Between the quarantine hair, bushy eyebrows, stiff backs, Zoom fatigue, and overall pandemic stress, many people (including this writer) are eager to return to their favorite spa, salon, barbershop, or wellness business for a very, very, long-overdue appointment. Whether you’ve already opened your doors, or are open and still adjusting to the new “normal”, you’ve probably thought a lot about hygiene and cleaning for your business amid the pandemic. It’s important for your business to welcome clients into a clean, safe space.
However, conventional cleaning products like bleach may kill germs, but the harsh odor will also kill your business’ relaxing, welcoming atmosphere – not to mention the fact that you can’t exactly go around spraying everything with bleach since it’s extremely corrosive and toxic. So, how do you protect your clients, yourself, and your staff from dangerous pathogens without the harsh chemicals, noxious odors, and alarming safety warnings? Luckily, we’re here to help. Vital Oxide is an EPA-registered disinfectant that kills 99.9% of viruses and bacteria and is on the EPA’s List N as a disinfectant approved for use against SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19. Vital Oxide cleans, sanitizes, and disinfects without any harsh chemicals, strong odors, or alarming safety warnings.
Now is the time to strategize on how to keep your clients and team feeling comfortable, safe, and informed about the precautions you’re taking and what you’re doing to increase sanitization and hygiene efforts. Here are some steps to take and resources to use for creating a sanitization and cleaning plan for your spa, salon, barbershop, or wellness business.
Research & Stay Up to Date on the Latest Information
While navigating procedures during the ongoing pandemic, it’s best to look to the experts. The U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides reopening guidance for cleaning and disinfecting for businesses. Plus, the CDC offers an easy-to-follow Cleaning & Disinfecting Decision Tool to help you understand which areas and surfaces need to be cleaned so you can open your business’ doors with confidence.
The International Spa Association has also created several great resources to help during this unprecedented time – including a Spa Reopening Checklist, Spa Sanitation Hygiene Standards, and downloadable, customizable templates to use as signage to reassure clients that the areas are regularly disinfected.
Be sure that you and your team have a good understanding of the differences between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting. We’ve gone over this topic in detail here, but it’s an important one.
To summarize the difference between these three actions:
Cleaning is the reduction of germs on a surface by removing dirt and debris. There isn’t any criteria that cleaning products have to meet when it comes to efficacy against pathogens.
Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements.
Disinfecting is a term that’s regulated by the EPA. Disinfectants must clear a higher bar for effectiveness than surface sanitizing products. In order to be registered as a disinfectant, the product has to show that it kills 99.9% of specified viruses or bacteria on a surface within a specific dwell time. To disinfect effectively, the disinfectant needs to be able to come into contact with 100% of the surface, so it’s crucial to clean the surface first, and then spray it thoroughly with the disinfectant and let it sit for the required contact found on the product’s label. A common mistake a lot of people make is spraying a surface with a disinfectant and then wiping it immediately afterwards. However, letting the product sit for the required contact time is critical.
Under lightly soiled conditions, Vital Oxide can be used to pre-clean surfaces before disinfecting. Clean and disinfect in two easy steps: First spray and wipe Vital Oxide to clean, then spray and leave behind to disinfect. Just make sure that you’re applying enough of the solution to remain visibly wet for the proper contact time. In cases where more frequent disinfection of surfaces results in possible buildup of dry disinfectant residue, a wipe down with a moist towel or microfiber cloth of surfaces that come into contact with clothing (chairs, shampoo stations, massage tables, etc.) will prevent any possible discoloration of fabrics.
Create a Cleaning Plan
Cleaning and disinfecting has always been important for your business, but it will be a crucial part of your reopening strategy and your operational approach moving forward amid the pandemic. As you create your cleaning plan, keep in mind that it will likely be your new cleaning protocol going forward into our new normal, not just a short-term solution for reopening.
Some elements of your plan may include:
- Itemize all areas, surfaces, and equipment that you need to clean in your facility. Note what’s frequently touched so you can determine how often you will need to clean them. Surfaces will need to be cleaned and disinfected between clients and after each use. Prioritize disinfecting frequently touched surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, handles, bathroom facilities, etc.). Include all items at your salon, barbershop, or spa stations and/or treatment rooms, that will need to be cleaned and disinfected. For example:
- Waiting areas
- Styling/treatment tools
- Storage areas and containers
- Sinks, shampoo bowls, pedicure bowls, etc.
- Handles, hoses, and spray nozzles
- Phones, tablets, touchscreens, etc. (NOTE: never spray liquid directly onto electronics - instead, wipe down with a cloth that’s been sprayed with Vital Oxide)
- If you use any sort of equipment for client treatments (scissors, shears, combs, brushes, clips, etc.), you’ll need to clean and disinfect it after each use, so your plan must include time to clean and disinfect the equipment necessary in between clients.
- Consider barrier methods on chairs and massage tables such as disposable paper drapes or towels that can be laundered after each client to help speed up the cleaning process.
- Create a daily cleaning schedule for your business, and make sure your employees follow it. There should be a continuous documentation log of cleaning practices to ensure that all facility disinfecting is being accomplished daily. Having a consistent, daily cleaning schedule can be difficult in a busy facility. Wellness businesses should all strive to have a reliable cleaning plan to protect staff, technicians, and clients.
- When possible, consider removing items or changing processes that are unnecessary (for example, remove magazines and self-serve coffee from waiting areas, eliminate physical front desk check-in, consider online scheduling in place of written appointment cards, etc.).
- If you have a break room for your team, make sure it’s cleaned and disinfected frequently by wiping down and spraying high-touch surfaces with Vital Oxide.
Before opening, train your technicians, therapists, stylists, and staff on the new cleaning procedures. It’s also a good idea to do a practice run to determine the time you’ll need for cleaning between services, so the schedule can be adjusted accordingly.
Stock Up On the Supplies You Need to Keep Your Business Clean
Make sure you have an adequate supply of cleaning products on hand before you open. The EPA has a list of EPA approved disinfectants against COVID-19. Vital Oxide is included on this list, and is currently being used in businesses across the globe to help combat against COVID-19 and other dangerous pathogens that can lurk in the salon and spa environment, including Hepatitis B and C and Staphylococcus.
Vital Oxide can be applied directly from the spray bottle and it can be sprayed onto a microfiber cloth and wiped on. It can also be applied using an electrostatic sprayer after cleaning your business each day. Electrostatic sprayers allow for 100% coverage of surfaces in an area. As Vital Oxide particles leave the sprayer nozzle, they are electrically charged, resulting in an attraction to an object’s surfaces. Think of this electrical attraction similarly to magnetic attraction – rather than targeting the forward-facing surfaces only, the charged particles will envelope the objects in a room and will result in superior coverage. When it’s imperative that the product reaches all surfaces, use an electrostatic sprayer.
Also consider the supplies your clients may need. For example, if you require clients to wash their hands before each service begins, make sure you have adequate hand soap in your bathrooms, and hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol) throughout your business.
You may also want to invest in items like touchless garbage cans, automatic hand sanitizer dispensers, etc.
Communicate Cleaning & Disinfecting Procedures to Clients
Before opening, make sure you communicate the safety precautions your business is taking – including the new cleaning protocols you’ve implemented – with your clients. Giving them peace of mind will allow them to feel more comfortable returning to their favorite businesses during this uncertain time. Be sure to outline all the steps you’re taking to clean and disinfect your facility. You can communicate to your customers through social media, emails, newsletters, and signage in your facility.
- Vital Oxide User Guide and Training Manual
- CDC, Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes
- Professional Beauty Association (PBA), COVID-19 Information and Resources and Estheticians Guide-COVID-19
- DaySpa Magazine, Coronavirus Safety Tips for Salons and Spas
- Modern Salon, 28 Safety Guidelines for Reopening Salons and Barbershops
In the new normal, we’ll see salons, barbershops, spas, and wellness businesses market their cleaning efforts to customers. Make sure your business is a class apart, welcoming clients – new and established – into a clean, sparkling space that keeps them as safe as possible.
At Vital Oxide, we’re grateful to be able to help during this challenging time by providing homes, schools, and all kinds of workplaces – including wellness businesses – with an EPA-registered disinfectant that kills 99.9% of viruses and bacteria.
Learn more about the science behind our product, as well as tons of great tips on cleaning, disinfecting, and more. If you have any questions, please Contact Us or Send Us a Message on Facebook. We’re all in this together and we’re here to help.