We all love getting pampered at the salon, whether with a long and leisurely pedicure or a quick, lunch-break mani. But, a visit to the nail technician could be more harmful than you think! Nail files and buffers are made of porous materials, so they can transfer bacteria, viruses and fungi between clients. The treatment for these foul issues involves several weeks or even months of heavy medication – a strain on the liver and the pocket book. Avoid the risk by choosing a salon that is dedicated to cleanliness and always bringing your own tools! You’ll leave knowing the only thing on your nails is a beautiful coat of polish!How to avoid the risk

◗ FIND A SALON where nail techs sterilize everything, autoclave the instruments, and wear disposable gloves while giving treatments.

◗ DON’T SHAVE before a pedicure. Shaving could create little nicks in your skin without you even realizing it. Bacteria can enter your bloodstream through the compromised skin.

◗ BRING YOUR OWN nail kit, with your favorite finds from the items listed here.


NAIL FILES nailfiles

There are lots of types to choose from: curved, straight, rough or medium grit. Your best bet is to purchase them from the salon so you know you have the ones your nail tech likes. Buy two files: a rough grit for your toe nails and a fine grit for your fingernails. Your tech will be using the file only on you, so you won’t have to worry about bacteria or contamination.




Shared nail polish can carry bacteria and diseases from other patrons! Purchase your favorite shades from the salon to avoid catching anything. Don’t forget the base coat and top coat.


CUTICLE PUSHERcuticle-pushers-double-ended-116

Choose a stainless steel cuticle pusher where one end is designed to push the cuticle back and the other end has a “scoop” to clean the nail plate. These could cost nearly $40, but keep your eyes open … often they’re available in the beauty section at TJ Maxx for as little as $15.




Different from clippers, nail nippers allow the tech to cut nails at the correct angle. Wash with soap and water after every use and then soak in rubbing alcohol for 10 minutes.




Make sure that it is firm enough to remove dirt and debris, but don’t buy one that is hard enough to cause any skin irritation or abrasion. Clean with antibacterial soap and water.




If your nail tech uses a foot file with disposable strips, you won’t need to bring your own. However, if she doesn’t, you’ll definitely want to invest in your own and sanitize it after each use. The foot file gets a lot of action … and pulls off a lot of dead skin. Sterile or not, no one wants a file touching them that’s just been used to peel off another person’s heel!





Smooth the nail surface without causing damage. Three-way buffers make artificial and natural nails so shiny, many clients walk out of the salon without polish.