost per spray”. However, be mindful of the following;
    1. Brands which need to be mixed with water are tricky. How do you know, you get the exact right measurement every time? In addition, water dilutes the efficacy. Not only that, most of the solutions which do have to be mixed…..MUST be replaced daily. And, the water should be distilled.
    2. I know for a fact, our Technicians are NOT replacing their solutions on a daily basis. Again, they tout they are a Salon who follows extreme sanitary procedures, yet….they are not.
    3. Be careful of your “all natural” brands. If you do the research you will discover, after typically 30 days your disinfection solution is now actually a hand sanitizer.
  3. Disposal? One of the great things I personally appreciate about our BioSurf is it is environmentally friendly. You can flush it, drain it and not worry about it having a negative affect on our environment. Many of our name brand disinfection products must be disposed of in an environmentally safe way. Do you know how your brand should be dumped?
  4. Contact time – This is an area of which I feel is the least followed. Contact time is the amount of time the surface needs to stay wet with your disinfection product in order for it to “kill”. Any time less than what the Mfg. contact time is, is not sufficient. this is not an area which we can be lazy about.

What I’m seeing is this;

  • Most Technicians do not understand there are three(3) steps to sanitation. Cleaning, disinfection, sterilization
  • Most Technicians do not understand. When they “think” they are following proper procedures, they are not.
  • Most Technicians want that “certificate”. When in reality many of the Mfg’s who issue these certificates issue them on their brand…..not always on the facts.

In addition, be careful with your sense of security “when it comes to State Board” regarding an autoclave, if you have one. We know that using an autoclave is the highest level of sanitation. This, we call sterilization. However, as far as I know, most States still require liquid disinfection. This means that whether you have an autoclave or not, you are still required to “disinfect” your implements.

It truly does sadden me what I witness in sight and hear when it comes to proper sanitation procedures. Many forget during the Covid pandemic our Industry was classified as “non-essential”. If we continue with this lack of education and follow through in our Salons with improper sanitary procedures…we will never get out of that category. Is it time for you to review yours?

CJ Murray


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