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Spring has definitely sprung! Well, certainly in the south where waves of pollen now coat everything in sight. This calls to mind the term “spring cleaning.”
My mother took great delight in this annual ritual of attacking the grime that built up in our home over the winter months. Yep, Mom was quite the fastidious cleaner – and perhaps salon owners should all take a page from her cleaning manual: roll up your sleeves and start wiping!
The topic of equipment cleaning and so much more is covered in Sun is Life Training!
UV tanning systems are notorious dust magnets. Their internal cooling fans pull all kinds of debris inside, much of which inevitably ends up adhering to the exterior of the sunlamps. This build-up can decrease the lamps’ UV output. Of course, we all want to get the most for our money, and that includes your salon guests who are paying to get a golden tan. A periodic deep-cleaning of the equipment goes a long way toward keeping tanners happy.
Both UV and sunless tanning systems should be cleaned daily; but add a couple more items to the checklist for sunbeds. Of course, deep-cleaning the system’s interior is part of the re-lamping procedure (right?), but you must be vigilant. After 100 hours of usage on new lamps, remove the acrylic shield (per the owner’s manual) and wipe its underside surface clean. You’ll be amazed at how much dirt has accumulated! Spray a soft cloth with a mild cleaning solution and carefully wipe each lamp surface clean, as well. NOTE: don’t just spray the lamps – you want to avoid getting any moisture on the unit’s interior components and surfaces.
After 250 hours of operation, remove the sunbed acrylic again and wipe it clean. In addition, you should also carefully remove each lamp from its fitting and wipe it clean before putting it back into place. Look, it’s a time-consuming project, but well worth the time. Your guests will take note of what you’re doing, as well. “Pardon our dust as we keep our beds sparkling clean’’ should be built into your conversations.
Acrylic longevity varies among product manufacturers but note that over time, UV transmissive quality will degrade with all brands. A process referred to as acrylic “solarization” (clouding) also occurs and eventually reduces the level of UV that gets through to the tanner. Some acrylic shields can last up to 3,000-4,000 hours, but think of it this way; how many operators replace acrylics after 3-4 lamp changes? I’d guess not many. Most change them out when they crack or break. Then, ponder how much UV light gets blocked by dirty lamps covered by dirty acrylics that may have logged several thousand hours. It can be significant and can certainly lead to customer dissatisfaction.
This topic and so much more is covered in the Sun is Life® Training & Certification program. Get ahead of the curve, check out Sun is Life and get busy on that spring cleaning!
A 26-year industry veteran, Joe has taught certified salon operator training for the last 15 years, as well as advocating indoor tanning in many capacities. Joe is a sought-after speaker and presenter at both national & regional trade events, also interacting with the FDA, state & local regulatory agencies. During his most recent tenure with the ITA, he served as director of membership.
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