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It seems to basic when I say it doesn't it but actually there can be a lot to it and if you're new to the industry you might feel a bit overwhelmed thinking about what you can and can't do...So I'm here to break it down for you and make it super easy! Even better I've created a PDF download for you to print off and help you along your journey. Go to the Download section on the website, select nail guides and you'll see hygiene there!

Basic Rules

• Hands should be washed thoroughly before and after each client

• Follow all health and safety rules and regulations

• Use spatulas to dispense products from pots never fingers

• If possible use disposable items such as paper couch cover, wooden spatulas, protective gloves

• Wash all linen at a temperature of at least 60 degree celcius

• Provide each client with clean linen and towels

• Ensure cups are cleaned thoroughly before each client

• Dispose of all waste in a closed bin

• All implements must be cleaned and sterilised thoroughly between clients

Cross-infection and cross-contamination

Working in an unhygienic salon can result in cross- contamination resulting in breaching the Health and Safety Legislation that your insurance covers you for. Cross infection normally occurs through the therapist not following the basic hygiene procedures. Such as:

• Contaminated implements and tools

• Unclean hands • Discharge from mouth and nose

• Shared items such as towels and cups

• Contact with infected skin cells To avoid this from occurring it is essential to follow the basic rules.

• Always check clients for contra-indications to the treatment

• Always ensure basic hygiene procedures are followed for towels, tools and shared items

• Dispose of all waste products in a sealed waste bag

• Use disposable equipment where possible

• If you have a cold protect the client by wearing a surgical mask to ensure the client is protected


This is when the destruction of some but not all micro-organisms takes place. This is suitable for tools which do not come into contact with blood or tissue fluid.

Sanitising Fluid

Barbicide is a chemical solution which is mixed with water in a glass container. Tools and implements are then placed into the fluid after 10minutes they are sanitised and ready to use. The solution must be disposed of with care and must be changed daily.

Ultra-violet cabinet

The UV cabinet is used to store sterilised tools as well as Sanitising tools. This method takes about 30minutes to sanitise as the tools have to be turned regularly to ensure all surfaces are irradiated. Good for items that cannot be washed. Hand sanitiser gel is also available and is ideal for preparing the body or surface for treatment.


This method uses steam in a closed pressure cooker that raises the heat to extreme temperatures. The whole cycle takes 15minutes to fully sterilise, it is important to take care when removing the implements from the autoclave as the temperature raises to approximately 135dgree celcius so they will be hot and could burn the skin. A tissue can be used to do this which will ensure safety and hygiene.

Glass bead steriliser

This method uses dry heat to reach the high temperatures required to sterilise. The steriliser must be switched on at least 30 minutes prior to using as it takes at least 20 minutes to reach the correct temperature needed. The implements are submerged into the glass beads for 10minutes, care must be taken when removing as the temperature raises to approximately 300degree celcius so implements will be very hot.

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