Are you experiencing premature tool breakdown? This can be a common issue among nail techs but there is a simple solution to help keep your tools in top class condition. Follow the manufacturer guidelines Following the manufacturer’s guidelines is essential for success and longevity with your tools. These precise instructions are carefully composed for a reason; they follow comprehensive manufacturer research, trialling and testing to guarantee the suitable uses and care for the product. This includes the amount of time that the tool is submerged into disinfectant solution.
It is important to recognise that it is not the solution or the tool itself that causes the premature breakdown; it is the incorrect use.Many techs pick up the habit of keeping tools submerged in cleaning liquid continuously against manufacturer’s instructions and advice. Again, these instructions were created to prevent issues and if you go against them, issues will arise. Manufacturer directions state that tools should only be placed in the solution for a specific time frame, usually around 10 minutes but this can vary from brand to brand. Not only is this the tested and required time needed to kill any bacteria or fungus that the solution has been designed to, but it prevents premature rusting of tools. Almost as essential as the correct submersion time, is what happens when the tools are removed from this solution. Correct drying of the tools is paramount to prevent rusting and damage. When removed from the solution, take a soft tissue or cloth and thoroughly dry the implements, including any crevices. What are your tools made from? The quality of the tools is essential as disinfectants and certain sterilising procedures are only suitable for certain materials, mainly stainless steel. Colourful coatings and effects often compromise the quality and dis-infectibility of the metal. Let’s put it this way: when have you ever seen a Dentist or a Doctor using colourful implements? There is a good reason for this. That being said, a chromium plating can help prevent rusting on tools. However, have you noticed that your tool, including those of good quality, may only rust in certain places; most often in hidden crevices such as in knurling or at hinges? This is due to the coating that is applied to the steel and the difficultly of machines being able to coat these crevices. If a tool has knurling, then the tool should therefore only be submerged as high as the tool head which comes into contact with the client. However with correct submersion time and drying, this issue shouldn’t occur. Store your tools correctly The correct storage of tools is also paramount to their longevity. Sharp implements should be stored in a safe and tidy box or stand. When placed in the disinfection solution, a circle of cotton wool should be placed in the jar to prevent blunting edges. Plastic blade protectors or pouches that come with the tools should be used. As well as safe working techniques, sharp implements should not just be left in your direct working area to avoid injury to yourself and client but also to keep the tool at its optimum efficiency. Dropping your tools and using them for unintended purposes will also cause damage and affect their quality and working capability. As well as following your manufacturers guidelines, you should also follow safe working practices from HSE. It can be easy to blame the solution and seek alternatives but the same issues will arise if techs continue to ignore manufacturer instructions. When choosing a disinfectant, opt for a hospital grade and approved solution. There are several well-known brands which have been on the market for over 60 years and are still used in hospitals to this day. There is a reason for this and the reputation speaks for itself. If you are ever in doubt of how to care for your tools, contact your manufacturer for their advice – they will be happy to help. Take care of your tools and they will take care of you.
Credit: Katie Barnes