Is your pedicure tub as clean as it should be

Is Your Pedicure Tub As Clean As It Should Be?

Pedicures can be one of the most enjoyable services provided in a salon. The comfortable chair, the massage, the soaking in warm water… In order for pedicures to be safe too, though, nail professionals need to be very meticulous with cleaning and disinfecting their pedicure equipment. Bacteria or fungal infections can be introduced from soaking your feet in a non-disinfected tub, particularly if you have a nick, cut, bug bite, or scrape. And even if the tub itself is disinfected, the potential for risk is still there: dead skin and bacteria can build up in the foot bath’s hard-to-clean water jets. So what can you do to ensure your pedicure tub is as clean as it should be?

Here are the proper steps for cleaning and disinfecting pedicure equipment, according to manufacturers and government health agencies.

Foot tubs

This category includes basins, tubs, footbaths, sinks, and bowls. Basically, all non-electrical equipment that holds water for a client’s feet during a pedicure service.

After every client, and at the end of the day:

  1. Drain all water from the foot tub.
  2. Clean all inside surfaces of the foot tub to remove all visible residue. Use a surfactant detergent or liquid soap and water, and a clean, disinfected brush.
  3. Rinse the basin or tub with clean water.
  4. Refill the basin with clean water. Add the correct amount (read the label for mixing instructions) of the EPA registered hospital disinfectant. Leave this in the basin for ten minutes or the time stated on the label of the product you use.
  5. Drain, rinse and wipe dry with a clean paper towel.

“Pipe-less” foot spas

This category includes units with footplates, impellers, impeller assemblies, and propellers.

After every client:

  1. Drain all water from the basin.
  2. Remove impeller, footplate, and any other removable components according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Thoroughly scrub the impeller, footplate, and other components, as well as the areas behind them. Use a surfactant detergent or liquid soap and a clean, disinfected brush to remove all visible residue. Then, reinsert all the components.
  4. Refill the basin with water. Add the correct amount (read the label for mixing instructions) of the EPA registered hospital disinfectant. Circulate it through the basin for ten minutes or the time stated on the label of the product you use.
  5. Drain, rinse and wipe dry with a clean paper towel.

At the end of every day:

  1. Fill the basin with warm water and a chelating detergent (cleansers designed for use in hard water). Circulate the chelating detergent through the spa system for five to ten minutes (follow the manufacturer’s instructions). If excessive foaming occurs, discontinue circulation and let soak for the remainder of the ten minutes.
  2. Drain the soapy solution and rinse the basin.
  3. Refill the basin with water. Add the correct amount (read the label for mixing instructions) of the EPA registered hospital disinfectant. Circulate it through the basin for ten minutes or the time stated on the label of the product you use.
  4. Drain, rinse and wipe dry with a clean paper towel.

At least once each week:

  • Do not drain the disinfectant solution – Turn off the unit and leave the disinfecting solution in the unit overnight.
  • In the morning drain, rinse, and wipe dry with a clean paper towel.

Whirlpool foot spas and air-jet basins

After every client:

  1. Drain all water from the foot basin.
  2. Clean all inside surfaces of the foot tub to remove all visible residue. Use a detergent or liquid soap and water, and a clean, disinfected brush.
  3. Rinse the basin or tub with clean water.
  4. Refill the basin with clean water. Add the correct amount (read the label for mixing instructions) of the EPA registered hospital disinfectant. Leave this in the basin for ten minutes or the time stated on the label of the product you use.
  5. Drain, rinse and wipe dry with a clean paper towel.

At the end of every day:

  1. Remove the screen and any other removable parts (a screwdriver may be necessary).
  2. Clean the screen and other removable parts, as well as the area behind them. Use a brush and liquid soap and water to remove all visible residue. Replace the properly cleaned screen and other removable parts.
  3. Backwash jets with hose attachment if recommended by the manufacturer.
  4. Fill the basin with warm water to a level just above the jets. Add low-sudsing chelating detergent (cleansers designed for use in hard water). Circulate the chelating detergent through the spa system for five-ten minutes (follow the manufacturer’s instructions). It is important to ensure all recirculation lines are flushed and sufficient disinfection contact time is achieved.
  5. Drain the soapy solution and rinse the basin.
  6. Refill the basin with clean water. Add the correct amount (read the label for mixing instructions) of the EPA registered hospital disinfectant. Circulate it through the basin for ten minutes.
  7. Drain, rinse and wipe dry with a clean paper towel.
  8. Allow the basin to dry completely.

Remember:

It is very important to follow manufacturers’ guidelines for the equipment you have and for the detergents/disinfectants you use. Keep a log with dates and times. Do not be afraid to go through these procedures in front of your clients. It is a good thing to demonstrate how you keep your pedicure tub clean.

Additionally, you should advise your clients not to shave or wax their legs prior to their pedicure service. If open sores or skin wounds are present, explain to the client why they should not use the foot bath. This includes insect bites, scratches, scabbed-over wounds, or any condition that weakens the skin barrier.

Now go forth and enjoy the pedicure season!

Sources:
Environmental Protection Agency
Nail Manufacturers Council

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