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In the April issue of IST Magazine, I wrote about using proper tanning bed disinfectants and not substituting janitorial cleaners, beauty product cleaners, or home-made “cleaners” that are potentially dangerous to tanner’s skin, harmful to acrylic shields and simply not disinfecting to the required standards. I hope you also remember that the product that is required to be used after every tanner’s session is properly called a “disinfectant.” A bed “cleaner” is actually more of a polish, meant to buff scratches on acrylics, shine the handles and get into the tiny corners – best used for weekly detailed cleaning.
Check the labels thoroughly and make sure you use a product that provides a clean tanning surface and takes the best possible care of your acrylics.
For many salons, this is a typically slower time of year – a good time to do some deep cleaning. So, now that I’ve convinced you to use proper hospital-grade disinfectants made specifically for cleaning sunbeds, I’d like to cover HOW to do it properly.
First, make sure you mix disinfectant solution properly. I can’t tell you how many salons I’ve been in where they just add more concentrate to “make it better!” It doesn’t make the solution better; it makes it strong enough to irritate tanners’ skin! It’s critical that you mix disinfectant to the exact label specs.
Second, you must check your solution with a quaternary (“quat”) test strip. This litmus paper is similar to what is used to test pool water. Sunbed disinfectants require specific ratios based on their ingredients.
Third, use a fresh towel to disinfect each bed. Here is a tanning horror story: I was training a salon team and noticed a towel draped over a bottle of disinfectant. They used that towel on every bed, all day long … terrifying! Tingle products, sweat (and whatever else) being smeared from one sunbed acrylic to the next. I don’t need to say it: don’t do this.
The sunbed disinfectant experts advise you to spray the solution on the acrylic and wait 60 seconds. It takes that long to sanitize the acrylic – don’t just spray and wipe! Waiting 60 seconds sanitizes and kills 99.9% of fungus and germs. So, spray the acrylic, empty the wastebasket, wipe the door handle and mop the floor, and then wipe the bed with a fresh towel. Your evening routine should be to spray and wait ten minutes to disinfect. This kills 100% of the viruses and other stuff you don’t want on your bed and needs to be done at least once a day.
Finally, solution needs to be made fresh daily and tested with a quat strip. Don’t mix huge quantities to use for several days – it will lose its efficacy quickly.
As I mentioned in the April IST “Eye to Eye” column, all disinfectants are not created equal. Check the labels thoroughly and make sure you use a product that provides a clean tanning surface and takes the best possible care of your acrylics.
Protecting the health of your tanners is your responsibility, and proper sanitizing and disinfection are critical parts of providing a clean and healthy tanning experience.
President of Eye Pro, Brenda has spent more than two decades in the industry building Eye Pro, Inc., maker of the world-leading Wink-Ease disposable eyewear. Her background includes everything from a marketing & management degree from Indiana University, to a commercial pilot’s license, scuba diving and studying healing and massage. In addition to ensuring every indoor tanner wears eye protection, her passions include protecting endangered animals.
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