Keeping yourself and your clients safe should be a top priority every day in the salon. That said, when there are new pathogenic threats, it should remind us of the importance of adherence to proper infection control guidelines.
Porous vs. Non-porous
Things in our world can be categorized as either porous or non-porous. Porous items are things that can absorb liquids. Liquids can run through them, or they may be made of mostly liquid. Examples of porous items in the salon include your towels, neck strips and you! Non-porous items are generally made of glass, metal or plastic. Liquids cannot be absorbed or passed through these materials. In every state, porous items must be discarded after every service because there is no way to make them safe for use on multiple clients. Non-porous items may be used on multiple clients, but in every state, they must be cleaned and disinfected prior to use. That is where disinfectants come in!
Disinfectants are chemicals that are designed to destroy the “germs” we are concerned about in the salon – bacteria, viruses and fungi. Disinfectants must be EPA registered (proof that they work as stated) and be bactericidal, virucidal and fungicidal. The steps to proper disinfection are as follows:
- Wash non-porous item using either soap/water or a chemical cleaner (Ship-Shape®)
- Rinse and dry item
- Immerse, wipe or spray your item with an appropriate disinfectant (BARBICIDE®)
- Adhere to contact time listed on the label. It might say something like “ensure the item is fully immersed for 10 minutes” or “surface must stay visibly wet for 2 full minutes”. The time referenced is for how long it takes to destroy every pathogen listed on the label.
- BARBICIDE® Concentrate immersion contact time: 10 minutes
- BARBICIDE® Spray contact time: 10 minutes
- BARBICIDE® Wipes contact time: 2 minutes
- It is important that disinfectants used for immersion be changed DAILY. This is a requirement of the EPA.
In addition, there are other things you can do to protect yourself, your clients and everyone around you.
- Wash your hands frequently, scrubbing with bubbles for at least 20 seconds.
- Disinfect common use surfaces such as reception areas, phones, computers and iPad payment systems frequently.
- Stay home when sick and encourage those around you to do the same.