Manicure and Pedicure Safety

Photo of person receiving a manicure

Manicures and pedicures are an enjoyable service for many people and can leave hands and feet feeling and looking great. However, these services can lead to bacterial, fungal, and viral infections if proper cleaning and disinfection procedures are not followed.

Infection prevention and control precautions must be followed to protect both personal service workers and clients. You do not have to see blood or bodily fluids on the instruments for an infection to occur and you have the right to ask the Personal Service Worker (PSW) how they clean and disinfect their equipment before the service begins.

Here are some important things to look for and ask about before your manicure or pedicure service.

  • The PSW washes his/her hands before getting started and before resuming work after interruptions during service.
  • The work area is clean and organized.
  • If gloves are used, they must be changed between clients and between procedures on the same clients.
  • Make sure the PSW does not reuse tools on you that were used on someone else without first cleaning and disinfecting them for at least 10 minutes prior to use. Nail clippers, cuticle nippers, glass/diamond nail files, and foot paddles need to be cleaned and disinfected between clients and stored in a clean, covered container when not in use.
  • Certain supplies should only be used once per client and then discarded. These single use supplies include: emery boards, buffers, nail files, pumice stones, wooden cuticle pushers, foam toe separators, and slippers.
  • Pedicure blades (credo blades) are used only once then discarded into an approved sharps container immediately after use. (*Credo blade use is strongly discouraged but permissible at client’s request)
  • Footbaths are cleaned and disinfected after each client.

After your visit:

  • If the area around your nails becomes painful, red, or inflamed, speak with a health care professional.

Please contact the Environmental Health Hotline at 519-258-2146 ext. 4475 if you have any questions or concerns.

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