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Last updated: August 05, 2021

Can Frequent Disinfecting Ruin Your Tools + Equipment? Read This…

How To Make Salon Materials And Tools Last Longer During COVID 19 Cleaning In Hair Salons
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How To Make Your Tools, Equipment + Salon Furniture Last Longer

After months of intense cleaning and disinfecting, you may notice your stations looking worn out, rust or corrosion on tools and other signs of wear and tear. That’s why BTC went directly to the experts to deliver the COVID-19 cleaning answers you need! We’re doing a deep dive into how you can avoid prematurely ruining your equipment, furniture and tools, and how to properly clean and disinfect going forward.


Question #1: What’s The Difference Between Cleaning & Disinfection?

Let’s start with a refresher. Disinfection kills germs and cleaning does not, easy enough? Here’s the deal: Cleaning an object or surface removes or reduces germs, dirt and impurities with soap and water. Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces and objects, but here’s the secret—disinfection only works on a clean object! Basically, you must do both.


Here’s why this is important: The process of disinfection requires chemicals that can be harsh when used on materials that they were not intended for or when the chemicals are not properly mixed or contact times are not adhered to, says Leslie Roste BSN, RN, Barbicide® National Director of Industry Relations and Education.


So, what about sterilization? This process uses heat and pressure to kill pathogens and is often both costly and time-consuming, so it’s not a first choice for most salons.


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Question #2: What are the effects of constant cleaning/disinfection on salon equipment?

Short answer, your materials should be OK if you follow the rules. Cleaning should be appropriate for all surfaces in the salon as frequently as needed, suggests Leslie. Frequent disinfection for metals and solid, hard plastics is not a problem if the chemicals are used properly (aka correct concentration and contact time).


BUT…harsh chemicals such as bleach may deteriorate plastics and metals with frequent use, suggests Leslie. Soft plastics, such as the material used on chairs is not made for frequent disinfection. Here are a few important things to remember!


1. Read The Labels & Follow Recommendations

Using harsh chemicals or bleach to constantly clean your salon equipment will have a negative impact on finishes, vinyl and stitching. They can remove the vinyl color and break down stitching, what a nightmare! Before cleaning furnishings, make sure the disinfectant is safe to use on your equipment. Minerva Beauty recommends using Ship-Shape Spray for most surfaces including vinyl.


Always remember: Proper concentration, adherence to contact time and fully drying metals will ensure the least amount of damage, adds Leslie.


2. Don’t Buy Into Gimmicks

“The ‘all over’ sprays that last for months are also not appropriate for this industry—they are not acceptable by the rules of most states and have no long term proven efficacy,” shares Leslie. “Most importantly, if a product is truly strong enough to kill pathogens for months, it may not be safe for the surfaces or the people.”


3. Avoid Shear Damage

Improperly cleaning and disinfecting scissors can cause corrosion and deterioration of the plastic, rubber and silicone parts of the shears. “This is why we recommend alcohol only and for the alcohol to be in contact with the shears for short periods of time,” says Kerry Starnes, ShearCraft Master Sharpener for ARC™ Scissors.



Question #3: How can I make salon tools, equipment & furniture last?

Here’s a breakdown of how to maintain products and tools, what to avoid and an alternative idea for working smarter, not harder!   


1. Use Barrier Methods

Try using a barrier method, like a towel over the arm rest and back of chair! This means disinfection will only have to be done 2 to 3 times a day (in this area) instead of after each client, adds Leslie.


Here’s a timesaver! Use Minerva Beauty’s Easydry Disposable Towels as a barrier. You won’t have to worry about stacking up that laundry pile and can save time between clients with this single-use option. 


2. Avoid This Common Mistake

Always mix disinfectant properly and do NOT leave it on a surface or in contact with your implements for longer than the contact time on the label, says Leslie. Use products with a rust inhibitor and only use on the types of surfaces designated by the manufacturer. 


And remember, bleach is highly corrosive and should always be mixed properly with water and never left on a surface longer than five minutes (the contact time for chlorine bleach).



3. Daily Maintenance Tips

Don’t forget these daily reminders from Olivia Garden VP of Marketing & Sales Anne Maza: 


  • Brushes: After each client, remove the hair and product buildup using Olivia Garden Brush Clea­ner before putting the brushes in sanitizing solution.


  • Flat Irons: Wipe plates once they are completely cooled down.


  • Shears: Wipe with a gentle shear cleaning cloth, holding the shear with the blade away from you. Gently wipe down both blades to remove hair or buildup and then oil the blades and pivoting points


  • Dryers: Clean intake filters, they should be free of buildup and clogging. If you don’t clean the vents, a clogged dryer can emit 3x more heat which can burn out the motor and cause damage.


Pro Tip: The easiest way to speed up cleaning in between clients? Wiping down hot tools the right away will help remove buildup and excess product from plates, so you can pick up the pace, Hot Tools® Professionals experts say.



Question #4: Which salon materials hold up to constant cleaning & disinfecting?

Here’s some guidance for choosing salon materials that will hold up, and when single-use is a good option for making your life a bit easier!


1. Be Intentional With Choosing Brushes & Tools

Did you know Olivia Garden designed a paddle brush with a removable cushion, so that you can avoid any buildup including trapped sanitizing solution or water? Genius, right?! Always consider what materials your products are made of, suggests Anne. For Example: Would a cork brush handle do well submerged in sanitizing solution for 15+ minutes?


Watch This #BTCQuickie Below To See How To Properly Sanitize & Store Removable Paddle Brushes!


2. Durable Salon Furniture Ideas

We asked Minerva Beauty for their top furniture recommendations that can hold up to constant cleaning. Here’s what they suggested:


  • Stainless steel or contractor-grade laminate, designed to withstand constant cleaning while maintaining their original appearance.


  • Minerva’s Genesis Styling Stations are painted with eight layers of auto-body paint providing a durable protective coating.


3. Consider Disposable, Single-Use Salon Materials

We know you’re super busy behind the chair, so consider using single-use products that you can use and dispose of between clients. Olivia Garden recently released disposable Gloves, Clean Bags (to store disinfected tools), Chair Covers and more. Click HERE to check out both disposable and reusable materials!


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