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Anal or Smart About Pedicures?

By Michelle Howard

Megan and Sheila are talking about fragrances and that’s dandy.  I’m however, on a totally different wavelength these days. I may be a little extra-terrestrial at times but I don’t this is one of those moments. Read on and let me know.

Lately, I’m on this kick about the cleanliness of spas. Now that it’s summer time, ladies are going full swing rockin’ their cute little sandals. But in order to wear them well, one must have a fierce pedicure. After all, nobody wants to be caught (not even dead) with busted toes.

 On my blog Radiant Brown Beauty, I shared a two day post on Why You Need to Do Your Own Pedicures. I’d like to continue this discussion here and ask you this question…

Have you considered the fact that the items being used on your feet are not sterile?

Come on. Think about it. The nail technician usually squirts a little “cleanser” in the foot basin after the client before you. She then wipes it out and calls it clean. Really?  That’s too much of a rush job if you ask me.

Then, there are the tools that are used to give you that grandiose pedicure:

  • Emery boards,
  • Nail files
  • Pumice stones
  • Cuticle cutters
  • Razors
  • Nail trimmers

It’s impossible to sterilize half of these.  I guess you could bring your own but then why go through all of that?

You can just do your pedicures at home (and do a darn good job at it). Doing them yourself will assure that nobody else is using the same products as you.

What do you think? Am being too anal retentive or do you see what I see?

  • Elizabeth

    I totally agree! Every once in a blue moon I indulge myself in a pedicure at a salon that I know is super-clean (and I bring my own tools in), BUT…the best investment I ever made is my very own foot spa that I bought at Wal-Mart. I just just lay a towel underneath it, haul out all of my tools and polishes, and sit in my comfy chair and watch a movie while I do my own pedicures. People ask me all the time if I got a pedicure, and I just say “Yep! Did it myself!” I’d rather spend my $ on makeup than pedicures, lol. :)

  • JoleneAL

    I have been going to the same lady forever. The shop she works in is anal about everything being clean. The pedi tubs are not just wiped down, they are sterilized after each use. I have new files used on my feet and hands. We all need to pay attention to the instruments being used on us yes, but not all spas are dirty.

  • admin

    I go to a salon because a) its rare me time, and b) I have nails that are difficult to manage on my own and need professional intervention. For me, bringing my implements and even a soaking bowl are totally worth it!

  • Monika

    Before I had my daughter I would do my own toes, but now I really don’t have time. Luckily I’ve found an amazing and CLEAN salon to get my toes did.

  • http://www.athenasrequiem.com Kari Hodges

    Ok, I am a cosmetology student and wanted to point a couple of things out. In using a pedicure bath they are actually suppose to run a 15 minute cycle of cleaning between clients to be in compliance with state board. Emery boards and nail files, unless they are metal, are suppose to be disposed of after each use, which is why I actually cut mine in half for use, it saves a little money there. Pumice stones are suppose to be thoroughly washed, but I never use them anyway. Cuticle cutters and nail clippers can be cleaned with 99% alcohol and be sterile. I still wash mine then sterilize them. Even with that it’s better to use an autoclave, but I can’t afford one just yet. And razors are a HUGE no no! They cause microscopic cuts in your feet that can cause infection and they actually cause the callouses to come back worse than before. A truly reputable salon doesn’t use them, they use sloughing lotions, cuticle softening creams to remove them, and moisturizing foot masks to keep them away.

    I do hope this helps some! I personally don’t get pedicures without thoroughly questioning the manager and asking to watch the actual procedures.

  • Wendy

    I’m not too picky. If I can see an autoclave that is either in use or doesn’t have an unacceptable layer of dust on it I’m happy.

    There are special bags that you can put things into that wouldn’t normally be ok to stick in an autoclave (I know this from my previous life as a Dental Assistant) that will protect the item being sterilized and still get the germies out. The last time I went to get a pedi the gal pulled the pumice stone out of one (sealed, so you know it’s fresh) and stuck it in a new one when she was done with me.

  • Hali

    In Oregon you are required to provide you own tools for hygiene purposes (nail files, pumice stones, etc). Most nail salons sell a baggie for like $3 with all the essentials, and you get to take it home with you, and bring it back next time you want your nails done. My only beef is salons that smell too MUCH like cleaning products. That can’t be good for the people who work there to be breathing all that in constantly, so I only go to well ventilated places.

  • http://radiant-brown-beauty.com Michelle

    I’m in New York and even trendy upscale nail salons do some things I find not to be “sterile”. Clean is good but sterile is something totally different!

    @Hali, I totally agree. Some of the cleaning products can be overwhelming with all of the chemicals. Another reason to do it yourself :-)

    @Wendy, you’re not as anal as me LOL. I see autoclaves in some places but I don’t think they use it on every single thing.

    @Kari, many salons DO use razors. I don’t care for them because even the most careful person can cut you. I never let anyone use razors on my feet.

    I guess if you are one that really loves the spa experience outside of the home, you could bring your own tools and even your own foot bath. LOL some places may feel offended but….

  • http://radiant-brown-beauty.com Michelle

    Oh I forgot to mention in the video where I rant on and on :-) I talk about other reasons why you should do your own pedicures. It’s not just about the cleanliness but of course to each her own :-)

  • admin

    It really is a matter of to each their own. Of course, with everything, caveat emptor, as they say. Educate yourself on risks, and make your own judgement calls. If you do visit a salon and find it to be apalling, take it upon yourself to contact your local Department of Health, as they are the ones who oversee salon cleanliness.

  • http://radiant-brown-beauty.com Michelle

    I agree but also remember, while a place may “look” clean, that doesn’t mean that there are not things going on that you may not be happy with. Those things don’t always have to do with cleanlineness (ex: being rushed because it’s busy)

  • Gini

    The salon I like best sells you a little nail kit of your own for $2. Then you bring it in every time and they use ONLY that nail kit on you. Pretty rad.