There are 3 all very important levels of decontamination:

  1. Sanitisation
  2. Disinfection
  3. Sterilisation

As a trade professional, giving hands on treatments to the public, we should all be following these strict but simple steps…

What is sanitisation?

This is the lowest form of decontamination but still essential. This includes washing hands and even tools in hot soapy water before moving on to disinfecting and sterilizing methods.

Sanitising hands and tools will kill most living organisms.

Other means of sanitisation:

  • Provide hot running water
  • Change towels, particularly in the toilet and kitchen, regularly
  • Use and provide anti-bacterial soap; technician and client wash hands before procedure starts
  • There should be a separate sink for hand washing – using kitchen sinks for hand washing contravenes Health and Safety Regulations
  • Toilet tissue and paper towels should be available at all times
  • A clean uniform should be worn every day
  • Avoid touching your face when working, warn client of this too
  • Consumables should be removed immediately after use and placed in the bin
  • Bins should be emptied regularly and should not be allowed to overflow
  • Clean door handles and light switches regularly
  • Do not eat or drink in the salon
  • Food should not be kept in the same storage facility as products – this includes the fridge


What is disinfection?

This is the second stage of decontamination which greatly reduces the pathogens on non-living surfaces therefore is not suitable for skin, hair or nails.

There are two main methods of disinfection, by heat or chemicals.

Even after this process, not all spores have been destroyed, therefore you should follow with sterilisation methods often.

  • Steam
  • Boiling water
  • Barbicide
  • Surgical spirit


What is Sterilisation?

Sterilisation is the killing of ALL living organisms and their spores. Living tissue, hair, etc can never be sterilised, neither can the hard surfaces in the salon, nail stations, floors and walls.

All metal/plastic tools and implements can be sterilised using the following methods:

  • Chemical sterilisation
  • The Autoclave
  • Ultra-Violet Cabinet