6 Foolproof Signs That Your Nail Salon Is Clean

Entering a nail salon can sometimes be a gamble. It’s not just that the technician may or may not be able to provide a quality manicure, or be able to achieve the design you want, but in terms of providing a sanitary environment. Let’s face it: nail salons can be bacterial war zones. There are bare feet everywhere, tools that have the potential to draw blood (even if only by accident), and ample opportunity for a double dip (literally). To ensure you are in a clean, reputable nail salon, follow these tips.

The tools are sterilized in an autoclave.
The thought of sharing trimmers, pushers and nail clippers with your neighbors doesn’t sound too appealing, does it? Basically, this happens when the tools between customers are not sanitized. Celebrity manicurist Brittany Boyce says all tools should be sterilized in what’s called an autoclave.” “Autoclaves use pressure and high temperatures to sterilize metal tools, and they are the most hygienic way to reduce infection,” she explained.” The salon will usually put the tools in a color changing kit and put them in an autoclave so you know they are sterilized.” Pro tip: If you don’t see an autoclave, don’t be shy to ask what method they use. And there’s no shame in bringing your own tools!

Nail files and buffers are fresh!
On this point, Boyce says disposable nail files and buffers should not be reused on guests. You should use brand new ones every time, so if you see something wrong, speak up. Likewise, if you want to be extra cautious, you can always bring your own products with you. One sign that they don’t reuse is that they give you a file or buffer at the end of the service.

It doesn’t smell like a lab.
Of course, acetone does smell, and we have yet to encounter a nail polish that smells good. However, it should be easy to breathe it in at the nail salon.” There shouldn’t be a strong chemical smell when you walk in. “It could be a sign of poor ventilation,” says Dave Crisalli, founder and CEO of Prose, a boutique nail “experience” with locations across the country. If you want to avoid strong chemical odors altogether, then choose a salon that doesn’t do acrylic work (like Prose), which is often the biggest culprit.

Pedicure tubs are lined (and cleaned between uses)
Feet are not the most hygienic things. Strict cleaning procedures should be in place so that when new guests soak their feet, the tub will be completely sanitary. The lining is a must, but the salon that goes the extra mile gets a gold star.” Pedicure pots should be scrubbed with antibacterial soap, rinsed thoroughly with water and soaked with disinfectant and water for at least 10 minutes,” says Boyce. She added that many nail salons have jetted tubs, which may seem like a nice perk, but in the end, they can be a nightmare to disinfect properly. Try to avoid them if you can.

The license is proudly displayed.
“All manicurists must have a state license as a manicurist or cosmetologist,” said Boyce.” Licensed manicurists and cosmetologists are trained in proper sanitation and disinfection protocols to ensure they provide the cleanest service possible.”

It looks clean and homey.
You can judge the cleanliness of a beauty salon by looking at the surroundings. Did the floor look like it had been swept and mopped in the last 24 hours? Are the bathrooms well maintained? Do you feel the joy and excitement of being in the space, or is there something about it that makes you feel a little sick? A nail salon that prides itself on its appearance is a nail salon that also prides itself on its sanitary procedures.