The New Norm: A New Perspective On Spa Sanitation



The importance of infection prevention and control has never been more crucial in the protection of you, your staff and clients. We could not have imagined the impact that this pandemic has had on the spa market. With the unfortunate closures of spas and salons came a time of reflection on how the industry will evolve and reform once your doors can open again. In your day-to-day spa practices, you may now be asking yourself, “how can I provide the best services for my clients while maintaining a safe environment?”

Let’s take a tour of your future spa and learn what the New Norm looks like…

Reception and Waiting Areas

The reception area will set the tone for your client’s visit.  Considering the recent pandemic and the public’s increased knowledge of how germs are spread, having your facility look clean may not be enough to provide comfort and confidence to your clients. If you did not have protocols in place before the pandemic, your new norm will involve procedures for cleaning and disinfecting these high contact surfaces and non-treatment areas at least once a day. 

As you are aware, many pathogens can be spread by hands after contacting contaminated surfaces, including the SARS-CoV-2 virus, that causes COVID-19. At your reception areas you will now have disinfectant wipes effective against SARS-CoV-2 virus. These wipes will provide convenient disinfection of your point of sale (POS) equipment, counters and other high touch areas including keyboards and phones. On the counter, hand sanitizer will be available for clients and your staff. The desk and tables will have communication pieces including recommended guidelines for social distancing and letters speaking to your spa’s commitment to ensuring customer health. Overall, your clients will observe your enhanced sanitation practices from the moment they walk in. 

Massage Therapy

The need for your clients to relax and receive massage therapy is at an all-time high. However, with the nature of massage therapy being so hands-on, your team will now be extra vigilant. Once your client enters the room, they will notice the cleanliness and layout of the massage table. You and your staff will have ensured all linens are properly laundered prior to use and any disposable covers are replaced. You will have properly cleaned and disinfected any reusable covers, the massage table, and thoroughly wiped the face cradle. The disinfection of the cover and bed is still required as linens do not offer protection against all pathogens or body oils. With increased disinfection between every client, you have also selected a compatible disinfectant which will not damage your treatment tables and face cradles.

For clients who are undergoing massage treatments involving equipment such as cups, stones or rollers, additional care for these items is undertaken by your staff. With stones or dry cupping treatments on intact skin, equipment can be conveniently pre-cleaned and sprayed or wiped with your EPA registered disinfectant. Your recently cleaned equipment will air dry, and then be placed in a clean labelled container for the next client.

Nail Services

After 4-6 weeks of catching up on household chores, clients will be lining up to get professional manicures and pedicures. When arriving at your workstation, your client will observe the cleanliness of your counter, UV drying lamp, samples and other equipment. Utilizing a tent card to demonstrate that the area has been effectively cleaned and disinfected, is one way of providing comfort and confidence.

After each client, you are disposing of your single-use tools typically made from porous materials (emery boards, buffer blocks, pumice stones, etc.). For your reusable tools and implements (nail clippers, nippers, reusable foot files, drill bits, etc.), the need to increase your infection prevention and control measures has driven you to exceed your state guidelines and select a high-level disinfectant. You are confident using the high level disinfectant solution, knowing it is designed specifically for tool immersion and has therefore undergone more stringent testing. In the areas where you conduct your tool reprocessing, you and your staff will follow posted “how to use” protocols, as a reminder of best practices, but also a demonstration of steps to protect client’s well being.

After a relaxing pedicure, your circulating (piped) or non-circulating (basin-style) foot baths will be cleaned and disinfected. Even after using a disposable liner, you ensure the foot bath surfaces are properly disinfected to avoid potential infections. Being able to observe the steps you take and the attention to detail is another powerful way to visibly show your clients how you look after their health and prevent infections.

Esthetic Treatments

With your clientele going back to their routines, skin care will once again become a top priority. When you are starting their treatment, you will take a few minutes to educate clients on your enhanced practices, which will go a long way.

You will explain that the disinfectant wipes and sprays used on your skin care machines and equipment are hospital grade, and that you disinfect after each client for the directed contact time and in accordance with manufacturers use directions. As you switched to a fast-acting and compatible product, you have confidence that the chosen disinfectant is protecting your investments and maintaining your fast turnaround times while killing pathogens.

In Closing

While you are currently preparing to open your doors, you can share your enhanced infection prevention practices online and through your social media platforms. Once your spa reopens, the next step is ensuring that your promises are being fulfilled.

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