Most people go to the salon expecting to get a relaxing massage, a perfect pedicure or a new look. However, a small percentage of people who frequent spas will get something they're not expecting, such as a painful skin infection or contagious illness. Spas can be a hotbed of contamination, but not all spas are created equal. State required sanitation procedures will keep you safe, but some establishments don't follow them. There are violations reported annually in each state by state board inspection agencies. So how do you know if the salon you go to is clean and safe? Following are four sanitation procedures to watch out for.
Discarded Porous Instruments
All porous items, such as emery boards, orange wood sticks, and buffers, must be discarded after being used on a patron. They cannot be washed or disinfected. Look for discarded instruments and items in the wastebaskets located next to spa stations. Also, watch your technician to see if they throw away the instruments that they used on you. If objects appear used or worn, you should ask for new ones and start looking for a new spa.
Use of Spatulas
Spa and salon workers are not supposed to get product out of jars with their hands. They're supposed to use a clean spatula each time they dip into the product. Watch your masseuse, nail tech, or stylist to see how they get product. If you happen to see an open jar of product, which you shouldn't unless the product is in use, look for signs of spatula use. If the cream or hair product looks smooth and/or dirty, they're probably using their fingers.
Sanitizing Work Stations
Work stations, massage tables, shampoo bowls, and other areas must be cleaned and sanitized after each use. In some cases, you can see this happening. Your pedicurist may run disinfectant through the foot spa while your nail polish is drying. This is a great sign that your spa is doing what they should. You can also look out for containers holding cotton balls and alcohol near the shampoo bowl, as these are used to clean the neck rest between each patron.
Workers Cleaning Regularly
If you see workers cleaning regularly, you're likely in a great place. What workers do with their free time will tell you a lot about how clean the back room is. If the front area is organized and clean, the back room is likely clean.
If you see these things in practice at your spa, relax and have a great time. You're safe from infection. However, if your spa is dirty and/or you see clear violations, you should take it very seriously. Infections do occur, and you don't want to be the next victim. Keep these tips in mind next time you visit a spa like Aquarius Wellness.