Friday, July 23, 2010

Sanitizing and Disinfecting Tools and Implements

Have you ever picked up a tweezer, nail clipper, or nail file right out of the drawer, or off of a table and used it on yourself or someone else? Well, this section will show you how to properly sanitize, disinfect and store your tools and implements to avoid common infections caused by pathogens. You can use the same technique for your combs and hair brushes too!

In the last post we talked about hand washing. Disinfecting tools and implements is as important as hand washing because unclean tools can also spread disease and infection.

Roxanne Valinoti, a Creative Nail Design education ambassador, comments "Sanitation and Disinfection of Surfaces and Tools is a two-step process, and is the source of much confusion.Valinoti explains, “Sanitation is thorough cleansing of an object or a surface. Sanitizing significantly reduces the number of pathogens. Disinfection should happen after proper cleansing and kills all surface pathogens. When done properly, it is almost as effective as sterilization. A disinfection system must have an EPA registration number from the Environmental Protection Agency for proof of the product’s effectiveness. Sterilization completely destroys all living organisms on a hard or non-porous surface, and uses an autoclave.” Adds Kristi Galiano, education manager for Orly International, “Surfaces and hands can be sanitized: All tools, manicure and pedicure bowls or thrones need to be sanitized and disinfected.

Your tools and implements should be disinfected and stored where they will remain free from contamination. Here's how...

Steps to Sanitizing & Disinfecting (Non Porous)Tools and Implements

YOU WILL NEED: Liquid Soap, water, a clean nail brush, Barbicide brand or other germicidal /fungicidal, (QUATS) a clean, dry towel & two clean, dry, sealed containers; one for soaking implements and another for storage.
1. Sanitize. Wash with soap and water and brush off any debris with a clean sterilized nail brush.
2. Disinfect. Immerse in a solution of germicidal and water mixed and timed according to manufacturers instructions.
3. Rinse Implements and pat dry with a clean towel. Store in a clean, dry sealed container.

Caution: Use gloves when mixing disinfectant solutions
• Dry tools thoroughly and oil nippers regularly to avoid rusting.
• Common Alcohol and Bleach can also be effective if immersed for 10 minutes but tends to dull and  rust implements over time.
•Some salons use a process called Autoclaving. An autoclave is a self locking machine that sterilizes with  steam under pressure. Sterilization is achieved by the high temperature that steam under pressure can reach. This is amongst the most desirable methods of sterilization and is used in the medical industry to sterilize surgical tools.

Steps to Sanitizing Porous Tools
Porous tools should be discarded because they cannot be completely disinfected. You can sanitize them, but only for individual use. To sanitize porous tools and implements:

YOU WILL NEED: A clean nail brush, Barbicide or Mar-v-cide brand aerosol or other spray germicidal /fungicidal, a clean, dry towel & clean, dry, airtight container.

1. Brush off any debris with clean nail brush.
2. Hold tool or implement in mid air with clean tongs and spray with an anti-microbial disinfectant (according to manufacturers instructions) Place on a clean towel and allow surface to remain wet for ten minutes
3. Spray again and allow to air dry.
4. Store in a clean, dry, airtight container for same individuals' use only.

• After each use porous tools should be discarded or stored in a separate clean, dry container for same individuals' use.
• Never share disposable or non sanitized tools or implements.
• To decontaminate other surfaces such as tables, wash with a detergent, spray or wipe with a disinfectant twice and allow to air dry.

  • Sterilization using dry heat would require heating to 325 degrees F for half an hour. Dry sanitizers sold to salons don't come close to that.
  • UV Ray Sanitizers will not disinfect implements and are not effective against viruses. Never use these devices to disinfect!


Slightly larger than a spray bottle, the handheld Ionator EXP and Ionator HOM from Activeion Cleaning Solutions, ionizes tap water to create a powerful, general purpose cleaner without the risks that come with chemicals. When used as directed, the Ionator HOM kills more than 99.9 percent of harmful bacteria such as: E. coli, Salmonella, MRSA, Staph and even the 2009 Pandemic H1N1 influenza A—or swine flu. “With just a faucet and the Ionator EXP, people now have an abundant supply of effective cleaner that assists in the protection of public health,” says Activeion Cleaning Solutions CEO Jim Wiese. “This is great news for budgets, cleaning staff and the environment.”

Hopefully this post has been helpful..check back periodically at for more Nail Care Tips & Tricks...Please post any of your nail care questions and I will do my best to address your comments, questions and concerns.


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  4. Do I need to use Barbicide for cleaning my personal tools? Or is just soaking them in soapy water and using a brush for cleaning debris enough? Do I need a different brush and compartment for cleaning and soaking manicure tools, a different brush and compartment for cleaning and soaking pedicure tools a different brush and compartment for cleaning and soaking tweezers,a different brush and compartment for cleaning and soaking ear and nose hair scissors? How do I clean the compartment where I soak the tools? How do I clean the cleaning brush and how often do i need to replace it? Can I store the cleaning brush in the compartment where I soak my tools?

  5. What kind of liquid soap? Hand soap or dish soap?

  6. nice post!

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  7. Awesome blog post about nail care, Will you please recommend me an excellent brand to buy Nail Nippers.