Photo: Oak & Arrow Beauty Room
Keeping a sanitary and clean salon or barbershop is vital, especially in a post-COVID-19 world. With salons reopening, it is essential to consider how to best protect the health of yourself, your clients, and your staff. Be prepared by creating a cleaning protocol and let them see you are reducing risks and prioritizing their wellbeing. Need help getting started? Check out our downloadable checklist for a clean salon below!
Cleaning versus Disinfecting
To make sure you have a sanitary and clean salon, it is important to understand the difference between cleaning and disinfecting. The main difference? Properly disinfecting an item or surface kills germs. Cleaning, on the other hand, reduces germs. Most importantly – you can ONLY properly disinfect an item or surface that has already been cleaned. So always clean with soap and water, chemical cleaners, or wipes first and disinfects second.
Photo: Oomph Salon
Choosing a Disinfectant
When choosing the right disinfectants for your salon, make sure they are labeled and EPA-registered as bactericidal, fungicidal, and virucidal. If you choose to use bleach – always mix it with water – and only mix it with water! Common household products, such as ammonia, can create a toxic, lethal vapor. Once you’ve chosen your go-to disinfectants, check the label for contact time (sometimes referred to as “wet time”: this will let you know how long the disinfectant has to be in contact with the product or surface to kill all of the pathogens.
How to: Porous vs. Non-Porous Materials
When deciding how to properly clean or disinfect each item and surface in your salon, first consider whether it is a porous or non-porous material.
You can clean porous materials with soap and water, wipes, or chemical cleaners, but you cannot disinfect them. Porous materials in your salon include items such as towels, capes, and reception furniture. Make sure you launder your towels and capes after each use, dry them until they are hot to the touch, and have no remaining moisture.
Non-porous materials need to be both cleaned and disinfected. In your salon, non-porous materials include items made of plastic, metal, glass, or synthetic material. First, clean these materials with soap and water, wipes, or a chemical cleaner. Second, use a disinfectant for the proper contact time.
Photo: The Fix Salon
Waiting Room & Reception
Your waiting room and reception areas get the most traffic throughout the day, so you should take special care in keeping these areas clean and sanitary. To have a clean salon, decide whether you will have everyone pitch in or have a person assigned to keep these areas clean, it is essential everyone knows their duty and sticks to a daily cleaning schedule. You will want to regularly clean and disinfect regularly touched surfaces throughout the day, such as the reception counter and doorknobs. If you’re looking to further minimize the spread of germs, consider these options:
• Switch from appointment cards to online scheduling
• Use a contact-free payment system, like Apple Pay
• Remove magazines, coffee bars, and any other self-service options in the reception area
• Switch from allowing walk-ins to having appointment-only services
• Stagger appointments so fewer people are waiting in the reception area
Keeping a station clean has always been an essential part of creating a healthy environment for clients – but it is more important than ever to reinforce this with your stylists. Stylists should give themselves enough time in their schedule to properly clean their station between each client. This includes sweeping hair, cleaning and disinfecting styling and cutting tools, cleaning the styling chair, and supplying a new cape.
Photo: The Fix Salon
When cleaning and disinfecting your products and tools, it is essential to properly store them to keep them clean and disinfected. There are several different options for storage depending on the product or tool.
Styling Products: After cleaning your regularly used styling products, store them in a disinfected drawer or cabinet at your station. If you currently have communally used products, consider switching to each stylist using their own to minimize the spread of germs.
Towels & Capes: After washing and drying your towels and capes, store them in a closed, covered container, such as a hot towel sanitizer.
Tools: For regularly used metal tools, such as your shears, thinning shears, and razors, consider getting a sanitizer cabinet. This will keep your tools clean and disinfected and show your clients that you care about their health and safety. Want to go beyond disinfection and take your cleanliness one step further? Check out the compact, FDA-approved Pibbs 492 Autoclave Sterilizer!