My 2019 goal which, I am in the process of developing is an on-line infection control class. I have a nephew who is a Nurse Practitioner who studied Infection Control and actually got published in the Medical Journal for one of his research papers.
I recruited him because I not only wanted to make sure I had accurate information, but I wanted information not just related to our Salons, but related to our lives.
We talk so much about products we use in the Pedicure room. We watch, we listen, we research. We look for products we feel our clients would like and we look for products we think we might like.
Whats surprising to me however, is how little time we spend on looking for products which keep our clients safe and ourselves self. My own research show, most use disinfection products because they are highly advertised or used by our piers.
There's alot of confusion because rules change State by State. When it comes to disinfection what should you be looking for? What should your procedures be?
Disinfection should be your #1 priority over everything else in your Salon. There are just too many risk. There are too many exposures.
The days of banging out clients one right after another is gone. We have to be smarter and more proficient with our cleaning techniques. We have to make cleaning our first and foremost to all that exist in our Salons.
We have to re-invent our Pedicures, re-invention which begins with proper cleaning and disinfection.
Let’s itemize this one by one, in detail. Before we do this though, always be sure to check with your State Board requirements. Although, I’m confident what I am going to recommend will far exceed what your State Board does requires.
Cleaning has many different facets. We have cleaning of our Pedicure stations including bowls, floors and chairs. And, we have cleaning of our surroundings and then we have cleaning of our implements.
#1 cleaning of our bowls.
If you have an older version Pedicure bowl which is connected to pipes which filter the water in and out of the same pipe……you MUST purge your Pedicure tub between clients. Purging one time per day, at the end of the day is NOT sufficient.
Purging requires a solution effective enough to not only clean but kill high levels of bacteria which is ran through your pipes for a minimum of 5 minutes….depending on your solution.
At the end of each day, a 15 minute purge should be practiced.
Once purged, the surface area of your tub needs to be cleaned and disinfected. This means it is wiped and sprayed with a solution intended for surface use.
If you have the newer pipeless chairs/bowls...although there is nothing to purge, you should still check to see what your State regulations are. However, whichever way your tubs need to be cleaned, the propellors should be taken out and cleaned and then disinfected.
#2 cleaning of your chairs and surrounding areas
It doesn’t matter why type of set up you have, your chairs and tables AND any containers should be wiped with a solution which cleans and kills bacteria.....daily. In this case, a disinfection product with surfactants which cleans and disinfects at the same time, is perfect. It is also important to note, there are cleaners/disinfectants which will eventually dry out your vinyl or your leather chairs. Be careful when choosing your products. Do your research.
I think the biggest mistake and lack of education we are experiencing in our Salons, is realizing the dangers of cleaning or scrubbing your implements at the sink. To begin with, I’ve watched. Barely soap is being used. A scrub brush and water…scrub scrub scrub…….it’s terrible.
2nd, research has shown that debris from the scrubbing or airborne particles is known to cause headaches, sinus problems, dry throat and more. Therefore it suggested we eliminate this step. WHAT????? NOOOOO!!!!! Well, we actually don’t eliminate the cleaning process, but we do eliminate how we clean. The use of an ultrasonic cleaner not only is safe, but it is more efficient, time saving and 100% more effective then cleaning our implements at the sink.
#4 Wet disinfection
Most State require some form of wet disinfection. The amount of time required varies State by State. Unfortunately most of them are still in the dark ages and approve the lowest form of disinfection…..Barbicide which, requires. 10 minute soak time. Therefore, regardless of what you use, you must soak for 10 minutes.
Hospital grade is the key word here…..entirely a joke! Hospital grade only means the products which make the claim to be hospital grade are approved for cleaning hospital floors. Now, that’s not so totally bad, but in my mind…it is deceiving. My question is: are you happy with a product that makes the claim to be hospital grade? Because, many of those products are low level, carcinogenic and can NOT kill many strands of bacteria we are currently subjected too. Arrgh!
There are many things you should be asking when you choose your disinfection product
1). What exactly DOES it kill
2) What exactly is the active ingredient
3). What exactly is contact time
4). Is it carcinogenic
5). Where do I dump it
6). How long is the solution effective for
When I grew up in the Salon, using an autoclave was never even an issue. That was a Medical thing…not. Beauty Salon thing. Well, times have changed. It is a Beauty Salon thing because we are subjected to so much more than we used to be. And, we are often the first responders. Therefore, we are seeing things sometimes even before the Dr. does.
In my growing up days, autoclaves were no less than $3-5000 dollar. Today, you can get an autoclave for way less $800-$1200. What a small price to pay for peace of mind.
Using an autoclave, is not required. However, it should be. I’m not sure if it ever will be, but what I am sure of, is somewhere down the road our Salons will be getting calls asking of services and the next question will be “do you autoclave”? Client - Public awareness is immense.;
Proper sanitation takes loyalty. It takes patience and it take time. If you don't think you have the time, make it. We talk about changing lives? Not properly cleaning and not following proper disinfection procedures will for sue change your life.....and not in a good way.
Is it worth the risk?