• Donna

The Mani Bowl Test

Updated: Jun 22, 2019

We all have a favorite nail salon that we frequent on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. We build relationships with our favorite technician, know the best time to go to avoid the crowds, and love choosing the nail polish color of the moment. While our trip to the nail salon seems relaxing, you shouldn't relax until you are sure that they are doing everything to protect your feet, hands and general health. During the 25 years I owned and operated a hair salon I tried very hard to give my clients a safe as well as good experience. All combs and brushes were sanitized daily, towels were washed before used on another client, and I only used hair coloring products that were ammonia free. I followed these guidelines - not all set by my state laws, but by me, to provide every client with a safe experience.


Since my pedicure peril incident, I have become intensely aware of everything that goes on at the nail salon, and you should too! Now that you're protecting your feet during a pedi, why not address your manicure? Over one dozen nail salons I visited did this one same thing that grossed me out. Every manicurist picked up the water bowl I used to soak my hands - walked it to the sink, emptied the water and put the bowl back on the shelf. Not once was a bowl washed with soap, or even rinsed before putting it back on the shelf. That said, I guarantee you that the bowl they pick up to fill with water and ask you to place your hand in is not clean or sanitary.


At first I brought a plastic liner similar to a shower cap to place in the bowl before my use. I then tried asking my technician to wash the bowl and swipe it with an alcohol pad before using. Although the technician happily complied, I'm not sure that all salons are happy to provide this extra cleaning and expense step to their manicure protocol. Now, I either bring a coated paper, ceramic, or metal bowl to the nail salon to use for my manicure. Whichever type of bowl or lining you choose to use for your manicure will be better than using a dirty bowl, and keep you safe!