As most of us know, the COVID-19 virus spreads most frequently from person-to-person, among close contacts that are within approximately six feet away. Transmission mostly occurs via respiratory droplets.
According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), best practices to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 or any other virus is by repeatedly practicing the thorough cleaning of all surfaces followed by disinfection.
For clarification purposes, let’s all get on the same page when it comes to common terms we use concerning this topic.
- Cleaning – refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. Cleaning does not kill bacteria, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
- Disinfecting – refers to using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove viruses, but by killing bacteria on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.
As salon owners and technicians, we must practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces, (e.g., equipment, tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc.) It is essential that we use household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants that are appropriate for the surface, and that we always follow the instructions on the label. You will want to be aware of the preparations for the safe and effective use of the cleaning product. These instructions include precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have proper ventilation during the use of the product. Remember, safety first always!
When cleaning surfaces, wear disposable gloves and discard them after each cleaning. If you choose to use re-usable gloves, reserve them for cleaning and disinfection of surfaces for COVID-19. Do not use them for any other cleaning or purposes. Always wash your hands after each cleaning, even if you were wearing protective gear and gloves.
Before disinfection, clean surfaces to remove any dirt or debris with a detergent or soap and water. Once you are ready to disinfect, you may use a diluted household bleach solution, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and the most common EPA-registered household disinfectants. All of these options should be very effective. Always follow directions on the manufacturers’ labels and ensure you have proper ventilation in the area you are applying to the disinfectant. Do not use ingredients that are past their expiration date.
If you are unable to purchase disinfectant due to shortages, a simple recipe for disinfectant is as follows:
- Five tablespoons (1/3 cup) bleach per gallon of water, or
- Four teaspoons of bleach per quart of water
We’ve discussed hard surfaces, let’s look at the best practices for soft or porous surfaces (e.g., carpeted floors, rugs, drapes, towels, capes, cloth, etc.)
- Remove visible contamination if present with cleaners that are appropriate for use on these type of surfaces
- Launder in the warmest setting appropriate, based on manufacturers instructions and dry completely
- Wear disposable gloves when handling items, dispose of after each use
- Always wash hands after removing gloves and handling things to be cleaned
- Do not shake things to minimize dispersing the virus through the air
- Clean and disinfect containers used for unwashed items as well, such as hampers, baskets, etc.
In terms of best practices for employees and clients coming to your salon, we suggest you follow these guidelines from the CDC:
- Critical times to clean hands
- After blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After using the restroom
- Before eating or preparing food
- After contact with animals or pets
- After touching your face or mouth
- Before and after providing routine care for another person who needs assistance (e.g., a child, older adult, etc.)
- Critical times to clean hands
It is also recommended that anyone who is feeling ill, has a fever, dry cough or any other possible virus symptoms, or has been exposed to someone with those symptoms, avoid coming into contact with others. Ask your clients to reschedule appointments, stay home from the salon if you or anyone in your household is experiencing these symptoms and, overall, err on the side of caution.
Ask your clients to come to the salon alone. Bringing unnecessary guests or children into the salon increases the risk for everyone. Remove items such as magazines and other non-essential items from the salon. Not only will this reduce the amount of cleaning and disinfection you must perform, but it will also reduce the number of surfaces that may have been contaminated.
If you use private rooms to perform your services, make a point to let your clients know this. Be proactive, get the word out that you are taking every possible precaution to keep your clients, yourself, and your salon free from potential contaminants.
We are in the midst of an unprecedented era in our world. Everyone must do whatever possible to ensure the containment of this invisible enemy. We, at The Hair Society, are here to support you during this time in any way we can. Feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us offer assistance in any way we can. We are all in this together!