How to Find a Safe Salon

Did YOU and your technician wash  hands before the nail service?

According to the CDC, “Clean hands save lives”.  Safe salons include universal precautions such as single use disposable latex-free gloves for every service

Is the restroom clean with hot water, liquid soap and clean towels?

A dirty restroom is a good sign the rest of the salon is not clean. Leave Now!

Does the salon look clean in general?

Dusty furniture, debris and nail clippings on the floor and food in in work area should make you think twice about having that mani & pedi  .

Are you communicating with your Nail Technician,  are they not listening to you?

There is more to having a good service than just picking out your nail color. If you can’t communicate, chances are you won’t be happy with your service. Miscommunication is a primary cause of nail salon infections and lawsuits from infections.

Does the salon offer single-use disposable files, buffers and wooden sticks?

Used and dirty nail files, sanding bands and buffers are a sign  this salon is not following a top notch sanitation protocol.  Insist on new files and buffers for every service or find a Safe Salon.

Did you see where the tools, files & buffers were stored?

If the tech pulled these items out of a dirty drawer or container it’s time to get up and leave.

Does the salon have a container with a jar of  liquid disinfectant, in sight?

Ask the technician to disinfect the tools by soaking them for 10 minutes in a mix of fresh solution.

Does this salon use an autoclave to sterilize their metal nippers and nail clippers ?

Salons that use autoclaves will be happy to show you and tell you they use the highest level of sterilization. A lot of salons use sealed bags to give the appearance of sterilized tools. Look for a “change indicator” like letters and arrows that changes colors when autoclaved. The package will appear “shrink wrapped” resulting from heat and pressure. Sterilization is defined as the process where all the living microorganisms, including bacterial spores are killed. Sterilization is an absolute condition while disinfection is not.

Did your technician offer to use a razor blade, cheese grater or a “shop sander” to remove the calluses on your feet?

Get up and leave now while you still have feet you can use. Safe Salons offer single use foot files and will explain how long “callus treatments” should stay on before removed.

Can you see a brand name or at least an identifying label on what’s being used on your hands or feet?

This is your body.

Are the foot basins clean?

Safe Salons will explain in detail the sanitation and disinfection of the foot baths. They will show you a bottle that will clearly state the product is a hospital or medical disinfectant. For your protection, put your toes where no feet have gone before and choose a salon that offers single use tub liners

If your service was painful you are not in a safe salon.

Did you forget you had an infected cuticle or an open soar on your foot when you showed up for services?

Safe Salons will not work on clients with these conditions and will ask you to return when you are healed.

13 thoughts on “How to Find a Safe Salon”

  1. I had a pedicure at Nails & Beyond, 3606 Wedgewood ane, The Villages FL 32162, 352-753-9222. Never again. John did my pedicure. He was very uninterested in what he was doing. I got the feeling he wasn’t very happy with his job. He cut my big toe nail and ripped some skin off between the nail and the toe. Very painful! He didn’t file my nails at all. The massage was less than satisfying. I usually get a french pedicure for the polish and decided on clear. It was applied very sloppy so I was glad I went with clear. He was more interested in what the girl next to him was doing than giving his attention where it should have been. One other thing to note; I found out later that the pedicure tools are supposed to come in a sealed bag, mine were at the chair when I sat down, they weren’t in a sealed bag. I think he used the same tools on me as he did on the person before me. No stars on this place. Take your business elsewhere!

    1. Hi Gina,

      I’m Evelyn from Today’s Nails & Spa in Mount Dora, FL. I have recently bought out this salon from the previous owner and am proud to say that my salon has meets every single sanitation criteria on this list! Please consider us for your next mani pedi. 6551 North Orange Blossom Trail Mount Dora, FL 32757.

  2. IS THERE SOMEWHERE ON INTERNET OR A PHONE NUMBER TO
    CHECK TO SEE IF A NAIL TECH REALLY HAS A LICENSE AND
    HAS PASSED ALL TESTS.
    MOST PLACES PUT POWDERS IN SEPERATED PLATE TO USE
    FOR VARIOUS AROMA SOLUTIONS…YOU NEVER SEE THE BOTTLE
    IT CAME FROM.
    IF YOU ASK THEM…ALL THE PLACES IVE EVER BEEN IN MY
    LONG LIFE…THEY GET VERY UPSET WHEN YOU ASK THEM ALL
    THESE THINGS.
    IS THERE A PHONE NUMBER TO CALL TO FIND OUT PARTICULARS.
    ONE PLACE DOES USE A SEPERATE LINER THAT THEY TELL YOU
    AFTERWARDS THAT THEY ARE CHARGING A DOLLAR FOR IT.
    ITS WORTH IT TO ME, BUT THEY SHOULD SAY THAT UP FRONT.
    THEY ALSO DONT LIKE WHEN ASKED NOT TO HAVE THE EDGE OF
    THE NAIL FILE RUBBING ON THE SKIN UNDER NAIL.
    NONE OF THEM ARE MEETING THE UP TO PAR LIMIT.

    1. Rachel, Your best option is to call your state board or search the salon on the state boards website. Each salon should have a posted notice visible for consumers to see stating “Complaints against this establishment should contact xxx-xxx-xxxx
      If you have the name and address of this salon, please add them to our database and take the simple survey. At the end of the survey you can add your comments.
      Thank you for your comments.

    2. Hi Rachel,

      Every state has their own website that you can absolutely check on your technician’s license status. You must first ask the first and last name of your nail tech though if they are willing to give it to you.
      You would then type into google search, example, “verify FLorida cosmetology license”. The first link that comes up will be the state boards official website. This can be done for any and every state. You would then find the link that says “verify a licensee”.
      If you are ever in Florida please feel free to come visit us at 6551 North Orange BLossom Trail Mount Dora FL 32757! I strive everyday to meet and exceed all of the criterias listed on this post!

  3. I had a pedicure at Flower Nails at 4400 San Juan Ave.,Suite 16, Fair Oaks,CA 95628. (916) 965-1139. My tech was “Lucy” . When I showed her the dead mosquito that I had just killed on my leg, she smiled and said. Yes! The door remained ajar and I discovered to my horror that when I got home I had 6 nasty bites on my legs. She also had an annoying habit of placing the dirt she had just removed from my toe nails directly on to my foot! I never did see a sanitary bag containing her tools. She brought a tray which already had the tools upon it. I do not see a license number on their business card! So who monitors these shops?

    1. Hello Paul,
      Sounds like your service wasn’t relaxing at all. Please register and then upload this salon to our database and take the survey. This would be very helpful for future consumers who live in that zipcode.

  4. Great article and thank you for helping to educate people! I recently opened a nail salon because of these very issues. My salon only uses disposable files, disposable pedicure liners, and we autoclave all implements. I am not here to push my salon so I am not going to say where/name. I just wanted to thank you and keep up the good fight. What goes on in many nail salons is enough to make anyone ill if they really knew and it goes beyond just the lack of sanitation.

  5. Wynn Nail Spa 1115 Independence Blvd
    Virginia Beach, VA 23455
    United States. +1 (757) 460-8882.
    This place was horrible. Took me and my girlfriend to get our hands and feet done. Upon arrival everything seemed ok. The general area was clean. The nail technician sat us both down in the massage chairs. One of them wasn’t working. We were told they would be having someone come out to fix it. Anyways the technician starting to wash and clean my feet. The other technician comes and attempts to start doing my girlfriends feet. He reached over and tried to reuse all the tools and filers that the first technician used on my feet. Immediately we got up and walked out. So be careful this place uses old and reused single use filers and scrubbers. Nasty.

  6. Thanks for the tip to make sure the salon looks generally clean, including debris-free furniture and floors and no food in the work area. I’ve been thinking about getting a pedicure as a way to treat myself for getting through a big event at work. I’m glad I read your article because you helped me feel a lot more prepared to identify a high quality salon to give my service to!

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